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Hounds pick Duke apart to advance in NCAAs

By: Desmond Boyle

What happened in the past has nothing to do with what can happen today. Loyola proved that as they avenged an earlier-season loss to Duke with a 16-11 victory on Saturday at Ridley Athletic Complex to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

“I think we had a little bit of an edge sitting in this room all week, watching our film from the last time we played them,” Loyola head coach Charlie Toomey said. “We knew that we didn’t put out best foot forward.”

Pat Spencer is playing so great as a freshman it's hard to imagine he won't be a major Tewaaraton award finalist before he graduates.

Pat Spencer is playing so great as a freshman it’s hard to imagine he won’t be a major Tewaaraton award finalist before he graduates.

It was a much different performance from a much different Loyola team that saw the emergence of freshman attack Pat Spencer and freshman goalkeeper Jacob Stover. Spencer led the Greyhounds with eight points off three goals and five assists. Stover was incredible in the cage, making 16 saves. And of course, senior attack Zach Herreweyers was huge with six goals to showcase himself as one of the most dangerous scorers in the country.

“The one thing we wanted to do was make them slide, really attack the goal,” Herreweyers said. “We thought we’d be really successful if we made them made that first slide and get it around to the backside. I think they really struggled with that second and third recovery, and it really worked out today.”

Loyola dominated the first two quarters as the first half was more of a battle between the Greyhounds and Duke’s Jack Bruckner. Loyola controlled possession with sharp passing and used a high pressure defense to force Duke into 11 turnovers, eight more than the Greyhounds committed.

Duke was able to stay alive with a 13-4 advantage at the faceoff X in the first half while Loyola has no answer for Bruckner before halftime as he netted six first-half goal. But Loyola’s offense was able to pick apart Duke’s defense and saw a huge performance from Stover, who made seven of his 16 saves in the game in the first quarter itself.

While Duke had their one star getting the job done, Loyola was able to spread the wealth more and that was the big difference. Spencer scored the Greyhound’s first goal not even two minute into the game and Jared Mintzlaff quickly followed. Not long later, Herreweyers gave the Greyhounds a 3-0 lead at 8:05.

It was a tremendous start and enough to hold Duke away for the rest of the game.

Bruckner scored back-to-back goals late in the first quarter to inch closer, but Spencer showcased his incredible skill with another goal at the very end of the first to give Loyola a 4-2 lead.

Bruckner did scored four more times in the second quarter, but Brian Sherlock, Zack Sirico, Spencer and Herreweyers showed Loyola’s depth of offense as the Greyhounds took a 9-6 lead into halftime.

Duke started the half with a bang as just 48 seconds in as Deemer Class rifled in a shot from a hard angle to make it 9-7. Duke controlled the ball for a brief spell early on and created quality scoring chances by passing better than they did in the first. The Blue Devils were unable to convert on any more chances however, and Loyola began to dominate again.

Jacob Stover dominated in the cage with 16 save to limit Duke's offense.

Jacob Stover dominated in the cage with 16 save to limit Duke’s offense.

Sirico then scored his second goal of the day with an unassisted effort from the middle of the defense. John Duffy extended the Loyola lead to four with a beautiful weaving drive past several Duke defenders before placing the ball in the upper 90. Loyola continued the great offensive display as Romar Dennis ripped a shot from the edge of the offensive area.

Chad Cohan ended the Loyola scoring spree with just over six minutes to go. Duke continued to apply to create chances but Stover stood strong and made difficult saves from point blank range.

“It’s fun, it’s exciting,” Stover said of the one on one saves, “You know that you’re the last line of defense.”

With 40 seconds left in the third quarter Tripp Transou scored a crucial goal that made the score 12-9 going into the final quarter. Herreweyers cut off Duke’s momentum just 18 seconds into the Fourth quarter with a close range effort that took a bounce past Duke stopper Danny Fowler.

Loyola controlled the ball once again and did a better job of getting to groundballs first in the fourth quarter. Herreweyers made their lead seemingly insurmountable with two goals, both short range shots that were opened up with incisive passing.

Duke’s defense tired in the fourth quarter, after chasing Loyola around for much of the game the Blue Devils struggled to keep pace with the Greyhounds relentless offensive movement. Duke did manage a consolation goal with three and a half minutes to go but the five goal deficit was too much to overcome.

A man advantage goal from #6 registered the final goal for the Greyhounds before Guterding sealed the scoring for the day as Loyola advanced to the next round with a 16-11 win over Duke.

Despite having more shots, winning more faceoffs and ground balls, Duke never looked like winning today’s game,

“They had better players,” Duke head coach John Danowski said, “They made better lacrosse plays.”

Loyola will take on the winner of the matchup between Denver and Towson in the next round of the tourney.

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Desmond Boyle

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