Mids Unable to Tame Loyola’s High-Powered Offense
BALTIMORE, Md. - All-American and Tewaaraton Award nominee Pat Spencer scored three goals and added four assists to lead the 17th-ranked Loyola men’s lacrosse team (4-3, 3-0 Patriot League) to an 18-7 victory over Navy (2-6, 1-3 PL) Saturday afternoon at the Ridley Athletic Complex. Loyola is the fifth team Navy has lost to this season that currently resides among the nation’s top 20.
Loyola dominated the Midshipmen in the shots column, doubling them uip, 42-26. Navy got off only nine shots in the first 30 minutes of play, while the Greyhounds punched in eight goals on 24 shots in the first half. Loyola closed out the game having scored goals on 42.9 percent of their shots (18 of 42).
Loyola senior faceoff specialist Graham Savio, who stands #2 all-time in the Patriot League was sensational and played a pivotal role in giving the Greyhounds possession. He won 15 of the 22 draws he took, while Navy senior Brady Dove (Stevensville, Md.)e who came into the game ranked #6 nationally, claimed just six of the 15 faceoffs he took and backup Joe Varello (Kings Park, N.Y.) was five for 12.
“Loyola really played well in all facets of the game,” said sixth-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell. “They controlled the faceoff game, their offense was difficult to stop and they got some high percentage shots. Today can best be described as a lot of Loyola and how good they played.
“We’re still trying to find ourselves. I don’t fault our effort, though, and we’ll keep plugging away. ”
Loyola scored the game’s first goal when sophomore middie Alex McGovern found Zac Davliakos anchored just outside the crease as the long pole dunked his second goal of the year at the 11:45 mark. Just 74 seconds later, Navy attack man Ryan Wade (So / Coronado, Calif.) wrapped around the left side of the goal to even the score at one apiece.
The Greyhounds went on a 3-0 run before Navy could answer. After sitting out a pair of games with an injury, attackman Dave Little (Jr / Vienna, Va.) returned to the lineup and scored the first of his two goals at the 1:48 mark to trim Loyola’s lead to two. The Greyhounds, however, would get the final say of the quarter with senior middie targeting a 15-yard wide-open shot with 46.8 seconds remaining in the period.
Loyola scored the first two goals of the second period to extend its lead to five (7-2) before Wade sent a pass to middie Colin Flounlacker (Sr / Stevensville, Md.) for a long crank shot with 8:33 left in the opening half. Loyola took a five-goal lead into the break after senior attackman Zach Sirico scored with the Greyhounds two men up.
Loyola pushed its leads to seven after Spencer scored back-to-back goals in the opening minute of play in the third quarter. Navy fought back and scored three of the next four goals, including two in a 41-second span. Second-year middie Drew Smiley (Shrewsbury, Mass.) beat Loyola rookie middie Matt Higgins from the right elbow, while Little used a pick to perfection and got his hands free for a worm burner. Navy’s third goal came at the 6:32 mark when Smiley again found an opening down the right alley way to get the Mids to within five.
The Greyhounds buckled down on defense while they offense went back to work. Loyola went on a 6-0 run that covered better than 12 minutes, while Navy was held without a goal for nearly fourteen-and-a-half minutes. Navy’s final goal, midfielder Ray Wardell’s (Jr / Babylon, N.Y.) second goal of the year, came at the 7:06 mark, while Loyola put its final tally up at 3:01 on a Nick Cunningham shot with the timer on.
Wade paced the Mids with three points on a goal and two assists, while Little and Smiley both chipped in goals. Freshman goalkeeper Ryan Kern (Middletown, Del.) had a tough go of it between the pipes, giving up six goals on Loyola’s first 11 shots. Junior Nick Ramsey (Crofton, Md.), who saw action for the first time in his career a week ago, played the final 44-plus minutes where he surrendered 12 goals and made six shots.
Twelve different players scored goals for an offensive unit that entered Saturday’s game ranked #7 nationally in scoring, averaging 13.33 goals per game while shooting better than 32 percent. Spencer, who appears to be the Tewaaraton Award favorite midway through the 2017 campaign, led all players with his seven points, scoring his three goals on four shots. Meanwhile, McGovern (1-3), Sirico (3-1) and Romar Dennis (2-2) all turned in four-point performances for the Greyhounds.
After playing three straight games on the road, the Mids return home to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial stadium when they play host to Dartmouth on Tuesday with faceoff slated for 7:00 pm. The game will be streamed live via PatriotLeague.TV and will be carried by 1430 AM / 99.9 FM WNAV with Pete Medhurst and Joe Miller on the call.
### Go Navy ###