It started off slowly enough, but thats just about the last thing this game could be called. Working off of a deliberate, almost practice-like, tempo, Loyola was able to monopolize possession for most of the first half. Whipping the ball around with scary speed, the Greyhounds looked to be making half-hearted attempts at actually going to the goal; rather, they hoped to lull the Syracuse D to sleep and pick their spots. They did.
The Goettleman brothers combined for a nicely timed connection right on Mulligan's doorstep, which was sandwiched around two similar scores from a Prout-Sullivan combo. Meanwhile, the blistering speed of Loyola's middies (Battista was sick) forced the Orange D to become less of a cohesive, I-got-your-back D. Battista and Hass
also opened and closed the scoring for the half, each with a crank from just inside the restaining line.
On the other end of the field, only Josh Coffman looked capable of doing any damage one-on-one to Loyola's swarming defense -- Powell was held in check by some tough body up defense, and everyone else was simply timid. It was Coffman who did most of the quarterbacking for the Orange; two of Cuse's three first half goals came on Coffman's ability to out-quick his short stick while inverted, and the only real threats generated by Cuse were because of his work from X. Attackman Mike Springer was noticeably absent for much of the first quarter, and without his prescence, Syracuse was unable to generate any sort of real outside threat. Sticking to their game plan, Loyola continued their deliberate, methodical ball movement, and with the help of an unusually weak (especially high) Mulligan, they went into halftime up 6-3.
The second half started without much of a bang -- it was mostly quick up and downs that immediately came to a halt with some stifling defense on both ends (but Loyola can run). Things picked up a little for Syracuse in the late third -- a couple of nasty upper right rips from Matt Ciaone tied up the game (it was a 3-0 third for Cuse), but more importantly, took the momentum away from Loyola, who had until that point played with the confidence of giant killers. It was uneventful for the most part (with the exception of a voided diving goal by Bobby Horsey), but the third put Syracuse back in the game, and that set up the monster fourth.
Cuse's guns finally took over this period, and aside from a pair of did-that-really-go-in goals from Horsey and Tim Goetlleman on the right wing, Syracuse's D was equally stellar. Powell caught fire, Byrnes was ripping it from everywhere, and Springer sealed the deal with a pick on a ride that led to a Powell goal, and two of his own from a fast break finish and empty-netter (Born was doubling behind). Just like that, Syracuse had turned what was a smart, aggressive Loyola defense into a group that looked confused and overmatched.
Several botched clears, a couple plain as day missed assignments, and Loyola, within minutes, went from future number one in the country to the wrong end of an out of control summer league game.
Tim Goettleman on the huge turnaround -- "We lost focus on what we were trying to do. A team like Syracuse can jump all over you". Well, yeah, they sure can.
Syracuse vs. Loyola