The newly formed CAA that both these teams are in will not yield an AQ this year, but these two teams really went at it today towards the end of the game. There was definitely no love lost. Loyola looks great once again at the mid season point, but this year it's under new, old Coach Dirrigl so maybe they'll have better luck in the post-season. The Tigers are behind the eigtht ball now with three losses already this season. This convincing loss might be what it takes to turn this team around, but it might be to little too late. The Tigers play Hofstra next in a must win and face Johns Hopkins on the 27th of April. Other than that there's no one on their schedule that's going to help them get into the post-season.
Head Coach Tony Seaman summed up his teams performance aptly,"They just beat us in every phase of the game." Coach Dirrigl credited his team for being very well prepared. He praised his assistant coaches for showing the players a lot of film and getting them mentally prepared. The intensity on the Loyola team is already in post-season form. Dirrigl made an example of star long stick John Brasko in the third quarter with the score 10-6 in favor of Loyola. After three consecutive penalties taken by the Hounds Brasko cleared the ball and got within shooting distance and did so. His shot bounced wide and Towson got possession. Dirrigl pulled the defender the first chance he could to send the message to the team. That message was team first and the entire squad punctuated that the rest of the way making all the right plays and playing completely unselfishly. Brasko had an oppurtunity to shoot later in the fourth when it was really garbage time and he passed to the attack instead. As Seaman said Loyola out-hustled, out-thought, and outplayed Towson.
The hounds played a very spread out set on offense letting the ball do all the work. Forty yard passes were zinged around and off ball cuts got hit all day. The ball movement was so acute that it appeared that Towson was man down at times. Towson's close defense was not getting beat one on one, but the attack was able to feed middies simply by keeping the ball moving at all times. The tigers had some brilliant moves on offense, but they seemed to lack direction and aside from a couple of two man plays they definitely did not operate like a team.
Loyola had the first possession and got off three shots that missed the goal. The fourth shot was on goal and turned away by goalie John Hunt with a leg save. Towson went down field, but the ball was quickly turned around and Stephen Brundage was able to face dodge his man in transition and get a shot off while falling down. His shot went straight into the turf like his body and beat Hunt for a 1-0 Loyola lead. Kyle Campbell answered for the Tigers at 11:39. The high scoring attackman curled to his left from behind the cage. His d-man pushed him out so he took a a step up field before he turned towards the goal and cranked an overhand lefty shot to the upper left hand corner to beat goalie Mark Bloomquist. It would be the first of a handful of goals given up by both teams that were a little soft. Bloomquist somehow tallied 18 saves and did have a couple of nice ones, but he was hardly standing on his head back there.
Towson took it's first and last lead of the game on a Ryan Obloj goal. It was a classic delayed call goal. The ref threw the flag and suddenly Loyola started overplaying everywhere while Towson calmly moved the ball around and hit Obloj on prime real estate in front of the net, 2-1. Bloomquist stoned middie Josh Cornett to keep the Tigers within one on the next play. Freshman middie Grant Halford drove from the top to the goalies' left. He split between Towson long pole Danny Cochi and Josh Cornett and bounced one past Hunt, 2-2. Towson called a time out to settle things down. The Tigers seemed to be susceptible to the middie drives. They didn't solve the problem however. Loyola's Parker Adams drove from dead center along restraining line and drew the slide. He quickly dumped to Matt White to his right who had time and room to blast it past Hunt, 3-2. Again, Loyola's ball movement proved too much for the Tiger defense when Chris Summers fed Jim Fink from behind to the lefty crank spot for a righty crank shot far side, 4-2. Later, Stephen Brundage made a strong play after the ball was won by Loyola in a midfield scramble. Brundage streaked down the right side and turned towards the cage taking it lefty to the goalies' left. The defenseman's check knocked his right hand off the stick, but with a slide coming from the crease Brundage managed to one hand it to Summers. Summers had just enough time to bounce it past Hunt before the defense collapsed on him like the pocket on a quarterback, 5-2.
Towson had the next possession, but a shot was taken that was wide and Loyola close defender Mike Stromberg sprinted past Towson attackman Brad Reppert who had a ten yard head start to gain possession. That play alone encapsulated what the day was all about. Loyola made it 6-2 at the 2:00 minute mark of the first quarter. Michael Sullivan danced around behind the cage, but could not shake his defender. Meanwhile the middies were all cutting towards the cage in and out and he eventually found Joey Case who quick sticked the feed from behind standing seven yards away from Hunt to the goalie's right.
Towson stormed right back into it with two goals late in the first. Towson's Peyton Chane curled around from behind the cage to his left and underhanded a shot that beat Bloomquist low, 6-3. Chane added another with a simple split dodge to his left from the top. He didn't get by his man, but created enough space to get off a shot that probably should have been saved, 6-4.
The quarter had a few good individual plays by Tiger's offensive players and some good team plays by the Hounds. Some of the Tiger goals were on the soft side however, and if they hadn't had so much trouble hitting the cage the score could have been much closer the rest of the way.
Towson got within on to open the second quarter. Big middie Brian Meyers drove from the top after Reppert passed from the side of the goal. Meyers got a step on his man so the double came from Reppert's man. Meyers stepped back out and hit Reppert on the back door cut where he was all alone one on one with the goalie, 6-5. This play was there many times for Towson, but the players weren't able to capitalize on it much. Towson went on a tear, but got nothing out of it. Reppert hit the post got his own rebound and Bloomquist smothered the second attempt. Meyers was wide open, but missed the goal. Obloj was then robbed by Bloomquist before Bloomquist stopped a soft on the run shot from Jay Horowitz. When Loyola finally cleared they called time out. At 8:14 it was another example of great ball movement. The entire offensive set deserved an assist as Loyola whipped the ball around with thirty and forty yard seeds to get Towson defenders out of possession. Eventually Parker Adams was wide open for a crank to make it 7-5. Shortly after, a middie for Towson broke his stick and as he ran off the field Loyola cashed in on the extra man with a Sullivan score, 8-5. Towson missed the net again on their next offensive chance and this time it was John Brasko outrunning Brad Reppert for the possession after a shot. Loyola was offsides on the clear so Towson came down and took another shot that, you guessed it, missed the cage. This time nobody was backing up and they lost possession again. The Tigers were out of sync and just didn't seem to have their heads in the game. That was never more evident than on the next goal for Loyola. I missed the players involved, but basically there was a short stick Towson defender deep in the corner behind the net on a Loyola attacker. A long stick decided he wanted to switch with him so he called it out and went there. The only problem is it was a twenty yard distance to the attacker and he saw him coming. This left the short stick defender with a forty yard sprint just to get back to the hole and then he had to find his man. In the mean time Chris Summers hit Grant Halford for the score, 9-5. Loyola got the ball off the face, but the ball was batted towards the midfield line where Brad Reppert blatantly pushed Mike Stromberg over the line to give possession back to Loyola. With 2:50 left in the half Brundage face dodged his way to the front of the cage and scored before Adam Baxter crushed him and drew a penalty. Towson's long stick middie Danny Cochi was able to clear and the Tigers after killing the clock made one of the nicest plays of the day. Middie Brad Monaco was driving righty down the right side where he threw a timing bounce pass. Obloj cut to his right from behind the net and got a step on his man where he was able to catch the bounce pass as it came up and one timed it along the left pipe, 10-6.
Towson started the second half determined to turn things around. They had a full two minute possession to start the half that culminated in only a penalty on Loyola, but no goals. Loyola took three consecutive penalties, but a combination of missed shots, a couple of nice saves by Bloomquist, and one errant pass left them with nothing to show for it. Sullivan broke the Tigers back when he scored at 6:54. Sullivan curled around the net lefty, but his defenseman gave him nothing so he ran wide before turning towards the goal with little angle and firing a low shot that caught the far side, 11-6. It was a devastating goal because it was very savable and came on the heels of a huge Tiger offensive push that yielded nothing. Loyola tallied anther before the third ended to make it 12-6 with great ball movement again.
The fourth quarter was all Loyola. Towson started being over aggressive defensively which made it easier for Loyola to go to the net. Towson continued to miss the net shaking their head in frustration and the Hounds grew stronger and stronger. Final, 15-7.
|Ryan Obloj||(2, 0)|
|Brad Monaco||(0, 1)|
|Brad Reppert||(1, 0)|
|Collin Meerholz||(1, 0)|
|Kyle Campbell||(1, 0)|
|Brian Myers||(0, 1)|
|Reed Sothoron||7 (0.583)|
|John Hunt||3 (0.231)|