No more of the sloppy, muddy fields that characterized the opening day of the D1 Men's first round -- today's doubleheader was played on a beautiful, lowcut turf and the sun was out. The action started off in Notre Dame's end with some sharp clockwise rotation that resulted in a one-on-one from Stedman Oakely on Jason Born, which Born, and a sliding Chris Young thwarted. Just 15 seconds later, David Ulrich connected on the first of the day when he rocker stepped on the left pipe and put it near side. Tim Goettleman answered after a two minute stint of passing around the horn when he ducked inside his man from right behind and stuck it point blank before the crushing slide arrived. ND's Chris Young then put his team up 2-1 on quick stutter step from top left and a 15 yard rip to the Born's offside hip. Notre Dame was actually looking quicker than the Greyhounds at this point -- they were leaving their defenders with broken ankles and routinely making them pay for rushing out to D-up. Loyola finally got a faceoff and almost converted when Tim G ducked inside his man again, this time from the left side, but Howell came up high to meet him on a clutch save. ND quickly fired out an outlet and headed the other way. Tom Glatzel drove from the left wing to the top of the hole while ducking under several tomahawk checks, fired it high, but Born got a piece of it and kicked out a rebound. Glatzel then found himself with a present when the rebound found its way to him all alone just five yards out. He stuck a bouncer to make it 3-1. ND controlled yet another faceoff and worked it around the horn to Glatzel, who found himself drawing a little too much attention on the left pipe from a sluffing Loyola D and lobbed it across the center of the D to Oakley on the top left of the box. Oakely nailed a high bouncer, which he was able to take without any pressure. One more ND faceoff and John Flandina drove hard down the left wing, lowered his shoulder to bull in, and hit a lefty bouncer to the upper corner with almost no angle. High bounce shots were becoming the norm -- while Born was handling the high lasers, he was helpless on any bouncers that forced him to make a second reaction. A crank from Loyola's Horsey and a beautiful quickstick on the doorstep by ND's Harvey ended the quarter with ND up 6-2.
The second started in much the same fashion as the first, with ND controlling the face (they were dominant) and Glatzel driving across the middle from the left wing and sticking a boncer to the five hole. At 6 minutes in, Loyola finally got an extended possession, for about 4 minutes or so, which was helped by a weak push from behind call on Notre Dame (it wasn't their fault that Prout turtled up). ND was sharp on D though, recovering quickly when beaten, and making airtight slides. Howell was on top of his game too, making Loyola's guns from outside think twice about attempting any shot that wasn't going to the corners. The story in the cage on the other side of the field wasn't as good -- Born was replaced by freshman Mark Bloomquist with 2 minutes remaining after letting in way too many goals of which he had a clear look at. Loyola's D is aggressive, and likes to slide early and with authority, but if they have no confindence that the shots from afar will be stopped, they're not nearly as effective.
Mascarella took a low rip from up top on a man-up with 1:30 to go in the half. Just 5 seconds later, Tim G cleaned up the rebound on a dart down the middle right after the face to make it 10-4, and only 30 seconds after that, he again ducked inside his man from right behind and walked a tightrope on the crease to claw Loyola to within 5. The half ended with ND up 10-5, but Loyola was starting to feel it. An interesting note: every time I've seen Loyola this year, I've been really impressed with the legs of their middies and their D, but nearly every player on offense for ND was getting at least a step on their defender.
Loyola took the first face of the second half and rifled a low rip from 15 yards out that Born deflected into defensemen Steve Fiamingo's stick up at the restraining line, which he took down the right side of the field in an attempt to dump off to an attackman. Loyola decided to shutoff on the ride, so Fiamingo turned it inside at goal line extended, got inside position, and went five hole as he was falling to his knees to get the first score of the half. ND made it 12-5 a couple minutes later when Glatzel forced a shot from the left that got lofted when someone lifted his elbow. David Ulrich caught the shot and fed his brother, who was all alone just five yards out on the right side, and Todd rifled it in. Loyola got on the board when Tim G got his fourth of the day after dipping inside his man from right behind (I'm wondering when ND figures out that he likes to do that -- it's pretty much the only move he's made all day).
ND pinged a couple (well, several) pipes on Bloomquist, but the freshman was standing up well to the pressure. Tim G, a senior, was finally starting to realize this might be his last game. He looked like he was possessed, and drove through three guys on the right wing while twisting, turning, and bulling the entire time, but ended up hitting Howell in the chest. It was one of many times he would single handedly take over Loyola's offense. Meanwhile, the rest of Tim G's team was routinely throwing away passes and pulling kamikazee drives from the top of the box -- when ND doubled, they never had any outlets, and more often than not, the ball headed the other way. Loyola did get another notch when, after the fruits of some great riding by Tim G, Gunnar G hit home with an empty netter (on a nerve-wracking 30 yarder to the lower corner). ND wasn't falling apart however, as Howell again came up huge with a stuff of Prout from 5 yards out (about half of Loyola apparently didn't know Howell was lefty). A couple of up and downs, some nice rips that were just wide, and the 3rd ended with ND up 12-7.
ND opened up the 4th on a coast to coast clear by longstick Mike Adams, who was allowed to walk in on Bloomquist without anyone so much as raising an eyebrow. It was one of several mind boggling breakdowns by Loyola -- be it passing way off the mark or turnovers due to holding on to the ball for too long, it was just uncharacteristic of them.
The bench, and the fans, for Loyola got fired up when they got it to 13-9 on another powerful drive down the left wing by Tim G and a rip from out top by Bobby Horsey after ND attempted a Gilman. Things started heating up when Tim G nailed a pipe which John Souch took the other way, and, after a timeout was called, initiated some jawing. ND was doing their best to kill time off the clock, pulling up on unsettled situations instead of displaying the killer instinct that had marked the earlier portions of the game. Loyola was of course listening to the clock tick down, and started displaying more urgency. Mike Battista, who was noticeably invisible all day, streaked down the right side and ripped one to the low corner. Tim G got through another double team and let one loose before taking a punishing blow to make it 14-11. It was beginning to look like a ND victory wasn't so certain, but Kevin Higgins, who had done an incredible job on faceoffs all afternoon, got one to trickle by Bloomquist to put ND up by 4. Aside from two late (very late) goals, ND brushed off an incredible performance by Tim Goettleman (sorry for the "Tim G", but I don't type that fast) and is now heading to Hopkins after the 15 -13 upset.
By the way, I apologize for the lateness of this story -- the pictures and story were actually ready just 15 minutes after the game, but for whatever reason, UMBC had only one phone line (literally) for about 40 guys in the press box. So this comes to you after the 4 hour drive home.
Loyola vs. Notre Dame
|Tom Glatzel||(4, 3)|
|David Ulrich||(1, 2)|
|Stedman Oakey||(1, 1)|
|John Flandina||(1, 1)|
|Chris Young||(2, 0)|
|Todd Ulrich||(1, 0)|
|Kevin Higgins||(1, 0)|
|Jon Harvey||(1, 0)|
|Steve Fiamingo||(1, 0)|
|Steve Bishko||(1, 0)|
|Mike Adams||(1, 0)|