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Men’s Lacrosse Clinches Patriot League Title With Win Over Terriers
Updated: Saturday, April 12 2014, 06:16 PM EDT
BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland clinched the 2014 Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Regular-Season Championship on Saturday with a 15-6 victory over visiting Boston University Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.
The top-ranked Greyhounds, who are in their first season in the conference, will host the Patriot League Championships as the top seed. The semifinals will take place Friday, April 25, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., with the winners meeting Sunday, April 27, at 1 p.m. in the title game. All three contests will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.
Graham Savio won 17-of-25 faceoffs, picking up six ground balls, for Loyola (11-1 overall, 7-0 Patriot League), while Kevin Ryan and Nikko Pontrello each scored three goals for the Greyhounds. Pontrello also added two assists, while Brian Schultz had two goals and an assist, and Justin Ward passed out three helpers.
With his third assist of the game, Ward set the program’s single-season Division I record with 39, breaking the mark of Sean Heffernan (38, 1994).
Boston University scored the game’s first goal as Alex Paroda scored his first of the year in transition, but Loyola scored four-straight, capped by a Jeff Chase goal out of a two-man game with Kevin Ryan on the left side, 4:27 before halftime.
Chase’s goal, however, was Loyola’s only of the second quarter, sending the teams to the locker room with the Greyhounds in front, 4-1.
The Terriers (1-10, 1-6) made it a two-goal game 1:04 into the second half when Craig Zebrowski got free down the right side for a goal. It broke a scoreless stretch of 30 minutes, 8 seconds for Boston University.
Loyola, however, opened the game back up with a 4-0 run starting when Pontrello fed a crashing Ryan at 11:22. Brian Sherlock then used a sharp split-dodge to get free of his defender and score 57 seconds later, and Romar Dennis face-dodged on the left side, pulled up and ripped a 12-yard shot to make it 7-2 Greyhounds.
Pontrello had his second assist of the quarter at 8:08 when he fed Brian Schultz for a goal from the left side at 8:08. Boston University scored two in a row to get back within four, 8-4, as Chad Bell and Samm Davis tallied goals at 6:30 and 5:48.
With 1:34 left in the third, however, Ward picked up a ground ball near the crease and used a skip pass in an unsettled situation to find Tyler Albrecht on the weak side for a goal.
The Terriers had a possession early in the fourth quarter, but Pat Laconi stripped Cal Dreath of the ball, picked up the grounder, ran a clear and dumped a pass to a trailing Ryan Fournier for a goal at 13:26, pushing the lead to 10-4.
Dearth, however, was involved in the next two goals for the Terriers, feeding Sam Tenney at 12:15 for a man-up score before tallying one of his own at 7:12.
The Greyhounds, however, scored the game’s final five goals, the first two by Schultz and Pontrello coming in the 27 seconds after Dearth’s tally.
Dennis, Laconi and Matt Sawyer each finished with a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds. Savio’s 17 faceoff wins, the majority of which came off the Terriers’ Sam Taklow who was second in the Patriot League with a .596 success rate entering the game, were a career-high.
Loyola also had a significant advantage in ground balls, picking up 47 to Boston University’s 23, led by Savio’s six. Ward, Laconi, Fournier and Jack Runkel each had five, while Pontrello had four.
Joe Fletcher picked up three ground balls and had three caused turnovers, while Laconi caused two turnovers. Runkel posted 10 saves in goal for Loyola, and Pat McEnerney made one in the final 4:16.
Loyola closed Patriot League regular-season action Thursday, April 17, when it hosts Bucknell University in a 7 p.m. game that will also be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.