Blogs and Commentary

posted 05.26.2012 at 6.39 p.m. by Jac Coyne

Notre Dame's Anderson Proud of Loyola

The last time that Charley Toomey and Kevin Anderson were on the same field together as collegiate players was in 1990. They were both playing for Loyola – Toomey as an All-American goalie for the Greyhounds and Anderson as a rookie midfielder – in the national championship game in Piscataway, N.J., against Syracuse.

Twenty-two years later, the former teammates were back on the same field at Gillette Stadium on Saturday with a trip to the national championship game on the line.

Toomey was there as the seventh-year head coach of Loyola and Anderson as the assistant at Notre Dame for the 16th season, and it was Toomey who earned the privilege of playing for the Walnut and Bronze on Monday after the Greyhounds defeated the Irish, 7-5.

Standing outside the Notre Dame locker room in the bowels of Gillette, Anderson was happy for his former teammate.

"The coaching circles are pretty small and I've known Charley for a long time," said Anderson, who graduated from Loyola in '93 as an All-American himself. "He's a fantastic individual. As upset as I am about the result today and for our guys and the opportunities they had, I'm excited that it was Charley who has brought the Loyola program to where it is today."

Wearing his ND assistant's cap, Anderson was bitterly disappointed about how the game played out, but as Loyola alum, he is proud of how Toomey has brought the Greyhounds back from the doldrums of the last decade.

"Charley has done a fantastic job bringing them back recently where they have now reached the national championship game," he said. "Obviously, there is an excitement among the alumni and the fact that they are back this weekend adds to the excitement."

On the field, there really weren't many surprises, according to Anderson. It was just a matter of one team executing its game plan better.

"They stuck to what they wanted to do and we stuck with what we wanted to do, and I don't think we played to the level that we have at other times," Anderson said. "Anytime you hold a team to seven goals, you feel like you should have a chance to win, and that's the hard part about today. We didn't play the way we are capable of playing."

Still, Anderson has already made a return trip to the national championship game since his first visit in '90 – he helped Notre Dame reach the finals of the 2010 tournament, where they lost to Duke in overtime – so he'll grudgingly cede this visit to Toomey.

Hopefully, this edition of the Greyhounds will have better luck than the inaugural visit. Toomey and Anderson lost that one, 21-9 to the Orange.