February 19, 2011

Big Rally Lifts Loyola Over Navy

by Corey McLaughlin | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff | Game Blog Replay

John Schiavone won 14 of 21 faceoffs Saturday in Loyola's wild 9-8 comeback victory over Navy.

BALTIMORE -- The winning play was simple. The comeback was not.

Loyola sophomore attackman Patrick Fanshaw came open off a pick, caught a pass, and took an uncontested shot from the left alley about 12 yards out to score the winning goal with 1:08 left in a wild 9-8 comeback win for the No. 14-ranked Greyhounds over visiting Navy Saturday at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Loyola trailed 7-2 with just under six minutes left in the second quarter, but held Navy scoreless for the next 28 minutes. The Greyhounds (1-0) dominated the turnaround third quarter, outshooting Navy 16-1 while winning all five faceoffs.

Fanshaw tied the score at 7 with 3.7 seconds left in the third quarter. He won the game later, coming off a screen in the center of the field, taking a Chris Basler pass from the right side of the crease and shooting quick to beat Navy goaltender R.J. Wickham low, far side.

Loyola scored six straight goals spanning the second to fourth quarters, and led for the first time all game when Mike Sawyer (three goals) put them up 8-7 with 11:33 remaining. Despite blowing a five-goal lead, Navy (1-1) had a final chance to tie with less than five seconds left coming out of a timeout. But Jake Hagelin made a clean, high stick save on attackman Andy Warner as he came from behind the net to the left as time expired.

“Wow, how do you start this one off?” Loyola coach Charley Toomey said to begin his postgame press conference. “What a great game by two teams. … It could have gone either way, and we talked about it at halftime: Loyola has been here before. Think back to last year in May when were down 9-2 against Cornell [in the NCAA tournament] and we really put ourselves in a position to win the game, taking it to overtime. We’re one of those programs that have been here, and I really felt that our locker room handled that adversity and played a great half.”

Yes, it wasn’t just the third quarter. In the second half, Loyola won the ground ball battle 21-3 and possessed the ball for what “felt like 25 minutes,” Navy defender Michael Hirsch said. “We we’re playing a lot of defense. We weren’t picking up the ground balls.”

John Schiavone won 14 of 21 faceoffs against Navy’s Logan West, but Greyhound wingmen Josh Hawkins and Scott Ratliff helped considerably. Hawkins finished with a game-high seven ground balls and Ratliff had four.

“Logan was a good faceoff guy; [he] let stuff turn into scrums with the wings,” Schiavone said. “That’s not what I want. I’d rather win it to myself every time. I’m lucky that I have Hawk and Ratliff on my team. They helped me a lot. I think I had maybe two or three ground balls in the second half. They had the rest. It was their wins.”

Navy led 7-2, mainly on shots from close range on a clear, sunny afternoon that featured varying wind speeds and gusts blowing at more than 40 miles per hour. Loyola’s new athletic complex is located at the top of hill, accentuating the affect.

But, more importantly than the weather conditions, Toomey said after Navy’s quick start he focused the Greyhounds on defensive adjustments. Navy did not play keep away to start the third quarter, leading 7-3.

“The change that we made at halftime is we needed to slow them down and get to a zone and defend the alleys a little better, give our goaltender a chance to starting make some saves,” Toomey said. “I don’t know that we did anything on the defensive end great, except for hustle and pick up ground balls. We’ll look at the tape and try to fix some of the mistakes we made in the zone, but I felt like coming out and winning the first faceoff, and when you can look at a stat sheet that says 21-3 in ground balls, I don’t care if you’re in man or zone you’re probably going to win the game. We just hustled for 30 minutes.”

“It’s a tale of two halves. We had everything going our way in the first half, playing the way we want to play,” said Navy coach Richie Meade, noting the Mids’ patient first possession that led to an Warner goal 3:49 into the game. “Then in the third quarter it just came down to possession. If we had the ball, we were going to be able to score, and Loyola just got the ball. They won faceoffs. … They fought back. It wasn’t that we struggling with the faceoffs at the X. Their wings out-winged us. Their two guys on the wing did a very good job of getting possession of the ball and that led to them chipping away at the lead.”

Sawyer scored on the run in the right alley to pull Loyola within 7-4 with 6:46 left in the third. Then Stephen Murray scored from Langan for an extra man goal to make it 7-5. Davis Butts pulled them within one with 2:51 left in the third quarter. Fanshaw took a feed on the crease from a cutting Langan behind the net to tie it at 7 before Sawyer put them up one. Langan finished with three assists.

Jay Mann tied the score at 8 for Navy on bounce shot with 7:48 left, but the Mids didn’t have another quality scoring chance until Warner’s in the waning seconds. Before Loyola scored the game-winner, Navy appeared as if it would have possession after a Wickham save, but as the goalie came out of the net with the ball and neared the midfield line, Navy was
called for an illegal pick in its defensive zone.

The Mids took 17 of its 24 shots in the opening half and lost nine of 10 faceoffs in the second half.

“They did a good job of having possession of the ball toward the end of the game,” Meade said. “I think they had it for like 5-6 minutes. They were patient, they got a stalling warning [with about three minutes left]. We were fighting them off pretty hard. And then I thought we were out of it. R.J. is almost out of it all of a sudden a whistle blows, and … we didn’t switch on a pick inside and they scored.”

Navy last lost a game after leading by five goals on March 4, 2000, when they also led 7-2 and lost 11-10 in overtime.

D.J. Comer added two goals for Loyola on Saturday. Wickham finished with seven saves for Navy, four in the fourth quarter. Hagelin had six for Loyola.

“It’s not any one thing,” Toomey said. “It was an attitude in the second half that I saw, that I’ve seen before. This is a win that can take us deep and really it’s a win that you’re going to able to draw on down the road. Again, that we’ve been here before.”

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