In the aftermath of No. 14 Loyola's 14-13 overtime loss to No. 10 Virginia on Thursday night, coach Charley Toomey and the rest of his staff spent considerable time poring over the game film and numbers to pinpoint issues for the Greyhounds.
Toomey wishes that same film was available to officials for a crucial, game-turning play.
Cavaliers junior midfielder Ryan Tucker (Gilman) fired a shot past junior goalkeeper Pat McEnerney and into the net as the final horn sounded. After a discussion, officials ruled that the ball had crossed the goal line with 0.1 seconds left. Virginia won the opening faceoff of overtime and secured the victory when sophomore attackman James Pannell scored his game-high fourth goal of the night with 2:16 left in the extra session.
Asked Friday morning if a play like Tucker’s game-tying goal would have benefited from instant replay, Toomey said, “Absolutely. I said that earlier today to another Division I coach. We are all filming the games and in some cases, they are webcast. But we are filming them into a computer where somehow or another, you could go to a computer and look at it from the whistle at the faceoff X to the end of the game. I feel like that’s an opportunity that we already have in place. We just need to utilize it.”
But Toomey conceded that instant replay – which can be costly, slow the pace of games and would require multiple cameras to cover several vantage points – is not a realistic possibility this season.
“Certainly one game is not going to change anything,” he said. “I’d love it if it was out there for discussion. I think that the officials have a tough job to do and with more timers and more counts being placed on [them], their motto is to just get it right. And if we have the ability to allow them to do that, especially at the end of the quarter or at the end of a game, why wouldn’t you? Why wouldn’t you just use that replay situation? But I don’t see that happening in the near future until all games are being televised, and when is that going to be?”
Toomey took great pains to make it clear that he was not criticizing the officials. He praised the crew for conversing with each other to come to an agreement and added that Loyola could have avoided that judgment call by holding onto a 13-12 lead in the final 17 seconds.
“It’s obviously a stinger to us,” he said. “It’s disappointing. We had a chance not only to put it in overtime, but we should have won the game. We’ll hopefully learn from it. I think the message is that we have to play with the type of energy that we had in the fourth quarter for the first three quarters. It was – how did Coach [Matt] Dwan [the team’s defensive coordinator] put it? – the worst best defensive effort that we’ve played with in a long time. You hold them to 27 shots through four quarters and we gave up 13 goals. We just have to kind of grow from that experience and get better, and we will.”