Loyola reaped the fruits of Saturday’s 15-6 victory over Patriot League foe Boston University, earning the conference regular-season title and the top seed in the upcoming league tournament. And nothing will change regardless of the outcome of Thursday’s game against Bucknell at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore at 7 p.m.
But the No. 1 Greyhounds (11-1 overall and 7-0 in the league) want to finish out the conference schedule with a perfect record.
“There are goals we set forth at the beginning of the year to accomplish,” coach Charley Toomey said on Tuesday afternoon. “One was to get the No. 1 seed in the conference, but we want to play well in the Patriot League, and we’d like to say that we’ve gone undefeated in the league. Quite honestly, we have talked to the team that we need to continue to win to give ourselves a resume for down the road. You don’t want to put a lot of emphasis on the postseason, but these are games that can really make or break you in terms of being at home in the postseason. So it’s an important game in the conference, it’s an important game for the university. It’s a TV game at home, and we don’t play many games at night. So these should be some excitement around it, too. We need to play our best lacrosse right now, and that’s really our emphasis.”
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Some critics have pointed out that Loyola has not played well recently, winning four of its last six games by two goals or less. And the Bison (7-6, 4-3) are the kind of opponent that can trip up a team peeking ahead to the postseason.
But Toomey said he has no worries about Thursday’s contest looming as a trap game for the Greyhounds.
“I feel like every week, I’m reading something that somebody wrote about it being a trap game,” he said. “The guys have answered that bell. The guys prepare the right way and are excited about playing in the league. It may not have been every Saturday as pretty as we would have liked it, but they’ve answered the bell, and that’s what we’re going to continue to harp on with the guys. We just need to start to play our best lacrosse and get ourselves ready for perhaps the postseason.”