Defense has taken center stage as No. 20 Loyola leads visiting Fairfield, 3-2, at halftime of a critical Eastern College Athletic Conference meeting at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore on Saturday.
Greyhounds senior goalie Jake Hagelin has made four saves, but he has been outdueled thus far by junior Charlie Cipriano, who has turned away seven shots.
The Stags (5-4 overall and 2-1 in the ECAC) have committed nine turnovers to Loyola's seven. The Greyhounds have collected 15 ground balls to Fairfield's eight.
Loyola (5-3, 2-2), which scored the first three goals in last week's 12-9 victory over Ohio State, appeared destined to take a similar path when sophomore midfielder Davis Butts and sophomore attackman Mike Sawyer scored in the first 2 minutes, 25 seconds of the first quarter.
Junior attackman John Snellman cut the deficit in half with a score with 11.7 seconds left in the period.
Senior attackman Matt Langan gave the Greyhounds another two-goal cushion with 10:12 remaining in the second quarter, but Stags junior midfielder Brent Adams answered with a goal 57 seconds later.
*Loyola senior John Schiavone ranks 17th in Division I with a 57.6 success rate, but the team has won just 4-of-7 faceoffs in the first half.
*Both sides have fared well in clearing the ball. They are both 8-of-10 in clears.