The Greyhounds can now direct their attention to an exhibition vTC next weekend against the three-time defending NCAA champion on Syracuse's outdoor field after retaining their title in the second annual Choice-Visa Lacrosse Classic at UMBC over the weekend.
Loyola coach Dave Cottle scheduled the exhibition at Syracuse for several reasons, one being that he wants his players to be familiar with the site of next spring's NCAA Final Four.
Another is that after a few fall engagements, Loyola will welcome Syracuse to its spring schedule in 1993. Cottle is curious to see if Syracuse, which crushed Loyola in last spring's NCAA final, 21-9, has suffered much of a dropoff with the departure of the brilliant Gait twins, Gary and Paul.
Loyola romped through the classic, defeating UMBC 12-3 Saturday and Towson State 23-13 yesterday. Towson disposed of Johns Hopkins 12-7 in Saturday's other semifinal. Yesterday's crowd of 4,100 brought the two-day total to 7,900 in 4,500-capacity UMBC Stadium.
The tournament MVP was Chris Colbeck, a senior attackman out of Calvert Hall. Colbeck and Kevin Beach each scored five goals, but Colbeck bunched four of his in a five-minute stretch late in the third quarter when Towson was threatening to come back.
Loyola had taken an 11-1 lead with 11 1/2 minutes left in the first half, but the Tigers roared back to 13-9 thanks in part to three straight goals by Glenn Smith. Loyola then ran off six in succession, four by Colbeck.
"I was having a tough day for a while, missing shots early," Colbeck said. "I got down on myself. I thought Coach Cottle was going to give me a chewing, but he said to keep my head up and the goals would come. I relaxed a little and was able to pull the trigger."
When Loyola was building its early advantage, Steve Vaikness repeatedly gave the Greyhounds an edge by winning faceoffs.
"Fifth-year senior who paid his dues," Cottle said. "He worked all summer on his faceoffs. He's the kind of kid you like to see succeed."
Cottle came away with a stick full of impressions about his team, most of them good.
"We're pretty quick," he said. "When we stick to fundamentals, we score. But when we hold the ball too long in one spot, we're mediocre.
"The most important thing was to play well rather than to win. For 2 1/2 quarters, we played as well as we possibly can."
For Towson coach Carl Runk, the lopsided loss took some of the sheen off Saturday's win over Hopkins.
"We played a physically expensive game Saturday," Runk said. "We ran tired against Loyola. If you play a good team like Loyola, you have to have the legs. Physically, we just weren't there. But it's fall. We'll make a good showing in the spring."