After all, not only are the Greyhounds No. 1 in college lacrosse these days, but the Irish came to town unranked.
A couple of hours later, however, with three minutes remaining and Loyola ahead two goals, the Greyhounds put the ball in the deep freeze and came away with a 10-8 victory.
"The way they handled us last year, maybe they did take us lightly," ex-Boys' Latin standout Dave Ulrich said of the Greyhounds' 16-8 waltz last season. "That made for a perfect setup for us to get a huge win here. We came close but just couldn't pull it off."
Trailing 4-2 when Peter Haas scored his fourth straight goal for Loyola five minutes into the second period, the Irish went on a tear.
In less than six minutes, Notre Dame ran off four straight goals, two by Chris Dusseau.
Operating mostly from behind the Loyola goal, Ulrich drove the defenders assigned to him to distraction with his cuts, crossovers and pinpoint passes.
Loyola just was able to make it to a halftime tie on goals by Mike Batista and Todd Vizcarrondo. This wasn't putting the handcuffs on Ulrich and his offensive helpers, though.
Sophomore defender Dave Metz was assigned to shadow Ulrich and he was equal to the task during the third period when Loyola moved ahead, 9-7.
Ulrich hadn't emptied his bag of tricks yet and, when he scored his second goal on a spinning, partially-blind, over the shoulder shot to make the score 9-8, Loyola fully realized there was still a lot of fight in the Irish.
Gewas Schindler's third goal on Kyle Campbell's third assist gave the Hounds breathing room with four minutes remaining and they were expert at playing keepaway thereafter.
"We're a young team, starting five sophomores, but we worked extremely hard during fall training," Ulrich said. "It's paying off, we're gaining experience and people are beginning to look at us now with respect. We know we're a good team; now we have to prove it against teams back here in the East."
Loyola, for one, is convinced. All week, Greyhounds coach Dave Cottle talked about the team's ranking making it a target.
Loyola certainly did not play badly while running its record to 4-0. Clearly, Notre Dame is no slouch and it's getting better as it picks up more and more games against Eastern powerhouses.
Notre Dame 2 4 1 1 -- 8
Loyola 3 3 3 1 -- 10
Goals: ND--Dusseau 4, Ulrich 2, Bisko, Glatzel; LC--Haas 4, Schindler 3, Battista, Vizcarrondo, O'Shea. Assists: ND--Ulrich 2, Flandina; LC--Campbell 3, Goettelmann 2, Frye. Saves: ND--Howell 15; LC--Brown 8.
Pub Date: 3/21/99