After one-goal losses to No. 9 Virginia and No. 3 Johns Hopkins to open the season, No. 11 Loyola Maryland not only got the proverbial monkey off its back with an 18-5 throttling of Patriot League foe Lafayette on Saturday, but the team catapulted said monkey into the next zip code.
"I wouldn't consider it a monkey, but yeah, the guys were excited to get a win," coach Charley Toomey said Tuesday afternoon. "But I think more importantly, we got a league win. With the opportunities of our out-of-conference games being halfway done, we recognize the importance of our conference games, and Lafayette represented our first conference game, and we wanted to have a strong showing and really play well on all sides."
The Greyhounds (1-2) won despite the absence of senior attackman Zack Sirico, who registered four goals and three assists in two starts. Toomey said Sirico is "kind of working through some things" and is questionable for Wednesday's game at No. 13 Towson (2-0) at 7 p.m.
Sophomore Bobby Austin, a McDonogh graduate, started for Sirico and did not post a point. But senior Jordan Germershausen, a Reisterstown resident and Calvert Hall graduate, returned from a team-mandated suspension for breaking an undisclosed rule and scored a pair of goals.
"He came off the bench, and obviously it was good to have a guy that has played for Loyola out there with some confidence," Toomey said. "It was good to have him back, there's no question. He has a clear understanding on how to play with [sophomore attackman] Pat [Spencer] and how to play with [sophomore attackman Alex] McGovern. So he did a good job for us. We're real happy for him."
Although senior long-stick midfielder Ryan Fournier is still day to day with a hamstring injury, Loyola is expecting the return of senior defenseman Jack Carrigan to the starting lineup. After sitting out the loss at Johns Hopkins on Feb. 18 due to an arm issue, Carrigan recorded three ground balls and one caused turnover Saturday, and is set to replace junior Ryder Harkins and rejoin junior Foster Huggins and sophomore Paul Volante.
"That really helped us significantly, getting him back in the mix," Toomey said of Carrigan. "But we probably played four guys pretty evenly, bringing him in and out and keeping Ryder Harkins and Paul Volante in the mix probably more than I've done in years past, which is good. That means we're a little bit deeper."