Loyola Maryland has lost its fair share of games, and Saturday was one of those occasions as the team labored through a 15-7 setback at Duke. But coach Charley Toomey was irked not as much by the final score, but by what he witnessed in Durham, N.C.
"I was disappointed obviously in the result, but I was disappointed in how Loyola played the game," he said Wednesday morning. "I didn't feel like we put ourselves in a position to compete and win a game. We didn't look like a typical Loyola team that was willing to outwork, outhustle, outscrap a team, and give Duke credit. They played with a lot of energy, and we didn't match their energy for 60 minutes. The result was they got what they deserved, and we certainly got what we deserved."
Toomey was most irritated by how the No. 18 Greyhounds failed to respond to the No. 13 Blue Devils' 5-0 run in the second quarter that gave them an 8-3 advantage at halftime. Then Duke scored three of the first four goals of the third quarter to seal the win.
Monday's team meeting involved a frank discussion about the effort in that game. Toomey pointed out that even when last year's squad found itself trailing by 10 goals midway through the second quarter of an eventual 18-13 loss to North Carolina in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I tournament, there was no quit in the team.
"I think the guys probably went home and did some soul-searching," he said. "We called them out on a lot of things on a tough day from watching the film of Saturday, and if they're the guys we recruited, I know they're going to come with lunch pails and be ready to work and get better."
Loyola (3-3 overall, 2-0 Patriot League) can make amends when conference-rival Navy (2-5, 1-2) visits Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore on Saturday at 1 p.m. But Toomey, who knows what to expect from the Midshipmen after serving as an assistant coach with them for two years, said he does not want to see the Greyhounds let their emotions get the best of them.
"I want them to come out and play within our identity," he said. "I want them to compete. I want them play hard and have fun. I don't know that you play better if you're angry. You should feel confident in your game plan and your prep, and if you feel you've had a great week of practice and you've improved in some spots, you just want to put your best foot forward on Saturday. I don't really want our guys to play angry. I want them to come out and compete for 60 minutes."