No. 8 Loyola men strike early, hold off No. 6 Johns Hopkins for 9-8 win

Loyola earned its third consecutive victory against Johns Hopkins, beating the Blue Jays, 9-8.

Johns Hopkins midfielder Patrick Fraser had the great look from straight out about 15 yards away with 50 seconds left in the game, but his attempt for a game-tying shot was easily nabbed by Loyola Maryland goalie Grant Limone.

Only seconds earlier, Hopkins midfielder Kyle Marr missed a shot just outside the crease, which would have tied the game, too.

It was that kind of game for No. 6 Johns Hopkins, which fell behind early and could not overcome the deficit in a 9-8 loss to No. 8 Loyola before a crowd of 4,868 at the Ridley Athletic Complex.

After falling behind 9-6 in the final period, the Blue Jays (1-1) pulled within one on two straight goals, one by Marr during an extra-man situation with 11:19 left in the game, and the other from junior midfielder John Crawley with 8:43 remaining.

But the turning point in the game came early as the Blue Jays fell behind, 5-2, at the half, while committing 10 of their 16 total turnovers and failing to clear the ball on four of eight attempts. Loyola (2-0) capitalized on the turnovers for two of their first-quarter goals.

"I thought we had to play a tough brand of lacrosse and we didn't do that in the first half," Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. "You make those mistakes against a good team like Loyola and they will punish you for them.

"We have to learn from this and how not to dig this kind of hole."

Loyola wouldn't let the Blue Jays out. The Greyhounds fed off the home crowd and played fast. They simply outhustled and outran the Blue Jays for three of the four quarters.

When Fraser pulled Hopkins within 7-6 on an extra-man goal with 12 seconds left in the third quarter, senior attackman Zach Herreweyers scored off a carom of a blocked shot 44 seconds into the fourth period.

That was just a hustle play.

About a minute later, Greyhounds midfielder Brian Sherlock simply ran through and around Hopkins midfielder Austin Spencer for a goal from 15 yards out in the middle of the field.

That goal was sheer determination.

"We're one year older," Loyola coach Charley Toomey said. "We have a lot of sophomores on this team and a lot of those kids got their first minutes last year. We wanted to play fast, but we made plays when we needed to. Our players came out and played with a lot of energy."

Maybe Hopkins couldn't match Loyola's energy because the Blue Jays have won 47 of the 53 games in this series, but Loyola has won the past three.

"We circled this game on the calendar a long time ago," Herreweyers said. "We have been looking forward to this matchup for a long time because we didn't play it last year."

Herreweyers, a senior, finished with three goals and an assist. Senior midfielder Jeff Chase added two goals. Loyola also got strong play from its defense, especially when Hopkins switched and ran a lot of picks. Limone finished with 10 saves. He wasn't spectacular, but solid.

Loyola outshot Hopkins, 45-38, and now has beaten No. 13 Virginia and Hopkins in the first two games. Hopkins has to face No. 7 North Carolina next Sunday.

After the slow start, the Blue Jays were still in the game. Hopkins goalie Brock Turnbaugh finished with 16 saves and the Blue Jays, particularly Crawley, started winning some individual matchups on offense from behind the goal in the second half.

Loyola led, 3-2, at the end of the first period as Hopkins committed six turnovers and the Greyhounds scored off two of them. The Greyhounds outshot the Blue Jays, 18-6, in the quarter and Hopkins played defense for nearly 12 minutes.

Herreweyers scored off a fast break on a feed from fellow attackman Zack Sirico with 11:18 left in the first period. Hopkins senior attackman Ryan Brown countered with a goal 41 seconds later, but Loyola scored again as Sherlock scooped up a ground ball and assisted on a goal by midfielder Tyler Albrecht with 8:23 left.

The two teams exchanged goals in the remaining time with Greyhounds sophomore midfielder Johnny Giuffreda scoring the final goal of the first period with 3:49 remaining.

Chase scored off a pick and roll with 12:04 left in the second period and freshman attackman Pat Spencer scored with 4:17 remaining as Loyola went into the half with a three-goal edge.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

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