The Loyola Maryland men's lacrosse team is at its best when it is beating its opponent in transition and producing goals from its offense and defense.

The No. 17 Greyhounds proved that Saturday afternoon, pouring it on early and often and erupting for a season-high in goals in a 14-3 demolition of Patriot League rival Bucknell at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore.


Two of Loyola's first three goals occurred during clears, and the team scored two more in transition to record its most lopsided victory since March 22, 2014, when that squad pummeled Lafayette, 21-4.

Junior long-stick midfielder Ryan Fournier scored two goals, and fifth-year senior short-stick defensive midfielder Mike Kutzer and sophomore defenseman Foster Huggins each added assists for the Greyhounds, who improved to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in the conference.

"Our rope is contributing now," Fournier said, referring to two short-stick defensive midfielders and one long-stick midfielder who compose the defensive midfield. "The attack is always contributing, obviously. They're a threat all the time. It was just our poles pushing the ball up and making plays, pushing the ball up quick. We were just flowing. We were just running on all cylinders. Things work when you're playing as a team and pushing the ball."

One reason why Loyola sought to turn the game into a track meet was to avoid the Bison's vaunted 10-man ride, which employs all 10 players and the goalkeeper to prevent an opponent from moving the ball from the defensive end to the offensive zone.

Bucknell's strategy caused the Greyhounds to fail on 4-of-19 clears, but they usually bypassed the 10-man ride by turning stops and turnovers into quick transition.

"I thought when we were able to make that clean save or pick up a ground ball and find our middies, we didn't have to contend with it," Loyola coach Charley Toomey said. "But on a shot out of bounds or a long possession where we couldn't get up the field right away and we had to throw down to a defenseman and go into what we call our three-man where we're kind of going side-to-side, it allowed them to bump into that 10-man, and you saw what it did. It gave us a hard time. … The biggest key for us was to catch clean saves and to have our middies hunt the ball, have a pole getting over the top, and then we didn't have to contend with any of that."

The Greyhounds scored the game's first goals, enjoyed a 9-1 advantage at halftime, and put the game out of reach with a 4-0 third quarter.

Freshman attackman Pat Spencer (Boys' Latin) led all scorers with seven points on one goal and a career-best six assists and was pulled from the contest after he scored with 11 minutes, 44 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Junior attackman Jordan Germershausen – filling in for senior Zach Herreweyers (concussion) – scored three goals for his second hat trick in as many games, and junior attackman Zack Sirico chipped in three points on one goal and two assists.

The offense took 48 shots thanks to winning 13-of-21 faceoffs, picking up 31 ground balls to Bucknell's 27, and committing 11 turnovers to the Bison's 18.

And the defense held up its end by keeping Bucknell off the scoreboard for spans of 33:22 and 21:24. Freshman goalkeeper Jacob Stover (McDonogh) made 12 saves in his second consecutive start, Huggins shut out sophomore attackman and leading scorer Will Sands, and the Bison's starting midfield of junior Tommy O'Connor and seniors Thomas Flibotte and Kyle Shanahan accounted for zero goals on 17 shots and one assist.

The three goals surrendered marked a season low for the defense and the fewest Loyola had given up to a Patriot League opponent in its three-year history in the conference.

Sophomore attackman Sean O'Brien paced Bucknell (5-4, 2-3) with two goals and one assist, and senior long-stick midfielder Alex Spring registered four ground balls and two caused turnovers. But coach Frank Fedorjaka said the team failed to match the Greyhounds' transition game.

"I do feel like that was a big part of it," he said. "I feel like there were some opportunities for us to ride. Our ride was terrific when we got in it. Even when they threw it up, it was a loose ball, and they won all those 50-50 ground balls between the lines, and that was what was able to spark their transition. So that was really disappointing because we got a lot of the opportunities that we wanted. We got the ball on the deck quite a bit, but they came up with it. Credit to them. They made the plays and we didn't."



Recommended on Baltimore Sun