xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

No. 16 Loyola Maryland men’s lacrosse does it again, upsetting No. 11 Johns Hopkins, 10-7

The Loyola Maryland men’s lacrosse team still does not have Pat Spencer or Jacob Stover. It has Johns Hopkins’ number though.

For the third consecutive meeting and sixth time in the last seven, the No. 16 Greyhounds got the better of their Charles Street rivals, forging a 10-7 victory before an announced 3,707 at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore Saturday afternoon.

Advertisement

The No. 11 Blue Jays (1-1) still own a 48-9 advantage in the overall series, but picking up a win — especially after a 12-9 loss to No. 2 Virginia a week ago — was perhaps the more important outcome for Loyola.

“It puts a lot less pressure on us in the Patriot League, that we can get an out-of-league game,” junior attackman Kevin Lindley said. “So this win definitely helps us. We knew it was a very important game.”

The Greyhounds (1-1) were encouraged when they outscored the reigning NCAA champion Cavaliers, 6-3, in the second half to make the game competitive. That showing drove them during practice sessions this past week.

“I think just coming off of last week, we did feel really good about the second half, but we still lost the game,” junior defenseman Kyle LeBlanc said. “We were still 0-1. So we needed to get a win this week.”

Loyola turned a 5-3 lead at halftime into an 8-4 advantage after the third quarter, scoring the period’s first three goals. When senior attackman Forry Smith converted a pass from sophomore midfielder Garrett Degnon with 1:41 left in the quarter, it marked Johns Hopkins’ first goal in 16:44.

Depleted Loyola defense dominates

Loyola was forced to play without a pair of projected starting defensemen in junior Matt Hughes, who is still working his way back from the torn knee meniscus that sidelined him last spring, and sophomore Cam Wyers, who served a one-game suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

That hardly seemed to matter, however, as the rest of the defense limited the Blue Jays to an 18.9 shooting percentage.

Junior defenseman Kyle LeBlanc spent a majority of his on-field time shadowing senior attackman Cole Williams, who had two goals and four assists in last week’s 15-7 rout of Towson. Williams was shut out on six shots and had as many turnovers (one) as ground balls (one).

Advertisement

“Kind of just trying to force him to go to his right,” LeBlanc said of his defensive strategy. “He’s a big, physical lefty. If you can just force him down to his right and let the other defenders play off of that instead of when they need to, it kind of helps the whole defense out. It helps the goalie out if you can make him shoot with his right hand instead of his left.”

The Greyhounds also got another strong outing from junior goalkeeper Sam Shafer, who stopped 15 shots for the second game in a row.

Loyola offense does enough

Loyola scored only one more goal than it did against the Cavaliers, but the offense was more efficient against Johns Hopkins (22.7 percent) than it was against Virginia (16.4 percent).

Lindley scored four times, and junior attackman Aidan Olmstead and freshman midfielder Adam Poitras finished with two goals and one assist each. Lindley said he told offensive coordinator Marc Van Arsdale that Saturday was the first time in three weeks that he sensed the players were on the same page.

“We had good chemistry, we were vocal with each other, and our spacing was actually good,” he said. “When that happens, it puts everyone in a better position to succeed, and to be honest, that was the first time where I felt that it’s starting to click.”

The Greyhounds might have had more goals if not for the play of junior goalie Ryan Darby, who turned aside 11 shots.

Advertisement

Epstein tries for Johns Hopkins

Joey Epstein returned and made his first start of the season, but the sophomore attackman did not register a point and had as many turnovers (two) as ground balls. Epstein, who set the program’s freshman records for goals (48) and points (73) and was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, clearly looked limited by the right knee he injured in the preseason and did not play in the final three quarters.

Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala said Epstein was eager to play.

“He’s one of our most competitive guys, and I’m sure it’s killing him right now,” he said. “But Joey Epstein is not the reason why we weren’t successful today. We had talked about it. ‘Should we start him? Should we not?’ We had talked about that, but he did practice throughout the week. Tough to sit arguably your best offensive player a year ago and not get him in there. You hope that he can, but you can’t fit a whole preseason into a quarter.”

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement