Aidan Olmstead and Joey Kamish each scored goals in the final four minutes as No. 12 Loyola Maryland staged a last minute comeback to defeat visiting Rutgers, 11-10, before a crowd of 923 at the Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday in men’s lacrosse.
The Scarlet Knights (2-2) had taken a 10-9 lead on a shot by junior midfielder Brennan Kamish with 5 minutes and 27 seconds left, but Olmstead scored coming off a high pick near the top of the restraining box to make it 10-10 with 3:28 left.
Following a Rutgers offsides penalty, Joey Kamish, the younger brother of Brennan Kamish, scored the game winner with 1:53 remaining.
“We knew it was coming,” said Loyola coach Charley Toomey of Kamish, a freshman who along with Olmstead, scored three goals. “We see it every day in practice.”
The early-season win could already be a turning point for the Greyhounds (2-1), who lost the best college player in the country last season, attackman Pat Spencer, to graduation along with senior goalie Jacob Stover.
Olmstead is a junior attackman trying to find his place in the offense and his voice on the team.
“In this game, I had matchups I thought I could get by whether it was shooting or passing the ball,” Olmstead said. “I felt comfortable carrying the ball against their defense and I am getting more comfortable creating space for myself and the rest of the team.”
It was a near complete effort by the Greyhounds. Their scoring was fairly balanced and five of the 11 goals were assisted. Loyola’s Bailey Savio won 23 of 25 faceoffs, which is why the Greyhounds had a huge advantage in shots, 48-26. The Greyhounds, though, ran into a hot goalie in Rutgers’ Stephen Russo, who had 16 saves, two of those one-on-ones in the final eight minutes.
Russo kept the Scarlet Knights in the game and Rutgers was opportunistic on offense. Sophomore midfielder David Sprock scored three goals to lead Rutgers.
The one downside for Loyola was the play of goalie Sam Shafer, who finished with only nine saves and had difficulty stopping low shots.
Toomey replaced Shafer with Colton Teitelbaum with 5:27 left but said Shafer will start Wednesday night when the Greyounds host Towson.
“Sometimes you have to make a decision to bring energy to the program,” Toomey said. “But Sam he has two good games under his belt that he can built on. I know he will work through this.”
Loyola went ahead 7-3 at halftime with two goals scored in the final three minutes of the second quarter. Sophomore long-stick midfielder Scott Middleton scored on a high shot in the left corner to put the Greyhounds up 6-3 and Olmstead scored on a run from behind goal about two minutes later to give Loyola’s its lead at the half.
The Greyhounds controlled the pace in the first quarter as they outshot the Scarlet Knights, 11-3. Loyola was so dominating that Rutgers didn’t get its first shot until there was 3:44 left in the period.
By then the Greyhounds already had a 2-0 lead on first-period goals by midfielder Peter Swindell and attackman Kevin Lindley.
Loyola, though, hurt itself with three turnovers in the first period and four in the second. Those miscues allowed Rutgers to stay close. The Greyhounds had a 4-1 lead midway in the second quarter but the Scarlet Knights pulled within one on back-to-back goals by attackman Kieran Mullins and Sprock. Sprock’s goal came with 6:05 left in the second quarter but Loyola rallied with three scores in the final 2:45 seconds for a four-goal lead at the half.
“Turnovers are something we have to live with while growing up and trying to become the kind of program we want to be,” Toomey said.