Albany allows fewest goals of season to knock off Loyola (Md.) in NCAA tourney
BALTIMORE -- Tasked with taking on the No. 1 team in the nation on the road, Albany put a strong defensive performance together to shut down third-seeded Loyola (Md.) 13-6 on Saturday to move on to the NCAA quarterfinals.
UAlbany (12-5) allowed its lowest goal-mark of the year after giving up seven goals in wins against Stony Brook and Binghamton. Blaze Riorden had 13 saves in the cage and did not allow more than two goals in any quarter.
“When you get to championship play, you need good defense,” UAlbany head coach Scott Marr said. “Blaze was outstanding [Saturday], and I am proud of our team for preparing this week and playing well.”
“Props to my defense, they forced shots that I could save,” Riorden said. “Everyone was on the same page [Saturday], we put together a full 60 minutes of offense and defense.”
The Great Danes won their second DI NCAA tournament game, defeating Loyola 19-10 in Albany in 2007.
On the offensive end, the Thompson brothers, each Tewaaraton finalists, continued to set records. Lyle Thompson now stands with the DI single-season record in points with 122, earning three goals and five assists. Miles Thompson is second on that list with 115 after scoring five goals and two assists. Cousin Ty Thompson earned three goals, giving the Thompson trio 18 points in the game.
“I was waiting for them to slide, and they did not,” said Lyle Thompson, who dueled with fellow Tewaaraton finalist Joe Fletcher all day. “Fletcher did a great job setting position, and I kept waiting for a mistake, and it did not come, so I had to make my own shot.”
“Last year, we were happy to be in the tournament, but this year we feel we are capable of winning it,” Miles Thompson said. “This was our best game of the year because of our defense.”
For Loyola (15-2), Justin Ward and Pat Laconi each had a pair of goals. Jack Runkel had 11 saves in 54:58 of play in the defeat.