Feb. 27, 2010

Courtesy of Loyola

HAMDEN, Conn. - Matt Langan scored a career-high six points - with three goals and three assists - and the 10th-ranked Loyola University Maryland men's lacrosse team held host Quinnipiac to just two goals in the second half, as the Greyhounds opened ECAC Lacrosse League play with an 11-5 win on Saturday afternoon.

Loyola (2-0 overall, 1-0 ECAC) took a 5-3 halftime lead when Patrick Fanshaw scored with seven seconds left on the first-half clock. The Greyhounds then scored the first three goals of the second half to take control of the game.

Loyola's defense, which held the U.S. Naval Academy to seven goals last Saturday, limited the Bobcats (0-1, 0-1) to just 12 shots on goal. The Greyhounds also forced eight clearing errors by Quinnipiac, some of the Bobcats' 26 turnovers.

"We were a little sloppy early, but the guys composed themselves at halftime," Head Coach Charley Toomey said. "We played good, solid defense for 30 minutes, and that was the difference in the game.

"It was good to see Matt Langan step-up. We figured their zone out in the second half, and we got good looks at the cage. We have to work at getting our shots that we think can go, and once we get them, we have to put them away."

Jake Hagelin made seven saves in goal for Loyola.

Langan's three goals matched his career-best total set April 5, 2008, against Rutgers, and his three assists and six points established new career-highs.

The Greyhounds jumped out to a 2-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game as Cooper MacDonnell scored off a Kevin Moriarty assist, and Pat Byrnes fed Stephen Murray for a goal with 8:05 to go in the first quarter.

Garrett Kerr cut Loyola's lead back to one, scoring Quinnipiac's first goal with just over a minute left in the first quarter.

MacDonnell scored again, however, this time off Langan's assist with 10:42 left in the second. The duo reversed the scoring order five minutes later as Langan scored his first goal.

Quinnipiac responded in short order. Bobby Schnibbe and Alex Marotto scored 1:08 apart, slicing Loyola's advantage to 4-3 with 4:07 remaining before halftime.

Loyola had two shots saved by Bobcats' goalkeeper Kevin Benzing after winning the ensuing possession, but Benzing turned the ball over on the clear. He saved another Greyhounds' shot, and the Bobcats took the ball into their offensive zone.

After a Quinnipiac timeout, Josh Hawkins caused a Bobcats' turnover, picked up the ground ball and started a transition opportunity for Loyola.

Hawkins got the ball to Langan who found Fanshaw in front of the goal for his first collegiate goal.

Loyola won the third-quarter restart, but Benzing made a save on a Byrnes shot. Quinnipiac appeared to have a good scoring chance, but Hagelin made a save on a point-blank Peter McNichols shot.

Hagelin cleared the ball to Hawkins at the top of the zone, and Hawkins raced past Quinnipiac's defense, scoring his first goal as a collegian with 11:18 to play in the third.

The score remained 6-3 for the next nine minutes until Taylor Ebsary scored his first of the season off a Collin Finnerty assist.

Quinnipiac won the first faceoff of the fourth quarter, but Benzing turned the ball over to Loyola 20 seconds later. Eric Lusby scored for Loyola, assisted by Langan, with 13:56 remaining in the game.

Todd Kaiser got one back for Quinnipiac, making Loyola's lead 8-4, with just under 12 mintues to play, but the Greyhounds wound over six minutes off the clock before Langan scored off Lusby's pass from behind, with 5:04 on the clock.

On the ensuing faceoff, John Schiavone, who won 11-of-18 restarts on the day, flipped the ball to Hawkins. The freshman again used his speed to get up field, feeding Langan for Loyola's second goal in nine seconds.

Loyola won the next faceoff, but the Greyhounds turned the ball over near the crease. Quinnipiac was able to clear the ball, but Scott Ratliff caused a Bobcats turnover, passed the ball ahead to Taylor Ebsary who found a cutting Finnerty for a goal with 3:08 to play.

Ebsary led Loyola with six ground balls, while Hawkins picked up five. Hawkins and Ratliff each caused two turnovers for Loyola.

The Greyhounds continue ECAC action on Wednesday, March 3, when they travel to Louisville, Ky., for a 1 p.m. game at Bellarmine.