Through the first half of Tuesday night’s game against visiting UMBC, No. 4
Loyola improved to 3-1 and – just as importantly – buried the memory of that disappointing setback to the Terps, who claimed the No. 1 ranking.
"It's hard when you come off a really emotional game and you have to come into a midweek game like this," senior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff admitted. "So I just told the team before the game that we'll see what kind of men we are. With no cameras in the stands, no fans in the stands, you really have to win out a gritty game, and I think that's what we did today. So it was huge."
The Greyhounds didn't have much time to prepare for the Retrievers, who also had played Saturday. Add a driving rainstorm and winds that gusted up to 38 miles per hour, and the table was set for Loyola to perhaps check out mentally.
"We came out on short preparation and really dug in," Toomey said. "… It was anybody's game at halftime. We challenged our locker room. We made some defensive adjustments, and in the second half, they really dug down deep."
Junior attackman Justin Ward set career highs in both goals (seven) and points (10), sophomore attackman Nikko Pontrello did the same (three goals and six points), and junior short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi recorded a career best with four caused turnovers. But individual accomplishments paled in comparison to getting back into the win column, according to Ward.
"It was huge, very important for us," he said. "… We realized that this game, we really needed to get on a roll offensively and defensively to set ourselves up going in-conference."
*Here are some numbers to chew on from Tuesday night’s contest. The 21 goals scored by the Greyhounds were the most since April 26, 2000, a 21-7 thumping of
*The short-stick defensive midfield personnel of Laconi, junior Kyle Duffy and freshmen Joe Baker and Tyler Albrecht performed better, but the Retrievers did have some success attacking that group in the first half. Senior Josh Hawkins' return would help – especially this Saturday against Eastern College Athletic Conference rival Bellarmine – but Toomey wouldn't say whether Hawkins would return from a suspension that has now reached four games. "If you see a guy with dreadlocks out there, you'll see him," Toomey said.
*UMBC made a change in the net, substituting sophomore Wes DiRito for senior Adam Cohen for the start of the fourth quarter. Cohen finished with six saves and allowed 17 goals, while DiRito posted one save and surrendered four goals. Coach