The driving rainstorm that chilled the crowd at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore had no impact on Justin Ward.
The junior attackman set career highs in both goals and points to power No. 4
The reigning national champion Greyhounds (3-1) bounced back from last Saturday's 12-10 loss to then-No. 3
The last time a Loyola player scored seven goals was May 15, 2000 when Tim Goettelmann scored seven against
"We really focused on simplifying the offense tonight," Ward said. "We really only ran one set, and it was our bread-and-butter last year. With these conditions, let's keep it simple [with a] short preparation. Our middies did a great job of dodging hard all night long."
Ward, the third option on attack last year with
"In a way, yeah," Ward said when asked if future opponents will have to broaden their focus. "But obviously, I don't want to just put it on me. [Sophomore attackman] Nikko Pontrello is an even better dodger than I am. Mike is blessed at what he does, and I think people will soon realize that there's different things that this offense than just shooting the ball from 15 yards."
"We see it every day," Toomey said. "He goes up against [junior defenseman Joe Fletcher] every day, and I think those two have great battles. They make each other better because we ask a lot of Fletch defensively. But with Justin, what you see is what you get. He's the first guy here in the offensive coordinator's office in the morning, watching film on Sundays, first guys here notebook in hand. He's everything we expect a Greyhound to be."
Ward — who was limited to a goal and an assist against the Terps — did most of his damage around the Retrievers net, curling from behind to beat senior goalkeeper Adam Cohen on close-range shots. Ward scored four of Loyola's nine goals in the pivotal third quarter that essentially put the contest out of reach.
Ward opened the scoring 4 minutes, 37 seconds into the first quarter, but the Retrievers responded when junior midfielder
The teams then traded goals, the Greyhounds taking a short-lived lead before UMBC tied the score. But with 23.6 seconds left in the period, junior midfielder Conor Finch drew two Loyola defenders and passed the ball to freshman attackman Nate Lewnes to give the Retrievers their first lead of the contest at 4-3.
After exchanging a pair of goals in the first 2:02 of the second quarter, the Greyhounds scored four of the last five goals to take an 8-6 lead into halftime. That's when Loyola embarked on a 9-1 third quarter to distance itself from UMBC.
Pontrello recorded career highs in both goals (three) and points (six), and Sawyer added three goals and one assist.
Senior attackman Matt Gregoire and freshman midfielder Pat Young each scored two goals for the Retrievers (1-2), who couldn't keep pace with Loyola.
"They went on a run, and they smelled blood, and we couldn't stop them," UMBC coach