Baltimore, Md. - Junior Ryan Rabidou gave Loyola its first lead with a man-up goal at 6:54 of the third quarter and the Greyhounds never looked back, scoring six of the game's final nine goals en route to a 14-10 win over No. 2 Georgetown at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field on Saturday afternoon. Loyola, now 4-0 at home this season, is 4-1 in the ECAC and tied atop the conference standings.
"This win keeps our season goals in tact," says Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey. "Coming into the year, we wanted to defend our home field, we wanted to compete for an ECAC title and play in the postseason. We haven't finished what we started, but we're still in the race."
The Greyhounds are also above .500, thanks mostly to their best offensive output in over a month. Loyola scored 14 goals, the most given up by Georgetown since its 14-5 loss to Maryland in the 2004 season opener. Ryan Rabidou and Greg Leonard combined for six of Loyola's 14 goals, scoring three apiece.
"Georgetown is very good team," says Leonard. "But they're not used to playing from behind. We wanted to get out front and force them to make mistakes."
Unfortunately for Loyola, the Hoyas opened the game with a 2-0 lead. Facing the nation's second-ranked team, the Greyhounds did not panic, and at 7:16 of the first quarter, Rabidou scored his first goal of the game. Sophomore Paul Richards evened the score at 2:07, and for the next 14 minutes the teams would exchange goals with Georgetown taking a one-goal lead before an answer from Loyola.
The Hoyas took their biggest lead of the game with 3:43 left in the first half when Brendan Cannon scored one of his team-high two goals to make the score 6-4. Thirty-one second later, Leonard fired a bullet saved by Miles Kass. Freshman Jake Willcox was there to scoop up the deflection and flicked a shot past Kass to cut the deficit to 6-5 at halftime.
Junior Dan Bauers scored early in the third to again draw the teams even, but the Hoyas came right back with their sixth lead of the afternoon. The tables would turn Loyola's way; however, when a cross-checking penalty on Georgetown was called at the same time Leonard evened the score at 7-7. Given the man-up opportunity, the `Hounds converted with Leonard feeding Rabidou, and finally led after battled back to tie the score five times.
"We weren't about to give up the lead after working so hard to get it," says Rabidou. "This game meant way to much to leave anything on the field and once we got the lead, we were more determined than ever to seal the deal."
Loyola is now 4-1 in the ECAC.
Rabidou did his part, scoring again at 6:16 to put the `Hounds up 9-7. Georgetown came back with a goal of its own to cut the lead to one, but a 3-0 Loyola run, started by Leonard at 3:07 of the third quarter and finished off by Leonard at 12:09 of the fourth quarter put Loyola comfortably out front, 12-8.
The Hoyas were able to get as close at two goals, but solid play from goalie Michael Fretwell, who made nine of his 13 saves in the second half, closed the door on any rally.
"Fretwell has been a rock for us all season long," says Toomey. "He was excellent today, making every save he was supposed to. He really settled us down in the first quarter and got better as the game went on."
"When the offense scores 14 goals, I feel pretty comfortable in the cage," says Fretwell. "This was a really big win for us. I almost can't put into words what this means for our team right now."
Rabidou matched a career high with his three goals while Leonard's three goals and two assists give him a career-high five points. Junior Andrew Spack added three assists to his team-leading total of 13 while Richards and Bauers ended the day with two goals each.
Loyola's man-up unit, ranked third in the nation heading into the game, scored on 2-of-3 opportunities and now boasts a conversion percentage of .562. The Greyhounds are 5-4 overall and take a two-game win streak into Fairfield next Saturday. The `Hounds snapped Georgetown's eight-game win streak and hand the Hoyas their first conference loss of the year.
Next Saturday's game at Fairfield is one of two ECAC games left for the Greyhounds. Loyola will travel to Hobart the following weekend before closing the season with Johns Hopkins at home on May 6.
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