No. 2 Loyola Survives Rally by Denver to Reach the Final Four

Lusby again tallied back-to-back goals to re-extend the Greyhounds' advantage to three, 9-6. The first came when he cut to the middle and caught a Butts pass and scored from seven yards out. He then used a Schultz feed from behind to score an extra-man goal at 2:06.

“We see (Lusby's shooting) every day,” Toomey said. “We know what we have on the corners, whether it's Mike Sawyer or Eric Lusby. I think Eric would be the first one to tell you he was the recipient of Mike getting shut off. (Eric) shoots the ball with such velocity, but the one thing that we see is that he is so unselfish with the ball. When people are getting to his hands, he's creating other opportunities.”

Schultz had his first career multi-point game with twoassists, a career-high.

The Greyhounds extended their lead to a game-high four goals 4:31 into the final quarter when Lusby flipped the ball to Butts 15 yards from the crease, took two defenders with him and allowed Butts to run free down the right alley. Butts then converted a jump-shot to make it 10-6 Loyola at 10:29.

With his two assists, Lusby was involved in seven of Loyola's 10 goals on Saturday.

Denver scored the next three goals, one by Matthews, asecond from Noble and the third an unassisted Berg goal with 2:43 left in regulation.

Hawkins, who tied for game-high honors with six groundballs, came away from the faceoff after Berg's goal with the ball, but Denver took back possession after a Loyola turnover at 1:47.

Berg appeared to have an open lane on the right side, but Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel stuffed the shot with one of his 11 saves on the day.

The Greyhounds cleared the ball, but a Butts shot was blocked, and Denver got the loose ball to set up one final transition opportunity.

Flint came free near the top of the box, and he took a shot from 10 yards out, but Loyola defender Joe Fletcher knocked it out of the air, and Ratliff picked up the ground ball and ran out the clock.

Loyola outshot the Pioneers, 48-31, and the Greyhounds had a 32-25 advantage in ground balls. Hawkins had six, while Ratliff and Runkel had five and four, respectively. Dalton picked up three as well.

* * * *

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Despite a late rally, Denver fell in the NCAA quarterfinals to the Loyola Greyhounds, 10-9, in front of 13,390 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. The loss ends the Pioneers' season with a 9-7 overall mark, while the win sends the Greyhounds to their first Final Four since 1998 and improves their record to 16-1.

"I'm very grateful that these young men got the opportunity to show the courage and fortitude they displayed today," said head coach Bill Tierney. "Congratulations to Loyola, all the credit in the world should be given to them on a great season thus far. Things were stacked against us from the start and I couldn't be more proud of our seniors, as well as the entire team for a great season."

Freshman Wes Berg (Coquitlam, British Columbia) led the Pioneers with four points off two goals and two assists, while senior Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ontario) finished with three goals.

Also contributing for the Pioneers was junior Cameron Flint (Georgetown, Ontario) and sophomore Jeremy Noble (Orangeville, Ontario) with two points each, while Noble also recorded an assist. Seniors Alex Demopoulos (Canton, Conn.) and Henry Miketa (Fort Collins, Colo.) completed their final games for the Pioneers with one assist each.

Freshman goalkeeper Ryan LaPlante (Fort Collins, Colo.) finished with 14 saves and led the way with six ground balls.

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2012-05-19



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