No. 1 Loyola Downs No. 5 Notre Dame to Reach the Title Game

That goal, however, would be Loyola's final of the game.

Neither the Greyhounds, nor Notre Dame would score until the Fighting Irish broke through with a Sean Rogers tally at 7:18 in the fourthquarter. Hopkins then added another goal just 50 seconds later, making it a 7-5 game.

Runkel made saves on the next two Fighting Irish possessions that quickly gave Loyola possessions.

He then tipped away a Hopkins point-blank try from inside three yards, but Notre Dame retained possession with a minute to play.

Hopkins had another attempt blocked, and then Fletcherstripped him of the ball and picked up ground ball with 16 seconds left, enabling Loyola to run out the clock.

Runkel made 11 of his 15 saves in the second half. “I think the first save, I made was up top,” Runkel said. “It kind of got me into a rhythm. My defense was giving me shots to see a very clear line from the shooter.”

He eclipsed his previous best of 14 that came against Johns Hopkins on April 28.

* * * *

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – With its back to the wall, No. 4 seed Notre Dame put together a valiant second-half charge, but could not quite manage to complete the comeback, falling to top-seeded Loyola (Md.), 7-5, in the semifinals of the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

With the loss, Notre Dame ends its season with a 13-3 record, having advanced to Championship Weekend for the second time in three years. Loyola improves to 17-1 on the campaign.

The Fighting Irish held the high-powered Greyhounds scoreless for the final 26:40 of the contest, thanks in part to junior goalie John Kemp, who made 13 saves on the day. Sophomore attackman Westy Hopkins netted two goals for Notre Dame, while Loyola attackman Eric Lusby registered five goals and one assist.

“I want to congratulate Loyola. They played well, and I thought they made enough plays and made more plays than we did and deserved to win,” said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. “I didn't think we played very well. There was no quit in our guys, but we just didn't play well today.”

Lusby opened the game's scoring at the 11:26 mark of the first quarter. Notre Dame answered back midway through the first quarter on a man-up goal from Jim Marlatt. Alex Eaton assisted on the play. Another tally from Lusby put the Greyhounds up for good with 3:21 left in the first quarter. Loyola led 2-1 after the first period of play.

The Greyhounds went up by two (3-1) on a goal from Davis Butts and they extended the lead to three at the 10:47 mark of the second quarter on Lusby's third goal of the game.

The Irish trimmed the lead back to two (4-2) with just over two minutes left in the half as Hopkins found the back of the net. Notre Dame's Liam O'Connor won the ensuing faceoff and fed Nicholas Beattie, who scored to make it a one-goal affair (4-3). The goals occurred six seconds apart.

Loyola's Josh Hawkins scored with two seconds left in the half to give the Greyhounds a 5-3 lead at the intermission.

“I don't think that (the late goal from Hawkins) mattered,” added Corrigan. “Quite honestly, if it had been 4-3 (at halftime), they (Loyola) would have been kicking themselves in the pants. There were still plays to be made in the second half and we needed to make them. So I don't think that goal is as big as most people are going to think it was. I think 5 3 was probably more reflective of the play in the game in the first half than 4-3 was.”

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