Loyola Defeats Maryland to Earn Its First-Ever Championship

Foxborough, Mass. -- Top-seeded Loyola used a three-goal run to end the first half and went on to defeat unseeded Maryland, 9-3, to claim their first-ever national championship crown on Monday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. The Greyhounds had a strong defensive effort that forced numerous turnovers and held the Terrapins scoreless from the 10:40 mark of the second quarter on.

Loyola, which completes the season 18-1, got goals from six different players, with most-outstanding-player Eric Lusby contributing four to give him an NCAA tournament record 17. Maryland, which shot 0-20 during the almost 41-minute scoreless stretch, finishes the 2012 campaign 12-6.

See photos of the game.

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland checked off a lot of firsts throughout the 2012 season, and the Greyhounds capped their magical season with another on Memorial Day at Gillette Stadium.

Loyola won its first-ever NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship and the first national title in the school's Division I history. The Greyhounds set a record for fewest goals allowed in an NCAA Championship Game, defeating the University of Maryland, 9-3.

“I thought Saturday was a pretty cool day for the Greyhounds. But, today is special,” said Charley Toomey who became the first coach to win an NCAA title in his first trip to the NCAA Semifinals. “When I look at my locker room, I'm just so proud of them. They've handled every situation with dignity and class this year. Coming back on short preparation to play a tough Maryland team, a physical Maryland team, they responded in a big way to give Loyola our first National Championship.”

Eric Lusby was named the Championship's Most Outstanding Player after scoring four goals in the title game and setting a tournament record with 17 in four games. He also ends his season with a school-season record 54 goals, surpassing teammate Mike Sawyer who set the record two games ago and finished the year with 52.

Four Greyhounds joined Lusby on the All-Tournament Team: Josh Hawkins, Joe Fletcher, Scott Ratliff and Jack Runkel.

The Greyhounds trailed on two occasions during the game, 1-0 and 3-2, but after Maryland's Kevin Cooper scored at 10:40, Loyola did not allow a goal for the remaining 40-minutes, 40-seconds of the contest.

Loyola's win capped a season that it started outside the national Top-20 after concluding 2011 with an 8-5 record. The Greyhounds' 18 wins set a program record, and Loyola became just the ninth team to win an NCAA Division I title since the first Championship in 1971.

The team is also the second in Loyola history to win anational crown, joining the 1976 men's soccer side that won the NCAA Division II title.

Maryland took a 1-0 lead 5:26 into the game when JesseBernhardt caused a turnover and went the distance to score. The Terrapins (12-6) held Loyola scoreless for more than four more minutes, but Davis Butts broke through for the Greyhounds, scoring on a bouncer from nine yards out after taking a feed from Chris Layne.

Lusby pushed Loyola in front at the 1:55 mark in the first quarter, spinning free from a defender to dump in his first goal of the game.

Maryland, however, scored two in a row in the first five minutes of the second quarter to take brief 3-2 lead. Mike Chanenchuk got loose curling around the crease and scored at 12:12, and Cooper's goal off a Joe Cummings feed made it 3-2 with 10:40 left in the frame.

The Terrapins' advantage, however, did not last long as Pat Byrnes dodged around a defender from goal-line extended on the right side, putting a low-to-low shot around Maryland goalkeeper Nikko Amato 1:18 afterCooper's goal.

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2012-05-28



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