Sawyer Scores Four to Pace #2 Loyola to Victory over Towson

TOWSON, Md. - Despite a career-high four goals by junior Thomas DeNapoli, Towson (0-3) dropped a 14-9 decision to defending national champion No. 2 Loyola (2-0) at a very cold and windy Unitas Stadium on Wednesday night.

Playing in frigid conditions which included a wind chill factor of 14 degrees, the Greyhounds scored the first four goals in less than ten minutes and owned a 4-0 lead with 5:03 left in the first quarter.

"I really wish we could figure out a way not to hand over games to teams," said head coach Shawn Nadelen. "I thought after we settled down our execution we were right there in that game. I'm proud of the way our guys fought back through that second and third quarter, but we made way too many mistakes."

The Tigers used a three-goal run to cut their deficit to 6-4 midway through the second quarter as DeNapoli scored two of his four goals. However, Loyola added two more tallies in the final 5:32 of the half and led by 8-4 at intermission.

Trailing by 11-5 late in the third quarter, Towson went on a 4-1 run over the next 11:50 to cut Loyola's lead to three, 12-9. Junior Andrew Hodgson and DeNapoli each scored two goals during the run. Loyola clinched the win with two empty-net goals in the final 1:15 of the game.

DeNapoli led the Tigers with four goals while Cuccinello and Hodgson each scored twice. Ben McCarty added two assists for the Tigers. Cuccinello's two goals tied his career high set against No. 4 Johns Hopkins last weekend.

Sawyer's four goals topped Loyola while Kevin Ryan and Sean O'Sullivan each scored twice.

Loyola outshot the Tigers by a 40-30 margin and had 39 ground balls compared to 24 for Towson. The Greyhounds also won 17 of 28 faceoffs in the game.

Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel made 10 saves while Andrew Wascavage made nine saves for Towson.

With the victory, Loyola extended its winning streak to eight games dating back to last season.

The game was the 55th meeting between the schools. Loyola now leads the series, 28-27.

Towson returns to action on Sunday when the Tigers host Mercer at 1:00 p.m.

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TOWSON, Md. Mike Sawyer scored four goals and seven Loyola players tallied two or more points as the Greyhounds defeated host Towson, 14-9, on a Wednesday night when the wind chill hovered below 15 degrees.

Justin Ward had a four-point night with a goal and three assists, while Kevin Ryan (two goals, one assist) and Chris Layne (one goal, two assists) each had three. Sean O'Sullivan (two goals), Brian Schultz and Nikko Pontrello (one goal, one assist each) tallied two points apiece.

Loyola (2-0 overall) built a 4-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game as four players scored goals.

"Anytime Loyola and Towosn play, you are going to have a physical game, and that is exactly what it was," Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey said. "I was pleased with our energy tonight, and I thought that we came out with intensity."

Sawyer opened the scoring by taking a Ward pass from behind and depositing a goal from just outside the crease on the right side, 2:59 into the game. Davis Butts used an 11-yard sidearm shot off a Layne assist just over 2:30 later to tack on the second goal, and O'Sullivan finished a Pontrello feed from 10 yards out at 6:42.

On the Greyhounds' first extra-man opportunity of the night, Ryan picked up a loose ball in front of the cage and scored at 5:03 to put the Greyhounds ahead, 4-0.

After a Thomas DeNapoli goal with 1:09 left in the first quarter, Loyola tallied the first two of the second period. Sawyer redodged and got past his defender to score at 13:32, and Ryan recorded the first two-goal game of his career with another extra-man tally on a cut down the middle, this off a Schultz assist, at 9:39.

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