No. 7 Loyola Snaps 13-Game Losing Streak to Johns Hopkins

BALTIMORE, MD - Seventh-ranked Loyola got a game-high three goals from senior Mike Sawyer and the Greyhound defense held 11th-ranked Johns Hopkins scoreless for the final 29 minutes of the game in a crucial 8-4 win over the Blue Jays at Homewood Field Saturday afternoon. A Homecoming crowd of 7,905 saw the 'Hounds outscore the Blue Jays 3-0 over those final 29 minutes.

The Greyhounds (11-3) had their second two-goal lead of the game just 26 seconds into the third quarter when Sean O'Sullivan scored in an unsettled situation off an assist from Justin Ward.

That two-goal lead held for just five seconds as Johns Hopkins' Mike Poppleton scored directly off the ensuing faceoff, but that would be the final goal of the game for the Blue Jays, who were solid defensively over that stretch, but couldn't solve the Loyola defense.

The 5-4 lead held for Loyola until the 6:10 mark of the third period, when senior Sawyer capped his third straight hat trick with a sneaky bounce shot from 10 yards out after matching up with a short-stick defender.

Johns Hopkins (8-5) had several golden opportunities to slice the 6-4 deficit to one, but senior John Kaestner missed wide as the clock expired at the end of the third quarter and the Blue Jays turned the ball over while playing with the extra-man just under five minutes into the fourth.

Less than a minute after that turnover, Loyola's Davis Butts got inside his defender on a drive from goal line extended and bounced a shot home from in tight to extend the lead to 7-4 and the 'Hounds added an extra-man goal with just over three minutes remaining to seal their fourth win in series history and first since 1999.

Five of the game's 12 goals were scored in the first quarter, which saw two ties and a pair of lead changes. The Greyhounds opened with a Josh Hawkins goal in transition, only to have senior Kaestner and junior Brandon Benn strike for back-to-back goals in a span of just under three minutes midway through the quarter to give JHU a 2-1 lead.

That lead held until late in the quarter, when Zach Herreweyers and Sawyer scored consecutive goals just 55 seconds apart to take the lead for good at 3-2. A transition goal by Sawyer early in the second quarter completed a three-goal run for Loyola, but Benn added his second of the game six seconds later after Poppleton's faceoff win and the game went to halftime with the 'Hounds up 4-3.

That one-goal lead held until O'Sullivan and Poppleton traded goals early in the third, which set the stage for Loyola's game-ending run that sealed the victory.

Sawyer was the only multi-goal scorer for Loyola as he led the way with his three goals, while O'Sullivan, Hawkins and Kevin Ryan added one goal and one assist each. Jack Runkel made 10 saves in goal for Loyola, which trailed in numerous categories on the stat sheet, including shots (36-28), ground balls (28-25) and faceoffs (11-4), but took advantage of 16 Johns Hopkins turnovers and held the Blue Jays scoreless on three extra-man attempts.

Benn's two goals led the way for the Blue Jays, who also got 12 saves from senior goalie Pierce Bassett and an 11 of 15 showing and the one goal from Poppleton.

Johns Hopkins will close the regular season on Friday, May 3 when the Blue Jays travel to Army. Game time is set for 7:30 pm and the game will air nationally on the CBS Sports Network.

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BALTIMORE Loyola held Johns Hopkins scoreless for the final 29-minutes, 18-seconds of regulation on Saturday afternoon at Homewood Field, and the Greyhounds snapped a 13-game losing skid to the Blue Jays with an 8-4 victory to close the regular-season.

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