Teams: Syracuse Orange (9-4, 2-2) vs. Loyola Greyhounds (11-4, 7-1)
Day & Time: Saturday, May 11 at noon ET
Location: Ridley Athletic Complex, Baltimore, Md.
Loyola blog: College Crosse
Rivalry: 19-5, Syracuse
Current Streak: 2, Orange
First Meeting: 1967 — a 9-7 win for Syracuse down in Baltimore.
Last Meeting: 2009, a 14-13 win for the Orange, also in Baltimore. Other than the comeback win over Cornell in the NCAA Championship Game, this was the closest game of the year for the eventual national champs. Syracuse came back from four down to take out the Greyhounds, with Dan Hardy tallying the winning score with a little over a minute to go.
Head Coaches: SU: John Desko (21st year, 253-85); Loyola: Charley Toomey (14th year, 145–68)
Coach Bio: Toomey played for Loyola as a goalkeeper from 1987-90, and was part of the 1990 Final Four squad. After graduating, he was an assistant with the Greyhounds for a couple years after, and playing for the Baltimore Thunder (NLL) and Boston Blazers (MILL) before calling it a playing career. He went into coaching full-time, with the Naval Academy Prepatory School, then Navy, and then the Severn School before joining his alma mater as an assistant in 1999. Since taking over as head coach of Loyola in 2006, he’s now made 10 NCAA Tournaments and two Final Fours (with one title).
Last Year: Loyola took home the Patriot League title, beating Lehigh, 15-8. After beating Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, they fell to eventual champion Yale, 8-5 in the quarterfinals.
Last Game: The Greyhounds lost to Army, 7-5 in a defensive struggle in the Patriot League Tournament. After a low-scoring first half that saw the Black Knights up 3-2, the teams finally started scoring in the fourth, each netting three goals. But it was too late for Loyola to make up the advantage.
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Pat Spencer plays attack for Loyola, and put up 94 points this season (including 40 goals). Notably, he’s only scored four goals over the last four games (all in a regular season game against Army). But he’s also tallied double-digit points in three different contests this season — as recently as the Lehigh game in early April.
If Syracuse Wins: SU will move on to face the winner of 1-seed Penn State and UMBC. The Retrievers have a history of knocking off top seeds in the NCAA Tournament, as you’re very well aware of.
If Syracuse Loses: The #FireDesko crowd gets their moment in the sun, and the Orange’s season ends earlier than hoped yet again.
Fun Fact No. 1: Syracuse is 3-0 over Loyola in the NCAA Tournament, picking up wins in 1990, 1997 and 1999. The Orange(men) made the Final Four all three of those years and took home the championship in 1990.
Fun Fact No. 2: The most saves that SU’s ever tallied in a single home game was against Loyola back in 1994. Alex Rosier and Garrett Esposito combined for 28 stops in the 16-10 win.