WORCESTER, Mass. – Nikko Pontrello scored six times to lead the Greyhounds as the Holy Cross men's lacrosse team fell to No. 9 Loyola (Md.), 16-4, on Saturday afternoon at Holy Cross Field in the Patriot League season-opener for both teams. With the loss, the Crusaders go to 0-2 overall (0-1 PL), while the Greyhounds improve their record to 3-1 overall (1-0 PL).
Junior captain Terry McKenna (Summit, N.J.) of the Crusaders contributed with two points on two assists. McKenna assisted on the last goal for the Crusaders of the first and fourth quarters. The Greyhounds were led by Pontrello's six goal performance totaling six points and Brian Schultz's seven point, three goal, and four assist performance.
In the Patriot League opener for both teams, the No. 9 Loyola Greyhounds got off to a 1-0 start with an early goal from red-shirt freshman Brian Sherlock. It didn't take long for Holy Cross to respond with a goal from freshman Marc Buermann (West Caldwell, N.J.) with 11:58 left to play in the first quarter. Early on the Crusaders went back and forth with the Greyhounds finishing the first quarter with a 3-2 lead, with goals goals from sophomore Sean Wilkinson (Ridgefield, Conn.) and junior Clay Haarmann (Mendham, N.J. ). The first quarter didn't see another score for the final six plus minutes of the quarter.
The Greyhounds took control of the second quarter and went on to score six straight goals to take an 8-3 lead at halftime. Holy Cross had multiple opportunities to get back into the scoring column but were unable to find the back of the net on its 11 shots.
It took very little time for Loyola and Pontrello to pick up right where they left off from the second quarter. Pontrello scored four straight goals to take a 12-3 lead. Sherlock and Schultz of Loyola also netted goals to increase their lead to 14-3. The Crusaders were out-shot 18-5 during the quarter while the Greyhounds picked up 12 ground balls to the Crusaders' three.
The Greyhounds got two more goals from Kevin Ryan in the fourth quarter to increase the lead to 16-3. The Crusaders scored a late goal in the fourth quarter. The goal came from Kevin Lux (Manlius, N.Y.). The goal for the freshman Lux was his first collegiate goal. The game ended with the score 16-4 and Loyola taking its first ever victory in the Patriot League.
Sophomore goalie Michael Ortlieb (Newport Beach, Calif.) made 10 saves for the Crusaders in the first 49:46 of the game. While sophomore goalie Chris Cousin (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) posted two saves in the final 10:14 of the contest. Jack Runkel, of Loyola, made 12 saves while only letting up three goals. Loyola outshot Holy Cross 50-36 while taking the lead in groundballs as well 38-16. The faceoffs were also won by the Greyhounds with 16 of the 24 in their favor.
The Crusaders return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 25, when they play at Harvard at Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium at 4:00 p.m.
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