Loyola men beat Maryland for NCAA lacrosse title

Loyola's Eric Lusby (left) savors one of 17 goals he scored for an NCAA tournament record.
Loyola's Eric Lusby (left) savors one of 17 goals he scored for an NCAA tournament record. (GRETCHEN ERTL / Associated Press)
Posted: May 30, 2012

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Unranked at the beginning of the season, Loyola of Maryland is No. 1 at the end.

Loyola beat the University of Maryland, 9-3, Monday to win the NCAA Division I men's lacrosse national championship, three months after the Greyhounds opened the season miffed about being overlooked in preseason polls.

"We knew what we had in our locker room through the whole year. It's just been an unbelievable journey," said Eric Lusby, who scored four goals and set an NCAA record with 17 in the tournament.

Loyola completed one of the most rewarding runs possible, going from unranked to No. 1 seed and finally national champion. The top-seeded Greyhounds captured their first NCAA title and finished the season 18-1. Loyola was in the title game for the first time since losing to Syracuse in 1990 - when current coach Charley Toomey was a goalie for the Greyhounds.

"We don't bring up past history. This is our team," Toomey said. "This is a special group of young men."

Maryland's three goals were the fewest allowed this season by Loyola, which shut out the Terrapins (12-6) for the final 40 minutes, 40 seconds of the match. The Terps lost in the title game for the second consecutive year.

"I think individually they won the majority of the matchups. We were having a tough time getting leverage," Maryland coach John Tillman said.

Chris Layne added three assists and Jack Runkel finished with six saves for the Greyhounds, whose only loss this season was to Johns Hopkins, in overtime on April 28.

When the game ended, Loyola's players rushed the field, leaving a trail of sticks, helmets, and gloves for a celebratory pileup.

The two Maryland schools are separated by about 30 miles, but it was only their 21st meeting and first since the Terrapins' 19-8 victory in the 1998 national semifinals.

The Greyhounds scored seven straight goals after falling behind, 3-2. The last three came from Lusby, who had five goals in the Greyhounds' 7-5 win over Notre Dame in the semifinals Saturday.

Lusby broke the tournament record of 16 goals shared by Matt Ward of Virginia (2006) and Zack Greer (2007) of Duke.

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