A 38-minute weather delay only postponed the inevitable: Loyola, the top-ranked team in the country, asserted a level of dominance against Colgate that underlied the Greyhounds' overall balance and ability. The 12-6 win for Loyola propelled the 'Hounds to Patriot League championship game on Sunday, a chance for the Greyhounds to capture an automatic invitation to the NCAA Tournament on their home field.
Justin Ward (2G, 3A) and Brian Schultz (4G, 1A) paced Loyola against the Raiders, combining for 10 points and creating havoc against a pretty solid Colgate defense. Things got out of hand at Ridley in the second period, a quarter that saw Loyola grow a one-goal lead into a four-goal advantage at the break. Brian Schultz -- quietly becoming a dangerous weapon for Loyola in the shadow of Nikko Pontrello and Justin Ward -- sandwiched two goals around a Pontrello tally that ultimately gave the 'Hounds all the cushion they would need in the win. The third and fourth periods were merely academic, seeing Loyola extend its lead as the clock ticked toward the end of regulation.
Much of the game was played in a driving rain that caused a weather delay for lightning early in the third quarter. After the delay -- Loyola held a 6-2 advantage at that point -- the 'Hounds didn't lose steam, scoring first after the break and building a 7-2 lead that the Raiders would not be able to erode. This was a six-goal win for Loyola but it felt more like a 10-goal soul-crushing with the Greyhounds holding Colgate scoreless for a 29:27 stretch that started in the first quarter and ended at the 1:03 mark of the third period.
Colgate is functionally eliminated from NCAA Tournament consideration with the loss and bubble teams throughout the nation breathe a sigh of relief with Loyola's advancement.
TRUNCATED ADVANCED BOX SCORE
|Raw Offensive Efficiency||18.75||31.58|
|Raw Offensive Shooting Rate||15.79%||27.27%|
|Shots per Offensive Opportunity||1.19||1.16|
|Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities||56.25||36.84|
|Run-of-Play Groundballs per 100 Possessions||34.29||35.71|
|Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities||26.32||34.38|
|Team Save Percentage||45.45%||64.71%|