BALTIMORE - The Navy lacrosse team's offense had one major problem in its 9-8 loss at Loyola on Saturday: gaining possession.
The Midshipmen (1-1) had the ball consistently in the first half and led 7-2 following a goal by sophomore Cade Norris with 5 minutes 53 seconds left in the half.
The second half was another story. Loyola senior John Schiavone (Good Counsel), a faceoff specialist, helped his team win 8 of 9 faceoffs in the half. Those wins helped the Greyhounds have possession for 10:02 in the third quarter and nearly 11 minutes in the fourth.
The result: Navy lost a game in which it led by five goals for the first time in 11 years.
"The offense never had the ball," Navy senior midfielder Andy Warner said. "And when we did, we had it for 10 seconds and then had a bad decision or poor shot."
The score was tied at 8 following a goal by Navy sophomore Jay Mann with 7:48 to play. Midshipmen junior Logan West won his only faceoff of the half immediately after, but Norris took a quick shot that was saved by Loyola senior Jake Hagelin with 6:57 to play.
The Midshipmen did not have possession in their offensive end again until the final 30 seconds. Loyola held the ball and patiently looked for a shot. It inserted reserve players, was called for a stall warning, nearly lost possession twice and had a shot saved by Navy junior R.J. Wickham. Yet the Midshipmen did not gain possession and, when they eventually did, their clearing attempts failed twice.
Finally, sophomore Pat Fanshaw scored the winning goal, on an assist from senior Chris Basler, with 1:08 to play. Schiavone won the ensuing faceoff, but the Midshipmen got the ball back with 36 seconds to play. Senior Brian Striffler shot wide with 5.2 seconds left.
Following a timeout, Warner got the ball behind the goal. He dodged quickly to the goal, lost senior defender Steve Dircks briefly on a pick and shot high. Hagelin made the save.
"They possessed the ball for it felt like 25 minutes" in the second half, Navy defenseman senior Michael Hirsch said. "We played a lot of defense. We weren't picking up the groundballs, and that was the game."
Eight players scored one goal each and freshman Tucker Hull added two assists for Navy. Sophomore Mike Sawyer had three goals for Loyola and Fanshaw added two.
The Midshipmen appeared to lose composure when they did have the ball in the second half. Warner moved from midfield to attack with nine minutes to play and immediately drew Dircks, Loyola's best defenseman. The Midshipmen had a few matchups they liked when they were patient - they opened the game with a 3:42 possession that ended with a goal by Warner.
Overall, though, they didn't have the ball enough to make it count, thanks to Schiavone and sophomore faceoff wings Josh Hawkins and Scott Ratliff.
"Normally I'd rather win it cleanly, but it turned into a scrum and our wings were able to get the ball," Schiavone said. "I think I only had two groundballs in the second half. They [the wings] had the rest. Those are their [faceoff] wins."
l MARYLAND 16, DETROIT 4: Four Terrapins each put up four points as Maryland opened its season with a win at home.
The Titans (0-4) scored the game's first two goals and led 2-1 at the end of the first quarter, but the Terrapins scored the next 10 goals to put away the game. Ryan Young scored three straight at one point, and Joe Cummings also had three goals on the day for Maryland.
Midfielder John Haus had four assists for the Terps, who won their first game under Coach John Tillman.