FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Loyola of Maryland took a much slower route to the NCAA lacrosse championship game than the Greyhounds are accustomed to.
The top-seeded Greyhounds struggled against Notre Dame’s tight defense, breaking through just often enough to pull ahead by four goals and hold off the Irish 7-5 in the semifinals Saturday.
It was the fewest goals the Greyhounds (17-1) scored in a game this season. Eric Lusby matched a career high with five goals, and Jack Runkel made up with 11 of his career-best 15 saves in the second half as Loyola held on despite failing to score in the final 26:41.
“They didn’t want to let us run,” Loyola coach Charley Toomey said. “They took us out of what we like to do, and they made it a battle out there.”
Loyola’s previous low for the season was eight goals.
The Greyhounds will play Maryland – a 16-10 winner over Duke in the second semifinal – in the title game Monday.
Loyola lost to Syracuse in the 1990 championship game in its only other appearance in the final.
Notre Dame finished 13-3.
The Irish dominated the faceoffs 13-1 but couldn’t convert enough into points.
“I think the biggest problem was we didn’t shoot well,” said Sean Rogers, who scored in the fourth quarter for the Irish. “We’ve been playing really good offense thus far through the tournament, and our shooting was the main reason for that. Today we didn’t shoot in the right spots.”
MARYLAND 16, DUKE 10: Drew Snider tied his career high with four goals and Maryland advanced to the title game for the second straight year.
Owen Blye added three goals for the Terrapins (12-5). Maryland put away the Blue Devils (15-5) with a run of six straight goals after Duke pulled to 10-8 in the fourth quarter.