The fourth-ranked Loyola Cubs clicked in all facets Wednesday afternoon in an 11-4 win over visiting No. 5 Agoura, posting their first home win of the season and overall second in a row after four consecutive losses.
It was all Cubs in the first half, as they built a 3-0 lead while Agoura (6-5) struggled to get the ball into its offensive end. Loyola (6-4) scored four more in the second period while still holding the Chargers scoreless to lead 7-0 at the break. Jack Carolan (3g) and Owen Gaffney (2g, 1a) led the way, scoring all of their goals in the first 24 minutes.
“Guys were playing unselfishly, looking for each other,” Cubs coach Seth Cohen said. “I liked what I saw in the first half, for sure.”
Defensively, Will Parducci made 8 of his 11 saves in the first half. Collectively, the Cubs caused four turnovers and generally stifled the Chargers’ offense in that span.
“We put a lot of pressure on [Agoura],” Cohen said. “They don’t quite have the numbers that we do, and we felt like if we could put pressure on them over time, the advantage would come to us.”
The Chargers offense found some footing in the second half with goals from Andrew McCarthy (1g) and Gage Garrison (2g). Douglas McCarthy (1g, 3a) did a great job distributing the ball to get Agoura going, but the first half hole was too much to overcome.
After a tough four-game losing streak, the Cubs have found themselves in unfamiliar territory as they dropped to fourth in this week’s MaxLaxLA coaches poll. However, Cohen wants his club to play at its highest level down the stretch as teams begin to count down toward the playoffs.
“For us, it’s all about getting better,” Cohen said. “We need to be playing our best ball in the playoffs, so I don’t get hung up on wins and losses. Of course we want to win, but we want to improve and keep getting better. And whatever we’re doing wrong, we fix it.”
Loyola will look to keep that momentum going Saturday when it travels to West Hills for Mission League matchup with No. 7 Chaminade. Meanwhile, the Chargers will look to get back into the win column in Coastal Canyon League play against Simi Valley on Thursday.