Loyola’s Joe Theuer and Thousand Oaks’ C.J. Ortiz put on a goalie clinic Saturday, trading big stops against a typically high-scoring opponent, before the Cubs finally snuck one last goal past Ortiz in overtime to claim a 7-6 victory.
Theuer, a sophomore, was credited with 12 saves for Loyola, and it would be surprising if Ortiz, a senior, didn’t have at least that many. Their play — and a lot of turnovers by both offenses — led to a surprisingly low-scoring affair. Thousand Oaks (2-1) had scored in double figures in each of its two wins, and Loyola (6-0) hadn’t scored fewer than 12 this season.
Blame the heat — game-time temps were in the 90s — or the Saturday afternoon start if you want, but much of the credit goes to Theuer and Ortiz.
Theuer actually sent the game to overtime when he turned away a T.O. shot in the closing seconds of regulation with the Lancers on a man-up after a Cubs’ penalty.
Loyola won possession to open the extra period but twice put the ball on the ground trying to force entry passes to the crease. Thousand Oaks managed to clear the second one and set up for its chance at a game-winner. But a take-away check by senior defender Nick Mohler caused a turnover and set up Loyola’s last possession.
The Cubs moved the ball quickly around the perimeter until sophomore middie Jonathan Partamian fired a skip pass from top left to an uncovered Ryder Mora on the right-side doorstep. Mora bounced it past Ortiz and into the far-post netting for the win.
Seven Cubs scored goals, validating the depth and versatility of the Loyola offense. In addition to Mora, Partamian and a goal and the game-winning assist, Sean Smith had a goal and two assists and Nate Mohler, Harrison Mac, Mike Lira and freshman Wes Priestly each scored.
Junior attack Zach Asbury scored three goals for Thousand Oaks, and junior attack Dillon Pentis forced the overtime with a goal from the crease with three minutes left.
The fact T.O. took the game to overtime is testament to the Lancers’ fight. Loyola led 4-2 entering the fourth quarter and stretched it to 5-2 right out of the gate. Down by three, wearing black road uniforms in the heat and beginning to show some fatigue, it would have been easy for the Lancers to fold. Instead, they battled back, scoring in transition, in their man-up offense and finally pushing the tying goal past Theuer.