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La Salle falls in overtime to Loyola Maryland in nine-goal affair

Grad transfer Kenny Lassiter scored in his debut and two returners added goals for the Explorers, but it wasn’t enough

Kenny Lassiter pushes forward the ball against Loyola Maryland on August 25, 2017
Matt Ralph

La Salle opened its season on the wrong side of the scoresheet in a nine-goal affair on the new surface at McCarthy Stadium on Friday night.

Loyola Maryland took an early lead in the third minute on a goal from New York Red Bulls Academy grad Barry Sharifi, but the Explorers drew things level in the 24th minute when a Loyola defender collided with the goalkeeper on a ball sent into the box and the ball got through and ended up in the goal.

La Salle thought they had a chance to take the lead in the 25th minute when Johnny Ciarlante appeared to be fouled just inside the 18, but the foul was awarded just outside the box.

The Greyhounds, favorites to win the Patriot League this season, came close to taking a lead into halftime a couple times, but Cameron Keys stepped up to make three excellent saves in the final 15 minutes of the half, including one just before halftime where he had to dive full extended and reaching back toward the goal to make the stop.

Keys, a Philadelphia Union Academy grad from Allentown, finished the night with eight saves while his twin brother Garrett Keys started in front of him in central defense.

Narberth native Kenny Lassiter, a grad transfer from Syracuse, got his first goal for his new team in the 51st minute when he headed home a pass from Matt Robinson (Ciarlante was also credited with an assist). Lassiter was a handful all night for the Loyola defense and was involved in the play that led to the first half own goal.

Media native Sam Brown would spoil things with an equalizer in the 59th minute in his college debut and three minutes later Sam Carter gave the visitors the lead on a header that beat Keys.

The goal-scoring wasn’t complete as La Salle got the penalty call and Matt Robinson buried his attempt from the spot in the 66th minute to bring things to level terms once again. Six minutes later, Berwyn native A. Mickey Watson fired the visitors back in front heading home Gabriel Carlsson’s corner and it would have been for good when with less than a minute left in regulation, Robinson sprung Sixtus Akinlosotu on a breakaway to send the game to overtime.

Into overtime, time was running out on the first 15 minutes when Josh Fawole got the golden goal off another corner kick from Carlsson and secured all three points for the visitors to spoil the home and season opener for La Salle.