Loyola reaches the final four for the first time since 1998

Greyhounds hang on for 10-9 win over Denver

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The Greyhounds didn’t ease through. Their 10-6 lead was trimmed to 10-9 in the fourth quarter, and Denver earned one last chance to tie after Davis Butts’ ill-advised shot with 24 seconds remaining never made it to the cage.

Denver’s Cameron Flint felt he had a look in transition, but his shot with 15 seconds left glanced off defenseman Joe Fletcher’s stick and Ratliff chased down the rebound before making his final throw downfield.

“We always say he’s got a spider web,” Ratliff said. “Anything within his reach, he gets his hands on.”

It isn’t Loyola’s first time on the grandest platform in lacrosse. Fourteen years ago, another top-seeded Greyhound team was pulverized in the semifinals. Back in 1990, Loyola reached Memorial Day only to encounter as loaded a Syracuse team as there ever was.

The goalie for the Greyhounds 22 years ago? Charley Toomey, himself back in the final four for the first time since his playing days.

“Well, are the Gaits going to be there?” Toomey said, referring to the legendary ex-Syracuse stars.

No, they’re safely out of sight. But Loyola will be there. After Saturday, no obstacle remains between the Greyhounds and the chance to play on Memorial Day weekend.

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