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Loyola Puts Teams on Notice

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Loyola Puts Teams on Notice

Loyola got everything clicking vs Washington U. Todd Streeter photo.

Loyola's 68-0 win over Washington University should put teams on notice.

Can they beat Auburn in the Round of 16? Certainly pitching a shutout in the play-in game is something to take a look at. Winning 68-0 is an indication that this rapidly-improving team is hitting its stride at just the right time.

"What's worked for us throughout the entire season has been our depth," said Loyola's Joey Knese. "We lost our coaching staff and eight seniors graduated after last season so coming into the year, we worried about having enough guys to come out. Our team usually has just around 15-20 guys but this season we have been consistently getting around 30 players to practice which has been huge for our success."

The addition of new Head Coach Sal Carfagno has kept the energy high and even when injuries have hit they have remained positive. Scrumhalf/flyhalf Martin Galinier has emerged as a key performer and so has flanker Demetri Karris. On the defensive side of the ball, it has been a team effort, for sure, but Will Fehr in the forwards and freshman fullback Tommaso Chiaramondia have been clutch.

"As a team, we have grown as players and as teammates through our trips, wins, and losses," said Knese. That includes their opening week loss to Northern Iowa to the tune of 53-10. It was the best thing for the team at that moment.

"We realized if we wanted to get to nationals, we had a lot of work to do," said Knese. "We made some adjustments on how we practice and play after that game and since then, we have only lost to Marquette, and we have had some incredible team wins."

That would include a 15-7 defeat of Chicago to clinch a conference semifinal spot, and the 3rd-4th game with Wisconsin-Whitewater, won by Loyola 25-10, which earned them a national playoff spot.

"The team's mentality from day one this season was making it to the National Tournament and after finally getting some attention, we are looking to continue our success and make it to Houston for the Final Four," said Knese.