CHARLOTTE – Less than 10 days after leading the Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team to its first-ever national title, NCAA Championships Most Outstanding Player Eric Lusby has been claimed by Major League Lacrosse’s Charlotte Hounds and will make his professional debut later this month.
Lusby set the NCAA Championships scoring record with 17 goals in four games, tallying at least three in each as Loyola defeated Canisius, Denver, Notre Dame and Maryland to claim the school’s first NCAA Division I title. He tallied five against both the Pioneers and Fighting Irish and then had four in the title game against the Terrapins on May 28.
He will remain a Hound at the professional level after Charlotte, which is in its first year as an expansion franchise, claimed him on the waiver wire.
“It has always been something I have wanted to do, play professional lacrosse and with the best players everywhere,” Lusby said. “This has probably been the best six months of my entire life, the success we’ve had, the time with the coaches and then winning a national championship.
“I want to thank all of the coaches at Loyola. Coach (Dan) Chemotti changed the offense a little bit this year, and it was such a fun year to be able to play in that. This was the best five years of my life, and I have my coaches and teammates to thank for that.”
Lusby’s run in the NCAA Championships capped a stellar season put together after recovering from an ACL injury to his right knee that held him out of all but two games in 2011. As a junior, Lusby injured his knee in the NCAA First Round at Cornell in May 2010, and an attempt to return togame action last season came to a close after just two games.
The Severna Park, Md., native received a medical redshirt from the NCAA and after graduating from Loyola in May 2011 with his degree in finance, he returned to action as a graduate student this season.
At his natural position of attack, Lusby became one of the top snipers in the college game, finishing sixth in Division I in goals pergame (2.84). He finished the year with 54 goals scored, a single-season record at Loyola that eclipsed the 50 scored by MLL all-time goal scored leader Tim Goettelmann in 2000 and the 52 by his teammate Mike Sawyer this year.
Lusby and Sawyer became the first pair of Loyola teammates to score 50 or more goals in a season and the first at the NCAA level since Duke’s Max Quinzani and Zach Howell in 2010, a pair of teammates who also won an NCAA title.
Lusby posted hat tricks in 11 games this season after entering the year with just two in his first three season at Loyola. He scored two or more goals in 14 of the Greyhounds’ 19 contests in 2012, helping the team tie an NCAA Division I record with 18 victories. Lusby also posted two or more assists five times this year and finished with a team-leading 71 points as his 17 assists were second-most on the team.
His 71 points are the most by a Loyola player since the Greyhounds joined Division I for the 1982 season, and they are the fourth-most all-time in school history.
Lusby was undrafted in the 2012 MLL entry draft following his injury, but he was the top pick on the waiver wire this year by the Hounds. He will join an offense that features the likes of Stephen Berger, Matt Danowski, Jeremy Boltus and Billy Bitter.
Charlotte’s roster also includes former Loyola standout Andrew Spack, a midfielder who graduated in 2007.
Lusby will most likely begin his time with the Hounds when Charlotte hosts the MLL Champion Boston Cannons on Saturday, May 16. The Cannons feature one of Lusby’s former Loyola teammates, All-Star defender P.T. Ricci.