Loyola Lacrosse Picked to Finish 2nd in ECAC

February 07, 2012 | WNST Staff

Sawyer, Ratliff Earn Preseason ECAC Honors; Loyola Tabbed 2nd

CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland junior Mike Sawyer and Scott Ratliff were named to the 2012 Preseason All-ECAC Lacrosse League team on Tuesday, and the Greyhounds were picked to finish second in the league by a vote of the conference’s coaches.

Sawyer was one of three attack players named to the team, and Ratliff, a long-stick midfielder, earned a spot on the squad as a defender.

Loyola earned 54 points in the preseason poll to placesecond, seven points behind ECAC favorite Denver. Fairfield is tabbed thirdwith 46 points, one tally ahead of Ohio State in fourth. Air Force (29), Hobart (27) and Bellarmine (18) were selected fifth through seventh. Michigan, which will start play in the ECAC next year and whose record will not count in the standards, was picked eighth.

Sawyer led the Greyhounds with 31 goals last season and was also selected to Faceoff Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention last month. He earned All-ECAC First Team honors in 2011 after being named the ECAC Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2009.

He also led Loyola attackers with 32 ground balls, and he paced the team with six extra-man goals. Sawyer, who hails from Waxhaw, N.C., posted eight multi-goal games as a sophomore in 2011, including five with three or more. He set a career-best with five goals against Bellarmine, a total he matched just six days later against Duke.

Ratliff established himself as one of the nation’s best long-stick middies last year and was elected a team co-captain prior to this season. He was a key part of a Loyola defense that held opponents to 8.15 goals per game last year and a low .255 extra-man opportunity conversion rate.

The native of Marietta, Ga., paced the team with 17 caused turnovers and was third on the team with 37 ground balls. Ratliff was also a key part of Loyola’s transition offense, totaling six points on three goals and three assists.

The Greyhounds opens their 2012 season on Saturday, February 18, with a 1 o’clock game against Delaware at Loyola’s Ridley Athletic Complex. The Greyhounds play their first league contest of the year on Friday, March 2, in Louisville, Ky., against Bellarmine.

– loyolagreyhounds.com –