Loyola LSM Ratliff, Coach Toomey pick up top ECAC honors

April 30, 2012 | WNST Staff

Ratliff Earns Top ECAC Defensive Honor; Toomey Coach of the Year

CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year, and he was joined by four of his teammates on the All-ECAC teams, the league office announced Monday.

Greyhounds Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year after leading Loyola to a perfect 6-0 record in the conference regular-season, a 12-1 overall record and a national No. 1 ranking for two weeks. It is the third time in seven years Toomey has been tabbed the league’s top coach.

Ratliff was one of three Greyhounds named to the All-ECAC First Team, joining Mike Sawyer on attack and Davis Butts in the midfield. Ratliff was named to the team as a defender. Eric Lusby and Joe Fletcher were named to the All-ECAC Second Team on attack and defense, respectively.

Ratliff led the ECAC and is seventh in the nation in caused turnovers per game, finishing the regular-season with 30 total, an average of 2.31 per game. He also tops the Greyhounds with 52 ground balls, 4.0 per game, and has been a key part of the Loyola defense that is seventh in the nation in scoring defense per game. Ratliff was twice named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week, and he also earned an ECAC Defensive Player of the Week nod.

Butts led the Greyhounds’ first midfield in scoring, checking in with 15 goals, third-best on the team, and 11 assists, second-most for Loyola. He was also a frequent contributor on the wing for faceoffs and as a defensive midfielder, logging 33 ground balls. Butts contributed eight multi-point games and set career-highs with four goals at Bellarmine and four assists versus Air Force.

Sawyer led the ECAC in total goals (41) and goals per game (3.15) during the regular-season. Through 13 games, he is ranked third in the nation in goals per game, and along with Ratliff, he was named a semifinalist for the Tewaaraton Award, given yearly to the nation’s top player. He logged hat tricks in nine of the Greyhounds’ 13 games and had multi-goal efforts 11 times. Sawyer’s 41 goals are the most by a Loyola player since the 2001 season

Fletcher, in his first year as a starter, has been noted as one of the top lock-down defenders in the nation, earning Midseason All-America Second Team honors from Inside Lacrosse. He has caused 14 turnovers and picked up 25 ground balls on the team that is ranked seventh in the nation in scoring defense.

The Greyhounds earned the top seed in this week’s ECAC Championships that will be played at Peter Barton Stadium on the campus of Denver University. Loyola will play the fourth-seeded, and host, Pioneers, at 5 p.m. (Mountain) on Wednesday, May 2. The winner of the game will play the winner of No. 2 Ohio State University and No. 3 Fairfield University in the Championship Game on Friday at 4 p.m. (Mountain).