Loyola Stars Sawyer, Runkel Honored By ECAC

March 26, 2012 | WNST Staff

CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland junior Mike Sawyer and sophomore Jack Runkel were named the ECAC Lacrosse League Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, after the Greyhounds went 2-0 with wins over then-No. 18 Georgetown University and UMBC last week.

The awards are the second of the year for both players. Earlier on Monday, Loyola moved up to fourth in the USILA Coaches Poll while staying steady at fifth in the InsideLacrosse Media Rankings. The Greyhounds put their 8-0 record – their best start since 1999 – on the line Saturday, March 31, when they host Ohio State University at 1 o’clock.

Sawyer led the Greyhounds’ offense in the wins, scoring eight goals to go with two assists. He also recorded the eventual game-winners in both games. On Wednesday night, he tallied three goals and a ground ball as Loyola downed Georgetown after the Hoyas entered the game with a 4-1 record.

In Saturday night’s game, Loyola trailed UMBC – an 8-7 winner earlier this year against Maryland – 3-1 in the second quarter, but Sawyer found a cutting Justin Ward, assitsing on Ward’s goal to spark a 10-1 Loyola run. Sawyer scored five goals, including four-straight Loyola goals, and had two assists during the run that put Loyola in control of a 13-5 victory.

This season, Sawyer has led the Greyhounds with 29 goals and 37 total points. He is tops in the ECAC and third in NCAA Division I with 3.63 goals per game, while leading the conference and checking in at fifth nationally with 4.63 points.

Runkel continued his solid play between the pipes for the Greyhounds, playing to a 5.50 goals against average while saving 79.1-percent of shots on goal he faced against the Hoyas and Retrievers.

The Hoyas entered Wednesday night’s contest averaging 10 goals per game, but Runkel directed the Loyola defense as it gave up just six. He made six saves in the game, and he was also credited with four ground balls and a caused turnover

Runkel then made a career-high 13 saves on Saturday night, as Loyola held host UMBC to a season-low five goals in a 13-5 victory. Runkel allowed just one second-half goal, and he also had two ground balls and a caused turnover in the victory.

Loyola’s defense is ranked fifth in NCAA Division I with a 7.13 goals allowed per game mark. Meanwhile, the Greyhounds are tied for fifth with 13.0 goals on offense per contest. They lead the country in scoring margin.