Loyola’s defender Fletcher named Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year

April 23, 2014 | WNST Staff

Fletcher Earns Patriot League MLAX’s Top Academic Honor


CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Two days after being named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, Loyola University Maryland senior defender Joe Fletcher was named the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year for his work on the field and in the classroom.


He was also one of 12 players named to the Patriot League All-Academic Team along with senior classmates Kyle Duffy and Justin Ward.


Fletcher brought a 3.812 grade point average into his senior season, and his performance on the field has been just as strong. He leads all close defensemen nationally in ground balls (61) and ground balls per game (4.69), and his matchups have scored just 11 combined goals in 13 games this year.


He will graduate next month with a bachelor of business administration in accounting degree before moving on to a full-time job with PricewaterhouseCoopers this summer.


On the field, Fletcher has helped the Greyhounds’ defense rank third in the nation in goals allowed per game (7.0). He has 19 caused turnovers, and his 64 during his career rank fourth in school history.


Fletcher earned his record fifth Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor earlier this, tying Loyola senior goalkeeper Jack Runkel for the most by any player in a single season in League history. The 2013 USILA All-America First Team member has also solidified his reputation as a lock-down defender having not allowed a goal in one-versus-one defense in over a month.


Last Thursday, Fletcher shut down Bucknell University’s David Dickson, holding him without a point after Dickson entered the game with at least one goal or assist in 41-straight games. Fletcher, who was the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year, too, also shut down Colgate University’s Ryan Walsh on March 29 after Walsh had scored in 42 consecutive, and he then held the U.S. Naval Academy’s T.J. Hanzsche without a point on April 5. Hanzsche had a point in 15 in a row.


Fletcher is also a finalist for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award and is on the Tewaaraton Award Watch along with Ward. He is the co-president of Loyola’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and member of Loyola’s Green & Grey Society, a group of 14 students who serve as liaisons to Loyola’s president, administration and board of trustees.


Duffy has been a key member of Loyola’s rope unit as a short-stick defensive midfielder since coming to the Evergreen campus. He has a 3.617 grade point average, and with Fletcher he is a member of Loyola’s Sellinger Scholars program in the business school. Duffy will begin work for Deutsche Bank in London and New York City this summer.


He will graduate with a bachelor of business administration in finance with a minor in mathematics. On the field, he has 23 ground balls this season while scoring a goal and assisting on two in transition.


Ward was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year on Monday and with Fletcher is a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and is on the Tewaaraton Award watch list. Ward leads the Patriot League and is second nationally in assists (42) and assists per game (3.23). His assist total is tops all-time in Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982), and it ranks fourth in Patriot League single-season history.


Earlier this season, Ward became the first player in school Division I history, and the second overall, to record 100 career assists; he has 109 career helpers entering the Patriot League Championships. In the classroom, Ward has a 3.216 grade point average and will graduate with a bachelor of business administration in finance next month.


Duffy, Fletcher and Ward will lead the top-ranked Greyhounds onto the field at Ridley Athletic Complex this weekend as they host the Patriot League Championships. Loyola will play fourth-seeded Colgate University at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 25, in a game televised live by CBS Sports Network.