FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland juniors Mike Sawyer and Scott Ratliff earned All-America Second and Third Team honors, respectively, from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, becoming the first pair of Greyhounds to earn honors other than Honorable Mention in the same season since 2000.
In addition to the honors Sawyer and Ratliff received, five other Loyola players – graduate student Eric Lusby, juniors Reid Acton, Davis Butts and Josh Hawkins and sophomore Joe Fletcher – were named Honorable Mention All-Americans.
The last time two or more Loyola players were named to teams was 2000 when Mike Battista was named to the second, Tim Goettelmann to thesecond and Gavin Prout to the third.
Seven players are the most Greyhounds to be honored in a year since seven received recognition in 1999.
Sawyer, who is also a Tewaaraton Award finalist, set aschool record last Saturday in a NCAA Quarterfinals victory over Denver with his 51st goal of the year. His goal tally surpassed Goettelmann’s 2000 total of 50.
The junior attacker from Waxhaw, N.C., has totaled 58 points and 38 ground balls, as well, this year. He is third in the NCAA in goals per game (3.0) and second in total goals.
Ratliff earned Third Team honors as a long-stick midfielder while leading the Greyhounds in ground balls (79) and caused turnovers (34)this season. A Tewaaraton Award semifinalist, he also set the school long-pole single-season scoring record, recording 12 goals and seven assists thus far.
He is the first player from the state of Georgia, hailing from Marietta, to earn All-America honors, and he follows his father, Randy, as an All-American. Randy earned honors at the University of Maryland in 1977 and 1979.
Lusby, an attacker from Severna Park, Md., earned Honorable Mention this season after returning for his fourth year of eligibility. He played in just two games last year and received a medical redshirt following a knee injury in the 2010 NCAA First Round. Lusby has led the Greyhounds in points (61) this season, scoring 45 goals to go with 16 assists. He tied his career-high with five goals in the NCAA Quarterfinals against Denver and set a career-best with seven points.
Acton, a defender from Toronto, Ontario, was one of the top inside defenders in the nation and frequently drew the matchup against opponents’ top attacker. He has 41 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers this season and also scored a 75-yard goal in the ECAC Championship Game against Fairfield. Earlier in the year, he had primary marking responsibility against Denver All-American Mark Matthews, as Acton’s fellow Canadian’s 39 games with a goal streak was snapped.
Butts, a midfielder form Walpole, Mass., used his speed and dodging ability from the midfield to create opportunities for himself and teammates. He has scored 19 goals and has 13 assists this year, and his play on the wings of faceoffs on occasion has helped him scoop up 38 ground balls.
Fletcher, a defender from Syracuse, N.Y., earned a reputation during the season as one of the nation’s top defenders in his first year as a starter. He has totaled 32 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers, and he made one of the biggest plays of the year for Loyola, knocking down a Denver shot with less than 20 seconds to play in the NCAA Quarterfinals, securing the Greyhounds’ win.
Hawkins, a defensive midfielder from Amherst, Mass., continued to be one of the finest short-sticks in the nation, rolling up 60ground balls, good for second on the team despite missing the first four games of the year with a n injury. He also scored five goals and had two assists,helping key Loyola’s potent transition game.
Loyola will continue its season on Saturday, May 26, when it makes its third appearance in the NCAA Semifinals. The Greyhounds will take on Notre Dame at 2:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., in a gamethat will be broadcast on ESPN2.