• Fresh off a 13-7 victory over Boston U. a week ago, Navy (4-5, 3-3 Patriot League) will kick off a stretch of three consecutive games against nationally-ranked opponents when it battles No. 1-ranked Loyola (9-1, 5-0 PL) on Saturday. Action is slated for 12:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• The game will be streamed online for FREE via PatriotLeague.TV and NavySports.com. Live stats will also be available at NavySports.com.
• The Mids snapped a three-game losing skid last Saturday when they made their inaugural trip to Nickerson Field and dealt the Boston University Terriers a 13-7 loss. Eight different players scored goals for the Midshipmen, including defensemen Pat Kiernan and Jules Godino, while sophomore attackman T.J. Hanzsche produced his third hat trick of the year.
• Loyola earned its ninth straight win by scoring a 10-8 victory over Colgate on the road last Saturday. After trailing 5-4 in the early minutes of the third quarter, the Greyhounds staged a 4-0 run and took the lead for good as Loyola secured a spot in the Patriot League Tournament in its first season as a member of the conference.
Taking the Field In …
10 Navy has lost just five games (58-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season … Navy is 12-0 under Sowell when scoring 10 or more goals (5-0 in 2012, 3-0 in 2013, 4-0 in 2014).
9 Senior co-captain Pat Kiernan stands 9th on Navy’s career ground balls list with 166 … it’s the most ground balls by a Navy player since William Wallace set the record with 222 from 2004-07.
8 8 of Gabe Voumard’s 10 goals this season have been unassisted … over his three-year career, 22 of his 27 goals have been unassisted.
7 Just 2 opponents have won the faceoff battle against the Mids this season, however Navy has lost 7 straight games when the opponent has won more draws.
6 Just 6 Navy players have scored 80 goals and dealt out 50 assists … senior attackmanSam Jones needs just 1 goal to add his name to the list (79G, 54A)
5 Sam Jones has scored all but 5 of his points this year at home … he has punched in 26 (16-10) of his 31 (17-14) points in front of his hometown crowd.
4 4 of Patrick Keena’s 9 points this spring have come on extra-man offense, scoring a goal and adding 3 assists.
3 Sophomore attackman T.J. Hanzsche is coming off his 3rd hat trick of the season … meanwhile, he has produced at least one point in 15 consecutive games.
2 The last two games between Navy and Loyola have been decided by a combined 2 points … the Greyhounds defeated Navy 8-7 OT in 2010 and 9-8 in 2011.
1 With games over the next month against #1 Loyola (9-1), #4 Maryland (9-1), #10 Johns Hopkins (5-3) and #18 Army (6-3), Navy stands No. 1 in the country for the toughest remaining schedule. Those four teams have a combined record of 29-8.
Scouting the Greyhounds
• Under the direction of ninth-year head coach Charley Toomey, the Loyola Greyhounds enter today’s matchup as the No. 1-ranked team in the country and are riding a nation’s-best (along with Cornell) nine-game winning streak. Loyola opened the season with a controversial 14-13 overtime loss at Virginia on Feb. 6 and have rolled since. The Greyhounds have wins over Penn State (12-11 OT), Towson (20-4), Holy Cross (16-4), Lehigh (14-7), Duke (14-7), Army (7-6), Georgetown (10-9), Lafayette (21-4) and Colgate (10-8).
• The preseason Patriot League favorite, the Greyhounds are atop the conference standings as the lone unbeaten in league play at 5-0. Loyola is the only school who has secured a spot in the six-team Patriot League Tournament slated for the week of April 21.
• Loyola is ranked among the nation’s top 5 in eight of the 15 statistical categories. The Greyhounds are ranked No. 1 in turnovers per game (10.20), No. 2 in winning percentage (.900), No. 3 in points per game (21.80) and scoring margin (+6.30), No. 4 in assists per game (8.10), clearing percentage (.931) and scoring defense (7.40) and fifth in scoring offense (13.70). If there was a chink in the armor, it would be the Greyhounds’ man-down defense whish is ranked 53rd (.565).
• Attackmen Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello complement one another quite nicely as Ward leads the team with 44 points on 11 goals and 33 assists, while Pontrello has produced 43 points on 37 goals and six assists. Ward is 10th nationally in poins per game (4.40) and third in assists per game (3.30), while Pontrello stands 11th in points per game (4.30) and is second in goals per game (3.70).
• Senior keeper Jack Runkel is ranked fourth nationally in goals-against average, giving up 7.24 goals per game and his 60.7 save percentage is the fourth best in the country. As a team, Loyola has given up double digits just twice this season, those coming in the first two games of the season.
Navy vs. Loyola – The Series
• The two programs are meeting for just the seventh time and the first time under third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.
• The series is split at three wins apiece, as Navy won the first three games and Loyola has won the last three.
• Saturday’s contest marks the series’ sixth game to be played in Annapolis. The only game played on Loyola soil was in 2011.
• The two programs first met on May 6, 1939, with Navy scoring a 14-4 victory. The Mids also took wins over Loyola in 1942 (12-8) and 1943 (8-1). However, the two teams would not meet again until the NCAA Tournament in 1993. The Greyhounds dealt the Mids a 19-8 to end their season.
• The two programs rekindled the series in 2010 with Loyola scoring an 8-7 decision in overtime and a year later the Greyhounds earned a 9-8 come-from-behind win over the Mids in Baltimore.
2011 Navy-Loyola Recap
• Fourteenth-ranked Loyola overcame a five-goal deficit to earn a 9-8 victory over Navy on Feb. 19, 2011. A goal by attackman Patrick Fanshaw with 1:08 remaining in the contest sealed the win for the Greyhounds.
• Navy took 17 of its 24 shots in the opening half and scored seven goals. Meanwhile, in the second half, Navy lost nine of the 10 faceoffs and managed just seven shots in the entire half. In the third quarter alone, Loyola outshot the Mids, 16-1, and owned a 10-1 ground ball advantage.
• A goal by Mike Sawyer at the 6:46 mark sparked a four-goal run by the Greyhounds in the third quarter and was capped by a goal by Fanshaw with 3.7 seconds left in the period that knotted the game at seven apiece.
• Loyola draw specialist John Schiavone won all five faceoffs in the third quarter to keep the ball out of Navy’s hands. In fact, Navy got off just one shot in the third quarter while throwing the ball away five times.
• The Mids fought their way back and after more than 28 minutes of being held scoreless,Sam Jones found sophomore midfielder Jay Mann who unleashed a long bounce shot that snuck its way in at 7:48.
• The game remained deadlocked at 8-8 for nearly seven minutes before Chris Basler would find Fanshaw who exposed a missed switch by Navy and stuck a lefty shot past Wickham for the game-winner (1:08).
• Navy did have one last shot with five seconds to go in the game, but a shot by Andy Warner was snatched out of the air by keeper Jake Hagelin to preserve the win.
2004 Squad to Be Honored
• The 2004 Navy lacrosse team will be recognized at halftime of next Saturday’s home game against Loyola.
• Most considered the Mids’ season a Cinderella story. But the blood, sweat and tears spoke volumes for the Navy squad that fought to play in the program’s first National Championship game since 1975.
• Over the course of the season, several milestones were achieved, including winning a school-record 15 games. In addition to recording the most wins in Academy history, Navy earned its highest ranking — No. 2 — for five-consecutive weeks. Its 9-6 win over Maryland in College Park was the program’s first win over a No. 1-ranked program and one-of-six Navy wins over top-10 ranked teams.
• Along the way, the Mids scored an 18-10 win on the road against ninth-ranked Army in what was the seventh win amidst a 13-game winning streak against their arch rivals (1998-07).
• After sweeping through the Patriot League with a 7-0 record in its first season as a member of the league, Navy conquered Colgate and Hobart in the league’s postseason tourney to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
• By virtue of its Patriot League Tournament title, Navy earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in what was its first appearance in the postseason tournament since 1999.
• The Midshipmen went on to gain the nation’s support as they fought their way through the NCAA Tournament, first defeating Penn handily, 11-5, at home and then surviving a battle against seventh-seeded Cornell (6-5) on the Big Red’s home turf. Navy made it to the coveted national semifinals where it withstood multiple rallies by eighth-ranked Princeton to earn an 8-7 victory and punch its ticket to play in the NCAA Championship Game. In a back and forth contest, Syracuse scored three goals with under five minutes remaining in the game to edge the Mids, 14-13, with better than 40,000 fans looking on.
• Seven Midshipmen garnered All-America honors, including keeper Matt Russell who was named a First-Team All-American and the winner of the Ens. C. Markland Kelly Award as the nation’s top goalkeeper. Ian Dingman (Second Team), Ben Bailey (Third Team), Mitch Hendler (Third Team), Joe Bossi (Honorable Mention), Graham Gill (Honorable Mention) and Steve Looney (Honorable Mention) also garnered All-America recognition. Meanwhile, Richie Meade was the recipient of the Morris Touchstone Memorial Award, given to the National Coach of the Year.