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NFF honors three Navy football seniors

Posted on 23 May 2012 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Navy seniors Brian Ackerman, John Dowd and Aaron Santiago have been honored as members of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame 2012 Hampshire Honor Society.  The list is comprised of college football players from all divisions who were starters or significant contributors and maintained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 while completing their eligibility.

Dowd was a two-year starter and three-year contributor at both guard and tackle.  He was a three-time Academic All-American and the first Navy football player to be named a two-time First-Team Academic All-American. He won an $18,000 NCAA postgraduate scholarship from the National Football Foundation and was a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the nation’s premier scholar-athlete in the sport of football.  Dowd was also a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School and focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.  Dowd will graduate on Tuesday with a 3.91 grade point average in Mechanical Engineering.  He had four different semesters where he earned a 4.0 grade point average, including the final semester of his senior year.

Santiago was a two-year starter, rushing for 467 yards and four touchdowns and catching 16 passes for 306 yards and four touchdowns.  After scoring two touchdowns in the season-opener of his senior campaign against Delaware, Santiago broke his arm against Western Kentucky and was thought to be out for the year.  Instead, he missed just six games and returned to start in the final four games of the season.  The Mids were 5-1 last fall in games that Santiago played and averaged 32.8 points per contest in those games.  A systems engineering major, he will graduate on Tuesday with a 3.4 grade point average

Ackerman served as the long snapper on field goals and extra points for 38-consecutive games for the Midshipmen and was nearly flawless.  The economics major will graduate on Tuesday with a 3.58 grade point average. 

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Navy, Hopkins, Maryland, Loyola finish amongst best attendance in lacrosse

Posted on 23 May 2012 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—The Navy men’s lacrosse team finished third in the country in attendance for the 2012 season, averaging 3,378 fans per game for six home dates.  Syracuse finished first (4,447), while Virginia was second (4,018).  Rounding out the top ten was Ohio State (3,364), Maryland (3,334), Johns Hopkins (3,246), Notre Dame (2,511), Villanova (2,259), Loyola of Maryland (2,206) and Army (2,193).

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Loyola beats Denver again to get back to Final Four

Posted on 19 May 2012 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Eric Lusby scored five goals and had a career-high seven points, and J.P. Dalton won 17-of-22 faceoffs, as the top-seeded Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team defeated the University of Denver, 10-9, on Saturday afternoon to advance to next weekend’s NCAA Semifinals for the first time since 1998.

Lusby’s five goals tied his career-best, and he added two assists. Dalton dominated at the faceoff ‘X’, winning 77.2-percent of restarts against a team that had won 67.8-percent against the Greyhounds in two previous meetings this season.

The Greyhounds (16-1) will play the winner of No. 4 seed Notre Dame and No. 5 seed Virginia on Saturday, May 26, in the NCAA Semifinals at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

“What a day for the Greyhounds,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “I’m just so pround of these guys. It’s hard for me not to get emotional because this team has worked so hard for so long together through good times and bad this spring.”

Loyola will make its third trip to the NCAA Semifinals, joining the teams from 1990 and 1998 that also played on Championship Weekend. Toomey was the starting goalkeeper and team co-captain of the 1990 team that lost in the NCAA title game to Syracuse.

Lusby scored the second of two Loyola goals, the first was an unassisted tally from Mike Sawyer who wrapped around the crease on the right side and beat Denver goalkeeper Ryan LaPlante with a low-to-low shot at 10:30. Lusby then scored on an extra-man opportunity at 9:01, taking a Sean O’Sullivan and converting on a shot from the high right side.

Denver (9-7), however, would battle back and tie the game by the end of the first quarter. Mark Matthews found himself in space and scored from eight yards out with 2:20 left in the first, and he added a second goal at the end of a Jeremy Noble transition run with just six ticks left on the clock to tie the game at 2-2 heading to the second.

Noble put Denver briefly in front, 3-2, with a goal at 8:46, putting Loyola at a disadvantage on the scoreboard for the first time in over 201 minutes of game action, dating back to the regular-season finale against Johns Hopkins on April 28.

Loyola was not down for long, however, as Scott Ratliff passed it to Eric Lusby on the right side, and Lusby drew a double team. Lusby then got the ball right back to Ratliff who scored after using a shot fake,tying the game at 3-3 with 7:21 to play before halftime.

Kevin Ryan then scored just his second career goal – the first also came against Denver in the ECAC Semifinal – on a man-up possession. Ryan took a Brian Schultz feed near the crease and dumped an over the shoulder shot into the goal to put the Greyhounds in front at 6:27.

The Pioneers rallied with a Cameron Flint goal at 5:05, and then Lusby struck twice in a row to close the second quarter.

Both times, he scored off Justin Ward assists, the first coming from eight yards out on the right side, and the second with 1:09 left in the period after Ward fed him on the crease.

During the second quarter, as Loyola outscored Denver, 4-2, Dalton won all seven faceoffs.

“I would give a lot of credit to (Volunteer Assistant) Coach (Steve) Vaikness,” Toomey said of the faceoff success. “He spends countless hours with (J.P.) watching film. We know what we’ve got coming in off the wings. (Ratliff, Josh Hawkins, Kevin Moriarty and Davis Butts) are very athletic and are ground ball hawks. J.P. answered the bell today for us; J.P. was a beast.”

Chris Layne put Loyola up three, 7-4, 1:53 into the second half when he beat his man from behind and scored after getting topside. Denver, however, scored two in a row, as Wes Berg fed a pass from behind to Flint who scored on a Pioneers extra-man, and Berg then buried an off-balance shot from five yards out to pull Denver within a goal, 7-6, with 10:21 left in the third.

Lusby again tallied back-to-back goals to re-extend the Greyhounds’ advantage to three, 9-6. The first came when he cut to the middle and caught a Butts pass and scored from seven yards out. He then used a Schultz feed from behind to score an extra-man goal at 2:06.

“We see (Lusby’s shooting) every day,” Toomey said. “We know what we have on the corners, whether it’s Mike Sawyer or Eric Lusby. I think Eric would be the first one to tell you he was the recipient of Mike getting shut off. (Eric) shoots the ball with such velocity, but the one thing that we see is that he is so unselfish with the ball. When people are getting to his hands, he’s creating other opportunities.”

Schultz had his first career multi-point game with twoassists, a career-high.

The Greyhounds extended their lead to a game-high four goals 4:31 into the final quarter when Lusby flipped the ball to Butts 15 yards from the crease, took two defenders with him and allowed Butts to run free down the right alley. Butts then converted a jump-shot to make it 10-6 Loyola at 10:29.

With his two assists, Lusby was involved in seven of Loyola’s 10 goals on Saturday.

Denver scored the next three goals, one by Matthews, asecond from Noble and the third an unassisted Berg goal with 2:43 left in regulation.

Hawkins, who tied for game-high honors with six groundballs, came away from the faceoff after Berg’s goal with the ball, but Denver took back possession after a Loyola turnover at 1:47.

Berg appeared to have an open lane on the right side, but Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel stuffed the shot with one of his 11 saves on the day.

The Greyhounds cleared the ball, but a Butts shot was blocked, and Denver got the loose ball to set up one final transition opportunity.

Flint came free near the top of the box, and he took a shot from 10 yards out, but Loyola defender Joe Fletcher knocked it out of the air, and Ratliff picked up the ground ball and ran out the clock.

Loyola outshot the Pioneers, 48-31, and the Greyhounds had a 32-25 advantage in ground balls. Hawkins had six, while Ratliff and Runkel had five and four, respectively. Dalton picked up three, as well.

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Maryland tops Hopkins to clinch Final Four berth

Posted on 19 May 2012 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Senior Drew Snider scored three goals to send the Maryland men’s lacrosse team to the Final Four for the second straight season with an 11-5 victory over No. 2 seed Johns Hopkins Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

The Terps (11-5) will play the winner of the No. 3 seed Duke/Colgate game on Sat., May 26 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The Blue Devils and Raiders are set to play on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at PPL Park in Philadelphia. The Blue Jays finish their season with a 12-4 record.

The Blue Jays started off the scoring at the 9:13 mark on an unassisted goal by Mark Goodrich, but that would be it for Hopkins in the first quarter.

Maryland got on the board less than two minutes later with a goal from junior John Haus. He dodged down the right wing and turned back to fire a shot that beat JHU goalie Pierce Bassett stick-side-high to even things up at 1-1 with 7:46 remaining in the first quarter.

The Terps took their first lead of the day with 13.6 seconds remaining in the quarter when redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk dodged from behind and redirected the ball to junior Owen Blye, who then found Snider cutting on the right alley. Snider finished the shot inside the far pipe to give Maryland the 2-1 lead.

Sophomore Niko Amato made a save at the buzzer to keep the lead at 2-1, which was one of four saves made by Amato in the quarter.

With 13:24 remaining in the second quarter, Hopkins tied the game at two thanks to an extra man goal by Bradon Benn, but that was as close as the Blue Jays would get in the game.

Maryland scored the next six goals in the game, including two in the next two minutes to regain the lead that they would not give up. First, Snider scored an unassisted goal after running through the defense and finished the shot past Bassett’s off side hip.

Then, sophomore Michael Ehrhardt came up with a big ground ball off the faceoff and moved the ball to junior Landon Carr who finished the transition goal at 11:23 to give the Terps the 4-2 advantage.

Maryland scored again less than a minute later with Snider finishing off the hat trick. He dodged down the right wing and finished the shot into the far post to extend the lead to 5-2 with 10:30 remaining in the half.

Maryland then added to the lead with 3:05 remaining in the half. Junior Kevin Cooper dodged from up top and found senior Joe Cummings alone on the crease. Cummings then finished the one-on-one shot to make the lead 6-2 going into half time.

Chanenchuk started off the scoring in the second half with a goal at the 11:51 mark. Cummings fed him the ball on the right alley and Chanenchuk went around his defender and finished the shot from 12 yards out into the top right corner to make it a 7-2 Maryland advantage.

With 6:15 remaining Haus added to the Maryland lead. Dodging from behind the cage Haus split two defenders before diving tangent to the crease to beat Bassett with a low shot to make the lead 8-2.

With 3.1 seconds remaining in the third quarter Chris Boland scored for Hopkins to cut the Terps lead to 8-3. The goal ended a 28:20 scoreless stretch for the Blue Jays.

Maryland responded at 13:50 in the fourth quarter. Chanenchuk dodged from up top and fired a shot from the right alley that beat the keeper past the near post to extend the lead to 9-3.

Junior Billy Gribbin scored his first goal of the day with 11:03 remaining in the game. Gribbin picked up his own rebound and finished the shot to increase the lead to 10-3.

Hopkins answered back with two goals of its own to cut the lead to 10-5 with 7:48 remaining in the game.

However, Maryland answered back scoring the final goal of the game with 1:35 remaining to seal the victory. After killing several minutes of clock Cummings found Cooper on the crease for the goal to make the lead 11-5.

Junior Curtis Holmes won 9-of-16 faceoffs and led the Terps with three ground balls and Amato was credited with seven saves. Junior Jesse Bernhardt continued to be a force for the Maryland defense, causing three turnovers.

Maryland won the ground ball battle scooping up 26 ground balls compared to Hopkins 15.

The Terps were efficient clearing the ball with 12 of their 14 clears being successful. Hopkins had more trouble with the Maryland ride, only completing 14-of-21 potential clears.

Game Notes:
• With today’s 11-5 win, Maryland is now 40-68-1 all-time vs. Johns Hopkins.
• The Terps are now 4-9 all-time vs. the Blue Jays in the NCAA tournament.
• Maryland is now 21-11 all-time in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
• This marks the first time since 1973 that Maryland has beaten Johns Hopkins twice in one season.
• With two points on two goals, senior Joe Cummings now has 30 multi-point and 22 multi-goal games for his career.
• The two points gives Cummings 111 for his career, which moves him into a tie with Max Ritz (2005-08) for 31st on the all-time points list.
• With three points on three goals, senior Drew Snider now has five hat tricks, 16 multi-point and 11 multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on two goals, junior John Haus now has 18 multi-point and nine multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on one goal and one assist, junior Kevin Cooper now has 10 multi-point games for his career.
• With two points on two goals, redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk has five multi-point and three multi-goal games for his Maryland career.


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Loyola, Denver meet for third time Saturday with Final Four trip at stake

Posted on 18 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent NCAA Quarterfinals | Denver Pioneers
Date Saturday, May 19, 2012
Time 2:30 p.m.
Location Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
TV | Radio ESPN2 | ESPN3
Series Record Series tied, 2-2
Last Meeting Loyola 14, Denver 13 (OT) – May 2, 2012 at Denver

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland travels to nearby Annapolis, Md., and Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday, May 19, 2012.

The top-seeded Greyhounds will face fellow ECAC Lacrosse League member University of Denver for the third time this season at 2:30 p.m.

On The Tube And Web

The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 with Eamon McAnaney and Quint Kessenich calling the action. Paul Carcaterra will be the sideline analyst.

The action can also be seen worldwide on ESPN3, the broadband arm of the ESPN, and on the WatchESPN app on mobile devices.

Series History

Loyola and Denver will meet for the fifth time in series history and third time this season when the teams take the field Saturday. The Greyhounds and Pioneers have met during the regular-season in each of the last three seasons and then earlier this month in an ECAC Semifinal. The series is tied 2-2 through the first four meetings.

Denver won the first two meetings, 12-4 at Invesco Field in 2010 and 12-8 last year at Ridley Athletic Complex.

This season, Loyola used a 5-1 run to close the game, overcoming an 8-7 third-quarter deficit on April 14 in Denver to beat the Pioneers, 12-9.

The teams met again with Loyola as the No. 1 seed, and Denver the fourth, in the ECAC Semifinals on May 2, again in Denver. Loyola opened up a 13-6 lead with 13:14 left in regulation before the Pioneers scored seven-straight to tie the game at 13-13 with 3:30 remaining on the clock. Scott Ratliff picked up the ground ball to start overtime, and he scored eight seconds later, lifting Loyola to the ECAC title game.

NCAA Championships History

Loyola is making its 20th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 18th at the Division I level. The Greyhounds are 9-19 all-time in Championships play, 9-17 at the Division I level.

The Greyhounds are making their 13th NCAA Quarterfinals appearance and the first since 2001. They are 2-10 in Quarterfinal games with their last victory in the round coming in 1998 against Georgetown in a 12-11 decision.

NCAA Rematches

Saturday will be the first time in Loyola men’s lacrosse history (since 1938) that the Greyhounds will have played the same team three times in the same season.

A rematch with a regular-season opponent in the NCAA Championships is not unusual for Loyola. It will be the 12th time that the Greyhounds have faced a team in the NCAAs that they played earlier in the year. Including a game in the 1979 Division II-III Tournament, Loyola is 2-9 in those games. The last time it happened, Duke defeated the Greyhounds, 12-7, in the 2008 First Round.

This Season Against Denver

Loyola has featured balanced scoring in its two games against Denver with 13 players tallying goals in the two games and eight scoring two or more. Mike Sawyer and Eric Lusby lead the way with four goals each, while Scott Ratliff has three. Davis Butts, Pat Byrnes, Sean O’Sullivan, Phil Dobson and Nikko Pontrello each have scored two against the Pioneers this year. Justin Ward is tops on Loyola with four assists in the two games.

Top Spot

Loyola entered the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seed for the third time in school history. The Greyhounds were also the top seed in 1998 when they defeated Georgetown, 12-11, in the Quarterfinals to move on to the Final Four for the second time in school history. There, the Greyhounds lost, 19-8, to Maryland. They were then the No. 1 seed in 1999 when they fell in the Quarterfinals to Syracuse, 17-12.

School Record In Wins

Loyola’s victory over Canisius in the NCAA Championships First Round was its 15th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.

This is Loyola’s 15th season all-time with 10 or more wins with 12 coming since the Greyhounds joined Division I in 1982.

In The Polls

Loyola moved up to No. 2 in both the USILA Coaches and Inside Lacrosse Media Polls following their ECAC Championship. The Greyhounds were ranked No. 1 for two weeks before losing their only game of the season on April 28 to Johns Hopkins.

The Greyhounds finished the regular-season with the No. 1 RPI in the NCAA, as well.

Denver entered the NCAAs 13th in both versions.

Second-Half Run

Loyola used 13 unanswered goals to break open a 4-3 halftime lead against Canisius last Saturday in a 17-5 victory over the Golden Griffins in the NCAA Championships First Round.

The Greyhounds took a 4-0 lead in the first quarter before Canisius scored three unanswered in the second. Mike Sawyer corralled a rebound of an Eric Lusby shot off the pipe and scored 1:20 into the second quarter to start the run. During the stretch, Sawyer scored all five of his goals, and Lusby had two of his three.

The run was the second longest in the brief, three-year history of Ridley Athletic Complex. Only a 14-0 run to start the game on March 20, 2010, against Air Force had more goals.

Sawyer Ties Single-Season Record

Mike Sawyer scored five times in the game against Canisius – his fourth game in 2012 with five or more goals – raising his season total to 50 goals to match the 2000 school record set by Tim Goettelmann. Goettelmann went on to become Major League Lacrosse’s all-time leading goal scorer.

Earlier this season, against Hobart, he became the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000. They are the only three Loyola players to top 40 this century.

In the ECAC Semifinal against Denver, Sawyer pushed his season point total to 50, a number that is now at 53, making him the first Greyhound to reach 50 in a season since Prout had 58 (37g, 21a) in 2001. It is the fourth time this century that a Loyola player has scored 50 or more points in a season. Goettelmann (65) and Prout (53) both reached the mark in 2000, and Prout did it again the following season. Sawyer’s teammate, Eric Lusby, has since joined him with more than 50 points (more later).

Two Over 40/50

Mike Sawyer (50g, 58p) and Eric Lusby (40g, 54p) became the first set of Loyola teammates to score 40 goals and 50 points in a season since Tim Goettelmann (50, 65) and Gavin Prout (41, 53) accomplished the feat in 2000.

They are one of only two duos in the nation this year – Robert Morris’ Kiel Matisz (40, 64) and Jake Hayes (42, 61) are the other – to post 40 and 50.

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola junior does a lot, as he leads the team in ground balls (74) and caused turnovers (34), is tied for sixth in goals (11) and is seventh in assists (7).

A Tewaaraton Award nominee earlier in the year, Ratliff was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Championships after scoring three goals, one a game-winner, and recording two assists and 16 ground balls.

He had two goals, including the winner just eight seconds into overtime, and an assist versus Denver while picking up a career-high nine ground balls.

Ratliff, who was also an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, then scored twice in the first quarter against Canisius to go along with six ground balls and three faceoff wins in the game.

Ratliff’s Scoring

Scott Ratliff had his third multi-goal game of the season in the NCAA First Round against Canisius, raising his season totals to 11 goals and seven assists.

With his game-opening goal against the Golden Griffins, he set the Loyola single-season record for long-pole scoring, surpassing the record of 16 points set by current assistant coach Matt Dwan his senior season in 1995 when he tallied 11 goals and five assists and earned All-America honors.

Ratliff and Dwan are now tied for the lead with 11 goals each.

Ratliff is second nationally this season in goals and points by a long pole, and his seven assists are tops in the country. Bryant’s Mason Poli leads all long poles this year with 19 goals and 24 points.

The Hardware Department

In the span of seven days, three teams in Loyola’s Department of Athletics advanced to their respective NCAA Championships by winning titles in three different conferences.

The men’s golf team started the trend with its fifth-straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference crown on April 29, and the men’s lacrosse team followed by taking the ECAC title on May 4. The women’s lacrosse team completed the trifecta on May 5 when it defeated then-No. 2 Syracuse to win its second-straight BIG EAST Championship. Also, in March, Loyola’s men’s basketball team won its first MAAC title in 18 years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994.

Sawyer Named One Of Five Tewaaraton Finalists

Mike Sawyer was named one of five Tewaaraton Award finalists on Thursday, joining Colgate A Peter Baum, Duke LSM C.J. Costabile, Massachusetts A Will Manny and Virginia A Steele Stanwick.

Sawyer is the first Loyola men’s player to be named a finalist, and he is also the first player from to hail the State of North Carolina to be so honored. He was one of three Greyhounds on the Tewaaraton Watch List where he was joined by Eric Lusby and Scott Ratliff, and Ratliff was a fellow semifinalist. The Award, which is given annually to the top player in college lacrosse, will be presented on May 31 at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Midfield Scoring

Loyola’s first midfield line of Davis Butts (18g, 30p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 26) and Chris Layne (10, 20) has combined for 44 goals and 32 assists this season, whiel the second midfield unit of Pat Byrnes (9, 7), J.P. Dalton (9, 4) and Phil Dobson (7, 2) has added 25 and 13. Additionally, Nikko Pontrello has started to mix in with the second midfield, allowing Loyola’s attackers the opportunity to invert, and he has four goals and six assists.

Balanced Scoring In ECAC Championships

Loyola traveled to Denver for the 2012 ECAC Lacrosse League Championships and left the Mile-High City with a 97-pound trophy (no, really). The Greyhounds, who earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and finished the regular-season 6-0 in the league, beat host and No. 4 seed Denver, 14-13, in overtime to advance to the final. There, Loyola topped Fairfield, 14-7.

Fifteen different Greyhounds scored goals in the two games with 11 tallying goals in the semifinal and 10 in the title game. Mike Sawyer led the team with four goals in the two games, a trio coming in the final, while Eric Lusby, Chris Layne and Scott Ratliff each had three.

Justin Ward led the Greyhounds with eight total points, dishing out three assists in the semifinal and three along with two goals in the championship.

Two players scored their first collegiate goals in the games, one in each contest. Kevin Ryan tallied a first-quarter goal on a man-up possession against Denver, and Brian Schultz recorded his first in the fourth quarter versus Fairfield.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The duo has combined for 90 goals in 16 games this season, an average of 5.625 per game.

Sawyer has scored 50 goals, and his 3.13 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 40 goals and a 2.5 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 14th in the country. Loyola is one of two schools to have two players in the top 14 of goals per game nationally (Robert Morris).

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 40 or more goals in the same season since 2000 when Tim Goettelmann set the school single-season record with 50, and Gavin Prout tallied 41. As a side note, the Goettelmann-Prout duo has gone on to highly successful professional careers. Goettelman recently retired from Major League Lacrosse as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 268 goals in 11 seasons. Prout has been an MLL Champion and has scored 314 National Lacrosse League goals to go with 625 assists as a multiple-time all-star.

Spreading Out The Scoring Wealth

Loyola’s first 11 goals against Denver in the ECAC Semifinal night were scored by 11 different players. Eric Lusby, Phil Dobson and Scott Ratliff finished the game with two goals, and eight others had one.

All three members of the Greyhounds’ first midfield – Davis Butts, Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan – scored goals. They received four goals from the four players who make up the second midfield line – Dobson (2), Pat Byrnes and Nikko Pontrello (J.P. Dalton did not score). Extra-man attackman Kevin Ryan scored, and two of the team’s three attackmen – Mike Sawyer and Lusby (2) – recorded goals. Ratliff scored twice in transition, and short-stick defensive midfielder Josh Hawkins added one. The Greyhounds’ other attack player, Justin Ward, did not score but had a game-high three assists.

In the title game, 10 different players scored for Loyola with all three attackers scoring and two of three from the first midfield like tallying goals.

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

Loyola’s 12-straight to start the season tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (March 14-May 17) and 1999 (March 6-May 8).

It also matched the best start to a season, equaling the 1999 team that finished the regular-season unblemished at 12-0.

Ratliff Named ECAC Defender Of The Year

Junior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, marking the second time in four years a Greyhounds’ long pole has received the award. P.T. Ricci earned the honor in 2009, as well.

Ratliff leads the ECAC with 34 caused turnovers (2.13 per game) and is sixth nationally in that category, and he is tops on the Greyhounds with 74 ground balls (4.5 per contest).

The native of Marietta, Ga., also has scored nine goals and has seven assists this year, keying the Greyhounds’ transition game on many occasions. He earned ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week twice during the year and was the Defensive Player of the Week early in the season.

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey has guided the Greyhounds to a 15-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play.

The Greyhounds became the second team in USILA Coaches Poll history to start a season unranked and ascend to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The only other team was Duke in 2007 – a year after the Blue Devils had their season suspended in March – which accomplished the feat after being unranked in the first poll, moving to second in the next version and first in the third. Duke was knocked from its perch as No. 1 that season when it lost to the Greyhounds at the First Four in San Diego.

Earlier this season, Toomey won the 50th game of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 50 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .618 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

All-ECAC Honors

Five Loyola players earned All-ECAC Lacrosse League honors form the conference’s coaches. Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff earned a spot as a defender on the First Team, where he was joined by Mike Sawyer on attack and Davis Butts in the midfield.

Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and is now third nationally, in goals (50) and goals per game (3.13). Butts has scored 18 goals and assisted on 12 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also regularly playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 36 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and is 14th nationally with 40 goals (2.5 per game), and he also has 14 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 30 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers entering the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 6 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 32 occasions this season.

Loyola scored the first four goals of the ECAC Semifinal game against Denver and then tallied three-straight after the Pioneers pulled within 4-2. The Greyhounds then reeled off five in a row during the third quarter to take a 13-6 lead.

In the ECAC title game, Loyola used an 8-1 run that was comprised of runs of 3-0 and 5-0 to take control of the game.

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just 10 times this year, with the most recent coming when Canisius scored three in the second quarter. Only Denver (seven), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

Following six of the nine opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 50-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year.

The last time Loyola finished at or above .500 in man-up offense was in 1997 when it converted 39-of-77 (.506).

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 60-20 in the third quarters of games and 113-56 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).

The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.

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Loyola lacrosse players celebrate commencement before NCAA quarterfinals

Posted on 17 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – The Loyola University Maryland men’s and women’s lacrosse teams gathered Thursday afternoon to celebrate a special commencement ceremony since they will miss Saturday’s school-wide festivities to play in their respective NCAA Championships.

Nine student-athletes – five from the men’s team and four from the women’s – received their Loyola diplomas from University President Rev. Brian Linnane and other members of the Loyola faculty and administration.

“This is one of the most special events we have the privilege of celebrating at Loyola,” said Jim Paquette, Loyola’s Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics. “Our student-athletes see this as another way to stay together as a class, advancing far enough into the NCAA Championships so they graduate in a special way as a team. The graduates and their families get to celebrate the event in a small, intimate setting that has a true family and team atmosphere.”

Kip Fulks, Chief Operating Officer of Under Armour and a former lacrosse All-American at the University of Maryland, delivered the commencement address.

Ana Heneberry, Kellye Gallagher, Kerry Stoothoff and Virginia Weber received their degrees, while their counterparts from the men’s team – Pat Byrnes, J.P. Dalton, Dylan Grimm, Eric Tillman and Alex Yackery – accepted theirs.

Also honored at the ceremony were three seniors who are members of Loyola’s golf team: Ryan McCarthy, Patrick McCormick and Jay Mulieri. The trio is currently leading the Greyhounds at the NCAA Regional in Athens, Ga., and will not attend graduation ceremonies on Saturday.

Both teams will be in action Saturday as their classmates are graduating from the school. The women, who are the No. 6 seed in their Championships, will play at No. 3 Maryland in a 12 noon game in College Park, Md., and the top-seeded men will take on the University of Denver in Annapolis, Md.

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Your Monday Reality Check-As Preakness week begins, I wish…

Posted on 14 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

Maybe I’m not the person to say this.

I probably won’t make it out to the Preakness Crab Derby. I doubt the Preakness Frog Hop is part of my week. I didn’t get to the Preakness Hot Air Balloon Festival. I’m going to miss my first Black-Eyed Susan Stakes in years. I don’t intend to get to Power Plant Live to see Buckcherry or Mr. Greengenes or Foxy Shazam.

Hell, I’m even thinking about going to Annapolis Saturday to check out Maryland-Johns Hopkins and Loyola-Denver in the NCAA Tournament at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. I don’t know if my girlfriend will go for it, but I’ve been leaning in that direction.

If you’re not aware, I made it down to Louisville again this year for the Kentucky Derby. (And how could you possibly NOT be aware when you were checking out pictures like the one below from the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs on my Facebook page during the trip?)

You fear that the rest of my column is going to be about how the Preakness isn’t nearly as good as the Kentucky Derby. Don’t. Everyone on the face of the planet knows that Preakness week isn’t Derby week. Despite how much breath you think I waste every afternoon during “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net, I don’t intend to waste more space here.

I don’t think Preakness week should be like Derby week. I think Preakness week should be the crowning moment of the entire calendar annually in Charm City.

At least…I wish it would be.

Drew Forrester and I used to try to figure out a way to correctly define the relationship between Preakness and the city of Baltimore when we would chat on “The Morning Reaction.” We would throw out terms like “the single biggest annual sporting event in the city” or “the most significant event the city hosts” or “the most important date on the sporting calendar every year” but never settled on one in particular. The truth is that based on attendance, Preakness is annually the single biggest event of any kind in the city. Economically, the Maryland Jockey Club has stated in the last two years that the event has an economic impact of $40-$60 million annually for the city and state.

Baltimore Orioles Opening Day has a significant economic impact for the area. Baltimore Ravens playoff games have significant economic impact for the area. The same can be said for the occasional NCAA lacrosse Final Four events. None have the impact of Preakness.

I wrote a similar column to this last year. Some of you were going to point that out. I’ll keep you from having to do just that by linking to it here. I hope you take a look if for no reason than to re-read the words of Newark Star-Ledger columnist Jerry Izenberg, who in 2010 described the relationship between Preakness and Baltimore so well the words should be engraved at Old Hilltop.

A year ago I was angry about how insignificant I felt Preakness had become in Baltimore. I’m not angry this year. I’m wishful. I wish it mattered more. I wish I was preparing to go out to Pimlico every afternoon this week to broadcast live. I wish my friends from around the country were calling me to let me know when they were getting in. I wish I had someone to blame for any of it.

I could blame the job the Maryland Jockey Club has done running the event and both Pimlico and Laurel Park. I could blame the city and state for not offering the level of support necessary to make the event the best it could possibly be. I could blame the sport of horse racing which has failed greatly to fully adapt to 2012 and in many ways still lives in 1942. I could blame us as Baltimoreans for spending too much time worrying about Washington’s pro hockey team and not enough time worrying about our own greatest event. I could blame area media for not treating the event with a level of reverence befitting an event that still annually involves the possibility of a Triple Crown winner.

(For years, the only conversation related to Preakness in Baltimore surrounded the concern that the race might leave the state for Florida. With that dialogue all but useless, area media members have been able only to fall back on “can (insert Derby winner name here) win the Triple Crown?”)

I’m going to talk to jockeys and trainers and horse analysts this week on my show. I’ll ask Kent Desormeaux (he’ll be riding Tiger Walk Saturday) about what it would mean to deliver a Preakness title to a Maryland group (Sagamore Farm). I’ll ask O’Neill about how the limited schedule for the Derby champ could keep his champ fresh for the second jewel. I’ll ask Mike Smith if a better ride aboard Bodemeister would mean the Bob Baffert horse would be coming to Baltimore with a chance to make history.

I’ll talk about horse racing like it mattered here. I’ll talk about the importance of the event to the city.

I wish I wouldn’t be the only one.

Carry on.


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Cummings nets winner as Terps set up Tourney rematch with Hopkins

Posted on 13 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Senior Joe Cummings scored with six seconds left in the fourth to send the Maryland men’s lacrosse team to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals with a 10-9 victory at No. 7 seed Lehigh Sunday night in front of 2,278 at Banko Field at Ulrich Sports Complex.

The Terps (10-5) advance to the quarterfinals and will play No. 2 seed Johns Hopkins game on Sat., May 19 at noon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. The Mountain Hawks finish their season with a 14-3 record.

Maryland got off to a quick start with redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk finding senior Drew Snider in the left alley and Snider ripped a shot into the upper right corner with just 1:27 elapsed.

A goal by Lehigh’s David DiMaria was waived off at the 10:52 mark, but a pushing call on freshman Goran Murray put the Mountain Hawks up a man and Kyle Stiefel scored off of a feed from DiMaria to tie the game at 1-1 with 10:37 to go in the first.

That’s when junior Owen Blye took over the game, figuring into the Terps’ next five goals.

The first of those came on the extra-man opportunity following a tripping call on DiMaria. Blye found Cummings on the crease for the easy score with 9:12 to go to make it 2-1 for the Terps.

Blye scored his first goal of the game as the clock wound down in the first quarter, coming around the left side of the cage and scoring from the left wing with just 0:06 left on the clock.

The extra-man unit struck again for the first tally in the second as Blye found junior Billy Gribbin on the right wing and Gribbin ripped a shot past Lehigh goalie Matthew Poillon at the 9:11 mark to up the Terrapin lead to 4-1.

Blye was in the giving mood again less than two minutes later finding freshman Jay Carlson on the crease for his first score since April 6. But, the play wouldn’t have been made without Cummings moving the ball to Blye after slipping on the turf behind the cage.

The 5-0 Terrapin run was finished with Blye hitting senior Michael Shakespeare in the left alley and Shakespeare let a laser fly on the step-down shot to make it a 6-1 game with 5:52 to play.

But the Mountain Hawks would not go quietly into the half as DiMaria took advantage of a defensive switch that had him isolated with a short-stick and he scored unassisted from just above left goal line extended.

That goal snapped a scoreless stretch of 21:28 for Lehigh, but the Mountain Hawks turned that into the start of a 3-0 run to close out the second quarter as Stiefel scored twice before the quarter was out to make it a 6-4 game going into halftime.

Lehigh continued its run in the third, holding Maryland scoreless and putting up four of its own to take an 8-6 lead into the final 15:00.

The difference in the third was Poillon, who made six of his saves in the quarter to allow Lehigh to build its lead.

Snider ended a scoring skid of 22:26 for the Terps by finishing a feed inside from Chanenchuk with a high bouncer that just got under the crossbar to cut the lead to 8-7 with 13:26 to play in the fourth.

The Mountain Hawks didn’t let the Terps build any momentum as Dante Fantoni scored his first of the game to up the lead back to two at 9-7 just 32 seconds later.

Maryland continued to fight and Snider was a big reason why, scoring his third goal of the game on an unassisted goal dodging from the left wing to cut the deficit to one at the 8:03 mark.

The comeback was complete with 6:42 to go in the fourth when Chanenchuk scored unassisted from the right alley with a blistering shot inside the far pipe. That goal pulled the Terps even at 9-9, which was the first time the game was tied since the 13:07 mark of the third when it was 6-6.

Freshman Charlie Raffa, who won 10-of-14 faceoffs for the game, won the ensuing faceoff when a pile up resulted in a conference by the officials, who ended up ruling Terrapin ball on a hold by the Mountain Hawks.

That possession saw junior John Haus lose his defender and get a good look at the goal from close in on the left wing, but Poillon came up with his 15th save of the game.

Lehigh had the ball with a chance to retake the lead with 4:49 to play, but sophomore Michael Ehrhardt caused his third turnover of the game to give Maryland the ball back with 4:40 to play.

The Terrapins never gave Lehigh another possession.

Shots by Blye and Kevin Cooper early in the possession were too high, but Blye’s second attempt was Poillon’s 16th save of the game. However, Poillon couldn’t control the rebound and Snider came away with the biggest groundball of the game with just 1:26 remaining.

That set the stage for Cummmings’ heroics, as he patiently waited as the clock ticked down to under 20 seconds left before making his move, dodging around the right side of the cage and slipping the game-winner past Poillon with just six seconds left.

Raffa finished with a game-high five groundballs, while sophomore goalie Niko Amato was credited with six saves.

Game Notes:
• With today’s 10-9 win, Maryland is now 4-1 all-time vs. Lehigh.
• Maryland is now 14-3 all-time in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
• With two points on two goals, senior Joe Cummings now has 30 multi-point and 22 multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on two goals, Cummings moves past Bud Beardmore (1960-62) for sole possession of 34th on the all-time points list at Maryland with 109.
• With three points on three goals, senior Drew Snider now has four hat tricks, 15 multi-point and 10 multi-goal games for his career.
• With five points on one goal and four assists, junior Owen Blye now has 20 multi-point and 11 multi-assist games for his career.
• With three points on one goal and two assists, redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk now has four multi-point and one multi-assist games for his Maryland career.


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Stevenson tops Gettysburg to reach NCAA quarters

Posted on 13 May 2012 by WNST Staff

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Stevenson men’s lacrosse senior Nick Rossi (Lutherville, Md./Towson) and junior Tyler Reid (Clinton,
Conn./Xavier) each totaled five points as the fifth-ranked Mustangs advanced to their fourth consecutive national quarterfinals with a
13-6 victory over No. 20 Gettysburg Saturday at Mustang Stadium.

Stevenson (17-4) improved its record to 12-1 at home this season and 72-14 in eight seasons under head coach Paul Cantabene. The team is 7-3 in four appearances in the NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship, including 7-2 at home.

The Mustangs also raised their record to 96-2 all-time when allowing six goals or less.

As a result of Stevenson’s win and No. 8 Denison’s 10-5 road victory over No. 2 Lynchburg, the Mustangs will host the Big Red in the
quarterfinals of the 2012 NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship next Wednesday, May 16 at Mustang Stadium. Game time will be announced on Monday.

Rossi’s five points set a new career-high as he finished with a goal and career-best four assists while Reid, who had six points in
Wednesday’s first round win over Birmingham-Southern, added five more on Saturday with three goals and two assists.

In four career NCAA Tournament games, Reid has totaled 17 points on 14 goals an three assists. He is one goal and five points shy of the
school NCAA Tournament record. Steve Kazimer scored 22 points in six games while Richie Ford netted 15 goals in eight games.

Stevenson took a 6-2 halftime lead after outshooting the Bullets 23-10 and winning 9-of-10 faceoffs. The Mustangs outscored Gettysburg 5-0 in the second quarter and won all six faceoffs.

Gettysburg (11-7) would rally, scoring three of the first four goals of the second half to pull within 7-5 with 7:21 remaining in the third
quarter. However, that would be as close as it would get as the Stevenson scored six of the final seven goals, including two from
Reid, both of which were assisted by Rossi.

The Mustangs outscored the Bullets 4-1 in the fourth quarter, limiting them to just four shots.

The Stevenson defense was led by nine saves from senior Ian Bolland (Mountain Lakes, N.J./Mountain Lakes) who improved his record to 37-7 as a starter, including 3-1 in the NCAA Tournament.

Junior Kyle Holechek (Reisterstown, Md./Loyola Blakefield) finished two caused turnovers and four ground balls while sophomore Warren Pumphrey (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s) added three caused turnovers.

Freshman Sam Wyatt (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood) won 15-of-22 face-offs and in two NCAA Tournament games, has won 25-of-35 for 71.4 percent. He won 10-of-12 in the first round versus Birmingham-Southern.

Robby Maddux led Gettysburg with three goals and one assist. Jon Maddalone was credited with 14 saves.

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Big second half lifts Loyola past Canisius in Tourney opener

Posted on 13 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Top-seeded Loyola University Maryland scored 13-straight goals to start the second half, and the Greyhounds rolled to a 17-5 victory over visiting Canisius College in the NCAA Championships First Round on Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Greyhounds (15-1) will play the winner of North Carolina-Denver on Saturday, May 19, in the NCAA Quarterfinals in Annapolis, Md.

Loyola led 4-0 at the end of the first quarter, but Canisius scored three unanswered in the second, pulling within a goal with 2:48 left in the first quarter on Jimmy Haney’s second goal in six minutes.

Mike Sawyer, however, scored the first of his game-high five goals 3:15 into the second half, sparking a 13-0 run that would see Loyola hold the Golden Griffins (6-8) scoreless until there were just under six minutesleft in the game.

‘”I want to give our guys a lot of credit for coming out in that second half with a sense of urgency,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “I think you’re going to need that in every quarter of this tournament. We hadCanisius take it to us for one quarter, but I think we’ll be ready going forward.”

Sawyer’s five goals lifted his season total to 50, tying the school single-season record by matching the 2000 total by Tim Goettelmann.

Eric Lusby also had five points, scoring three goals and assisting, while Justin Ward had a goal and two assists. Scott Ratliff scored twice, both in the first quarter, and had six ground balls.

Ratliff scored the game’s first goal off a Ward assist after Dylan Grimm caused a turnover, and the Greyhounds cleared the ball to theiroffensive zone.

Loyola tallied another transition goal at 9:59 to play when Pat Laconi fired a pass to Lusby on the right side of the crease, and Lusby got his first of the game.  Ratliff tallied his second 53 ticks of the clock later when he picked up a ground ball and went end-to-end to score and make Loyola’s lead 3-0.

Davis Butts then scored Loyola’s first settled goal of the game, dodging past a defender to score at 6:11.

The Golden Griffins, however, bounced back in the second quarter as they dominated possession and the scoring. Canisius won all fourfaceoffs in the frame, and Travis Gibbons scored at 13:01, and Jimmy Haney added a pair at 8:23 and 2:48 to close the gap to 4-3 at halftime.

Sawyer, however, scored 3:15 into the second half to begin the 13-0 run. Eric Lusby took a shot that was saved by Sean Callahan, but the ball bounced high in front of the crease, and Sawyer reached up for the ground ball and shot it past Callahan in one motion.

Just over four minutes later, he added his second of the game on a Nikko Pontrello assist, and Chris Layne caught a Lusby feed at 4:09, scoring to make Loyola’s lead 7-3.

Sawyer added his third on a Ward assist 20 seconds later, and Lusby scored when Pat Byrnes found him open on the right side at 1:05 to put Loyola ahead 9-3 at the end of the thir quarter.

Sawyer scored 80 ticks into the final frame when he played give-and-go with Sean O’Sullivan and scored from 10 yards out.

Ward then found himself scoring on an empty net at 12:31, and Lusby tallied his third of the game 40 seconds later. Sawyer scored with 11 minutes to play, making the lead 10, 13-3.

Butts tallied his second of the game at 9:07, and Will Fredericks scored on a Josh Hawkins assist to cap a transition run at 7:23.Tyler Foley then used a Fredericks feed to score his first career goal at 6:29.

Loyola used a 47-22 advantage in shots, and a 39-30 lead in ground balls. Canisius had a 15-12 lead in the category at the half, but the Greyhounds used a 10-8 advantage in the third and 17-7 in the fourth quarters.

In addition to Ratliff’s six, he also had three faceoff wins and two caused turnovers. He broke the Loyola season record for long-pole scoring, notching his 17th and 18th points of the year to top the 1995 mark of 16 points set by current Loyola assistant coach Matt Dwan.

Josh Hawkins had a season-best seven ground balls, and he also caused two turnovers. Grimm and Laconi each had two caused turnovers, as well.

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