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Loyola opens title defense Saturday at Delaware

Posted on 15 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Opponent Delaware Blue Hens
Date Saturday, February 16, 2013
Time 3:00 p.m.
Location Newark, Del. | Delaware Stadium
Series Record Loyola leads, 22-6-1
Last Meeting Loyola 13, Delaware 6 – February 18, 2012, in Baltimore

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland opens its 2013 season on Saturday, February 16, in Newark, Del., at the University of Delaware.

Face-off is slated for 3 p.m. at Delaware Stadium. The game is part of a doubleheader at Delaware on Saturday with the Blue Hen women taking on Georgetown at 12 noon.

 

A Note On History

The 2013 season will be Loyola’s 74th with a varsity lacrosse program. The Greyhounds hold a 451-376 (.545) all-time record in the previous 73 years. This will be Loyola’s 32nd year at the Division I level (1982 was first season).

 

Series History

The Greyhounds and Blue Hens will meet for the 30th time on the lacrosse field but just the second time in nearly a decade. Prior to last year’s meeting, Loyola last played Delaware on February 22, 2003, a 9-6 victory by the Greyhounds on their former home pitch, Curley Field.

Loyola leads the all-time series between the teams, 22-6-1. The Blue Hens won six of the first 10 meetings between the teams, but the Greyhounds have won each of the last 19 games.

Last year, the Greyhounds opened their 2012 campaign at home against Delaware with a 13-6 victory against the Blue Hens. Delaware took a 3-0 lead after one quarter of play, but Eric Lusby and Mike Sawyer scored on a pair of extra-main possessions for the Greyhounds, starting a 5-0 Loyola run that would put the Greyhounds in front for good. Lusby finished with four goals, while Sawyer scored three and had an assist. Michael Bonitatibus won his starting debut in goal, making seven saves, and J.P. Dalton 14-of-25 faceoffs, while Scott Ratliff picked up seven ground balls, caused two turnovers and scored a goal.

 

In The Polls

Loyola opens the 2013 season ranked No. 1 in both the USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls.

It is the first time in the polls’ existences that the Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 in the preseason.

Loyola received 10-of-12 first-place votes in the coaches’ poll and 21-of-25 in the media version.

 

National Team Exhibition

The Greyhounds took part in the 8th-annual Champion Challenge, an event hosted by USLacrosse, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at DisneyWorld on January 27. The Greyhounds faced the U.S. Men’s National Team in a nationally televised exhibition game.

Loyola fell, 17-13, to the reigning FIL World Champions despite being within a goal midway through the fourth quarter, 13-12.

Justin Ward posted a team-high four points with a goal and three assists, while four Greyhounds – seniors Davis Butts, Phil Dobson and Mike Sawyer and sophomore Nikko Pontrello – scored two goals each. Graduate student Harry Kutner handed out three assists, while senior Sean O’Sullivan scored once and had two assists. Junior Brian Schultz had a goal and an assist, while senior Josh Hawkins and junior Kevin Ryan both had single goals. Senior Chris Layne also tallied an assist.

 

Welcome To The Staff

Two new faces join Head Coach Charley Toomey and Assistant Coaches Matt Dwan and Steve Vaikness on the Greyhounds’ coaching staff for 2013. David Metzbower, a 1986 Delaware graduate and former Blue Hens assistant coach, came on board in November as the Greyhounds’ offensive coordinator, replacing Dan Chemotti who left to become the head coach at the University of Richmond. Loyola alum Steve Layne ’10 was brought on in September as the program’s Director of Lacrosse Operations.

 

Television Dates Announced

In addition to Loyola’s exhibition game against the U.S. National Team, three Greyhound games will be broadcast this season.

The Greyhounds home opener against Maryland on Saturday, February 23, will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, the first non-event based men’s lacrosse game the network will air.

The game against Air Force in the Inside Lacrosse/Whitman’s Sampler Mile-HIgh Classic on Saturday, March 16, will air on ESPN3, and the Greyhounds’ Saturday, April 27, game at Johns Hopkins will air on ESPNU.

 

Well-Represented In MLL Draft

Five members of the Loyola men’s lacrosse team were selected in the top 26 of the January 11 Major League Lacrosse draft. The Greyhounds tied Virginia for the most draft picks in the selection process.

Josh Hawkins and Mike Sawyer were both taken in the first round, going fifth and eighth overall to the Hamilton Nationals and Charlotte Hounds, respectively.

Scott Ratliff was the first pick of the second round, going ninth to the Boston Cannons, and Davis Butts was taken early in the third round, 19th overall to the Denver Outlaws.

Joining Hawkins in Hamilton will be Reid Acton, the team’s fourth round pick, 26th overall.

Sawyer will be joined in Charlotte by former teammate Eric Lusby who was the top waiver pick after the NCAA season ended in early June. After missing the majority of the MLL season with an injury, the NCAA Championships Most Outstanding Player made his MLL debut on July 28 at Long Island and scored a goal. He then tallied three goals  in an August 11 win over Rochester.

 

Newtown Youth Clinic

Fourteen members of the Loyola men’s lacrosse team took time from their holiday vacation to travel to Newtown, Conn., for a clinic with the Newtown Lacrosse Association.

Led by freshman Jason Crane, the Greyhounds worked with more than 100 elementary and junior-high school-age players, many of whom attended Sandy Hook Elementary School where the shooting that killed 26 took place in December.

 

First NCAA Championship

Loyola won its first NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship, and the school’s first NCAA Division I title in any sport, on May 28 in Foxborough, Mass. The Greyhounds defeated Maryland, 9-3 in the title game, capping a season in which the Greyhounds tied an NCAA record with 18 victories.

 

Defense Wins Championships

The Greyhounds set a pair of records during their final two games of the 2012 season. Loyola held Maryland to just three goals, a title game record, and combined with allowing only five goals to Notre Dame in the semifinal, the Greyhounds set a Championship Weekend record for fewest yielded.

 

Returning From 2012

Head Coach Charley Toomey returns eight starters and 34 letterwinners from the 2012 Loyola team that won the NCAA Championship.

Back among the starters are attackmen Mike Sawyer and Justin Ward, first-line midfielders Davis Butts, Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan, defenders Reid Acton and Joe Fletcher and goalkeeper Jack Runkel.

The Greyhounds also return their top long-stick midfielder, Scott Ratliff, and their top three short-stick midfielders, Kyle Duffy, Josh Hawkins and Pat Laconi. A pair of second-line midfielders, Phil Dobson and Nikko Pontrello, also return.

 

The Ranks Of Alumni

Two Loyola starters and six players who played key roles on the NCAA Championship team have departed from a year ago.

Eric Lusby, who was the NCAA Championships Most Outstanding Player and finished 2012 with a school-record 54 goals, has departed from the attack, while defender Dylan Grimm, who had 42 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers, also graduated.

J.P. Dalton, who along with Lusby, Grimm and current senior Scott Ratliff, were team co-captains last year, took more than 92-percent of the team’s faceoffs last season. He was also drafted in the MLL Supplemental Draft by the Chesapeake Bayhawks in December

Pat Byrnes scored 10 goals and assisted on seven from Loyola’s second midfield. Kevin Moriarty was the team’s No. 2 long-stick midfielder, and Alex Yackery was in the defensive rotation.

 

Preseason Accolades

Six Loyola players were named to the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America teams: defender Joe Fletcher and short-stick midfielder Josh Hawkins (first team); attackman Mike Sawyer and long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff (second); midfielder Davis Butts (third); and, defender Reid Acton (honorable mention).

All six earned All-America honors last season with Sawyer earned Second Team honors and Ratliff was named to the Third Team. Acton, Butts, Fletcher and Acton earned Honorable Mention along with graduate student Eric Lusby.

In his first year as a starter, Fletcher was named to the NCAA and ECAC Championships All-Tournament Teams and earned a reputation as one of the top defenders in the nation. In 19 games as a sophomore, Fletcher caused 26 turnovers, second most on the team, and had 41 ground balls.

Hawkins has continued to be one of the top defensive midfielders in the nation and garnered considerable respect nationally for his play during the NCAA Championships. He earned NCAA All-Tournament honors and helped the Greyhounds limit Notre Dame and Maryland to a combined eight goals on Championships weekend. In addition to his six goals and two assists in 15 games last year, Hawkins was second on the team with 63 ground balls.

Sawyer was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player last season when he scored 52 goals and assisted on 10 more and was named the team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. During the regular-season, he led the ECAC in goals and goals per game while earning All-ECAC First Team honors. He became the second player to score 50 or more goals in a season and was joined by a third on last year’s team.

Ratliff continued to be one of the top long-stick midfielders in the nation and set a Loyola scoring record for the position last year. He finished with 12 goals and seven assists, exceeding current Loyola Assistant Coach Matt Dwan’s previous record for a long-stick midfielder set in 1995. In addition to his scoring, he tallied 88 ground balls and 37 caused turnovers while earning ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, ECAC Championships Most Valuable Player, NCAA All-Tournament Team and team co-defenisve player of the year honors.

Butts was a first-line midfielder for the Greyhounds for the second year in a row. He excelled as a dodger and finisher and ranked fourth on the team in points (35) and third in goals scored (21). A versatile player, Butts also saw plenty of action on the wings of faceoffs and in the defensive midfield where he picked up 40 ground balls.

Acton will enter 2013 having started on the Greyhounds’ defense each of the last three years. He finished the 2012 season with 44 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers, while helping Loyola record a 7.21 goals allowed per game average, the fifth-best mark in Division I. The Greyhounds set a pair of defensive records during Championship Weekend, holding Notre Dame and Maryland to a combined eight goals in the two games and allowing the Terrapins just three in the title match.

 

Team Captains Named

Four seniors were named team captains for the 2013 season. Scott Ratliff returns as a captain from last year, and he is joined by Reid Acton, Davis Butts and Mike Sawyer.

 

Between The Pipes

Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel set a career-high in the NCAA Semifinals with 15 saves against Notre Dame, setting a career-high. He narrowly eclipsed his previous best of 14 set on April 28 against Johns Hopkins.

The game was Runkel’s seventh this season with 10 or more saves in goal. The others came against Duke (12), at UMBC (13), at Fairfield (12), Johns Hopkins (14), at Denver in the ECAC Semifinals (10) and versus Denver in the Quarterfinals (11).

Runkel followed his performance in the Semifinal with a six-save, three-goals allowed performance in the title game against Maryland. He was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team for his efforts.

Runkel played to a 5.22 goals against average and .700 saves percentage in four NCAA Tournament games.

 

50-50

Eric Lusby and Mike Sawyer became the first duo in Loyola history with 50 goals each in the same season. Lusby finished with 54 goals, while Sawyer had 52.

They were two of three players in the NCAA last season to score 50 or more goals, joining Colgate’s Peter Baum (67).

The last time a pair of Division I teammates had 50 or more goals was 2010 when Duke’s Max Quinzani finished the year with 68, and Zach Howell tallied 51.

 

And, 60-60

Lusby and Sawyer ere also the only Loyola players to reach 60 points in the same season.

With his four-point effort in the Championship Game, Lusby set the school Division I record for points in a season with 71, eclipsing the 66 (29g, 37a) Brian Duffy had during the 1995 season. Sawyer ended the year with 62 points.

Gary Hanley has the top three points marks in school history with 89 in 1981, 86 in 1980 and 83 in 1979 when Loyola played Division II lacrosse.

 

Seven Earn All-America Honors in 2012

Attacker Mike Sawyer was named to the USILA All-America Second Team, and long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff earned Third Team honors earlier this week from the coaches’ association.

Five other Greyhounds – attacker Eric Lusby, midfielders Davis Butts and Josh Hawkins and defenders Reid Acton and Joe Fletcher – received honorable mention.

The seven honorees are the most for Loyola since seven received plaudits following the 1999 season. Sawyer and Ratliff are also the first Loyola players to receive All-America nods other than honorable mention since Gavin Prout was a first teamer in 2001.

 

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 senior does a lot, as he led the teamlast year  in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7). His 37 caused turnovers were second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.

A Tewaaraton Award semifinalist, 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 USILA All-America Third Team member, an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.

 

Ratliff’s Scoring

Scott Ratliff had his third multi-goal game of the season in the NCAA First Round against Canisius, and he then added a goal in the Quarterfinal against Denver, raising his season totals to 12 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 was 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 led all long poles last year with 19 goals and 24 points.

 

School Record In Wins

Loyola’s victory over Maryland in the NCAA Championship Game was its 18th 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.

The 18 wins also tied an NCAA Division I record for victories in a season.

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

 

Midfield Scoring

Loyola’s first midfield line of Davis Butts (21g, 35p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 27) and Chris Layne (11, 25) combined for 48 goals and 39 assists this season, while the second midfield unit of Pat Byrnes (10, 7), J.P. Dalton (9, 4) and Phil Dobson (8, 2) added 26 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.

 

Toomey Receives Morris Touchstone Award

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career, and in December, he received the coaches association’s Morris Touchstone Award as the national coach of the year.

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.

The win over Canisius in the First Round was the 60th victory of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 60 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .626 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

 

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 19 games. In all, Loyola scored three or more in a row on 37 occasions this season.

The Greyhounds used two 3-0 runs against Notre Dame in the NCAA Semifinal to advance to the title game.

Loyola then broke a 3-3 tie and held Maryland scoreless for the final 40:40 of the NCAA Championship Game while scoring the last six goals of the contest.

 

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds allowed a run of three or more goals just 12 times this year, with the last coming when Canisius scored three in the second quarter. Only Denver (seven in ECAC Semifinal), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

 

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds outscored opponents 66-22 in the third quarters of games and 123-63 overall last year in the second half (including overtime).

The second-half scoring continues a trend from 2011 when Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56.

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Towson hosts Saddler, Delaware Wednesday night

Posted on 05 February 2013 by WNST Staff

TOWSON HOSTS RIVAL DELAWARE ON WEDNESDAY SEEKING THIRD STRAIGHT WIN
The Game Can Be Seen Live on Comcast SportsNet

TOWSON, MD. - The Towson men’s basketball team will look to complete a season sweep of second-place Delaware on Wednesday as the Tigers host the Blue Hens in a game that can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.

Al Koken and Ron Thompson will be calling the action for CSN.

Towson (12-12, 7-4 CAA) is off to its best start ever in the CAA and best start overall since the 2006-07 season.

The Tigers are coming off an 81-68 win over UNC Wilmington on Monday night. The 81-point effort was the second best scoring performance by Towson this season.

Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon led four Tigers in double figures with 20 points to go along with 12 rebounds for his NCAA-leading 16th double-double. Freshman Jerome Hairston scored a season-high 18 points and junior Rafriel Guthrie chipped in 14 points off the bench.

Delaware (11, 6-3 CAA) currently sits in second-place in the CAA, just percentage points ahead of third-place Towson. The Blue Hens have won three straight games, including a 71-56 home win over UNC Wilmington on Saturday.

Junior guard Devon Saddler leads the team and ranks first in the CAA by averaging 19.3 points per game. Senior forward Jamelle Hagins is averaging a double-double this season with 12.4 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.

Wednesday will be the 70th all-time meeting between Towson and Delaware. The Tigers have only played Loyola (71) more often in their history.

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Towson looks to extend road win streak Wednesday at red hot Delaware

Posted on 15 January 2013 by WNST Staff

TOWSON TRAVELS TO RIVAL DELAWARE ON WEDNESDAY SEEKING FOURTH STRAIGHT ROAD WIN
Tigers Hoping To Halt Delaware’s Five-Game Win Streak

NEWARK, Del. - After having its four-game win streak snapped on Saturday, the Towson men’s basketball team will look to get back on track as the Tigers travel to rival Delaware on Wednesday night.

The game, set to tip at 7 p.m., can be heard live on the Towson Sports Network with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti calling the action.

Towson (8-9, 3-1 CAA) and Delaware (8-8, 3-0 CAA) will be meeting for the 69th time on Wednesday. The Tigers have only played Loyola (71) more often in their history.

Towson is coming off a 70-59 loss at home to CAA-leading Northeastern on Saturday. Junior Jerrelle Benimon posted his NCAA-leading 11th double-double in the game with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

After averaging 12.5 points and 3.0 assists per game last week, Tiger freshman Jerome Hairston was honored as the CAA Rookie of the Week on Monday. It was the second time this season that Hairston has garnered the weekly award.

Delaware is riding a season-high five game win streak and is one of only two undefeated teams in the CAA. The Blue Hens have won 10 consecutive CAA regular season games dating back to last season.

UD is led by high-scoring guard Devon Saddler and Jamelle Hagins, one of the top big men in the CAA. Saddler leads the league in scoring at 20.6 points per game and Hagins leads the country in rebounding with 11.9 boards a game.

Towson will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak to Delaware, including three losses last season.

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Towson visits Delaware in key CAA tilt Saturday

Posted on 02 November 2012 by WNST Staff

NEWARK, Del. – Facing a nationally-ranked Colonial Athletic Association opponent on the road for the second consecutive week, the No. 19 Tigers (4-4, 3-2) will face No. 23 University of Delaware (5-3, 2-3) on Saturday, November 3 at Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium at 12 noon.

The game will be nationally-televised on the NBC Sports Network with Ari Wolff and Anthony Herron calling the action while Carolyn Manno is the sideline reporter. The game will also be aired on the Tigers’ web site,www.TowsonTigers.com with Spiro Morekas and Ron Meehan handling the broadcast. The Tigers’ internet broadcast also features a one-hour pre-game show.

When the No. 19 Tigers face No. 23 Delaware, it will mark Towson’s fourth game of the season against a nationally-ranked NCAA FCS program. According to the NCAA, Towson is playing the fourth-toughest schedule of any FCS program. The Tigers have played two NCAA FBS programs, Kent State (6-1) and Louisiana State (8-1), in addition to their tough FCS slate.

Towson is coming off its best game of the season, a 49-35 victory over CAA co-leader Villanova last week on the road. In the victory, the Tigers rolled up a seasonal high 590 yards of total offense. Sophomore Terrance West,the Pre-Season CAA Offensive Player of the Year, had his best game of the season at Villanova. He ran for 144 yards on 23 carries and scored two rushing touchdowns. West also gave Towson a 21-7 first quarter lead when he caught a 78-yard touchdown pass.

In seven games this season, West has scored 11 touchdowns, including 10 rushing TD’s. Only a sophomore, West has scored 40 touchdowns in 18 career games.

Senior quarterback Grant Enders, the CAA Offensive Player of the Week, has been the catalyst for the Tigers’ offense. Enders has become the best two-way threat that the Tigers have ever had at quarterback. He ranks third in the CAA in total offense, averaging 275.8 yards per game. As a passer, he has completed 148 of 235 passes for 1,689 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is fourth in the CAA, averaging 208.6 passing yards per game. He is also the ninth-leading rusher in the CAA with 537 yards on 74 carries and four touchdowns.

Enders has already set the Towson single season record for rushing yards by a quarterback and he also holds the career record for rushing yards by a quarterback (924). He needs 76 more yards to become the first Tiger quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in his career.

In the win over Villanova, Enders had a career high 391 yards of total offense. In addition to passing for 269 yards and a career high four touchdowns, he also ran for a career best 122 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown.

Saturday’s game matches two of the top defenses in the CAA. Towson leads the CAA in total defense (308.0 yards per game) and pass defense (164.2 yards per game). Meanwhile, the Blue Hens are first in the CAA in rushing defense (115.2 ypg) and rank third in scoring defense (21.8 ppg).

Towson and Delaware are meeting for the 14th time in a series that started in 1982 when the Tigers were a nationally-ranked NCAA Division II program. The Blue Hens own a 9-4 lead in the series and have won five games in a row against Towson. Last season, Delaware handed Towson a 35-30 loss at Johnny Unitas® Stadium. It was Towson’s only conference loss en route to the CAA championship.

 “Delaware has been doing things the right way for a long time,” says Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. “Over the last few years, we have been striving to cut down the difference between our two programs. It’s an emotional game, partly because of the geography of the two schools. Our players know their players and their players know our players. Both schools recruit the same areas, for student-athletes as well as regular students.

“To win this game, I feel we are going to have to establish our running game,” Ambrose admits. “Delaware has a big, strong, veteran defensive line and it is going to be a challenge for us.”

Junior linebacker Monte Gaddis leads the Tiger defense. In eight games this season, he has made 62 tackles and ranks seventh in the CAA. With 10.5 tackles for lost yardage, he is second in the CAA behind freshman linebacker Jeff Williams of Delaware. Williams has made 12 tackles for lost yardage.

Senior safety Jordan Dangerfield and sophomore cornerback Tye Smith have also played well for the Tigers’ defense. A pre-season All-American, Dangerfield has 52 tackles and ranks eighth among CAA defensive backs. Smith has 51 tackles, ninth among CAA defensive backs.

Led by senior defensive end Romale Tucker, the Tigers top the CAA in quarterback sacks with 25 sacks. Those 25 sacks have been divided up among 11 different players. While Tucker has four sacks in seven games, senior defensive end Frank Beltre and Gaddis have four sacks in eight games.

This will be 10th time that Towson and Delaware have played at Delaware Stadium. The Blue Hens have won six of the nine previous games in Newark. The Tigers posted wins in 1983 (13-4), 1993 (32-30) and 2006 (49-35) while Delaware beat Towson in 1982 (51-7), 1984 (56-23), 1992 (55-27), 2004 (21-17), 2008 (31-21) and 2010 (48-0).

The Tigers, who were 4-0 in CAA road games last season, are 1-1 in CAA road games this year. Towson lost to James Madison on Oct. 6 (13-10) before beating Villanova last week.

Dating back to last season, Towson has won 10 of its last 13 CAA games.

After the Tigers’ trip to Delaware, they return to Unitas Stadium for their home finale against Rhode Island at 3:30 p.m.

TIGER TALES:  This week’s game will be Towson’s sixth appearance in a televised game this season … Previously, the Tigers made two appearances on NBC SportsNet, beating William & Mary and losing at James Madison … Towson’s season-opening loss at Kent State was televised on Comcast SportsNet-Plus … When Towson played at Louisiana State, the game was aired nationally on ESPNU … The Towson-Villanova game was aired on Comcast Mid-Atlantic.

The Tigers have done an excellent job controlling the time of possession this season … In their first eight games of the season, the Tigers have controlled the time of possession seven times … While averaging 33:29 in time of possession, Towson ranks sixth in NCAA FCS in time of possession … National champion North Dakota State leads FCS football in time of possession at 35:44 per game … Montana State (34:23) is second while Liberty (34:20) is third … Eastern Kentucky is fourth at 34:04, just ahead of San Diego (33:54)  … For the season, Towson has 178 first downs while its opponents have 142 … The Tigers have 3,354 total yards while allowing 2,464 total yards … Towson has run 554 plays while its opponents have run 496 offensive plays.

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Despite Being Pittsburgh Native, New Ravens OL Gradkowski Thinks Steelers Suck

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Despite Being Pittsburgh Native, New Ravens OL Gradkowski Thinks Steelers Suck

Posted on 28 April 2012 by WNST Audio

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Ravens select Delaware center Gino Gradkowski with 98th overall pick

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Ravens select Delaware center Gino Gradkowski with 98th overall pick

Posted on 28 April 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Needing to address the center position with veteran Matt Birk not getting any younger, the Ravens wasted no time on the third day of the draft by selecting Delaware’s Gino Gradkowski with the third pick of the fourth round.

Able to play both center and guard, the 6-foot-3, 300-pound Gradkowski will compete for the vacant left guard job as well as continue to develop at the center position. The younger brother of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, the Blue Hens product joins quarterback Joe Flacco in Baltimore.

“It’s a perfect spot for me,” Gradkowski said. “Come in and maybe play guard my first year and eventually take over at center, and that’s what I was looking to do. Get in behind a veteran like Matt Birk. I’m really excited to meet him and pick his brain about football. It’s a perfect scenario, and I just couldn’t be happier.”

Gradkowski was the second center taken off the board in the 2012 NFL Draft after Wisconsin’s Peter Konz was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round. The Houston Texans took the third center off the board with the pick immediately following the Ravens, grabbing George center Ben Jones with the 99th overall pick.

The Ravens showed plenty of interest in Gradkowski throughout the draft process as he reportedly made a pre-draft visit to Baltimore.

“I’m elated right now because Baltimore plays football the way it’s supposed to be played,’ Gradkowski said.

The Gradkowski pick at 98th overall was made possible by general manager Ozzie Newsome’s decision to trade the Ravens’ first-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for the third pick of the second round (35th overall) and the third pick of the fourth round, where Baltimore grabbed the center.

A Pittsburgh native, Gradkowski began his collegiate career at West Virginia before transferring to FCS school Delaware due to a lack of playing time with the Mountaineers. He was a co-captain for the Blue Hens in his senior season.

Though he transferred to Delaware after Flacco was already taking snaps in Baltimore, Gradkowski is looking forward to potentially forming an all-Blue Hens quarterback-center combination in the future.

“I have heard a lot of great things about him, and I am excited to meet him,” Gradkowski said. “I feel like, from the things I have heard, we are very similar personality wise.”

Listen to Gradkowski’s conference call with the Baltimore media here.

 

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Towson Looks to Extend Streak Saturday Night at Hofstra on WNST

Posted on 31 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Opening Face-Off
The Tigers (5-3, 1-0 CAA) will be seeking their fourth straight victory when they travel to Hempstead, N.Y. to take on No. 20 Hofstra (4-4, 1-1 CAA) Saturday evening. The contest will be the first CAA road game for Towson, which is 2-2 away from Johnny Unitas® Stadium this year. Opening face-off is set for 7:00 p.m. and fans can catch the game live on WNST-AM 1570 with Spiro Morekas and Hunter Lochte calling the action.

Updating the Tigers
With a 5-3 overall record, Towson boasts its best mark after eight games since the 2007 season in which the Tigers started 5-3 as well. Towson ended that year with a 9-7 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers have seen a number of significant contributions during their winning streak, including a four-goal effort from senior Matt Lamon against Mercer and a three-assist day for freshman Justin Mabus against Delaware. Six different Towson players have double-digit points for the season, led by Sean Maguire’s 20 points on a team-high 15 goals and five assists. With Mabus’ three assists against the Blue Hens, the rookie now leads the team in that category with nine. The well balanced Tiger offense is coming off a game in which five different players registered two goals.

Scouting the Pride
After starting the season 1-2, Hofstra has won three of its last five games and is ranked No. 20 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) national poll. The Pride have played three nationally-ranked foes, topping then-No. 20 Delaware (13-5) and falling to current No. 15 Fairfield and No. 6 Notre Dame. The loss to the Fighting Irish occurred in overtime while the setback against the Stags was a triple overtime heartbreaker. Junior Adrian Sorichetti paces Hofstra with 27 points on 18 goals and nine assists while goalkeeper Andrew Gvozden ranks second in the CAA averaging 11.12 saves per game.

Towson-Hofstra Series History
The Tigers and Pride will be meeting for the 43rd time on the lacrosse field Saturday. Towson has only played Loyola (54) and Delaware (53) more often in its history. The Pride own a narrow 24-18 advantage in the all-time series history, including four straight wins. The last time the Tigers won in Hempstead was April 17, 2004.

Tigers Receiving Votes In National Polls
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Towson men’s lacrosse team received votes in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) national poll. After the 20 ranked teams, the Tigers are in a group along with Bryant, Drexel, Yale, Navy, Harvard, Robert Morris and UMBC that are receiving votes and on the brink of breaking into the national Top 20.

CAA Honors Mabus
After dishing out three assists and scoring his first goal of the season last week, Towson freshman Justin Mabus earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors, the league announced Monday. Mabus currently leads the Tigers with nine assists in just six games.

In The National Rankings
Towson ranks Top 10 in the nation in a pair of categories. The Tigers are second in the country in shot percentage by scoring on 37.4 percent of their shots. Only Bucknell (41.0 percent) ranks higher. Additionally, the Tigers are eighth in the nation in man-up offense. In 22 man-up opportunities this season, Towson has tallied 11 goals.

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Towson Tops Delaware in CAA Opener

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – Five different Tigers posted multi-goal games as Towson cruised past rival Delaware, 13-8, in its Colonial Athletic Association opener Saturday evening at Johnny Unitas® Stadium.

Towson (5-3, 1-0 CAA), which never trailed in the game, has now won three straight for the first time since the 2010 season. The five-goal margin of victory is the Tigers’ largest against the Blue Hens since an 18-4 win on March 23, 2002.

“We were very pleased with our energy, focus and execution tonight,” said Towson head coach Shawn Nadelen. “It was our most complete game of the year and it came against and extremely talented Delaware team. The great thing is we are getting better and improving. We’re going to enjoy this win, but we have some extremely tough games ahead.”

Sophomore Thomas DeNapoli recorded a career-high four points with two goals and two assists to lead the Tigers. Senior’s Sean Maguire and Matt Lamon, sophomore Andrew Hodgson and freshman Robby Zoppo also posted multi-goal games for the Tigers.

Junior Ian Mills was impressive once again for the Tigers, winning 17 of 25 face-off’s. Junior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage was solid in the cage, posting eight saves and picking up his fifth win of the season.

For the second straight game, Towson got on the board less than five seconds into the game as Mills took the opening draw and fed Lamon for his eighth goal of the season before four ticks could come off the clock. Freshman Justin Mabus and Zoppo followed with goals and the Tigers led 3-0 less than seven minutes into the contest.

Delaware (3-6, 0-2 CAA) would score three of the next four goals to cut the Tiger lead to 4-3 at the end of the opening period. After the teams exchanged goals early in the second quarter, Zoppo and Maguire registered consecutive goals for Towson to give the Tigers a 7-4 halftime advantage.

After an even 2-2 third quarter, the Blue Hens remained within striking distance down just three goals entering the final period. Maguire posted his team-high 15th goal of the season at the 13:13 mark of the fourth quarter, but consecutive Delaware goals would bring the Blue Hens to within 10-8 with 8:39 remaining.

Towson would close the game strong though, netting three goals in a 2:20 span to seal the victory.

The Tigers outshot the Blue Hens by a 36-29 margin and went 3-for-6 in extra man opportunities.

Towson will play its first CAA road game of the season on Saturday, March 31 at No. 19 Hofstra. Opening face-off from Hempstead, N.Y. is set for 7 p.m.


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Towson Hopes to Extend Winning Streak Saturday Against Delaware

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Opening Face-Off
The Tigers have won back-to-back games and are above the .500 mark for the first time since a season-opening win at Jacksonville. With its 17-8 victory over Mercer on Wednesday, Towson notched the program’s 400th career win. Saturday the Tigers open up Colonial Athletic Association play against long-time rival Delaware. Opening face-off is set for 7:30 p.m. and fans can catch the game live on WNST-AM 1570 withSpiro Morekas and Hunter Lochte calling the action.

Updating the Tigers 
With consecutive victories over Stony Brook and Mercer, the Towson men’s lacrosse team has posted back-to-back wins for the first time since April 2010. The Tigers boast a winning record at 4-3 at the exact midpoint of the season. It marks the first time Towson has had a winning record after seven games since the 2007 season in which the Tigers started 5-2. Towson ended that year with a 9-7 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Four different Tigers have double-digit points on the year, led by senior Sean Maguire’s 17 points on 13 goals and four assists. After his second three-assist game of the year on Wednesday, freshman Justin Mabus continues to pace the squad with nine helpers to go along with one goal. Junior Matt Hughes (16) and sophomore Thomas DeNapoli (11) join Maguire and Mabus with double-digit points for the Tigers.

Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware, which was nationally-ranked during the first few weeks of the season, enters tonight with a 3-5 overall record and an 0-1 mark in CAA games. Despite their record, the Blue Hens have picked up a pair of wins over ranked teams this season. UD topped then-No. 12 Bucknell on on February 11 and defeated then-No. 8 Villanova on March 3. Delaware is led by Grant Kaleikau’s 33 points on 13 goals and 20 assists. Danny Keane is the only other Blue Hen to have double-digit points with 12 goals and three assists.

Towson-Delaware Series History 
The Tigers and Blue Hens will be meeting for the 53rd time on the lacrosse field tonight. Towson has only played Loyola (54) more often in its history. The Tigers own a 35-17 advantage in the all-time series history, including victories in each of the last two meetings. In the last 12 matchups between the rivals, Towson is 9-3.

Career Efforts
A number of Tigers put forth career-best efforts in the win over Mercer on Wednesday. Perhaps most notably, junior Matt Lamon tallied a career-high four goals on just six shots. Sean Maguire (3), Matt Hughes (3) and Andrew Hodgson (2) all matched their career-highs in goals. Maguire recorded a hat trick for the second time this season, Hughes netted his sixth career three-goal game and Hodgson got on the scoreboard twice in a game for the fourth time in his career.

Scoring in Bunches
Towson tallied a season-high 17 goals against Mercer on Wednesday and nine different Tigers scored. The 17 goals are the most scored by the Tigers since an 18-12 victory over Penn on April 26, 2008. Towson’s nine-goal first half and eight-goal second half are also the two top scoring halves by the squad this season.

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Towson Hopes to Bounce Back Saturday at Stony Brook

Posted on 17 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Opening Face-Off
After splitting a pair of home games, the Towson men’s lacrosse team returns to the road this weekend to take on Stony Brook. The non-conference matchup is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday. Fans can catch the game live on WNST-AM 1570 with Spiro Morekas and Hunter Lochte calling the action.

Updating the Tigers
Coming off a 10-6 loss to Navy on Tuesday, Towson will return to the road for the first time in three weeks. Senior attackman Sean Maguire, who is riding an eight-game point streak, leads the Tigers with 11 points on a team-high nine goals to go along with a pair of assists. Senior Carl Iacona is coming off his first multi-goal game of the season and classmate Matt Lamon has four points in his last two outings.

Scouting the Seawolves
Stony Brook enters Saturday with a 1-4 record, but the Seawolves lone win came against nationally-ranked Delaware. After dropping its first three games to open up the 2012 season, Stony Brook topped the Blue Hens on the road, 7-6, on March 10. In their last outing on Tuesday, the Seawolves fell, 11-9, at home to St. John’s. Senior Russ Bonanno leads the team with 13 points on eight goals and five assists. Junior goalkeeper Sean Brady has played all but 30 minutes in the cage for the Seawolves and boasts a 10.44 goals-against-average with 39 saves.

Last Year’s Towson-Stony Brook Meeting
Towson attackman Matt Hughes scored a game-high three goals, including the eventual game-winner with 9:50 left in the fourth quarter, as the Tigers earned a 9-8 non-conference victory over fifth-ranked Stony Brook University at Johnny Unitas® Stadium. Led by Hughes, who posted his third “hat trick” in the last four games, the Tigers defeated a top five opponent for the first time since April 27, 1996 when they defeated fifth-ranked Johns Hopkins by a 13-12 margin at Homewood Field.

Towson-Stony Brook Series History
The Tigers and Seawolves will be meeting for just the third time in the series history on Saturday. In 2010, Stony Brook picked up a 14-11 home win and Towson responded last year with a narrow 9-8 victory on its home turf.

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