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Loyola aims for first D1 title in school history Monday

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Loyola aims for first D1 title in school history Monday

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent NCAA Championship Game | Maryland Terrapins
Date Monday, May 28, 2012
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Foxborough, Mass. | Gillette Stadium
TV | Radio ESPN | ESPN3 | Sirius XM 91
Series Record Maryland leads, 18-2
Last Meeting Maryland 19, Loyola 8 – NCAA Semis – Piscataway, N.J.

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will play for the NCAA Championship for the third time in the school’s 73 seasons of lacrosse history when it takes on the University of Maryland at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 28.

Despite just 30.67 miles (as the crow flies according to DaftLogic.com) separating the campuses, the game will be played 338 miles from Loyola’s campus at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

On The Tube, Web And Radio

The game will be broadcast live on ESPN 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.

Westwood One Sports/Dial Global will provide the NCAA Radio Network broadcast of the Championships with Dave Ryan on the play-by-play and Steve Panarelli on analysis. It can be heard on Sirius/XM 91 worldwide. A complete list of stations can be found at dialglobalsports.com.

Series History

Loyola and Maryland will meet for the 21st time in series history – the Terrapins hold an 18-2 lead in the previous 20 games – and the second time in NCAA Championships play. (complete list of games on page six of notes)

The teams have not squared off since Maryland won a 19-8 decision on May 23, 1998, in the NCAA Semifinals at Rutgers University. Monday’s game will be just the third meeting of the teams since 1989 and the third since Loyola joined NCAA Division I in 1982.

Loyola won the initial meeting between the schools, 17-6, on April 6, 1940, but the Terrapins then won 17 in a row before the Greyhounds scored a 10-8 victory on March 19, 1989.

NCAA Championships History

Loyola is making its 20th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 18th at the Division I level. The Greyhounds are 11-19 all-time in Championships play, 11-17 at the Division I level.

Monday’s game will be Loyola third appearance in an NCAA Championship Game and second at the Division I level.

Loyola, with current Head Coach Charley Toomey as the team co-captain and goalkeeper, last played in the title game on May 28, 1990, when Syracuse defeated the Greyhounds, 21-9.

The Greyhounds also took part in the NCAA Division II-III Championship Game on May 17, 1981, when it lost to Adelphi, 17-14.

As an institution, Loyola has won one national title, the 1976 NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer crown.

Five, Twice In A Row

Eric Lusby scored five goals in the NCAA Semifinal against Notre Dame, duplicating a performance he had in the Quarterfinal round against Denver. Lusby is the first Loyola player to score five in consecutive games since Mike Sawyer did it against Bellarmine (March 5) and Duke (March 11) during the 2011 season.

Lusby’s Tournament

Eric Lusby is thus far the leading scorer in this year’s NCAA Tournament, tallying 13 goals and five assists for 18 points. He is three goals shy of tying the tournament record of 16 set in 2006 by Matt Ward and matched in 2007 by Duke’s Zach Greer.

His 13 are tied for seventh all-time. Loyola’s Chris Colbeck scored 14 in the 1990 tournament and is tied for fourth with Paul Rabil (Johns Hopkins, 2008) and Gary Gait (Syracuse, 1988). Gait is also third with 15 in 1990.

He has hat tricks in all three games Loyola has played after scoring three in the First Round against Canisius and five in both sequential games.

Runkel Stops 15

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 has played to a 5.97 goals against average and .622 saves percentage in three NCAA Tournament games.

Defense Limits Chances

Loyola’s defense held Notre Dame to just 28 shots, four below the Fighting Irish’s season average of 32.3 heading into the game, and the Greyhounds’ unit helped goalkeeper Jack Runkel make 15 saves by limiting inside chances.

As a unit, Loyola forced Notre Dame into 14 turnovers, although the team was credited with just seven caused turnovers.

Joe Fletcher caused three of the turnovers and picked up a career-high seven ground balls, while Reid Acton, Scott Ratliff, Josh Hawkins and Runkel each had a caused turnover.

50-50

Eric Lusby and Mike Sawyer became the first duo in Loyola history with 50 goals each in the same season. Sawyer now stands with 51 goals, a Loyola single-season record, while Lusby has 50, tied with Tim Goettelmann for second in season history at the school.

They are two of three players in the NCAA this season to score 50 or more goals, joining Colgate’s Peter Baum (67). Last season, just one player (Robert Morris’ Trevor Moore, 50) had 50 or more.

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 are also the only Loyola players to reach 60 points in the same season.

With his six-point effort on Saturday afternoon, Lusby set the school Division I record for points in a season with 67, eclipsing the 66 (29g, 37a) Brian Duffy had during the 1995 season.

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

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.

Sawyer Sets Goals Record

Mike Sawyer scored the first goal of Loyola’s NCAA Quarterfinal game against Denver and broke the school single-season record for goals in the process.

Sawyer now has 51 goals this season, breaking the previous best of 50 set by Tim Goettelmann in 2000. 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 60, 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).

Three-For-Three

Loyola completed a three-game sweep of Denver with its 10-9 NCAA Quarterfinal victory last Saturday, marking the first time in school history the Greyhounds had ever played a team three times in a season.

It is the third time a team has beaten another three times in a season (thanks to Patrick Stevens of The Washington Times for the research). Loyola joins the 1992 Maryland (vs. Duke), 2007 Duke (vs. North Carolina) and 2009 Duke (vs. North Carolina) teams to have accomplished the feat.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the nation this season, combining for 101 goals in 18 games this season, an average of 5.61 per game.

Sawyer has scored 51 goals, and his 2.83 goals per game average is sixth-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 50 goals and a 2.78 goals per game mark, a number that is eighth in the country. Loyola is the only school to have two players in top 10 nationally.

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.

The duo is now the top goal-scoring tandem in Loyola single-season history, eclipsing the performance in 2000 by Goettelmann and Prout.

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 (83) and caused turnovers (35), is fifth in goals (12) and is seventh in assists (7). His 34 caused turnovers are second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.

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, 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 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.

Ward Dishes Out Assists

Justin Ward was credited an assist on an Eric Lusby goal against Notre Dame raising his season total to 31, and his 1.72 assists per game are 21st nationally. Those numbers are tops among the players on the four teams in the NCAA Semifinals.

Ward is the first Loyola player this century to reach 30 assists, and his total is the most since Brian Duffy had 34 in 1996.

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 Notre Dame in the NCAA Semifinals was its 17th 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.

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 (20g, 33p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 27) and Chris Layne (11, 22) has combined for 47 goals and 35 assists this season, while 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.

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 (3/14-3/17) and 1999 (3/6-3/8).

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

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 17-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play. The NCAA Championship Game will be Toomey’s 100th as a head coach.

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.

All-ECAC Honors

Five Loyola players earned All-ECAC Lacrosse League honors form the conference’s coaches. Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff, who was also named ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, 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 second nationally, in goals (51). Butts has scored 20 goals and assisted on 13 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also regularly playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 39 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 third nationally with 50 goals, and he also has 17 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 39 ground balls and 25 caused turnovers entering the NCAA title game.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 18 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 36 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.

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

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just 12 times this year, with the most recent 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 have now outscored opponents 65-22 in the third quarters of games and 119-63 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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Former Navy coach Meade takes Furman post

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

FOXBOROUGH, MASS. — Furman University director of athletics Dr. Gary Clark announced today that U.S. men’s national senior team coach Richie Meade has been named the school’s first men’s head lacrosse coach.

The announcement was made by Clark and Furman president Rod Smolla at a press conference at Gillette Stadium, site of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship.

Furman, a private, co-educational university of 2,700 students in Greenville, S.C., and member of the Southern Conference, announced on Feb. 9 that it would add men’s and women’s lacrosse to its Division I athletics program.  The teams will begin varsity competition by the 2014-15 academic year.

“Richie Meade is the ideal person to jump start our new men’s lacrosse program at Furman,” Clark said.  “He sports a tremendous combination of experience and leadership to help grow lacrosse in a non-traditional area of the country.  We are thrilled to have Richie join the Furman family.”

Said Meade, “My family and I are very excited with the opportunity to join the Furman community. I am grateful to President Smolla and Gary Clark for their faith and trust in me.  We will build our program with integrity, substance, and toughness.  Our goal will be to compete with passion, skill and honor, and to graduate individuals who will make a difference in the world and reflect the values of a great American university.”

Meade was named head coach of the U.S. men’s national senior team by US Lacrosse in December. He is the 12th head coach in the history of the men’s senior team program, and he will lead Team USA in its title defense at the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship in Denver, Colo., July 10-19.

“We are very pleased that such a well-respected and highly qualified coach as Richie Meade has agreed to lead our men’s lacrosse program,” said Smolla.  “His connections in the sport are unparalleled, and he has enjoyed great success in coaching and recruiting at the national level.  We welcome Richie and his family to the Furman community, and we look forward to seeing the men’s lacrosse program grow and prosper under his guidance.”

A 35-year veteran of collegiate coaching, Meade most recently served as head coach for the United States Naval Academy men’s team from 1994-2011, where he led the Midshipmen to a 142-97 (.589) record. In his 21-year career as a head coach, including four years at the University of Baltimore, Meade compiled a 162-120 (.585) ledger.

During Meade’s head coaching tenure at Navy, his teams claimed five Patriot League regular season and tournament titles, appeared in seven NCAA tournaments, and racked up 39 All-America citations. In 2004, Navy advanced to the national championship game and Meade was honored with the Morris Touchstone Memorial Award as National Coach of the Year. He also was twice named Patriot League Coach of the Year (2004 & ’07).

Meade began his coaching career as an assistant at Duke University in 1977. Following a two-year stint in Durham, he moved on to the University of North Carolina, where he served as an assistant for one year before accepting his first head coaching job at the University of Baltimore (1980-83).  In 1984 he was named defensive coordinator at Navy (1984-88) before returning to Chapel Hill (1989-90) for a two-year stint as offensive coordinator.  He accepted the same post, as well as an instructor’s role in physical education, at the United States Military Academy in 1991, remaining there for three seasons, before returning to Navy as head coach in 1994, becoming the seventh lacrosse mentor in school history.

In addition his coaching duties with the Midshipmen, he also served as a tenured professor of physical education and is a Senior Fellow at the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the Naval Academy.

He has served the sport in a variety of administrative positions, including the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Rules Advisory Committee, U.S. Lacrosse Men’s Coaches Council, and NCAA Rules and Equipment Committee.  Since 2005, he has been president of the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) and over the last two years has served as executive director of the Wounded Warrior Project Lacrosse.

A native of Williston Park, N.Y., Meade attended and played lacrosse at Nassau (N.Y.) Community College.  He then transferred to the University of North Carolina, from which he graduated with a B.A. in 1976 with a degree in parks and recreation administration.  He later added an M.S. from UNC in 1979.

Meade is a member of both the New York Metropolitan Long Island Lacrosse Hall of Fame and University of Baltimore Athletic Hall of Fame.

He and his wife, Sue, have three daughters:  Jillian, Shannon Grace, and Cassidy.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT FURMAN’S RICHIE MEADE… 

“Richie Meade represents everything that is good about college lacrosse. Furman University hit a home run. Coach Meade is a well-respected individual that brings instant credibility to Furman. He is an outstanding coach, strong recruiter and dynamic leader. Most importantly, he is a tremendous human being. Hats off to Furman for recognizing what a special individual Coach Meade is.”

Dave Pietramala
Men’s Lacrosse Coach
Johns Hopkins University

“The announcement of Furman adding Division I men’s lacrosse was exciting to all who love the game and want to witness its growth. The hiring of Coach Meade shows great conviction and dedication by Furman to get the absolute best lacrosse man possible to lead that charge.  I am thrilled for Richie, his family, the university, and all of lacrosse, that this great coach is back in the college game.”

Bill Tierney
Men’s Lacrosse Coach
University of Denver
National Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductee

“Rarely does a start-up program have the chance to hire someone with the experience and ability of Richie Meade. Furman University is fortunate to have a proven winner, a man of integrity and a committed leader like Richie.”

Kevin Corrigan
Men’s Lacrosse Coach
University of Notre Dame

“Furman is not only hiring one of the best lacrosse coaches of all time, but they are hiring one of the best leaders, a tremendous motivator and a wonderful person. You build a program from the ground floor up and this foundation with Coach Meade is rock solid. I couldn’t be happier for both Furman and Coach Meade.”

David Cottle
Chesapeake Bayhawks (MLL)

“Furman University has hit a home run with this hire.  No one is more capable of building a Division 1 lacrosse program from scratch to national prominence than coach Meade.  He is one of the most respected coaches in lacrosse.  He is a proven winner and, most importantly, a leader, teacher and mentor of young men.  Coach Meade’s passion for and commitment to developing leaders of integrity who are also athletes will reverberate across the Furman campus in the same manner that it did at the Naval Academy. I congratulate the search committee on their excellent choice of coach Meade to lead the Furman lacrosse program.”

Dr. Tom Virgets
Senior Associate Athletics Director/ Head Physical Education
United States Naval Academy

“Richie Meade, USA Team head coach, is arguably the best collegiate lacrosse coach in the country.  With the hiring of Coach Meade to head up its new program, Furman University has stamped its name on the lacrosse collegiate landscape in a most prominent way.  He is an absolute winner. The boys who will experience his leadership will be better men for it and Furman, as time passes, will be increasingly proud to call Richie Meade their head lacrosse coach.”

Coach Jack Emmer
National Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductee

“This is absolutely a tremendous hire by Furman University!  Richie Meade is one of the most respected, admired and revered men’s lacrosse coaches in the history of our sport. Furman lacrosse has just now burst onto the Division 1 lacrosse world. For Furman to land the next Team USA head job is just brilliant. The future of Paladin lacrosse could not be brighter. I am so happy for Richie, his family, and Furman athletics.”

Mike Pressler
Men’s Lacrosse
Coach 
Bryant Univeristy
Head Coach, Team USA 2010

“Furman’s hiring of Richie Meade as its lacrosse coach is great news for the sport of lacrosse and also for one of college lacrosse’s most respected coaches. The announcement of a new Division I lacrosse program in South Carolina at a school with Furman’s athletic reputation is a positive step in the growth of the men’s game. Having Richie Meade as the individual responsible for the leadership of a start-up program is another positive in ensuring that Furman lacrosse is in most capable hands.  I think the kids who compete for Furman will benefit by having Richie as their coach.  The people involved in anything you do are the most important and significant factors.  Richie will get good kids. Their experience as undergraduates and lacrosse players will be enhanced by studying at Furman and having a coach like Richie Meade.”

Willie Scroggs
Senior Associate Athletics Director
University of North Carolina
National Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductee

“Furman’s announcement that coach Meade has been hired to lead the men’s lacrosse program is evidence of the excellence that is a hallmark of the university. Coach Meade brings national credibility to the upstart Furman program, and it is the perfect pairing of a coach whose integrity and coaching prowess have turned young men into leaders and a university whose priorities and goals are perfectly aligned with the coach.  It is a great match.”

Dan Einstein
Furman Lacrosse Advisory Committee

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Loyola, Notre Dame square off Saturday in Final Four

Posted on 25 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent NCAA Semifinals | Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Date Saturday, May 26, 2012
Time 2:30 p.m.
Location Foxborough, Mass. | Gillette Stadium
TV | Radio ESPN2 | ESPN3 | Sirius XM 91
Series Record Loyola leads, 13-6
Last Meeting Notre Dame 11, Loyola 9 – March 6, 2010 – M&T Bank Stad.

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will make its third appearance in the NCAA Semifinals on Saturday, May 26, 2012, when it takes on the University of Notre Dame at 2:30 p.m.

The team will faceoff on the field at Gillette Stadium, home of the National Football League’s New England Patriots, in Foxborough, Mass. The winner of the game will face the winner of the other national semifinal between Duke and Maryland.

On The Tube, Web And Radio

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.

Westwood One Sports/Dial Global will provide the NCAA Radio Network broadcast of the Championships with Dave Ryan on the play-by-play and Steve Panarelli on analysis. It can be heard on Sirius/XM 91 worldwide. A complete list of stations can be found at dialglobalsports.com.

Series History

Loyola and Notre Dame will meet for the 20th time in series history on Saturday and the third time in NCAA Championships play. Loyola holds a 13-6 advantage in the all-time series, but the Fighting Irish have won the last four meetings and six of the last nine. (Complete series history on page six of the notes)

The teams last played on March 6, 2010, in another NFL stadium. They met at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, home of the Ravens, in the Konica-Minolta Face-Off Classic where Notre Dame came away with an 11-9 victory. In all, this will mark the third time the teams have played in an NFL venue. They also faced off in the 1998 IKON Classic at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, former home of the Baltimore Colts.

The last seven meetings in the series have been decided by a total of nine goals with five of the games coming down to a one-goal difference.

Loyola and Notre Dame have played twice in the NCAA Championships, both in the first round, and each team has been the victor once. The Fighting Irish defeated the Greyhounds, 15-12, in Baltimore in the 2000 First Round, and Loyola was a 21-5 first-round winner in 1997.

NCAA Championships History

Loyola is making its 20th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 18th at the Division I level. The Greyhounds are 10-19 all-time in Championships play, 10-17 at the Division I level.

Saturday’s game will be the Greyhounds third appearance in the NCAA Semifinals, first since 1998 when then lost 19-8 to Maryland in Piscataway, N.J. Loyola is 1-1 in NCAA Semifinal games having defeated Yale, 14-13 in overtime, in 1990 to advance to the title game.

Sawyer Sets Goals Record

Mike Sawyer scored the first goal of Loyola’s NCAA Quarterfinal game last Saturday and broke the school single-season record for goals in the process.

Sawyer now has 51 goals this season, breaking the previous best of 50 set by Tim Goettelmann in 2000. 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 59, 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).

Lusby Right Behind After 5-Goal Game

After tying his career-high with five goals in the Greyhounds 10-9 victory over Denver, Eric Lusby leads the team with 61 points and is not far behind Mike Sawyer in the goals column with 45.

Lusby recorded a career-high seven points in the win over the Pioneers and was involved in all but three of the Greyhounds goals after recording two assists. He scored back-to-back goals twice, once during the second quarter and again in the third.

Three-For-Three

Loyola completed a three-game sweep of Denver with its 10-9 NCAA Quarterfinal victory last Saturday, marking the first time in school history the Greyhounds had ever played a team three times in a season.

It is the third time a team has beaten another three times in a season (thanks to Patrick Stevens of The Washington Times for the research). Loyola joins the 1992 Maryland (vs. Duke), 2007 Duke (vs. North Carolina) and 2009 Duke (vs. North Carolina) teams to have accomplished the feat.

Faceoff Turnaround

Loyola’s J.P. Dalton dominated the faceoff ‘X’ on Saturday against Denver, winning 17-of-22 (.772) against Denver’s Chase Carraro. It was a vast departure from the first two times the teams squared off where the Pioneers went a combined 30-of-45 (.667).

In the regular-season meeting between the teams, Carraro was 13-of-14 at the X, and he went 16-of 29 against the Greyhounds in the ECAC Semifinal game.

Dalton’s 17 wins were one off his career-high set earlier this season against Air Force.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the nation this season, combining for 96 goals in 17 games this season, an average of 5.65 per game.

Sawyer has scored 51 goals, and his 3.0 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 45 goals and a 2.65 goals per game mark, a number that is 11th in the country. Loyola is one of two schools to have two players in the top 11 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.

The duo is now the top goal-scoring tandem in Loyola single-season history, eclipsing the performance in 2000 by Goettelmann and Prout.

Two Over 40/50

Mike Sawyer (51g, 59p) and Eric Lusby (45g, 62p) 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 (79) and caused turnovers (34), is fifth in goals (12) and is seventh in assists (7). His 34 caused turnovers are second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official in 2008.

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, 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 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.

Ward Dishes Out Assists

Justin Ward was credited with two assists in the NCAA Quarterfinal against Denver, raising his season total to 30, and his 1.76 assists per game are now tied for 19th nationally. Those numbers are tops among the remaining players on the four teams in the NCAA Semifinals.

Ward is the first Loyola player this century to reach 30 assists, and his total is the most since Brian Duffy had 34 in 1996.

NCAA Semifinals Connections

Kevin Ryan’s family will have a rare connection to Loyola’s place in the NCAA Semifinals historically after this weekend. Ryan, who scored an EMO goal in the Quarterfinals against Denver, is the cousin of Sean Quinn and Kevin Quinn who played on Loyola’s semifinal teams in 1990 and 1998, respectively. Sean was a starting defender on the 1990 team, and Kevin a midfielder on the 1998 team.

Phil Dobson, a Loyola midfielder, will face his older brother, Devon, for the first time on a collegiate lacrosse field. Devon is a defensive midfielder for the Fighting Irish.

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 Denver in the NCAA Quarterfinals was its 16th 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.

Second-Half Run

Loyola used 13 unanswered goals to break open a 4-3 halftime lead against Canisius 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.

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 (19g, 32p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 27) and Chris Layne (11, 21) has combined for 46 goals and 34 assists this season, while 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.

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 (3/14-3/17) and 1999 (3/6-3/8).

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

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 16-1 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.

The win over Denver in the Quarterfinals 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 .619 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, who was also named ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, 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 (51) and goals per game (3.0). Butts has scored 19 goals and assisted on 13 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also regularly playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 38 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 11th nationally with 45 goals (2.68 per game), and he also has 16 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 32 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers entering the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 17 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 34 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 12 times this year, with the most recent 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.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 48-percent of the time (24-of-50). Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year. Loyola dropped below 50-percent for the first time this year by going 4-of-10 in the game against Denver.

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 63-22 in the third quarters of games and 117-61 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, 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 opens NCAA Tournament with visit from Canisius Saturday

Posted on 11 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent Canisius Golden Griffins
Date Saturday, May 12, 2012
Time 5:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex
TV | Radio ESPNU | ESPN3
Series Record First Meeting
Last Meeting First Meeting

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will host a NCAA Championships First Round game on Saturday, May 12, 2012, as the top seed in the 2012 Championships. The Greyhounds welcome Canisius College to Ridley Athletic Complex for a 5 o’clock game.

The winner of the Loyola-Canisius game will meet the winner of North Carolina and Denver on Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Annapolis, Md.

On The Tube And Web

The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU with Mike Corey and Mark Dixon calling the action.

The action can also be seen worldwide on ESPN3, the broadband arm of the ESPN.

Series History

Loyola and Canisius will meet for the first time in men’s lacrosse when they take the field on Saturday, however, the schools are very familiar with one another.

Canisius hails from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which is the primary conference for Loyola’s athletic teams other than men’s and women’s lacrosse.

NCAA Championships History

Loyola is making its 20th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 18th at the Division I level. The Greyhounds are 8-19 all-time, 8-17 in Division I Championships games.

The Greyhounds’ last appearance in the Championships came in 2010 when they lost, 11-10, in triple overtime at Cornell.

Loyola last hosted an NCAA game in 2000 when Notre Dame defeated the Greyhounds, 15-12, on what was then known as Curley Field (now Diane Geppi-Aikens Field). Loyola’s last playoff win was a 12-11 triumph over Georgetown in 1998 that sent the team to the Final Four where it eventually bowed out to Maryland.

Top Spot

Loyola enters 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 Fairfield in the ECAC Championship Game was its 14th 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.

Canisius is not ranked in the media version and receiving votes in the coaches poll.

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.

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.

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 (68) and caused turnovers (32), is tied for sixth in goals (9) and is seventh in assists (7).

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.

From Way Downtown

Reid Acton created his own SportsCenter highlight in the ECAC Championship Game, earning Friday night’s Top Play on ESPN. After goalkeeper Jack Runkel made a save on Fairfield’s Marshall Johnson with less than 10 seconds to play.

Runkel passed it to Acton on his right side, Acton took a step forward and launched the ball 75 yards to the other side of the field. It settled over the stick of Stags goalkeeper Charlie Cipriano to put the Greyhounds up 5-3 with one tick left on the first-quarter clock.

Acton’s goal started a 8-1 Loyola run that spanned three quarters and put the game out of reach. The goal was the second of Acton’s career – he also scored against Mount St. Mary’s last season – and Runkel was credited with his first career assist.

50 Points, 40 Goals

Mike Sawyer scored four goals on April 21 at Hobart to reach the 40-goal mark in 13 games, and he current sits at 45 after tallying his 10th hat trick of the season in the ECAC Championship Game against Fairfield. 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.

His one goal in the ECAC Semifinal versus Denver 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 (37 g, 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. With his next point, Sawyer’s teammate Eric Lusby will record his 50th of the season.

In addition to being just the third Loyola player to score 40-plus this century, Sawyer is the seventh Greyhound to reach the mark since Loyola moved to NCAA Division I status in 1982.

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 82 goals in 15 games this season, an average of 5.5 per game.

Sawyer has scored 45 goals, and his 3.0 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 37 goals and a 2.47 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 16th in the country. Loyola is one of two schools to have two players in the top 16 of goals per game nationally.

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 37 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.

With Lusby’s next point, the duo will also be the first tandem to score 50 or more points in a season since Goettelmann and Prout in 2000.

Ratliff’s Scoring

Scott Ratliff had his second multi-goal game of the season in the ECAC Semifinal Game against Denver, and he tallied a goal and an assist in the title game, raising his season totals to nine goals and seven assists.

With his second-quarter assist against Fairfield, he tied the Loyola single-season record for long-pole scoring, matching 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, a Tewaaraton Award semifinalist along with teammate Mike Sawyer, 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.

Spreading Out The Scoring Wealth

Loyola’s first 11 goals on Wednesday 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.

Scoring From Different Places

Kevin Ryan scored his first career goal on Wednesday night, taking a Justin Ward pass form behind the crease and one-timing a shot into the net. Ryan did not play as a freshman in 2011 but has seen action in 12 games this year from the midfield and on extra-man possessions.

Nikko Pontrello added his third goal of the season and second versus the Pioneers. He also had the game-tying goal in the third quarter of the regular-season match-up that started Loyola’s 5-1 run to close the victory.

Phil Dobson recorded his second career multi-goal game, both coming against top-flight competition. He recorded a pair earlier this season against ACC Champ Duke.

Josh Hawkins added a man-up goal after Mike Sawyer caused a turnover and Justin Ward picked up the ground ball and fed Hawkins. The goal was Hawkins’ fifth of the year, and he also had his first assist of the season on a first-quarter Scott Ratliff goal.

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.

Back-To-Back OTs

It took Loyola 30 years of NCAA Division I play (the Greyhounds moved into the division in 1982) to play back-to-back overtime games, but now it has experienced the pleasure twice in two years.

Last year, Loyola defeated Fairfield, 7-6, in overtime on April 9, and it then won 6-5 in four extra periods at Georgetown on April 17, marking the first time it had played back-to-back overtime games since joining Division I.

The Greyhounds have now played two-straight overtime games, losing on April 28 at home to Johns Hopkins and defeating Denver five days later.

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 32 caused turnovers (2.13 per game) and is eighth nationally in that category, and he is tops on the Greyhounds with 68 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 guided the Greyhounds to a 14-1 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 .611 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 last Monday. 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 (45) and goals per game (3.0). Butts has scored 16 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 16th nationally with 37 goals (2.47 per game), and he also has 12 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 28 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers entering the NCAA Tournament.

Ratliff, Sawyer Named Tewaaraton Semifinalists

Juniors Scott Ratliff and Mike Sawyer were named to the Tewaaraton Award semifinal list as the game’s top players, making Loyola one of five schools – joining Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Massachusetts and Virginia – to have two players make the 25-man list.

Loyola is also one of six schools to have at least one male and one female semifinalist, as sophomore Marlee Paton made the women’s list from Loyola. The winners of both awards will be selected on May 31, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 15 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 30 occasions this season.

Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.

At Fairfield, Loyola scored the final four goals of the game to rally from a 6-4 deficit to win 8-6. The Greyhounds then scored four in a row during the third and fourth quarters at Denver that brought them from down 8-7 to a 12-9 victory.

Versus Johns Hopkins, the Greyhounds scored four in a row, holding the Blue Jays scoreless for the last 14:13 of regulation, to tie the game at 9-9, sending it to overtime.

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 nine times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions. 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 55-20 in the third quarters of games and 100-54 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.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds opened this season with six in a row at home before falling to Johns Hopkins. Loyola is now 14-4 all-time at Ridley.

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Loyola battles Fairfield Friday for ECAC title

Posted on 03 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent ECAC Championship Game | Fairfield Stags
Date Friday, May 4, 2012
Time 4:00 p.m. (Mountain)
Location Denver, Colo. | Peter Barton Stadium
TV | Radio ESPNU | ESPN3
Series Record Loyola leads, 12-2
Last Meeting Loyola 8, Fairfield 6 – April 7, 2012 at Fairfield

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will play Fairfield University in the ECAC Championship Game on Friday, May 4, at 4 p.m. (Mountain) time at Peter Barton Stadium in Denver, Colo.

The top-seeded Greyhounds defeated No. 4 seed University of Denver, 14-13, in overtime Wednesday night, and the No. 3 seed Stags topped Ohio State University, 8-7, in the other semifinal.

On The Tube And Web

The ECAC Championship Game will be broadcast live on ESPNU with Mark Larson and Dale Drypolcher calling the action.

The action can also be seen worldwide on ESPN3, the broadband arm of the ESPN.

Series History

Loyola and Fairfield will play for the 15th time in series history when the teams meet in the ECAC Championship Game. The Greyhounds hold a 12-2 advantage in the all-time series, but the Stags are 1-0 when they meet in the ECAC Championships.

The Greyhounds rallied from a two-goal fourth-quarter deficit to score the last four game to defeat Fairfield, 8-6, on April 7, 2012, in the regular-season meeting between the teams. The Stags took a 6-4 lead with 11:59 left in regulation on a John Snellman goal, but Davis Butts assisted a J.P. Dalton goal eight seconds later to start the 4-0 run that led to the win in Connecticut.

ECAC Championships History

Loyola is 1-1 in the brief two-year history of the ECAC Championships after defeating Denver, 14-13, in overtime on Wednesday night.

Last year, the second-seeded Greyhounds lost to Fairfield, the No. 3 seed, 11-9, in the ECAC Semifinal that was also held in Denver.

School-Record Tying Win

Loyola’s victory over Denver on Wednesday night was the team’s 13th of the season, tying the 1998 team for most in school history.

This season’s 13 wins came in 14 games, one fewer the same number it took the 1998 team. That squad finished with a 13-2 record after falling in the NCAA Semifinals.

In The Polls

Loyola’s first loss of the season last Saturday, to then-No. 10 Johns Hopkins, dropped the Greyhounds from the top spot nationally where they resided for two weeks.

The Greyhounds are now No. 3 in both the USILA coaches and Inside Lacrosse/Nike poll.

Fairfield is ranked 16th in both polls.

Back-To-Back OTs

It took Loyola 30 years of NCAA Division I play (the Greyhounds moved into the division in 1982) to play back-to-back overtime games, but now it has experienced the pleasure twice in two years.

Last year, Loyola defeated Fairfield, 7-6, in overtime on April 9, and it then won 6-5 in four extra periods at Georgetown on April 17, marking the first time it had played back-to-back overtime games since joining Division I.

The Greyhounds have now played two-straight overtime games, losing on April 28 at home to Johns Hopkins and defeating Denver on Wednesday night.

Comeback Thwarted

Loyola led Denver 13-6 early in the fourth quarter on Wednesday night, but the Pioneers reeled off seven goals in a row to tie the game at 13-13 with 3:30 to play.

J.P. Dalton won the next faceoff, however, and Loyola retained possession for the rest of regulation, getting off two shots that went wide.

In overtime, Scott Ratliff picked up the ground ball on the first faceoff of overtime, raced to goal and scored eight seconds into the extra frame to give Loyola a 14-13 win.

Denver’s 7-0 run to tie the game was the largest run the Greyhounds have allowed this season, topping 5-0 runs that Fairfield and Johns Hopkins put up.

Ratliff’s Scoring

Scott Ratliff had his second multi-goal game of the season on Wednesday night, raising his season totals to eight goals and six assists.

Ratliff is nearing the Loyola single-season for points by a long pole player. Current assistant coach Matt Dwan set the record during his senior season in 1995 when he tallied 11 goals and five assists while earning All-America honors.

Ratliff, a Tewaaraton Award semifinalist along with teammate Mike Sawyer, is second nationally this season in goals and points by a long pole, and his six assists are tops in the country. Bryant’s Mason Poli leads all long poles this year with 19 goals and 24 points.

Spreading Out The Scoring Wealth

Loyola’s first 11 goals on Wednesday 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.

Scoring From Different Places

Kevin Ryan scored his first career goal on Wednesday night, taking a Justin Ward pass form behind the crease and one-timing a shot into the net. Ryan did not play as a freshman in 2011 but has seen action in 12 games this year from the midfield and on extra-man possessions.

Nikko Pontrello added his third goal of the season and second versus the Pioneers. He also had the game-tying goal in the third quarter of the regular-season match-up that started Loyola’s 5-1 run to close the victory.

Phil Dobson recorded his second career multi-goal game, both coming against top-flight competition. He recorded a pair earlier this season against ACC Champ Duke.

Josh Hawkins added a man-up goal after Mike Sawyer caused a turnover and Justin Ward picked up the ground ball and fed Hawkins. The goal was Hawkins’ fifth of the year, and he also had his first assist of the season on a first-quarter Scott Ratliff goal.

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 30 caused turnovers (2.31 per game) and is seventh nationally in that category, and he is tops on the Greyhounds with 52 ground balls (4.0 per contest).

The native of Marietta, Ga., also has scored six goals and has six 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.

Ratliff is one of two Greyhounds, along with Mike Sawyer on attack, who is a semifinalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player.

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 guided the Greyhounds to a 12-1 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 .611 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 on Monday. 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 was third nationally, in goals (41) and goals per game (3.15). Butts scored 15 goals and assisted on 11 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 33 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and in the top-20 nationally with 34 goals, and he also has 10 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 25 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers entering the post season.

Ratliff, Sawyer Named Tewaaraton Semifinalists

Juniors Scott Ratliff and Mike Sawyer were named to the Tewaaraton Award semifinal list as the game’s top players, making Loyola one of five schools – joining Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Massachusetts and Virginia – to have two players make the 25-man list.

Loyola is also one of six schools to have at least one male and one female semifinalist, as sophomore Marlee Paton made the women’s list from Loyola. The winners of both awards will be selected on May 31, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

40-Goal Mark

Mike Sawyer scored four goals on April 21 at Hobart and added one each against Johns Hopkins and Denver, raising his season total to 42 through 14 games. 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.

In addition to being just the third Loyola player to score 40-plus this century, Sawyer is the seventh Greyhound to reach the mark since Loyola moved to NCAA Division I status in 1982.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 14 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 28 occasions this season.

Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.

At Fairfield, Loyola scored the final four goals of the game to rally from a 6-4 deficit to win 8-6. The Greyhounds then scored four in a row during the third and fourth quarters at Denver that brought them from down 8-7 to a 12-9 victory.

Versus Johns Hopkins, the Greyhounds scored four in a row, holding the Blue Jays scoreless for the last 14:13 of regulation, to tie the game at 9-9, sending it to overtime.

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.

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just nine times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions. 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.

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 78 goals in 14 games this season, an average of 5.6 per game.

Sawyer has scored 42 goals, and his 3.0 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 36 goals and a 2.57 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.

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 36 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.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 52.6-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year.

The last time Loyola finished 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 51-20 in the third quarters of games and 94-52 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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Many Locals on Tewaaraton Nominee List

Posted on 25 April 2012 by WNST Staff

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2012 – The Tewaaraton Foundation has announced the 2012 Tewaaraton Award men’s and women’s nominees, presented by Panama Jack. Twenty five women and 25 men were selected as nominees, from which the 12th annual Tewaaraton Award 10 finailists (5 women, 5 men) will be selected and honored May 31, 2012, at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
 
The men’s award nominees include players from 20 schools, including 2011 winner Steele Stanwick (Virginia) and representatives from 18 of the current top 20 teams in the April 23 USILA Men’s Division I Poll. Salisbury University’s Sam Bradman the lone Division III representative. Five schools had two players nominated, including Johns Hopkins (Pierce Bassett, Tucker Durkin), Loyola (Scott Ratliff, Michael Sawyer), Princeton (Tyler Fiorito, Tom Schreiber), Massachusetts (Anthony Biscardi, Will Manny) and Virginia (Colin Briggs, Stanwick). Men’s nominees are as follows:
Pierce Bassett, Goalie – Johns Hopkins University
Peter Baum, Midfield – Colgate University
Jesse Bernhardt, LSM – University of Maryland
Anthony Biscardi, Midfield – University of Massachusetts
Sam Bradman, Midfield – Salisbury University
Colin Briggs, Midfield – University of Virginia
CJ Costabile, Long Stick Midfield – Duke University
Kevin Cunningham, Attack – Villanova University
Tucker Durkin, Defense – Johns Hopkins University
Billy Eisenreich, Attack – Bucknell University
Tyler Fiorito, Goalie – Princeton University
Marcus Holman, Attack/Midfield – University of North Carolina
Austin Kaut, Goalie – Penn State University
John Kemp, Goalie – University of Notre Dame
Roy Lang, Midfield – Cornell University
Will Manny, Attack – University of Massachusetts
Kiel Matisz, Midfield – Robert Morris University
Mark Matthews, Attack – University of Denver
Brian Megill, Defense – Syracuse University
Mason Poli, Defense – Bryant University
Scott Ratliff, LSM – Loyola University
Michael Sawyer, Attack – Loyola University
Tom Schreiber, Midfield – Princeton University
Steele Stanwick, Attack – University of Virginia
Garrett Thul, Attack – United States Military Academy
The women’s award nominees include players from 17 schools, including 2011 winner Shannon Smith (Northwestern) and representatives from 16 of the current top 20 teams in the April 24 IWLCA Division I Poll. Maryland (Kari Ellen Johnson, Iliana Sanza, Katie Schwarzmann) and North Carolina (Kara Cannizzaro, Becky Lynch, Laura Zimmerman) led all schools with three nominees each. Schwarzmann and Smith have been nominated for a second straight year.
Dana Cahill, Goalie – Penn State University
Kara Cannizzaro, Midfield – University of North Carolina
Ally Carey, Midfield – Vanderbilt University
Kitty Cullen, Attack – University of Florida
Brittany Dashiell, Midfield – University of Florida
Emma Hamm, Attack – Duke University
Kristin Igoe, Midfield – Boston College
Karri Ellen Johnson, Attack – University of Maryland
Becky Lynch, Attack – University of North Carolina
Alayna Markwordt, Attack – Ohio State University
Alyssa Murray, Attack – Syracuse University
Josie Owen, Attack – University of Virginia
Marlee Paton, Midfield – Loyola University
Sarah Plumb, Midfield – Dartmouth College
Iliana Sanza, Defense – University of Maryland
Katie Schwarzmann, Midfield – University of Maryland
Shannon Smith, Midfield – Northwestern University
Jessi Steinberg, Attack – Cormell University
Maggie Tamasitis, Attack – University of Notre Dame
Mary Teeters, Goalie – Towson University
Sophia Thomas, Midfield – Georgetown University
Taylor Thornton, Defense – Northwestern University
Michelle Tumolo, Attack – Syracuse University
Kim Wenger, Midfield – Duke University
Laura Zimmerman, Midfield – University of North Carolina
Five men’s and five women’s finalists will be announced May 10 and invited to the Tewaaraton Award Ceremony. The original men’s and women’s watch lists, were announced Feb. 15 with additions made March 20 and April 3 and were ultimately comprised of 82 men’s players and 57 women’s players.
“We congratulate these 50 elite student-athletes on their remarkable accomplishments thus far this season,” said Jeff Harvey, chairman of the Tewaaraton Foundation. “With the help of our selection committees, we look forward to announcing this year’s finalists next month.” The selection committees are comprised of 12 men’s and ten women’s current and former coaches.
For more information on the Tewaaraton Award, please visit www.tewaaraton.com. Like and follow The Tewaaraton Foundation at www.facebook.com/Tewaaraton and www.twitter.com/tewaaraton.
 
About The Tewaaraton Foundation
First presented in 2001, the Tewaaraton Award is recognized as the pre-eminent lacrosse award, annually honoring the top male and female college lacrosse player in the United States. Endorsed by the Mohawk Nation Council of Elders and US Lacrosse, the Tewaaraton Award symbolizes lacrosse’s centuries-old roots in Native American heritage. The Tewaaraton Foundation ensures the integrity and advances the mission of this award. Each year, the Tewaaraton Award celebrates one of the six tribal nations of the Iroquois Confederacy – the Mohawk, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora – and presents two scholarships to students of Iroquois descent. To learn more about The Tewaaraton Foundation, please visit www.tewaaraton.com.
About Panama Jack
Panama Jack is an international company that has built a powerful brand and loyal following with product offerings synonymous with a carefree beach lifestyle. Its offerings include suncare products, sunglasses, beach apparel, sandals and shoes, hats, jewelry, and beach chairs and umbrellas. Panama Jack added home furnishings to its product offerings in 2011, introducing its Home Collection and Outdoor Collection that allow people to live the Panama Jack lifestyle at home. The company also launched branded luggage and beach-cruiser bicycles in 2010, as well as opening the first of several Panama Jack retail stores at top travel destinations. Founded in 1974, Panama Jack is based in Orlando, FL. To learn more, please visit www.panamajack.com.

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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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Loyola Looks to Stay Perfect Saturday Against Ohio State

Posted on 31 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent Ohio State Buckeyes
Date Saturday, March 31, 2012
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex
TV | Radio Hounds Unleashed
Series Record Loyola leads, 5-0
Last Meeting Loyola 12, Ohio State 9 – April 2, 2011 at Ohio State

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland returns to Ridley Athletic Complex to start a stretch of four-straight ECAC Lacrosse League games. The Greyhounds take on Ohio State University at 1 o’clock on Saturday, March 31.

Series History

Loyola and the Buckeyes will be meeting for the sixth time in series history and third time as ECAC opponents. The Greyhounds have won all five prior meetings, although the last two have come by just five combined goals.

The Greyhounds led last year’s contest 9-4 when Patrick Fanshaw scored a man-up goal in transition off a Josh Hawkins assist with 5:17 to go in the third quarter, but Ohio State scored five of the next six goals to pull within a score, 10-9, on Tyler Fredericks’ tally with 3:57 left in regulation.

Mike Sawyer and Chris Palmer, however, scored after that for Loyola, and the Greyhounds held off the Buckeyes for an 11-9 victory in Columbus. Chris Palmer finished with five goals, and Matt Langan had three goals and two assists. Hawkins scored a goal and had two assists, all coming in transition.

In The Polls

Loyola moved up to No. 4 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll this week, its highest ranking since the Greyhounds checked in at third in the April 1, 2002, poll with a 7-0 record after downing Towson, 15-7. The Greyhounds held steady at No. 5 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings.

Ohio State is receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse poll.

Ten Or More

The Greyhounds have scored at least 11 goals in each of their first eight games of the 2012 season, marking the longest stretch of games with 10 or more goals they have put together since March 24-May 12, 2001. The Greyhounds went 7-2 during that 2001 stretch where they averaged 14 goals per game. That team was coached by Dave Cottle who will be the color analyst on Loyola’s broadcast Saturday.

The last time Loyola opened the season with seven or more games with 10-plus goals was the 1995 season when they reeled off 14 or more before scoring five in an NCAA game.

The Only Ones

Loyola is the only team to score 10 or more goals in every game of this season throughout all of NCAA Division I.

As of Monday, the Greyhounds were tied for fifth in Division I with a 13 goals per game average.

Topping Out

Loyola’s success on offense this year has been well complemented by the Greyhounds’ defense. In addition to offense being tied for fifth in Division I in goals per game, Loyola’s defense is fifth with 7.13 goals allowed per contest.

The Greyhounds lead Division I through Monday in scoring margin, outscoring opponents by an average of 5.88 goals per game, 0.59 more than second-place Cornell.

Sharing The Rock

No Loyola player has more than 13 assists (Justin Ward) through eight games, but nine players have at least four assists, and 12 have two or more. In addition to Ward’s 13, Davis Butts, Eric Lusby and Sean O’Sullivan have eight assists, Mike Sawyer has seven, Chris Layne and Nikko Pontrello have five and J.P. Dalton and Pat Byrnes have four each.

With 72 assists this season, the Greyhounds lead Division I with 9.0 per game.

Eleven of Loyola’s 13 goals last Saturday night at UMBC came with assists.

Already Outpacing Last Year

This year’s team has already eclipsed last year’s total of 62 assists in just eight games. Also, with 104 goals, the 2012 Greyhounds are six short of matching the total put up last year.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first eight games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 17 occasions this season.

Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.

Loyola then used a 6-0 run to break a 5-5 tie early in the third quarter with Georgetown on the way to a 11-6 victory.

The Greyhounds then scored seven in a row on the back end of a 10-1 run last Saturday at UMBC.

Second-Half Success

Loyola continued a trend of strong second-half play this season by outscoring UMBC, 6-1, after halftime after not allowing the Retrievers a goal until 11:25 was left on the fourth-quarter clock.

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 34-10 in the third quarters of games and 58-25 overall this year in the second half.

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.

Lusby Matches Career-High

Eric Lusby scored three times during Loyola’s second half run and finished the Georgetown game with five goals, matching his career-high set on March 3 at Bellarmine. He followed that with his fifth hat trick of the season, scoring three at UMBC.

Lusby has scored at least one goal in each of Loyola’s eight games this season. The graduate student returned to game action in the season-opener after missing all but two games of the 2011 season. Now a graduate student, Lusby tore his right ACL in the 2010 NCAA First Round game against Cornell. He attempted to come back last year, but he saw limited action against Navy and Towson and was shut down to rehab the injury for the remainder of the season.

Lusby burst back onto the scene against Delaware, scoring the Greyhounds’ first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity, and the 2010 All-ECAC First Team member tallied three more in the second half.

Lusby reset his career-high at Bellarmine, tallying five goals in the victory to go with one assist, and added two more at Michigan.

Through Loyola’s first eight games, Lusby is second on the team with 24 goals and 36 points.

Sawyer, Runkel Honored Again

For the second time this season, Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel earned ECAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors on the same day, as the pair was honored on Monday following the Greyhounds’ wins over Georgetown and UMBC.

Sawyer scored three goals against the Hoyas, and he then scored four-straight Loyola goals and finished with five at UMBC. Sawyer also matched his career-best with two assists against the Retrievers.

Runkel paced the Loyola defense in the two games, playing to a 5.50 goals against average. He made a career-best 13 saves in the win over UMBC.

Shot Advantage

Loyola has outshot its opponents in every game this season by a minimum of nine. The game against Duke (37-28) is the only time this season a Greyhounds’ opponent has been within 10 shots of Loyola.

In all, the Greyhounds have taken 358 shots while holding opponents to 202.

Second Midfield Scoring

All three members of Loyola’s second midfield unit scored at least one goal against Air Force, and the unit combined for three goals and two assists. Pat Byrnes led the way with a goal and a career-best two assists. J.P. Dalton and Phil Dobson each added goals of their own.

This season, all three members of the second line have five goals, while Byrnes and Dalton each have four assists. Dobson recorded the first two assists of his collegiate career last Saturday against UMBC. The unit has already scored more goals than it did last year when it had 10 goals and two assists during the season.

Toomey Wins 50th

Head coach Charley Toomey earned his 50th-career win Wednesday, March 7, as Loyola beat Michigan, 15-8.

Toomey, who is in his seventh season, has led Loyola to eight-plus wins in each of the last three seasons and has had the Greyhounds finish .500 or better in all seven seasons since coming to the Evergreen campus.

Sawyer Shows Same Form

Mike Sawyer has picked up where he left off a year ago, leading the team with 29 goals and 36 points through the first eight games. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 36 points.

Sawyer tied a then-career-high with five goals in the team’s, 15-8, win at Michigan, before scoring a new personal-best six goals against Duke.

After scoring five goals against UMBC, he now has 16 career multi-goal games and the 19 multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.

Before the season, Sawyer was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Team and was named to the Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.

Dominant At The ‘X’

In his first year as the Greyhounds’ primary face-off man, senior J.P. Dalton has continued Loyola’s tradition of excellence at the ‘X’.

Through eight games, Dalton ranks eighth nationally in face-off percentage, winning restarts at a .619 clip (112-of-181). As a unit, the Greyhounds entered the week third-best in the nation at .611.

Dalton is second on the team with 34 ground balls, while one of his primary wings, Scott Ratliff leads the team with 37. Josh Hawkins, who returned from injury to make his season-debut on March 10 against Duke, has 19 in four games, and Pat Laconi has 13. Davis Butts has also seen time on the wing and has 20 ground balls this season.

Ward Dishes Five

Justin Ward played the role of feeder in Loyola’s 13-6 win over Towson, finishing the game with five assists. Just one week previously, the sophomore recorded his first collegiate assist against Delaware.

Ward became the first Loyola player to record five or more assists since Shane Koppens had six in a March 10, 2009, win over Bryant.

Scoring In Two Straight

Loyola posted 13 goals in back-to-back games to open the season, marking the first time since April 2007 that the Greyhounds scored 13 or more in two games in a row.

The last time it happened, Loyola defeated Fairfield, 19-2, on April 21, 2007, and Hobart, 17-10, on April 28.

Through just two games, the Greyhounds rank eighth in NCAA Division I in goals per game (13.0).

Ratliff Honored For Second Time

Loyola long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week on Monday after turning in impressive numbers in last Saturday’s win over Air Force. Ratliff scored twice and had an assist while picking up seven ground balls against the Falcons.

Earlier this season, Ratliff earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week laurels after the Greyhounds’ opener against Delaware.

Ratliff is currently sixth among active long poles in career scoring. He has seven goals and five assists for 12 points. This year, he has three goals and two assists, as well as a team-leading 32 ground balls.

Sawyer, Runkel Earns ECAC Honors

Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel were honored as ECAC Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week on March 12 following wins at Michigan and against Duke.

Sawyer scored 11 goals and had 14 points, setting career highs in both categories. He scored five goals and had six points in Michigan’s first-ever home game, before breaking those personal records with six goals and eight points in a win over Duke. He also picked up a career-high six ground balls, finishing the week with nine ground balls.

Runkel made the first two starts of his collegiate career, posting an 8.00 goals-against average and .515 save percentage to help the Greyhounds in two wins. Playing less than three minutes between the pipes as a freshman last season, he started the Michigan game and held the Wolverines to eight goals, while making five saves. He then made a career-high 12 saves against a Duke team that has played in the last five Final Fours.

Bonitatibus, Runkel Both Win First Starts

Junior Michael Bonitatibus made his first collegiate start in goal for the Greyhounds against Delaware after having played less than two minutes prior to this season.

Bonitatibus, who played 65 seconds in his collegiate debut last year at Duke, made seven saves for the Greyhounds and allowed just eight goals. He also picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Bonitatibus became the first Loyola goalkeeper to win his starting debut in nearly 11 years. The last was Mark Bloomquist who also defeated Delaware, 8-7, on February 24, 2001.

Jack Runkel made his first career start against Michigan and also won his initial outing as a starter. He tallied five saves against the Wolverines, and he then posted a career-high 12 against Duke.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds have opened their third year at the stadium with five wins at home. Loyola is now 13-3 all-time at Ridley.

What’s Next

The Greyhounds head on the road for their next three games, all contests at ECAC Lacrosse League opponents, starting with an April 7 date at Fairfield University.

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Hopkins Takes Top Spot In Both Lacrosse Polls

Posted on 26 March 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, MD – The Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team jumped to the top spot in both the USILA Coaches Poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll today. The Blue Jays moved up from the number two spot in both polls after Saturday’s 11-10 win at top-ranked Virginia. Hopkins improved to 8-0 for the first time since 2005 with the win the win over the Cavaliers.

The Blue Jays grabbed 10-of-11 first-place votes in the USILA Coaches Poll and totaled 210 points to earn the number one spot. UMass (7-0) checks in at number two with 199 points, while Virginia (8-1/195 points), Loyola (8-0/189) and Cornell (6-1/187) round out the top five. Loyola grabbed the lone first-place vote that didn’t go to Johns Hopkins.

This the 390th weekly poll released by the USILA since the poll was first issued in 1973. This week’s number-one ranking marks the 104th time since the poll’s inception that the Blue Jays have earned the top spot. Johns Hopkins has been ranked in the top five 293 times and the top 10 in 367 of the 390 polls.

The Johns Hopkins office Athletic Communications uses the USILA Poll to reflect Johns Hopkins’ official national ranking.

Hopkins earned a unanimous number-one ranking in the Nike/Media Poll. The Blue Jays grabbed all 18 first-place votes and totaled 360 points to secure the top spot. Virginia (339 points), UMass (311), Cornell (310) and Loyola (292) round out the top five.

USILA Coaches Poll
• March 26, 2012 •
Rk. Team – Points
1. Johns Hopkins (10) – 218
2. UMass – 199
3. Virginia – 195
4. Loyola (1) – 189
5. Cornell – 187
6. Notre Dame – 165
7. Lehigh – 144
8. Duke – 137
9. Maryland – 125
10. Denver – 112
11. North Carolina – 111
12. Villanova – 106
13. Princeton – 95
14. Syracuse – 74
15. Fairfield – 62
16. Bucknell – 53
17. Colgate – 51
18. Penn State – 33
19. Georgetown – 12
20. Hofstra- 8

Others Receiving Votes: Bryant, Drexel, Yale, Navy, Harvard, Robert Morris, UMBC, TowsonNike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll
• March 26, 2012 •
Rk. Team – Points
1. Johns Hopkins (18) – 360
2. Virginia – 339
3. UMass – 311
4. Cornell – 310
5. Loyola – 292
6. Notre Dame – 277
7. Lehigh – 223
8. Duke – 221
9. Maryland – 197
10. Denver – 194
11. Princeton – 190
12. North Carolina – 178
13. Villanova – 158
14. Syracuse – 146
15. Fairfield – 81
16. Bucknell – 79
17. Colgate – 65
18. Penn State – 60
19. Navy – 30
20. Georgetown – 20

Others Receiving Votes: Harvard, Hofstra, Bryant, Yale, Drexel, Robert Morris, St. John’s, Ohio State

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