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Loyola begins long road stretch Friday at Duke

Posted on 07 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Opponent Duke Blue Devils
Date Friday, March 8, 2013
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Durham, N.C. | Koskinen Stadium
TV | Radio Duke Webstreaming
Series Record Duke leads, 14-10
Last Meeting Loyola 13, Duke 8 – March 10, 2012, in Baltimore

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland plays the first of five-straight games on the road Friday night when it visits Durham, N.C., for a 7 o’clock game at Duke University.

The Greyhounds are coming off three consecutive games at home, but they will be away from Ridley Athletic Complex until April.

 

Series History

Friday will be the 25th meeting all-time between the Blue Devils and the Greyhounds, with Duke holding a 14-10 advantage in the series.

Duke had won five-straight over Loyola and eight of nine, before the Greyhounds defeated the Blue Devils, 13-8, on March 10, 2012, in Baltimore.

In that game, Mike Sawyer scored career-highs of six goals and eight points, and Eric Lusby posted three goals and two assists for Loyola.

The Greyhounds used a 3-0 run over a stretch of four-plus minutes in the first and second quarters to break open a 4-1 lead that they would stretch to 7-4 before halftime. They then tallied the first three goals of the second half and six of the first seven to lead 13-5 less than four minutes into the fourth quarter.

Defensively, Jack Runkel made a then-career-high 12 saves, and Scott Ratliff caused four Duke turnovers.

The series dates back to 1946 and the team’s have played at least once every season since 2000.

 

In The Polls

Loyola sits at No. 4 in both the USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls for the second week in a row.

Entering the season, It was the first time in the polls’ existences that the Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 to start the year.

Bellarmine is receiving votes in both polls.

 

Last Time Out

Jack Runkel made 11 saves, and Loyola’s offense scored four straight spanning both halves, as the Greyhounds held off Bellarmine University for an 8-6 win last Saturday in the Greyhounds’ 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League opener.

Runkel made a kick save on a one-versus-one chance by a Bellarmine midfielder 71 seconds into the game to ignite the Greyhounds’ defense.

Mike Sawyer scored all three of his goals during the 4-0 run that he started with an unassisted goal with 1:46 left in the first half to put the Greyhounds in front, 4-2. He then added the first two goals of the second half, and Loyola led 7-2 with 11:17 left in the third quarter.

The Knights scored the next three goals to close to within two, 7-5, with 8:23 left in regulation, but Justin Ward scored one of his two goals less than three minutes later to help seal the win.

 

Runkel Grabs League Award

Jack Runkel was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, March 4, after posting 18 saves in a pair of Loyola wins last week. He had seven on Tuesday night in a driving rain against UMBC, and he then logged a season-best 11 on Saturday versus Bellarmine when he allowed just six goals.

It was the fourth time in his career that he has won the award from the ECAC after picking up the honor three times last season.

 

Back-To-Back Hat Tricks

Mike Sawyer recorded his second hat trick in as many games last week when he tallied three over a six-minute stretch of action against Bellarmine. He also finished with three goals against UMBC earlier in the week.

Sawyer scored with 1:46 to play in the first half and then twice within 20 seconds in the third quarter, his third goal of the day putting Loyola in front, 7-2, with 11:17 left in the stanza.

He now has 20 hat tricks in his career, one of only four players currently active to reach that plateau. Colgate’s Peter Baum leads the nation with 29, while Army’s Garrett Thul has 26. Saywer is tied with Cornell’s Steve Mock with 20 each.

 

Weekly Attack Numbers

Loyola’s starting attack posted considerable scoring numbers in the Greyhounds’ two games last week.

In the wins over UMBC and Bellarmine, Nikko Pontrello (4 goals, 4 assists), Mike Sawyer (6g, 1a) and Justin Ward (9g, 4a) combined for 28 total points on 19 goals and nine assists. All three had multiple-point games in both outings.

 

Davis Off The Ground

Davis Butts is second on the team this season with 22 ground balls and has picked up five in four of the Greyhounds’ five contests: Delaware, Maryland, UMBC and Bellarmine. He also had two in the game at Towson.

Through five games this season, he is already more than halfway to his total of 40 a year ago. He has also scored at least one point in every game this year and has three goals and five assists.

 

Ward’s Big Night

The foul weather did not slow Justin Ward on Tuesday against UMBC, as the junior finished with seven goals and three assists for 10 points. His goal and point outputs were career-highs.

He became the first player to score at least seven goals in a game since Gavin Prout tallied eight in a 19-11 win at Hobart on April 28, 2001.

Ward’s 10-point effort was the first 10-point game for a Greyhound since Tim Goettelmann tallied the same amount in a 19-9 win on March 25, 2000, against Fairfield. In that game, Goettelmann scored four goals and had six assists. Later that season, he would score seven goals on May 16 in the NCAA First Round against Notre Dame.

Ward’s seven goals brought his 2013 total to a team-high 12, matching the number he put up in 19 games last season. He is also tops on the team with nine assists and 21 points through four games.

His seven goals are tied with Ohio State’s Logan Schuss and Army’s Garrett Thul for the most in a game this season, and his 10 points tie Schuss for game-high honors, as well.

He then chipped in two goals and an assists on Saturday versus Bellarmine.

With 42 career assists, Ward is now tied for 19th in Loyola’s Division I history with Ben Hagberg who registered the same total from 1982-1983.

 

Pontrello Puts Up Points, Too

Somewhat lost in Justin Ward’s 10-point night against UMBC were the career-high numbers put up by fellow attacker Nikko Pontrello. The sophomore finished with career-bests in goals (3), assists (3) and points (6).

It was his first career multi-goal game, and his assists exceeded his previous best of two.

Pontrello now has three multi-point games this season after scoring a goal and assisting on two at Towson on February 20 and tallying one of each against Bellarmine. In four games, he has six goals, and his seven assists are second-most on the team.

 

Eighth To 100

With his goal at 9:25 in the third quarter against UMBC, Mike Sawyer became the eighth player in Loyola men’s lacrosse history to score 100 in his career, the seventh in the program’s Division I history.

Sawyer joins a list that includes Gary Hanley (151), Pat Lamon (133), Gewas Schindler (120), Tim O’Shea (115), Kevin Beach (114), John Carroll (112) and Chris Colbeck (108).

 

Blackjack

Loyola scored 21 goals on Tuesday night against UMBC, marking the first time since April 26, 2000, that the Greyhounds had recorded 20 or more in a game. That day, they went on the road and beat Villanova, 21-7.

The game at Villanova was just 11 days after Loyola beat Massachusetts, 21-10, at home. Prior to those two games, the last 20-point outing was on April 15, 1998, against Lehigh.

 

Layne Keeps Tallying Points

Chris Layne had his fourth multi-point game in as many contests this season, recording two goals and an assist for the Greyhounds against UMBC after tallying the same amount three days prior against Maryland. Through four game this year, Layne has seven goals and five assists.

Last season, he had a total of five multi-point games while finishing with 11 goals and 14 assists. With his two goals against Delaware, Maryland and UMBC, Layne has more than doubled his multi-goal games during his time at Loyola to five. He also had one as a sophomore in 2010 for North Carolina.

At Delaware in the season-opener, Layne tallied the first and last goals of the game for the Greyhounds, the initial coming at 12:17 in the first quarter, and the second with 4.4 seconds left in the fourth. He also assisted on a Scott Ratliff transition goal just over five minutes into the third quarter.

 

Spreading The Scoring

Nine Loyola players scored goals at Towson with seven recording two or more points, and nine was also the number of scorers versus Maryland and UMBC, and seven had two or more points against the Retrievers. Against Towson, Mike Sawyer and Justin Ward led the way with four points, Chris Layne and Kevin Ryan tallied three, while Nikko Pontrello, Sean O’Sullivan and Brian Schultz each recorded two.

Last season, Loyola had just two games with seven players scoring two or more points (Michigan, Air Force).

 

Two At The ‘X’

Loyola has had two primary faceoff men in their five games this season. Brendan Donovan started the season at Delaware and then took all but two of the 33 restarts against UMBC. He won 19-of-31 against the Retrievers where his 19 wins were the most by a Loyola player since Dan Kallaugher went 27-of-33 in the NCAA First Round at Albany on May 13, 2007.

In the Greyhounds’ other two games, Blake Burkhart took the majority of the restarts, winning 17-of-28, a career-high, at Towson, and 14-of-25 against Maryland.

 

Acton Active On Defense

Reid Acton tied his career-high on against Delaware with five caused turnovers to lead all players. He also picked up five ground balls, one shy of Scott Ratliff’s team-best six. He was part of a unit that held Delaware’s starting attack to just three goals in the game. Acton also caused five turnovers last season against Ohio State.

Acton has logged at least two ground balls in all but one game (at Towson) this year.

 

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola senior does a lot, as he led the team last year in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7). His 37 caused turnovers were second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.

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

Ratliff, who was also an USILA All-America Third Team member, an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.

He has scored a goal in three of the Greyhounds’ five games this year, at Delaware and versus Maryland and UMBC to bring his career totals to 18 goals and 10 assists. He is currently second among active long-poles in scoring behind Bryant’s Mason Poli who has 32 goals and 10 assists.

With his game-opening goal against Canisius in the NCAA First Round, 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.

 

Helmet Stickers

Loyola players are wearing three stickers on their helmets this season to remember those who have passed away. The stickers are in memory of Adam Pomper, a member of the 2012 team who passed away on June 12, 2012, Mandy O’Sullivan, mother of current players Sean and Ryan O’Sullivan who died in March 2012 from pancreatic cancer, and the 26 victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting in December 2012 where Loyola put on a youth lacrosse clinic in January.

 

Well-Represented In MLL Draft

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

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

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

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

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

 

Newtown Youth Clinic

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

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

 

Preseason Accolades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Toomey Receives Morris Touchstone Award

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

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

The win over Canisius in the First Round was the 60th victory of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 60 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .640 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

 

Big Runs

Last season, runs of three-plus goals were critical in the Greyhounds success, as they had runs of 3-0 or better in all 19 games. In all, Loyola scored three or more in a row on 37 occasions last year.

The Greyhounds have opened the 2013 season in similar fashion as they scored three-straight in the second quarter to take a 4-2 lead against Delaware after trailing, 2-1. They then had two runs of 3-0 or better at Towson.

Against UMBC, Loyola had a 3-0 first-half run before putting together a 10-0 stretch in the third and fourth quarters. The Greyhounds then had a 4-0 run that spanned both halves to help beat Bellarmine

The game against Maryland marked the first time since May 5, 2011, against Fairfield that the Greyhounds did not put up a run of 3-0 or better.

 

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds outscored opponents 66-22 in the third quarters of games, and 123-63 overall in the second half (including overtime), last season. The second-half scoring continued a trend from 2011 when Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56.

This year, Loyola is outscoring opponents 22-9 in the third quarter and 34-22 overall after halftime.

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Runkel strong as Loyola tops Bellarmine in ECAC opener

Posted on 02 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Runkel Saves 11 In 8-6 Win Over Bellarmine To Open ECAC Play

 

BALTIMORE – Jack Runkel made a kick save on a low, hard shot by Bellarmine University’s Brogan Hill just 71 seconds into play Saturday afternoon, sparking the Loyola University Maryland defense, and the junior goalkeeper finished with a season-high 11 saves as the Greyhounds defeated the Knights, 8-6, to open ECAC Lacrosse League action at Ridley Athletic Complex.

“We challenged our locker room before the game to give (Runkel) his first shot from 12 yards out to get him started,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “That’s not how it played out, and they had a guy that ran down the middle, and he made a great kick save that really got us going.”

The save on Hill’s shot caromed near midfield where fourth-ranked Loyola (4-1 overall, 1-0 ECAC) picked it up, but the teams traded turnovers before Loyola cleared it to a settled offensive set off a Scott Ratliff caused turnover.

After a Mike Sawyer shot went wide, Chris Layne redodged from the right side and put a high-to-high shot past Bellarmine’s Dillon Ward to get the Greyhounds on the scoreboard at 11:23.

Neither team was able to score for nearly eight minutes until the Knights (3-1, 1-1) broke through on a man-up possession. Cameron Gardner skipped a pass to Lance Robinson on the low right side, and Robinson bounced in a shot at 3:34 to tie the game at 1-1.

Early in the second quarter, Loyola scored twice in a 22-second span to post a two-goal lead. Nikko Pontrello tallied the first when he cut to the top of the crease where Justin Ward hit him with a pass that Pontrello one-timed past Ward at 13:09.

Ward then scored 22 ticks of the clock later, rolling from X to the right side where he hit a fading jump shot to push the Greyhounds’ advantage to 3-1.

Bellarmine got one back in transition off a Dillon Ward save later in the half. Dillon Ward stopped a Pat Laconi shot, and Bellarmine quickly cleared it to its offensive end. Michael Ward ripped a 10-yard shot off a Karsen Leung assist with 3:10 to go before halftime, making it a one-goal game.

Following that goal, however, Sawyer scored for Loyola at 1:46, rolling back toward the near post after a Bellarmine double came near the middle.

The Greyhounds went  on extra-man immediately there after when Bellarmine was whistled for its third faceoff violation of the half, but Dillon Ward made a save on a Kevin Ryan shot, and the Knights cleared it successfully.

Runkel, however, picked off a Michael Ward pass from behind, and the Greyhounds called timeout in their offensive zone with just over 14 seconds to play before halftime.

Layne started the play on the far right side and sent a pass to Davis Butts at the top of the box. Butts reversed it to Sean O’Sullivan on the left, and O’Sullivan ripped a seven-yard goal to put Loyola in front, 5-2 at halftime.

The Greyhounds continued their run at the start of the third quarter, as Pontrello skipped a pass across the defense on the left side, and he scored from three yards out on a high-to-low shot with 11:37 on the clock in the third quarter.

Loyola took possession again with a faceoff win, and Sawyer scored his third during the 4-0 run, fending off a defender who was on his hands to put Loyola in front, 7-2, with 11:17 left in the third quarter.

Bellarmine, however, reeled off three in a row while holding Loyola scoreless for 20-minutes, 40-seconds.

Will Cary bookended a Michael Ward extra-man goal, and Cary’s second with 8:23 to play in regulation pulled the Knights within two, 7-5.

Justin Ward would snap the scoreless drought for Loyola rolling the crease on the left side and flipping a hard, nearly no-look shot past Dillon Ward for a goal with 5:54 left in regulation.

The Greyhounds then held off Bellarmine, allowing just one more goal by Michael Ward with 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Loyola outshot the Knights, 46-25, but Dillon Ward made 16 saves for Bellarmine.

Butts helped Loyola to a slim, 26-25, advantage in ground balls, leading the team with five. Joe Fletcher had four, and Pat Frazier and Runkel each had three.

The game concluded a stretch of five games in 15 days for the Greyhounds. Loyola will be back in action on Friday, March 8, when it travels to Durham, N.C., for a 7 o’clock game at Duke University.

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Loyola opens ECAC play Saturday against Bellarmine

Posted on 01 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Opponent Bellarmine Knights
Date Saturday, March 2, 2013
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex
TV | Radio Hounds Unleashed
Series Record Loyola leads, 3-0
Last Meeting Loyola 11, Bellarmine 8 – March 3, 2012, in Louisville

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland plays its fifth game in 15 days to start the 2013 season, and third-straight at home, on Saturday, March 2, when it hosts Bellarmine University at 1 o’clock at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The game will be the ECAC Lacrosse League opener for the Greyhounds.

 

Series History

Loyola will meet Bellarmine for the fourth time in series history on Saturday with the Greyhounds winning the first three games.

The Greyhounds won the first meeting, 14-8, in Louisville during the 2010 season when current Loyola players Eric Lusby and Patrick Fanshaw each scored three goals. In 2011, the teams were tied 3-3 at halftime and 4-4 after the first minute of the third quarter before the Greyhounds scored five in a row to break the game open and go on to a 9-6 victory. Mike Sawyer scored five goals in the game, and Matt Langan tallied four assists.

Last season, Loyola trailed 4-2 at halftime when J.P. Dalton won 7-of-8 faceoffs during the third quarter and the Greyhounds went up 7-5 late in the third quarter. Bellarmine got back within a goal with 58 seconds to go in the third quarter, but Loyola scored four in a row to lead 11-6 with 5:41 remaining in regulation.

Eric Lusby scored a game-high five goals, and Davis Butts added a career-best four, for the Greyhounds, while Dalton won 15-of-23 at the ‘X’ and picked up eight ground balls.

 

In The Polls

Loyola sits at No. 4 in both the USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls.

Entering the season, It was the first time in the polls’ existences that the Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 to start the year.

Bellarmine is receiving votes in the media poll.

 

Last Time Out

In a driving rain and winds that gusted to 40 miles per hour on Tuesday night, Loyola was down 4-3 to UMBC after one quarter, and the Retrievers took a 5-4 lead with 12:58 to play before halftime before the Greyhounds scored three in a row and eventually went ahead 8-6 at the break.

The teams traded goals in the first three minutes of the third quarter before the Greyhounds broke the game open with a 10-0 run that stretched into the fourth quarter.

Justin Ward scored three of his career-high seven goals during that run, and he also finished with three assists for 10 points.

Nikko Pontrello added three goals and three assists, both career highs, while Mike Sawyer tallied three goals, and Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan each had two out of the midfield.

Loyola owned a 49-30 advantage in ground balls with Scott Ratliff picking up a game-high eight. Joe Fletcher had seven, and Brendan Donovan won 19-of-31 faceoffs for Loyola.

 

Ward’s Big Night

The foul weather did not slow Justin Ward on Tuesday against UMBC, as the junior finished with seven goals and three assists for 10 points. His goal and point outputs were career-highs.

He became the first player to score at least seven goals in a game since Gavin Prout tallied eight in a 19-11 win at Hobart on April 28, 2001.

Ward’s 10-point effort was the first 10-point game for a Greyhound since Tim Goettelmann tallied the same amount in a 19-9 win on March 25, 2000, against Fairfield. In that game, Goettelmann scored four goals and had six assists. Later that season, he would score seven goals on May 16 in the NCAA First Round against Notre Dame.

Ward’s seven goals brought his 2013 total to a team-high 12, matching the number he put up in 19 games last season. He is also tops on the team with nine assists and 21 points through four games.

His seven goals are tied with Ohio State’s Logan Schuss and Army’s Garrett Thul for the most in a game this season, and his 10 points tie Schuss for game-high honors, as well.

With 41 career assists, Ward is now tied for 20th in Loyola’s Division I history with Mark Frye and Brian Kroneberger.

 

Pontrello Puts Up Points, Too

Somewhat lost in Justin Ward’s 10-point night against UMBC were the career-high numbers put up by fellow attacker Nikko Pontrello. The sophomore finished with career-bests in goals (3), assists (3) and points (6).

It was his first career multi-goal game, and his assists exceeded his previous best of two.

Pontrello now has two multi-point games this season after scoring a goal and assisting on two at Towson on February 20. In four games, he has five goals, and his six assists are second-most on the team.

 

Another Sawyer Hat Trick

Mike Sawyer had another three-goal game for Loyola against UMBC, meaning that the Greyhounds’ three starting attackers combined for 13 goals and seven assists versus the Retrievers.

The hat trick was the second of the season for Sawyer who also turned the feat at Towson. He now has 19 in his career at Loyola and is now third among active players with career hat tricks, trailing only Colgate’s Peter Baum (29) and Army’s Garrett Thul (25).

 

Eighth To 100

With his goal at 9:25 in the third quarter on Tuesday night, Mike Sawyer became the eighth player in Loyola men’s lacrosse history to score 100 in his career, the seventh in the program’s Division I history.

Sawyer joins a list that includes Gary Hanley (151), Pat Lamon (133), Gewas Schindler (120), Tim O’Shea (115), Kevin Beach (114), John Carroll (112) and Chris Colbeck (108).

 

Blackjack

Loyola scored 21 goals on Tuesday night against UMBC, marking the first time since April 26, 2000, that the Greyhounds had recorded 20 or more in a game. That day, they went on the road and beat Villanova, 21-7.

The game at Villanova was just 11 days after Loyola beat Massachusetts, 21-10, at home. Prior to those two games, the last 20-point outing was on April 15, 1998, against Lehigh.

 

Layne Keeps Tallying Points

Chris Layne had his fourth multi-point game in as many contests this season, recording two goals and an assist for the Greyhounds against UMBC after tallying the same amount three days prior against Maryland. Through four game this year, Layne has seven goals and five assists.

Last season, he had a total of five multi-point games while finishing with 11 goals and 14 assists. With his two goals against Delaware, Maryland and UMBC, Layne has more than doubled his multi-goal games during his time at Loyola to five. He also had one as a sophomore in 2010 for North Carolina.

At Delaware in the season-opener, Layne tallied the first and last goals of the game for the Greyhounds, the initial coming at 12:17 in the first quarter, and the second with 4.4 seconds left in the fourth. He also assisted on a Scott Ratliff transition goal just over five minutes into the third quarter.

 

Spreading The Scoring

Nine Loyola players scored goals at Towson with seven recording two or more points, and nine was also the number of scorers versus Maryland and UMBC, and seven had two or more points against the Retrievers.

Against Towson, Mike Sawyer and Justin Ward led the way with four points, Chris Layne and Kevin Ryan tallied three, while Nikko Pontrello, Sean O’Sullivan and Brian Schultz each recorded two.

The seven multi-point scorers were a step-up from the four (Layne, Sawyer, Ward and Davis Butts) who had two or more at Delaware.

Last season, Loyola had just two games with seven players scoring two or more points (Michigan, Air Force).

 

Off The Ground And Running

Loyola posted a 19-ground ball margin against UMBC, picking up 49, while the Retrievers had 30. Scott Ratliff led the way with a season-high eight, and Joe Fletcher matched his career-best with seven.

Four of the Greyhounds goals versus UMBC were as a direct result of unsettled transition.

Nineteen players had at least one ground ball for the Greyhounds in the game.

 

Two At The ‘X’

Loyola has had two primary faceoff men in their four games this season. Brendan Donovan started the season at Delaware and then took all but two of the 33 restarts against UMBC. He won 19-of-31 against the Retrievers where his 19 wins were the most by a Loyola player since Dan Kallaugher went 27-of-33 in the NCAA First Round at Albany on May 13, 2007.

In the Greyhounds’ other two games, Blake Burkhart took the majority of the restarts, winning 17-of-28, a career-high, at Towson, and 14-of-25 against Maryland.

 

Acton Active On Defense

Reid Acton tied his career-high on against Delaware with five caused turnovers to lead all players. He also picked up five ground balls, one shy of Scott Ratliff’s team-best six. He was part of a unit that held Delaware’s starting attack to just three goals in the game. Acton also caused five turnovers last season against Ohio State.

 

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola senior does a lot, as he led the team last year in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7). His 37 caused turnovers were second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.

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

Ratliff, who was also an USILA All-America Third Team member, an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.

He has scored a goal in three of the Greyhounds’ four goals this year, at Delaware and versus Maryland and UMBC to bring his career totals to 18 goals and 10 assists. He is currently second among active long-poles in scoring behind Bryant’s Mason Poli who has 32 goals and 10 assists.

With his game-opening goal against Canisius in the NCAA First Round, 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.

 

Helmet Stickers

Loyola players are wearing three stickers on their helmets this season to remember those who have passed away. The stickers are in memory of Adam Pomper, a member of the 2012 team who passed away on June 12, 2012, Mandy O’Sullivan, mother of current players Sean and Ryan O’Sullivan who died in March 2012 from pancreatic cancer, and the 26 victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting in December 2012 where Loyola put on a youth lacrosse clinic in January.

 

Well-Represented In MLL Draft

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

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

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

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

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

 

Newtown Youth Clinic

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

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

 

Preseason Accolades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Toomey Receives Morris Touchstone Award

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

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

The win over Canisius in the First Round was the 60th victory of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 60 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .640 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

 

Big Runs

Last season, runs of three-plus goals were critical in the Greyhounds success, as they had runs of 3-0 or better in all 19 games. In all, Loyola scored three or more in a row on 37 occasions last year.

The Greyhounds have opened the 2013 season in similar fashion as they scored three-straight in the second quarter to take a 4-2 lead against Delaware after trailing, 2-1. They then had two runs of 3-0 or better at Towson.

Against UMBC, Loyola had a 3-0 first-half run before putting together a 10-0 stretch in the third and fourth quarters.

The game against Maryland marked the first time since May 5, 2011, against Fairfield that the Greyhounds did not put up a run of 3-0 or better.

 

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds outscored opponents 66-22 in the third quarters of games, and 123-63 overall in the second half (including overtime), last season. The second-half scoring continued a trend from 2011 when Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56.

This year, Loyola is outscoring opponents 20-8 in the third quarter and 31-18 overall after halftime.

 

Up Next

The Greyhounds have their longest stretch of time without a game so far this season, a six-day break, before traveling to Durham, N.C., to face Duke at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 8.

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Loyola looks to bounce back Tuesday night against UMBC

Posted on 25 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Opponent UMBC Retrievers
Date Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex
TV | Radio Hounds Unleashed
Series Record UMBC leads, 6-14
Last Meeting Loyola 13, UMBC 5 – March 24, 2012, in Catonsville, Md.


Game Data

Loyola University Maryland plays its fourth game in 11 days to start the 2013 season on Tuesday, February 26, when it hosts UMBC at 7 o’clock at Ridley Athletic Complex.

 

Series History

UMBC and Loyola will meet for the 31st time in series history when the teams take the field on Tuesday with the Retrievers holding a 16-14 advantage in the previous 30 contests.

Last year, the teams will played for the first time during the regular-season since 2005.

Last season, Mike Sawyer scored four-straight goals during a 10-1 Loyola run that led to a 13-5 Greyhounds’ victory at UMBC on a rainy March night. Sawyer finished with five goals and two assists, and Jack Runkel posted a then-career-high 13 saves for Loyola. Six Loyola players had multi-point nights, led by Sawyer’s seven. Justin Ward, J.P. Dalton and Eric Lusby each had three points, while Phil Dobson and Davis Butts each had two.

 

In The Polls

Loyola sits at No. 4 in both the USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls.

Entering the season, It was the first time in the polls’ existences that the Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 to start the year.

 

Last Time Out

Loyola scored the first goals of the first and third quarters last Saturday, but Maryland launched into 5-0 and 3-0 runs in those respective quarters thereafter, and the No. 1/2 Terrapins finished with a 12-10 victory over the Greyhounds.

Mike Sawyer opened the game with a 12-yard rip at 10:02, but Maryland reeled off five in a row, taking a 5-1 lead with three seconds left in the third quarter on a Landon Carr transition goal.

The teams traded second-quarter goals and Maryland led 7-3 at halftime before Pat Laconi scored for Loyola 27 seconds into the third quarter.

This time, the Terrapins netted three goals in a row to lead 10-4 on a Kevin Cooper goal with 10:57 on the clock. Loyola would score four of the next five to get within three, 11-8, on Matt Sawyer’s goal with 2:53 left in the third.

Neither Loyola, nor Maryland, would score for nearly 15 minutes before Billy Gribbin broke through for the Terrapins with 3:08 left in regulation. Sean O’Sullivan and Chris Layne would add two more for Loyola, but the Greyhounds could not get closer.

 

Layne Keeps Tallying Points

Chris Layne had his third multi-point game in as many contests this season, recording two goals and an assist for the Greyhounds against Maryland. Last season, he had a total of five multi-point games while finishing with 11 goals and 14 assists.

With his two goals against both Delaware and Maryland, Layne has also doubled his multi-goal games during his time at Loyola. He also had one as a sophomore in 2010 for North Carolina.

Through three games this year, Layne is tied for second on the team with five goals, is second in both assists (four) and points (nine).

At Delaware in the season-opener, Layne tallied the first and last goals of the game for the Greyhounds, the initial coming at 12:17 in the first quarter, and the second with 4.4 seconds left in the fourth. He also assisted on a Scott Ratliff transition goal just over five minutes into the third quarter.

 

Spreading The Scoring

Nine Loyola players scored goals on Wednesday night at Towson with seven recording two or more points, and nine was also the number of scorers on Saturday versus Maryland.

Against Towson, Mike Sawyer and Justin Ward led the way with four points, Chris Layne and Kevin Ryan tallied three, while Nikko Pontrello, Sean O’Sullivan and Brian Schultz each recorded two.

The seven multi-point scorers were a step-up from the four (Layne, Sawyer, Ward and Davis Butts) who had two or more at Delaware.

Last season, Loyola had just two games with seven players scoring two or more points (Michigan, Air Force).

 

Ward Remains High Point Scorer

Justin Ward scored a goal and had an assist against Maryland and remains the Greyhounds’ 2013 point leader with 12. The junior attackman had a goal and three assists against Towson after opening with three goals and two assists to tie his career-high with five points at Delaware.

Ward finished third on the team last season in points (43) while leading the Greyhounds with 31 assists, the fourth-most in Loyola’s single-season Division I history.

With his assists at Maryland, he moved into 22nd in school Division I assist history with 38. With three more, he’ll move into a tie for 20th.

 

Sawyer’s Hat Trick

With more than five minutes remaining in the first half, at Towson Mike Sawyer had recorded his first hat trick of the 2013 season and 18th of his career. He is now third among active players with career hat tricks, trailing only Colgate’s Peter Baum (28) and Army’s Garrett Thul (25).

Sawyer had not scored more than one goal in a game during Loyola’s last four outings, including the NCAA Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Championship Game, as well as Loyola’s season-opener at Delaware. His last hat trick came on May 12, 2012, in the NCAA First Round when he scored four in the second half for a total of five against Canisius.

Last season, he recorded 11 hat tricks, including a stretch of five in a row from March 7-24.

 

Burkhart Breaks In

Blake Burkhart made his Loyola debut at the faceoff X against Towson, taking all 28 restarts and winning a career-high 17-of-28 (60.7-perecnt).

He also had a game-high eight ground balls while winning the first four of the game, 6-of-8 during the second quarter and 5-of-8 during the fourth.

Burkhart then was successful on 14-of-25 against Maryland.

Burkhart played his freshman season at Rutgers University where he was 54-of-100 at the ‘X’ in 2012 before transferring to Loyola.

 

Better Off The Ground

Winning the ground ball battle was a point of emphasis for Loyola entering the Towson game, and the Greyhounds were successful. They picked up 40 to the Tigers’ 30, thanks in large part to a 17-11 advantage in faceoffs.

In the season-opener against Delaware, the Blue Hens grabbed 36, and Loyola had 34.

Loyola was 10th in the NCAA last season with an average of 32.79 per game. The Greyhounds were 13-0 last year when picking up more than their opponents.

 

EMO Success

Loyola converted on 4-of-5 extra-man opportunities against Towson after going 0-of-2 against Delaware.

Kevin Ryan scored twice on man-up opportunities, recording the first multi-goal or point game of his career. He later added an assist on a Mike Sawyer goal in an even situation.

Another EMO attackman Brian Schultz had a goal and an assist in man-up situations, and Justin Ward scored one late.

 

Acton Active On Defense

Reid Acton tied his career-high on Saturday with five caused turnovers to lead all players. He also picked up five ground balls, one shy of Scott Ratliff’s team-best six. He was part of a unit that held Delaware’s starting attack to just three goals in the game. Acton also caused five turnovers last season against Ohio State.

 

Between The Pipes

Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel made 10 of his 11 saves during the second half against Delaware, marking the eight time in his career that he has posted 10 or more saves in goal. The last time came when 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. Runkel followed his performance in the Semifinal with a six-save, three-goals allowed performance in the title game against Maryland. He was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team for his efforts.

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

 

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola senior does a lot, as he led the team last year  in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7). His 37 caused turnovers were second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.

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

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

Ratliff, who was also an USILA All-America Third Team member, an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.

He tallied a goal and six ground balls in the 2013 season-opener against Delaware, bringing his career scoring totals to 17 goals and 10 assists. He is currently second among active long-poles in scoring behind Bryant’s Mason Poli who has 32 goals and 10 assists.

With his game-opening goal against Canisius in the NCAA First Round, 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.

 

Helmet Stickers

Loyola players are wearing three stickers on their helmets this season to remember those who have passed away. The stickers are in memory of Adam Pomper, a member of the 2012 team who passed away on June 12, 2012, Mandy O’Sullivan, mother of current players Sean and Ryan O’Sullivan who died in March 2012 from pancreatic cancer, and the 26 victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting in December 2012 where Loyola put on a youth lacrosse clinic in January.

 

Welcome To The Staff

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

 

Well-Represented In MLL Draft

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

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

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

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

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

 

Newtown Youth Clinic

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

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

 

Returning From 2012

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

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

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

 

Preseason Accolades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Toomey Receives Morris Touchstone Award

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

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

The win over Canisius in the First Round was the 60th victory of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 60 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .640 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

 

Big Runs

Last season, runs of three-plus goals were critical in the Greyhounds success, as they had runs of 3-0 or better in all 19 games. In all, Loyola scored three or more in a row on 37 occasions last year.

The Greyhounds have opened the 2013 season in similar fashion as they scored three-straight in the second quarter to take a 4-2 lead against Delaware after trailing, 2-1. They then had two runs of 3-0 or better at Towson.

The game against Maryland marked the first time since May 5, 2011, against Fairfield that the Greyhounds did not put up a run of 3-0 or better.

 

Up Next

Loyola hosts its third home game in an eight day span on Saturday, March 2, when it takes on Bellarmine at 1 p.m. in its ECAC Lacrosse League opener.

 

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Loyola faces Maryland Saturday in lax home opener

Posted on 22 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Game Data
Loyola University Maryland opens the home portion of its 2013 men’s lacrosse schedule on Saturday, February 23, when it hosts the University of Maryland at Ridley Athletic Complex in a rematch of the 2012 NCAA Championship Game.
The Greyhounds and Terrapins will faceoff at 1:30 p.m. in a game that follows the Loyola-Penn State University women’s lacrosse game that starts at 11 a.m.

On The Tube
The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network in the channel’s first live college lacrosse game that was not part of a multi-team event. Mike Corey will call the play-by-play, while Mark Dixon will provide the analysis in the booth. Evan Washburn will be on the sidelines for additional commentary.

Series History
Loyola and Maryland will be meeting for the 22nd time in series history on Saturday with the Terrapins holding a 19-2 advantage in the previous 21 games.
Prior to last year’s NCAA Championship Game, the teams had not faced each other since Maryland won a 19-8 decision on May 23, 1998, in the NCAA Semifinals at Rutgers University.
The 2013 contest will be the first time the teams have met in the regular season since Loyola scored its first victory in the series, 10-8, on March 19, 1989, in the title game of the Loyola/George Transfer Invitational. Prior to that game, Maryland had won the first 18 meetings.

Title Game Look Back
Loyola and Maryland met at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on May 28, 2012, with the NCAA Championship on the line.
The Greyhounds jumped out to a 2-1 lead with 1:55 to go in the first quarter on an Eric Lusby goal, but the Terrapins rallied to score the next two, going up 3-2 on Kevin Cooper’s tally off a Joe Cummings assist with 10:40 remaining in the first half.
Pat Byrnes tied the score 1:18 later, and Mike Sawyer gave the Greyhounds the lead for good with a low-to-low shot at 5:57, as Maryland would not score again the rest of the game.
Loyola’s defense held Maryland scoreless for the final 40-minutes, 40-seconds of regulation despite facing  19 shots in the second half and 20 total during that span.
Eric Lusby was named the NCAA Championships’ Most Outstanding Player after scoring four goals in the Championship game and a tournament record 17 in four games. Chris Layne led Loyola with three assists in the game, Davis Butts and Sawyer both had multi-point games for the Greyhounds with a goal and an assist apiece.
Jack Runkel made six saves in goal for the Greyhounds.

In The Polls
Loyola opened the 2013 season ranked No. 1 in both the USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls, but after last weekend’s narrow victory at Delaware, the Greyhounds fell to No. 2 in the coaches’ version. They remain in the top spot in the media poll.
It was the first time in the polls’ existences that the Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 in the preseason.
Maryland entered the season ranked second in both polls, and the Terrapins took over the top slot in the coaches’ poll this week.

Last Time Out
Mike Sawyer scored four goals to lead seven Loyola players who had at least two points in a 14-9 mid-week victory at Towson on Wednesday night.
Sawyer tallied the first goal of the game as four different Greyhounds scored in the first quarter while Loyola built a 6-1 advantage with 9:39 to play in the first half.
Kevin Ryan scored two of the Greyhounds’ first six goals, both on extra-man opportunities, and Sawyer added his second of the game early in the second period. Towson, however, scored three unanswered to pull within two, 6-4, with 6:41 on the first-half clock, but Sawyer and Sean O’Sullivan answered for the Greyhounds to give them an 8-4 halftime cushion.
Patrick Fanshaw and Sawyer tallied goals in the second half’s first seven minutes, and Loyola was up six, but the Tigers made it a three-goal game on two occasions in the fourth quarter.

Sawyer’s Hat Trick
With more than five minutes remaining in the first half, Mike Sawyer had recorded his first hat trick of the 2013 season and 18th of his career. He is now third among active players with career hat tricks, trailing only Colgate’s Peter Baum (28) and Army’s Garrett Thul (25).
Sawyer had not scored more than one goal in a game during Loyola’s last four outings, including the NCAA Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Championship Game, as well as Loyola’s season-opener at Delaware. His last hat trick came on May 12, 2012, in the NCAA First Round when he scored four in the second half for a total of five against Canisius.
Last season, he recorded 11 hat tricks, including a stretch of five in a row from March 7-24.

Ward Remains High Point Scorer
Justin Ward matched Mike Sawyer’s four points against Towson and remains the Greyhounds’ 2013 point leader with 10. The junior attackman had a goal and three assists against the Tigers after opening with three goals and two assists to tie his career-high with five points at Delaware.
Ward finished third on the team last season in points (43) while leading the Greyhounds with 31 assists, the fourth-most in Loyola’s single-season Division I history.
With his three assists at Towson, he moved into a tie for 22nd in school Division I assist history with 37. He has matched the output of Buzz Miller (1982-83) and Chris Basler (2007-11).

Spreading The Scoring
Nine Loyola players scored goals on Wednesday night at Towson with seven recording two or more points.
Mike Sawyer and Justin Ward led the way with four points, Chris Layne and Kevin Ryan tallied three, while Nikko Pontrello, Sean O’Sullivan and Brian Schultz each recorded two.
The seven multi-point scorers were a step-up from the four (Layne, Sawyer, Ward and Davis Butts) who had two or more at Delaware.
Last season, Loyola had just two games with seven players scoring two or more points (Michigan, Air Force).

Burkhart Breaks In
Blake Burkhart made his Loyola debut at the faceoff X, taking all 28 restarts and winning a career-high 17-of-28 (60.7-perecnt).
He also had a game-high eight ground balls while winning the first four of the game, 6-of-8 during the second quarter and 5-of-8 during the fourth.
Burkhart played his freshman season at Rutgers University where he was 54-of-100 at the ‘X’ in 2012 before transferring to Loyola.

Better Off The Ground
Winning the ground ball battle was a point of emphasis for Loyola entering the Towson game, and the Greyhounds were successful. They picked up 40 to the Tigers’ 30, thanks in large part to a 17-11 advantage in faceoffs.
In the season-opener against Delaware, the Blue Hens grabbed 36, and Loyola had 34.
Loyola was 10th in the NCAA last season with an average of 32.79 per game. The Greyhounds were 13-0 last year when picking up more than their opponents.

EMO Success
Loyola converted on 4-of-5 extra-man opportunities against Towson after going 0-of-2 against Delaware.
Kevin Ryan scored twice on man-up opportunities, recording the first multi-goal or point game of his career. He later added an assist on a Mike Sawyer goal in an even situation.
Another EMO attackman Brian Schultz had a goal and an assist in man-up situations, and Justin Ward scored one late.

Last-Second Layne
Chris Layne was one of two players to score more than one goal on Saturday against Delaware, and he was one of four Greyhounds to score two or more points.
Layne tallied the first and last goals of the game for the Greyhounds, the initial coming at 12:17 in the first quarter, and the second with 4.4 seconds left in the fourth. He also assisted on a Scott Ratliff transition goal just over five minutes into the third quarter.
It was his fourth career multi-goal game as a collegian with two coming last year (against Air Force and versus Fairfield in the ECAC Championship Game). He also had a two-goal outing as a sophomore in 2010 at North Carolina against Delaware.

Acton Active On Defense
Reid Acton tied his career-high on Saturday with five caused turnovers to lead all players. He also picked up five ground balls, one shy of Scott Ratliff’s team-best six. He was part of a unit that held Delaware’s starting attack to just three goals in the game. Acton also caused five turnovers last season against Ohio State.

Between The Pipes
Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel made 10 of his 11 saves during the second half against Delaware, marking the eight time in his career that he has posted 10 or more saves in goal. The last time came when 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. Runkel followed his performance in the Semifinal with a six-save, three-goals allowed performance in the title game against Maryland. He was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team for his efforts.
Runkel played to a 5.22 goals against average and .700 saves percentage in four NCAA Tournament games.

A Lot Of Everything
The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola senior does a lot, as he led the team last year  in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7). His 37 caused turnovers were second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.
A Tewaaraton Award semifinalist, Ratliff was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Championships after scoring three goals, one a game-winner, and recording two assists and 16 ground balls.
He had two goals, including the winner just eight seconds into overtime, and an assist versus Denver while picking up a career-high nine ground balls.
Ratliff, who was also an USILA All-America Third Team member, an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.
He tallied a goal and six ground balls in the 2013 season-opener against Delaware, bringing his career scoring totals to 17 goals and 10 assists. He is currently second among active long-poles in scoring behind Bryant’s Mason Poli who has 32 goals and 10 assists.
With his game-opening goal against Canisius in the NCAA First Round, 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.

Helmet Stickers
Loyola players are wearing three stickers on their helmets this season to remember those who have passed away. The stickers are in memory of Adam Pomper, a member of the 2012 team who passed away on June 12, 2012, Mandy O’Sullivan, mother of current players Sean and Ryan O’Sullivan who died in March 2012 from pancreatic cancer, and the 26 victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting in December 2012 where Loyola put on a youth lacrosse clinic in January.

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

Well-Represented In MLL Draft
Five members of the Loyola men’s lacrosse team were selected in the top 26 of the January 11 Major League Lacrosse draft. The Greyhounds tied Virginia for the most draft picks in the selection process.
Josh Hawkins and Mike Sawyer were both taken in the first round, going fifth and eighth overall to the Hamilton Nationals and Charlotte Hounds, respectively.
Scott Ratliff was the first pick of the second round, going ninth to the Boston Cannons, and Davis Butts was taken early in the third round, 19th overall to the Denver Outlaws.
Joining Hawkins in Hamilton will be Reid Acton, the team’s fourth round pick, 26th overall.
Sawyer will be joined in Charlotte by former teammate Eric Lusby who was the top waiver pick after the NCAA season ended in early June. After missing the majority of the MLL season with an injury, the NCAA Championships Most Outstanding Player made his MLL debut on July 28 at Long Island and scored a goal. He then tallied three goals  in an August 11 win over Rochester.

Newtown Youth Clinic
Fourteen members of the Loyola men’s lacrosse team took time from their holiday vacation to travel to Newtown, Conn., for a clinic with the Newtown Lacrosse Association.
Led by freshman Jason Crane, the Greyhounds worked with more than 100 elementary and junior-high school-age players, many of whom attended Sandy Hook Elementary School where the shooting that killed 26 took place in December.

Returning From 2012
Head Coach Charley Toomey returns eight starters and 34 letterwinners from the 2012 Loyola team that won the NCAA Championship.
Back among the starters are attackmen Mike Sawyer and Justin Ward, first-line midfielders Davis Butts, Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan, defenders Reid Acton and Joe Fletcher and goalkeeper Jack Runkel.
The Greyhounds also return their top long-stick midfielder, Scott Ratliff, and their top three short-stick midfielders, Kyle Duffy, Josh Hawkins and Pat Laconi. A pair of second-line midfielders, Phil Dobson and Nikko Pontrello, also return.

Preseason Accolades
Six Loyola players were named to the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America teams: defender Joe Fletcher and short-stick midfielder Josh Hawkins (first team); attackman Mike Sawyer and long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff (second); midfielder Davis Butts (third); and, defender Reid Acton (honorable mention).
All six earned All-America honors last season with Sawyer earned Second Team honors and Ratliff was named to the Third Team. Acton, Butts, Fletcher and Acton earned Honorable Mention along with graduate student Eric Lusby.
In his first year as a starter, Fletcher was named to the NCAA and ECAC Championships All-Tournament Teams and earned a reputation as one of the top defenders in the nation. In 19 games as a sophomore, Fletcher caused 26 turnovers, second most on the team, and had 41 ground balls.
Hawkins has continued to be one of the top defensive midfielders in the nation and garnered considerable respect nationally for his play during the NCAA Championships. He earned NCAA All-Tournament honors and helped the Greyhounds limit Notre Dame and Maryland to a combined eight goals on Championships weekend. In addition to his six goals and two assists in 15 games last year, Hawkins was second on the team with 63 ground balls.
Sawyer was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player last season when he scored 52 goals and assisted on 10 more and was named the team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. During the regular-season, he led the ECAC in goals and goals per game while earning All-ECAC First Team honors. He became the second player to score 50 or more goals in a season and was joined by a third on last year’s team.
Ratliff continued to be one of the top long-stick midfielders in the nation and set a Loyola scoring record for the position last year. He finished with 12 goals and seven assists, exceeding current Loyola Assistant Coach Matt Dwan’s previous record for a long-stick midfielder set in 1995. In addition to his scoring, he tallied 88 ground balls and 37 caused turnovers while earning ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, ECAC Championships Most Valuable Player, NCAA All-Tournament Team and team co-defenisve player of the year honors.
Butts was a first-line midfielder for the Greyhounds for the second year in a row. He excelled as a dodger and finisher and ranked fourth on the team in points (35) and third in goals scored (21). A versatile player, Butts also saw plenty of action on the wings of faceoffs and in the defensive midfield where he picked up 40 ground balls.
Acton will enter 2013 having started on the Greyhounds’ defense each of the last three years. He finished the 2012 season with 44 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers, while helping Loyola record a 7.21 goals allowed per game average, the fifth-best mark in Division I. The Greyhounds set a pair of defensive records during Championship Weekend, holding Notre Dame and Maryland to a combined eight goals in the two games and allowing the Terrapins just three in the title match.

Toomey Receives Morris Touchstone Award
Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career, and in December, he received the coaches association’s Morris Touchstone Award as the national coach of the year.
The Greyhounds became the second team in USILA Coaches Poll history to start a season unranked and ascend to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The only other team was Duke in 2007 – a year after the Blue Devils had their season suspended in March – which accomplished the feat after being unranked in the first poll, moving to second in the next version and first in the third. Duke was knocked from its perch as No. 1 that season when it lost to the Greyhounds at the First Four in San Diego.
The win over Canisius in the First Round was the 60th victory of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 60 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .626 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

Big Runs
Last season, runs of three-plus goals were critical in the Greyhounds success, as they had runs of 3-0 or better in all 19 games. In all, Loyola scored three or more in a row on 37 occasions last year.
The Greyhounds have opened the 2013 season in similar fashion as they scored three-straight in the second quarter to take a 4-2 lead against Delaware after trailing, 2-1. They then had two runs of 3-0 or better at Towson.

On The Flip Side
Conversely, the Greyhounds allowed a run of three or more goals just 12 times last year, with the last coming when Canisius scored three in the second quarter. Only Denver (seven in ECAC Semifinal), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.
In the 2013 season-opener, Delaware had one 3-0 run that the Blue Hens used to tie the game at 7-7 in the fourth quarter.

Second-Half Success
The Greyhounds outscored opponents 66-22 in the third quarters of games, and 123-63 overall in the second half (including overtime), last season.
The second-half scoring continues a trend from 2011 when Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56.

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Sawyer scores four to help Loyola past Towson

Posted on 20 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Sawyer Scores Four In Chilly Men’s Lacrosse Win Over Towson

TOWSON, Md. – Mike Sawyer scored four goals and seven Loyola University Maryland players tallied two or more points as the Greyhounds defeated host Towson, 14-9, on a Wednesday night when the wind chill hovered below 15 degrees.

Justin Ward had a four-point night with a goal and three assists, while Kevin Ryan (two goals, one assist) and Chris Layne (one goal, two assists) each had three. Sean O’Sullivan (two goals), Brian Schultz and Nikko Pontrello (one goal, one assist each) tallied two points apiece.

Loyola (2-0 overall) built a 4-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game as four players scored goals.

“Anytime Loyola and Towosn play, you are going to have a physical game, and that is exactly what it was,” Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “I was pleased with our energy tonight, and I thought that we came out with intensity.”

Sawyer opened the scoring by taking a Ward pass from behind and depositing a goal from just outside the crease on the right side, 2:59 into the game. Davis Butts used an 11-yard sidearm shot off a Layne assist just over 2:30 later to tack on the second goal, and O’Sullivan finished a Pontrello feed from 10 yards out at 6:42.

On the Greyhounds’ first extra-man opportunity of the night, Ryan picked up a loose ball in front of the cage and scored at 5:03 to put the Greyhounds ahead, 4-0.

After a Thomas DeNapoli goal with 1:09 left in the first quarter, Loyola tallied the first two of the second period. Sawyer redodged and got past his defender to score at 13:32, and Ryan recorded the first two-goal game of his career with another extra-man tally on a cut down the middle, this off a Schultz assist, at 9:39.

Towson (0-3), however, scored the next three goals, and Greg Cuccinello’s goal with 6:41 to play before halftime closed the Tigers’ deficit to 6-4.

The Greyhounds responded with a pair of goals, the first coming from Sawyer off a Ward assist. Sawyer shot from an extremely tight angle on the left side after Ward shot a pass from behind. O’Sullivan then notched his second of the game with 1:14 to go before halftime to push Loyola’s lead to 8-4 at the break.

Loyola scored the first two of the second half as Patrick Fanshaw dodged from right-to-left from the top middle and scored at 12:13, and Sawyer ducked out from in front of the crease, caught a Ryan pass and scored with 8:47 on the clock. His fourth of the game gave the Greyhounds a six-goal lead, 10-4.

Towson rallied again as Cuccinello and Andrew Hodgson wrapped a pair of goals around a Pontrello score, and then Hodgson and DeNapoli scored to open the fourth quarter.

DeNapoli’s shot from nine yards out on the left side with 9:40 remaining in regulation closed the gap to 11-8.

Loyola earned an extra-man opportunity, however, on a Towson illegal body check, and Ward fed a cross-crease pass to Schultz on the right doorstep, and Schultz’s goal pushed the lead back to four.

Towson again closed it to three on DeNapoli’s fourth of the game at 4:22, but two Loyola goals with an empty net, one by Ward on a man-up and the other by Layne, provided the final five-goal difference.

After winning just 7-of-21 faceoffs in the season opener at the University of Delaware, Blake Burkhart made his season debut at the ‘X’ and won 17-of-28. He also led all players with eight ground balls.

Scott Ratliff and Joe Fletcher each had four ground balls, and all but one Loyola starter had at least one off the ground. Loyola picked up a total of 39 to Towson’s 24.

Jack Runkel made 10 saves in goal for Loyola.

The Greyhounds play their home opener on Saturday, February 23, at 1:30 p.m. against the University of Maryland in a rematch of the 2012 NCAA Championship Game that Loyola won, 9-3. The game will be broadcast live nationally on NBC Sports Network.

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Loyola takes short trip to Towson for lax battle Wednesday

Posted on 19 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Opponent Towson Tigers
Date Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Towson, Md. | Johnny Unitas Stadium
TV | Radio Towson Webstreaming
Series Record Series tied, 27-27
Last Meeting Loyola 13, Towson 6 – February 25, 2012, in Baltimore

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland plays its second game of the season and its second of five in a 15-day stretch to open the season.

The Greyhounds make the short trip to Towson University on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, for a 7 p.m. faceoff against the Tigers at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

 

Series History

The Loyola-Towson rivalry is the most played series in the history of men’s lacrosse at both schools. Wednesday’s game will be the 55th all-time meeting between the teams, dating back to 1959, the first year of intercollegiate lacrosse at Towson.

Of Loyola’s opponents, only Towson (54), Johns Hopkins (50) and Penn State (50) have played the Greyhounds 50 or more times. Georgetown is Loyola next most-played opponent after that trio. The Hoyas will meet the Greyhounds for the 36th time next month.

Loyola evened the all-time series record at 27-27 with a 13-6 victory on February 25, 2012. The Greyhounds have won the last five meetings between the teams dating back to 2008.

In last year’s game, Mike Sawyer and Sean O’Sullivan both scored four goals, and Justin Ward passed out a career-best five assists as the Greyhounds defeated Towson, 13-6. Loyola led 6-1 midway through the second quarter and extended its advantage to 11-2 in the third.

 

In The Polls

Loyola opened the 2013 season ranked No. 1 in both the USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls, but after last weekend’s narrow victory at Delaware, the Greyhounds fell to No. 2 in the coaches’ version. They remain in the top spot in the media poll.

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

 

Last Time Out

Chris Layne took the ball after a timeout, went to midfield and dodged down the middle, scoring with 4.4 seconds left to lift Loyola to a 9-8 win at Delaware on Saturday in the Greyhounds’ season-opener.

A Mike Sawyer goal with 1:18 remaining in the third quarter gave the Greyhounds a 7-4 advantage, but the Blue Hens tied the game at 7-7 with three goals in the first 4:32 of the fourth quarter.

Sean O’Sullivan took a Sawyer pass and scored from the left side at 8:20, and the Greyhounds nearly held off a late Delaware charge. The Blue Hens, however, scored on an extra-man opportunity with 26 seconds left to tie the game at 8-8.

Justin Ward led all players with three goals and five points, while Layne had two goals and an assist.

Defensively, Jack Runkel made 10 of his 11 saves in the second half, and Reid Acton caused a game-high five turnovers. Scott Ratliff picked up six ground balls for the Greyhounds.

 

Last-Second Layne

Chris Layne was one of two players to score more than one goal on Saturday against Delaware, and he was one of four Greyhounds to score two or more points.

Layne tallied the first and last goals of the game for the Greyhounds, the initial coming at 12:17 in the first quarter, and the second with 4.4 seconds left in the fourth. He also assisted on a Scott Ratliff transition goal just over five minutes into the third quarter.

It was his fourth career multi-goal game as a collegian with two coming last year (against Air Force and versus Fairfield in the ECAC Championship Game). He also had a two-goal outing as a sophomore in 2010 at North Carolina against Delaware.

 

Ward With Three And Two

Justin Ward, who finished third on the team in points as a sophomore in 2012, paced the Greyhounds’ offense with three goals and two assists for a career-high tying five points at Delaware. He matched the five points he scored last season against Towson, all coming on assists.

Ward’s three goals were also a career-high. He scored 12 goals last season and assisted on a team-best 31 for 43 points.

With his two assists on Saturday, Ward moved into 25th place in Loyola’s Division I history with 34 career assists. He passed Gavin Prout who had 33 from 2000-2001.

 

Acton Active On Defense

Reid Acton tied his career-high on Saturday with five caused turnovers to lead all players. He also picked up five ground balls, one shy of Scott Ratliff’s team-best six. He was part of a unit that held Delaware’s starting attack to just three goals in the game.

Acton also caused five turnovers last season against Ohio State.

 

Loyola Debuts

Four players – Joe Baker, Jason Crane, Justin Verratti and Harry Kutner – made their Loyola debuts on Saturday at Delaware with Baker, Crane and Verratti’s debuts also marking their first collegiate experience. Kutner played four years and graduated from St. John’s prior to coming to Loyola for his final year of eligibility (he received a medical hardship waiver after an injury in 2011).

In addition to those four, two players, T.J. Harris and Nikko Pontrello, made their starting lineup debuts on Saturday on close defense and attack, respectively.

 

Between The Pipes

Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel made 10 of his 11 saves during the second half against Delaware, marking the eight time in his career that he has posted 10 or more saves in goal. The last time came when 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. Runkel followed his performance in the Semifinal with a six-save, three-goals allowed performance in the title game against Maryland. He was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team for his efforts.

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

 

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola senior does a lot, as he led the team last year  in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7). His 37 caused turnovers were second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.

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

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

Ratliff, who was also an USILA All-America Third Team member, an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.

He tallied a goal and six ground balls in the 2013 season-opener against Delaware, bringing his career scoring totals to 17 goals and 10 assists. He is currently second among active long-poles in scoring behind Bryant’s Mason Poli who has 32 goals and 10 assists.

With his game-opening goal against Canisius in the NCAA First Round, 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.

 

Helmet Stickers

Loyola players are wearing three stickers on their helmets this season to remember those who have passed away. The stickers are in memory of Adam Pomper, a member of the 2012 team who passed away on June 12, 2012, Mandy O’Sullivan, mother of current players Sean and Ryan O’Sullivan who died in March 2012 from pancreatic cancer, and the 26 victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting in December 2012 where Loyola put on a youth lacrosse clinic in January.

 

National Team Exhibition

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

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

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

 

Welcome To The Staff

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

 

Television Dates Announced

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

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

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

 

Well-Represented In MLL Draft

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

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

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

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

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

 

Newtown Youth Clinic

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

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

 

First NCAA Championship

Loyola won its first NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship, and the school’s first NCAA Division I title in any sport, on May 28, 2012, in Foxborough, Mass. The Greyhounds defeated Maryland, 9-3 in the title game, capping a season in which the Greyhounds tied an NCAA record with 18 victories.

 

Returning From 2012

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

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

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

 

Preseason Accolades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Seven Earn All-America Honors in 2012

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

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

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

 

School Record In Wins

Loyola’s victory over Maryland in the NCAA Championship Game was its 18th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.

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

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

 

Toomey Receives Morris Touchstone Award

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

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

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

 

Big Runs

Last season, runs of three-plus goals were critical in the Greyhounds success, as they had runs of 3-0 or better in all 19 games. In all, Loyola scored three or more in a row on 37 occasions last year.

The Greyhounds opened the 2013 season in similar fashion as they scored three-straight in the second quarter to take a 4-2 lead against Delaware after trailing, 2-1.

 

On The Flip Side

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

In the 2013 season-opener, Delaware had one 3-0 run that the Blue Hens used to tie the game at 7-7 in the fourth quarter.

 

Second-Half Success

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

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

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Loyola opens title defense Saturday at Delaware

Posted on 15 February 2013 by WNST Staff

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

Game Data

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

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

 

A Note On History

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

 

Series History

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

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

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

 

In The Polls

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

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

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

 

National Team Exhibition

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

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

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

 

Welcome To The Staff

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

 

Television Dates Announced

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

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

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

 

Well-Represented In MLL Draft

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

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

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

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

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

 

Newtown Youth Clinic

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

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

 

First NCAA Championship

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

 

Defense Wins Championships

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

 

Returning From 2012

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

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

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

 

The Ranks Of Alumni

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

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

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

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

 

Preseason Accolades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Team Captains Named

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

 

Between The Pipes

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

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

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

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

 

50-50

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

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

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

 

And, 60-60

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

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

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

 

Seven Earn All-America Honors in 2012

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

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

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

 

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola senior does a lot, as he led the teamlast year  in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7). His 37 caused turnovers were second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.

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

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

Ratliff, who was also an USILA All-America Third Team member, an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.

 

Ratliff’s Scoring

Scott Ratliff had his third multi-goal game of the season in the NCAA First Round against Canisius, and he then added a goal in the Quarterfinal against Denver, raising his season totals to 12 goals and seven assists.

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

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

 

School Record In Wins

Loyola’s victory over Maryland in the NCAA Championship Game was its 18th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.

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

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

 

Midfield Scoring

Loyola’s first midfield line of Davis Butts (21g, 35p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 27) and Chris Layne (11, 25) combined for 48 goals and 39 assists this season, while the second midfield unit of Pat Byrnes (10, 7), J.P. Dalton (9, 4) and Phil Dobson (8, 2) added 26 and 13. Additionally, Nikko Pontrello has started to mix in with the second midfield, allowing Loyola’s attackers the opportunity to invert, and he has four goals and six assists.

 

Toomey Receives Morris Touchstone Award

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

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

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

 

Big Runs

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

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

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

 

On The Flip Side

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

 

Second-Half Success

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

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

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Defending champs Loyola face US National Team in exhibition Sunday

Posted on 26 January 2013 by WNST Staff

Opponent U.S National Team | Exhibition
Date Sunday, January 27, 2013
Time 11:00 a.m.
Location Lake Buena Vista, Fla. | ESPN Wide World Of Sports
TV | Radio ESPN3 (Live) | ESPNU (Tape-Delayed)
Series Record First Meeting
Last Meeting First Meeting


Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will play its first outside competition of the Spring 2013 season when it takes on the U.S. National Team in the Champion Challenge in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The game is slated for a 11 a.m. faceoff from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at DisneyWorld.

 

Watch The Action

The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3, the broadband arm of ESPN, with Mark Dixon (play-by-play) and Quint Kessenich (color) calling the action. Paul Carcaterra will be the sideline analyst.

In addition to the live broadcast on ESPN3, the game will air twice in a tape-delayed basis on ESPNU. Those broadcasts will take place at Monday, January 28, at 12 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

 

Champion Challenge

The Greyhounds will take part in the 8th-annual Champion Challenge, an event hosted by USLacrosse in the Orlando area. The U.S. Men’s National Team will take on Loyola, as well as Notre Dame, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at DisneyWorld. Additionally, the U.S. Women’s National Team will play Northwestern and Syracuse.

 

Exhibition Action

The game against the U.S. National Team will be the first of three exhibition games the Greyhounds will play prior to opening the 2013 regular season.

Loyola will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., for a Friday, February 2, game at North Carolina, and the Greyhounds will host Harvard on Saturday, February 9, at Ridley Athletic Complex.

 

Television Dates Announced

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

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

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

 

Well-Represented In MLL Draft

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

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

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

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

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

 

Newtown Youth Clinic

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

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

 

First NCAA Championship

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

 

Defense Wins Championships

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

 

Returning From 2012

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

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

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

 

The Ranks Of Alumni

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

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

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

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

 

Preseason Accolades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Team Captains Named

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

 

Between The Pipes

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

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

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

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

 

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.

The team then held Maryland to 29 shots, nearly four below their average of 33.7.

 

50-50

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

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

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

 

And, 60-60

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

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

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

 

Seven Earn All-America Honors in 2012

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

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

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

 

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola senior does a lot, as he led the teamlast year  in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7). His 37 caused turnovers were second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.

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

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

Ratliff, who was also an USILA All-America Third Team member, an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.

 

Ratliff’s Scoring

Scott Ratliff had his third multi-goal game of the season in the NCAA First Round against Canisius, and he then added a goal in the Quarterfinal against Denver, raising his season totals to 12 goals and seven assists.

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

Ratliff was second nationally this season in goals and points by a long pole, and his seven assists are tops in the country. Bryant’s Mason Poli 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 in the NCAA Semifinal raised his season total to 31. He was 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 Maryland in the NCAA Championship Game was its 18th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.

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

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

 

Sawyer Named One Of Five Tewaaraton Finalists

Mike Sawyer was named one of five Tewaaraton Award finalists, 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.

 

Midfield Scoring

Loyola’s first midfield line of Davis Butts (21g, 35p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 27) and Chris Layne (11, 25) combined for 48 goals and 39 assists this season, while the second midfield unit of Pat Byrnes (10, 7), J.P. Dalton (9, 4) and Phil Dobson (8, 2) added 26 and 13. Additionally, Nikko Pontrello has started to mix in with the second midfield, allowing Loyola’s attackers the opportunity to invert, and he has four goals and six assists.

 

Toomey Receives Morris Touchstone Award

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

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

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

 

Big Runs

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

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

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

 

On The Flip Side

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

 

Second-Half Success

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

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

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Five Greyhounds selected in MLL Draft

Posted on 11 January 2013 by WNST Staff

Five Greyhounds Selected In Major League Lacrosse Draft

PHILADELPHIA – Five members of the defending NCAA Champion Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team were selected Friday night in the Major League Lacrosse Draft, including two in the first round and three of the top nine overall, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown on Friday night.

Josh Hawkins (5th overall, Hamilton Nationals) and Mike Sawyer (8th, Charlotte Hounds) were selected in the first round. Scott Ratliff (9th, Boston Cannons) was picked in the second; Davis Butts (19th, Denver Outlaws), third; and Reid Acton (26th, Hamilton Nationals), fourth.

“I want to congratulate each of these guys on what is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Charley Toomey, Loyola’s head coach. “They have already made great contributions to our program, and we are looking forward to even more from this year as we start spring practice on Monday.”

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

Sawyer, a Preseason USILA All-America Second Team selection after earning the same honor following last year, was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player last season when he scored 52 goals and assisted on 10 more and was named the team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. During the regular-season, he led the ECAC in goals and goals per game while earning All-ECAC First Team honors. He became the second player to score 50 or more goals in a season and was joined by a third on last year’s team. Sawyer will be reuinited in Charlotte, his hometown, with former Greyhound Eric Lusby.

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

Butts was a first-line midfielder for the Greyhounds for the second year in a row in 2012. This season, he was named to the Preseason All-America Third Team after picking up honorable mention last season. He excelled as a dodger and finisher and ranked fourth on the team in points (35) and third in goals scored (21). A versatile player, Butts also saw plenty of action on the wings of faceoffs and in the defensive midfield where he picked up 40 ground balls.

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

Loyola will see outside competition for the first time in 2013 in just over two weeks. The Greyhounds travel to the Orlando area to face the U.S. National Team on Sunday, January 27, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at DisneyWorld. The regular season commences for Loyola on Saturday, February 16, at the University of Delaware.

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