Tag Archive | "Coach of the Year"

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Terps Tillman, Amato, Cannizzaro honored by ACC

Posted on 02 May 2014 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, MD. – Head coach John Tillman, senior goalie Niko Amato and freshman attackman Connor Cannizzaro were among the recipients of the annual ACC men’s lacrosse individual awards, the conference announced Thursday.

Tillman was selected as the ACC Coach of the Year, while Amato and Cannizzaro were named the Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively.

Tillman earns his first ACC Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Terrapins to a 10-3 overall record, including a 4-1 mark in conference play, which earned Maryland the 2014 ACC Regular Season championship. Tillman, who is in his fourth season at the helm of the Maryland program, is the third Terrapin head coach to earn the honor, joining Dick Edell, who won the award in 1989, 1992 and 1998, and Dave Cottle, who won the award in 2004 and 2008.

Amato, who is the first goalie in the history of the ACC to be named to the All-ACC squad four times, becomes the second Terp to win the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award in just the third season of the award’s existence. The native of Conshohocken, Pa., leads the conference with a 7.27 goals-against average, which is nearly a full goal less than the second-place goalie. He is also tops in the conference with a .573 save percentage. A three-time ACC Defensive Player of the Week honoree this season, Amato was at his best in conference games and had a 7.80 goals-against average with a .585 save percentage in the five regular season conference games. His standout performance of the season came in the Terps’ 10-6 victory over then-No. 1 Duke on March 1 when he recorded a season-best 17 saves, which is the most by an ACC goalie this year.

Cannizzaro becomes the eighth Terrapin to earn the ACC Freshman of the Year award and is the first Maryland attackman to win the award since Joe Walters in 2003. The native of Cazenovia, N.Y., was solid throughout the season for the Terps, ranking third on the team with 25 points and is tied for third with 19 goals. But Cannizzaro excelled in ACC games this season and ranks 10th in the conference in points per game (2.80) and goals per game (2.0). He scored three goals and added an assist in the Terps’ 16-8 win at Syracuse on Feb. 22 and matched that performance with three goals and an assist in Maryland’s 12-8 win at Notre Dame on April 19. He also had two goals and an assist in each of the Terps’ games vs. Virginia and North Carolina.

Duke senior attackman Jordan Wolf was named the ACC Offensive Player of the Year.

Maryland closes out its regular season vs. Navy on Saturday, May 3 at 1 p.m. at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.

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Navy QB Reynolds, coach Niumatalolo pick up independent honors

Posted on 22 December 2013 by WNST Staff

SB Nation Names Keenan Reynolds Independent Offensive Player Of The Year; Ken Niumatalolo Independent Coach Of the Year

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—SB Nation has tabbed Navy sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds its Independent Offensive Player of the Year and Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo the Independent Coach of the Year.  BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy was the Independent Defensive Player of the Year.

In just his second season at Navy, Reynolds is well on his way to rewriting the school and national record books, establishing an NCAA single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 29 this season, tying the NCAA record for most touchdowns in a game against an FBS opponent (7 vs. San Jose State), scoring a program-best 42 points against San Jose State, breaking a nearly 100-year-old season scoring mark at Navy with 176 points (174 by Bill Ingram in 1917) and smashing the school record for points responsible for in a season with 224. He needs one rushing touchdown to become just the fourth person in FBS history to rush for 30 or more touchdowns in a single-season.

Niumatalolo led Navy to an 8-4 mark, a bowl game for the 10th time in the last 11 years and the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the ninth time in the last 11 years. The Mids went undefeated at home and beat Army for a 12th-consecutive time.  Niumatalolo is 48-30 in his sixth year as the head coach, which is the most wins in school history for a coach in his first six years.  His 48 wins are third all-time in Navy history, trailing Eddie Erdelatz (1950-58) by just two for second and George Welsh (1973-81) by just seven wins for first.

Navy will play Middle Tennessee State on Dec. 30 in Fort Worth, Texas. Kickoff is set for 10:45 AM in Fort Worth, 11:45 AMin Annapolis. Tickets are on sale now at: http://bit.ly/1gCmTns

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“The Reality Check” 2013 NFL season projections

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“The Reality Check” 2013 NFL season projections

Posted on 04 September 2013 by WNST Staff

Glenn Clark’s Projections…

AFC East
New England Patriots 9-7 (wins division via tiebreaker)
Miami Dolphins 9-7
New York Jets 3-13
Buffalo Bills 2-14

AFC North
Cincinnati Bengals 12-4
Baltimore Ravens 11-5 (Wild Card 5 seed)
Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
Cleveland Browns 5-11

AFC South
Houston Texans 13-3
Indianapolis Colts 11-5 (Wild Card 6 seed)
Tennessee Titans 6-10
Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12

AFC West
Denver Broncos 10-6
Kansas City Chiefs 9-7
San Diego Chargers 3-13
Oakland Raiders 2-14

AFC Playoffs
Wild Card: Baltimore Ravens beat New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts beat Denver Broncos
Divisional: Baltimore Ravens beat Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans beat Indianapolis Colts
AFC Championship Game: Houston Texans beat Baltimore Ravens

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Blast’s Kelly, Lookingland get top MISL honors

Posted on 13 March 2013 by WNST Staff

2012-13 MISL Award Winners Announced

TAMPA, Fla. – The Major Indoor Soccer League honored its top performers of the season today, announcing the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defender of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year for the 2012-13 season. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Independence, Missouri, site of tomorrow’s first leg of the 2013 MISL Championship Series featuring the Missouri Comets and the Baltimore Blast.

MISL award winners were selected through a vote by MISL team management and select media members.

 

Most Valuable Player – Doug Miller, Rochester Lancers

Miller’s record-breaking season at the age of 43 proved the veteran still had much to offer the game. The first player in the current era of the MISL to surpass 100 points, finishing with 102, Miller also set a record for goals in a season with 44 as he led the Lancers to within one win of the playoffs. Miller also finished the season with five game-winning goals, and tied an MISL record with a six-goal game against Missouri

 

Rookie of the Year – Luan Oliveira, Milwaukee Wave

Quickly becoming an integral part of Keith Tozer’s squad after being suggested as a signing by Wave teammate and childhood friend Marcio Leite, Oliveira led all rookies, and the Wave, with 68 points. The Brazilian averaged a goal per game in his first season in the league, with a three-goal, two-assist night against Rochester a highlight of his first season.

 

Coach of the Year – Danny Kelly, Baltimore Blast

Taking the honor for the third time in four seasons, Kelly led the Blast to the top of the MISL standings in a season that saw the Blast open the season with nine consecutive victories, and end it on a six-game winning streak that allowed it to edge the Milwaukee Wave for the regular season championship. With some key offseason departures, Kelly quickly integrated the new faces in his squad seamlessly as the Blast continued their tradition of excellence.

 

Defender of the Year – Mike Lookingland, Baltimore Blast

Lookingland was selected for the second consecutive season after a standout two-way campaign that saw him record 49 points, make 35 blocks and commit only 16 fouls. A master of positioning in his defensive end, the Blast’s captain also showed an uncanny knack for knowing when to join the attack, and proved crucial on special teams as he led the side with four power-play goals.

 

Goalkeeper of the Year – Nick Vorberg, Milwaukee Wave

Claiming the honor for the second time in three seasons, Vorberg was a standout in goal for the league’s best defense. Vorberg faced an average of 18.5 shots per game, finishing with an outstanding .812 save percentage, while also leading the league with a 7.76 points-against average. In his 14 regular-season appearances, Vorberg never conceded more than five goals.

Baltimore and Missouri will face off in the best-of-three 2013 MISL Championship Series starting Thursday at the Independence Events Center in Missouri (8:35 p.m. ET, MISLNation.com), with the second leg set for Saturday at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore (7:35 p.m. ET, MISLNation.com). A deciding mini-game will be played immediately following Game 2 if needed.

 

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Towson’s Skerry named CAA Coach of the Year, Benimon CAA Player of the Year

Posted on 09 March 2013 by WNST Staff

JERRELLE BENIMON & PAT SKERRY TAKE TOP HONORS AT ANNUAL CAA AWARDS BANQUET
Tigers Take Home CAA Player and Coach of the Year Honors

 

RICHMOND, Va. – Towson junior forward Jerrelle Benimon was selected as the Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball Player of the Year in voting by the league’s head coaches, media relations directors and members of the media. The announcement was made Friday night at the league’s pre-tournament awards banquet in Richmond, Va.

Also receiving top honors were Towson’s Pat Skerry as the CAA Coach of the Year, Georgia State freshman guard R.J. Hunter as the CAA Rookie of the Year and Delaware senior forward Jamelle Hagins as the CAA Defensive Player of the Year. Northeastern senior guard Jonathan Lee was the recipient of the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award.

Benimon is the first Towson player to earn CAA Player of the Year honors. The junior forward recorded double-doubles in 20 of the Tigers’ 31 contests, which is currently tied with UNCW’s Keith Rendleman for the most in Division I. He was the league’s fourth-leading scorer with 17.1 points per game and reached double figures in 27 of 31 outings.

Benimon led the CAA and ranked third in the nation with 11.2 rebounds per game and his 346 rebounds set a Towson single-season record and were the sixth-most in a season in CAA history. Showing his all-around game, Benimon was also third in the conference in blocked shots (1.9 bpg) and fourth in field goal percentage (53.3%) and his 79 assists were the most of any Towson player.

Skerry guided Towson to the biggest turnaround in NCAA Division I history this year. After going just 1-31 during Skerry’s inaugural campaign in 2011-12, the Tigers posted an 18-13 mark this season, which was the most victories by a Towson squad since 1993-94. Their 13-5 record in CAA play and second-place finish in the league standings were also the best ever.

Towson won 12 of its 18 games away from home (9 away/3 neutral), which was the program’s highest total since 1976-77. The Tigers closed the season with eight victories in their final nine contests.

Benimon was also named to the All-CAA first team and the CAA All-Defensive Team.

Joining Benimon on the All-CAA first team were Hunter, Rendleman, Delaware junior guard Devon Saddler, and Northeastern senior guard Joel Smith.

Joining Benimon on the CAA All-Defensive Team were Hagins, Rendleman, Hofstra senior guard Stevie Mejiaand Georgia State senior center James Vincent.

Towson was also represented on the CAA All-Rookie team as Tiger freshman Jerome Hairston joined Hunter, James Madison guard Andre Nation, Old Dominion guard Keenan Palmore and Northeastern guard David Walker to make up the squad.

Hairston, who was the only other vote getter aside from Hunter for the CAA Rookie of the Year award, ranked second among freshmen in the league in scoring at 9.9 points per game. He led the Tigers in steals (35) and was second on the team in both assists (77) and three-point field goals (38).

Two Tigers were also recognized for their work in the classroom. Sophomore guard Kris Walden was named to the CAA All-Academic Second Team and graduate student Bryan Blackstone was chosen CAA All-Academic Honorable Mention.

2012-13 CAA Player of the Year - Jerrelle Benimon, Towson
2012-13 CAA Coach of the Year - Pat Skerry, Towson
2012-13 CAA Rookie of the Year - R.J. Hunter, Georgia State
2012-13 CAA Defensive Player of the Year 
- Jamelle Hagins, Delaware
2012-13 CAA Dean Ehlers Leadership Award - Jonathan Lee, Northeastern

First Team All-CAA
Jerrelle Benimon, Towson
R.J. Hunter, Georgia State
Keith Rendleman, UNCW
Devon Saddler, Delaware
Joel Smith, Northeastern

Second Team All-CAA
Jamelle Hagins, Delaware
Damion Lee, Drexel
Frantz Massenat, Drexel
Marcus Thornton, William & Mary
Sherrod Wright, George Mason

Third Team All-CAA
Quincy Ford, Northeastern
Rayshawn Goins, James Madison
Jonathan Lee, Northeastern
Devon Moore, James Madison
Tim Rusthoven, William & Mary
Jarvis Threatt, Delaware

CAA All-Rookie Team
Jerome Hairston, Towson
R.J. Hunter, Georgia State
Andre Nation, James Madison
Keenan Palmore, Old Dominion
David Walker, Northeastern

CAA All-Defensive Team
Jerrelle Benimon, Towson
Jamelle Hagins, Delaware
Stevie Mejia, Hofstra
Keith Rendleman, UNCW
James Vincent, Georgia State

CAA All-Academic First Team
Kyle Anderson, Delaware
Kyle Gaillard, William & Mary
Donte Hill, Old Dominion
Shane Reybold, UNCW
Tim Rushoven, William & Mary

CAA All-Academic Second Team
Brandon Britt, William & Mary
Daquan Brown, Hofstra
Jonathan Lee, Northeastern
Tanner Milson, UNCW
Kris Walden, Towson

CAA All-Academic Honorable Mention
Bryan Blackstone, Towson
Brett Goodloe, William & Mary
Fred Heldring, William & Mary
Doug Howard, William & Mary
Anton Larsen, Old Dominion
Stevan Manojlovic, Drexel
Andrew Pavloff, William & Mary
Tom Schalk, William & Mary
Will Townsville, Delaware

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Frese named ACC Coach of the Year, Thomas ACC Player of the Year

Posted on 07 March 2013 by WNST Staff

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Head coach Brenda Frese of the Maryland women’s basketball team was voted ACC Coach of the Year by the league’s head coaches and junior Alyssa Thomas was named ACC Player of the Year by the Blue Ribbon Panel for the second straight season Thursday. Frese’s honor is her first by the conference in her 11 seasons at Maryland. Thomas is the first in school history to be named Player of the Year twice.

Frese, the 2002 Associated Press National Coach of the Year, led the Terrapins to the No. 2 seed in this weekend’s ACC Tournament and a record of 23-6 overall and 14-4 in ACC play, despite key season-ending injuries to the Terps’ starting guards Brene Moseley and Laurin Mincy, as well as center Essence Townsend in the fall. As the season wore on, the Terrapins lost freshman Tierney Pfirman to a dislocated knee cap and played a stretch with seven available players.

“I’ve never had a player respond to challenges and have a year like Alyssa Thomas,” Frese said. “She’s willing to give every ounce of herself and do whatever her team needs. When adversity struck our team, she was a leader and always was the first person to step up and do more.”

Thomas, a 6-2 forward, has played every position on the floor for the Terrapins and led the league in rebounding with 10.4 per contest. She was second in assists (5.2) and third in scoring (17.7). In the 18 conference games, she led all players in scoring (19.7), rebounding (11.0) and assists (5.3). She notched an ACC-high 17 double-doubles this year, 12 in conference play.

“This year has been a really interesting road for us, but I think as a team, we’ve taken it all on and never made an excuse,” Thomas said. “To be voted this honor again is really special because there a lot of really good players in our league. I just work hard every day to make my team better and be the best I can.”

Thomas is the fourth Terrapin to earn ACC Player of the Year honors and third under Frese. Kristi Toliver earned the award in 2009 and Crystal Langhorne did in 2008. Last year, she was the first underclassman in school history to earn the league’s top individual honor and just the second in conference history.

“Alyssa Thomas is the most powerful player in the country and the best player in the ACC back to back years,” television analyst Debbie Antonelli said. “One of the best shot-makers and finishers in the country added play-making to her skill set which makes her more dangerous to defend and her teammates more productive and efficient. When she is motoring down the middle of the floor with the ball, there is no one better at making decisions or playing the game with balance and power.”

Frese has now been named Coach of the Year in every conference she’s coached. She was named Big Ten Coach of the Year while at Minnesota in 2002 and Mid-American Coach of the Year in 2000 while at Ball State.

“There’s a tremendous group of coaches in the ACC and to be honored by them is incredible,” Frese said. “I’m really flattered. This is an individual award, but it’s really about every person in our program. I specifically want to thank my staff for their tireless work ethic behind the scenes. Between them and our players, I’m fortunate to be surrounded by great people who make what we do a lot of fun. I couldn’t be prouder of how we’ve fought to get better each and every day, no matter the circumstance.”

Frese and her staff of associate head coach Tina Langley, Marlin Chinn and David Adkins, restructured the team’s practice time, cutting their practice time on the floor to just twice a week at 75 minutes each session.

“Coach Frese continues to validate her system and success by finding ways to win through adversity without excuse,” television analyst Debbie Antonelli said. “It is the true sign of a teacher and definition of a coach who finds ways to put her players in positions to succeed for the good of the team. Maryland finished second in the ACC replacing so many players from last year. They had a great year in the league. Congratulations to Coach Frese and her staff for being recognized by their peers.”

Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie was named ACC Coach of the Year by the Blue Ribbon Panel, which is comprised of media members and representatives from each school, as well as some national media members. Duke’s Chelsea Gray was voted ACC Player of the Year by the league’s head coaches.

Rookies Malina Howard and Chloe Pavlech were named to the All-ACC Freshman Teams Tuesday. Senior Tianna Hawkins and Thomas were voted to the All-ACC First Team Monday.

The 10th-ranked Maryland women’s basketball team will play seventh-seeded Georgia Tech or 10th-seeded Wake Forest Friday at 6 p.m. in Greensboro, N.C. The game will be shown on RSN and specific television channels will be released this week.

Maryland earned a first round bye for the eighth time under Frese. The Yellow Jackets (14-15, 7-11) and the Demon Deacons (12-18, 5-13) will play Thursday at 6 p.m., with the winner advancing to take on the Terrapins. Maryland’s 14 conference wins are a school record.

Maryland is 49-25 (.662) all-time in the ACC Tournament and is 14-8 (.636) under Frese. The Terrapins are 13-6 all-time as the No. 2 seed (.684). Maryland won the program’s 10th ACC title last year as the No. 3 seed with a 68-65 win over fourth-seeded Georgia Tech. ACC Tournament MVP Alyssa Thomas scored 29 points in the championship game to lift the Terps.

For game times and the latest on the ACC Tournament, log on to http://www.theacc.com/championships/acc-womens-basketball-tournament.html. All rounds will be televised.

A printable bracket can be found at http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/md/sports/w-baskbl/auto_pdf/2012-13/misc_non_event/2013ACCTournamentBracket.pdf.

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Veteran assistant Nestor joins Navy hoops staff

Posted on 13 June 2012 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy men’s basketball head coach Ed DeChellis has announced that Ernie Nestor will join the Navy coaching staff, replacing Kurt Kanaskie, who took a similar coaching position at Virginia Tech last month. Nestor comes to Navy after spending the last season at Missouri and has been successful at every stop he has been during his 43-year career in the coaching ranks.

“Coach Nestor brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and success to our program. He has been a successful coach at all levels and will be an important figure in our program moving forward,” said DeChellis. “He has coached and recruited outstanding student-athletes and is one of the most respected and well-liked coaches in the country.”

“I am excited to rejoin coach DeChellis and be part of the basketball program here at the Naval Academy. I have the utmost respect for the institution and am looking forward to working with the current staff and players in building a strong, competitive team,” said Nestor. “There is a great admiration for the Naval Academy and what it stands for. It is a distinct honor to be a small part of such a great institution.”

Nestor comes to Navy after spending last season at Missouri as an assistant coach. The Tigers went 30-5 a year ago, won the Big 12 Championship and were ranked in the nation’s top five for the majority of the season. He has been credited in the development of Mizzou big man Ricardo Ratliffe, who showed drastic improvement from 2010-11 to last season, when he led the country in field goal percentage (.693) and averaged 13.9 ppg and 7.5 rpg while earning all-Big 12 second-team honors. In addition, guard Kim English spoke highly of Coach Nestor and the work the duo accomplished during the year. English averaged 14.5 points per game and shot a blistering 45.9 percent from three-point range.

Nestor arrived at Mizzou after one season as the Director of Basketball Operations at Penn State University under DeChellis. The Nittany Lions were one of the country’s most improved teams in 2010-11, going 19-15 and earning an at-large spot in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.Nestor’s coaching experience began in 1970-71 with a six-year stint as a high school head coach, but continued with stops at James Madison (1977-79), Wake Forest (1980-85), California (1986-88), George Mason (1989-93), a return trip to Wake Forest (1994-01), South Carolina (2002-03), Elon (2004-2009), the New Jersey Nets (2010) and Penn State (2011).

Nestor is no stranger to player development and bench strategy at the major college level. He has spent time in the Pac-10, ACC, SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 conferences as an assistant during his four-decade collegiate coaching career and spent time on Dave Odom’s staff at Wake Forest. He has also twice been a Division I head coach during his career, with stints at both Elon College and George Mason. During his career, he has helped recruit and develop Tim Duncan, Josh Howard and Darius Songaila into NBA stars.

Nestor’s five seasons at George Mason and six years at Elon were as the program’s head coach. He led George Mason to its first-ever NCAA Tournament in 1989 and topped the 20-win mark each of his first two seasons while reaching the CAA Tournament finals in 1991. He returned to Wake Forest in 1993 and helped the Demon Deacons to ACC Championships in 1995 and 1996 while the 1996 club advanced to the NCAA regional final, where it fell to the eventual NCAA National Champion, Kentucky. The 2000 Wake Forest team was the NIT Champion.

Nestor returned to the head coaching ranks at Elon College in 2003 and he directed the school’s first winning season as a Division I program in 2006. The Phoenix won 15 games (15-14 overall), including a 74-69 win at Clemson. The team also claimed the Southern Conference’s North Division crown and Nestor was named the SoCon Coach of the Year by both the league’s coaches and media. His 2008 Elon team advanced to the Southern Conference Tournament final, where it was defeated by a Davidson squad led by Steph Curry that reached the NCAA Elite Eight.

During his collegiate coaching career, he has been a part of 11 teams that reached NCAA Tournament play and eight more that advanced to the NIT.

Nestor is a 1968 graduate of Alderson-Broaddus College (W. Va.) and he earned his graduate degree from West Virginia in 1970. He and his wife, Janet, have two children, Stephanie and Jennifer. They also have four grandchildren, Kodiak, Lucy, Clio and Jude.

 

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Loyola aims for first D1 title in school history Monday

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Loyola aims for first D1 title in school history Monday

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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

Game Data

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

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

On The Tube, Web And Radio

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

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

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

Series History

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

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

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

NCAA Championships History

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

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

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

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

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

Five, Twice In A Row

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

Lusby’s Tournament

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

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

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

Runkel Stops 15

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

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

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

Defense Limits Chances

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

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

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

50-50

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

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

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

And, 60-60

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

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

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

Seven Earn All-America Honors

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

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

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

Sawyer Sets Goals Record

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

Sawyer now has 51 goals this season, breaking the previous best of 50 set by Tim Goettelmann in 2000. Goettelmann went on to become Major League Lacrosse’s all-time leading goal scorer.

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

In the ECAC Semifinal against Denver, Sawyer pushed his season point total to 50, a number that is now at 60, making him the first Greyhound to reach 50 in a season since Prout had 58 (37g, 21a) in 2001. It is the fourth time this century that a Loyola player has scored 50 or more points in a season. Goettelmann (65) and Prout (53) both reached the mark in 2000, and Prout did it again the following season. Sawyer’s teammate, Eric Lusby, has since joined him with more than 50 points (more later).

Three-For-Three

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

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

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

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

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

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

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

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola junior does a lot, as he leads the team in ground balls (83) and caused turnovers (35), is fifth in goals (12) and is seventh in assists (7). His 34 caused turnovers are second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.

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

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

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

Ratliff’s Scoring

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

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

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

Ward Dishes Out Assists

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

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

Top Spot

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

School Record In Wins

Loyola’s victory over Notre Dame in the NCAA Semifinals was its 17th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.

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

The Hardware Department

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

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

Sawyer Named One Of Five Tewaaraton Finalists

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

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

Midfield Scoring

Loyola’s first midfield line of Davis Butts (20g, 33p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 27) and Chris Layne (11, 22) has combined for 47 goals and 35 assists this season, while the second midfield unit of Pat Byrnes (9, 7), J.P. Dalton (9, 4) and Phil Dobson (7, 2) has added 25 and 13. Additionally, Nikko Pontrello has started to mix in with the second midfield, allowing Loyola’s attackers the opportunity to invert, and he has four goals and six assists.

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

Loyola’s 12-straight to start the season tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (3/14-3/17) and 1999 (3/6-3/8).

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

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey has guided the Greyhounds to a 17-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play. The NCAA Championship Game will be Toomey’s 100th as a head coach.

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

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

All-ECAC Honors

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

Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and is now second nationally, in goals (51). Butts has scored 20 goals and assisted on 13 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also regularly playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 39 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and is third nationally with 50 goals, and he also has 17 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 39 ground balls and 25 caused turnovers entering the NCAA title game.

Big Runs

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

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

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

On The Flip Side

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

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 65-22 in the third quarters of games and 119-63 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).

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

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Former Navy coach Meade takes Furman post

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Pietramala
Men’s Lacrosse Coach
Johns Hopkins University

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

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

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

Kevin Corrigan
Men’s Lacrosse Coach
University of Notre Dame

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

David Cottle
Chesapeake Bayhawks (MLL)

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

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

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

Coach Jack Emmer
National Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductee

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Einstein
Furman Lacrosse Advisory Committee

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Loyola, Notre Dame square off Saturday in Final Four

Posted on 25 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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

Game Data

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

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

On The Tube, Web And Radio

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

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

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

Series History

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

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

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

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

NCAA Championships History

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

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

Sawyer Sets Goals Record

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

Sawyer now has 51 goals this season, breaking the previous best of 50 set by Tim Goettelmann in 2000. Goettelmann went on to become Major League Lacrosse’s all-time leading goal scorer.

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

In the ECAC Semifinal against Denver, Sawyer pushed his season point total to 50, a number that is now at 59, making him the first Greyhound to reach 50 in a season since Prout had 58 (37g, 21a) in 2001. It is the fourth time this century that a Loyola player has scored 50 or more points in a season. Goettelmann (65) and Prout (53) both reached the mark in 2000, and Prout did it again the following season. Sawyer’s teammate, Eric Lusby, has since joined him with more than 50 points (more later).

Lusby Right Behind After 5-Goal Game

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

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

Three-For-Three

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

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

Faceoff Turnaround

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

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

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

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

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

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

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

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

Two Over 40/50

Mike Sawyer (51g, 59p) and Eric Lusby (45g, 62p) became the first set of Loyola teammates to score 40 goals and 50 points in a season since Tim Goettelmann (50, 65) and Gavin Prout (41, 53) accomplished the feat in 2000.

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

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola junior does a lot, as he leads the team in ground balls (79) and caused turnovers (34), is fifth in goals (12) and is seventh in assists (7). His 34 caused turnovers are second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official in 2008.

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

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

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

Ratliff’s Scoring

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

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

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

Ward Dishes Out Assists

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

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

NCAA Semifinals Connections

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

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

Top Spot

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

School Record In Wins

Loyola’s victory over Denver in the NCAA Quarterfinals was its 16th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.

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

Second-Half Run

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

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

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

The Hardware Department

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

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

Sawyer Named One Of Five Tewaaraton Finalists

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

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

Midfield Scoring

Loyola’s first midfield line of Davis Butts (19g, 32p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 27) and Chris Layne (11, 21) has combined for 46 goals and 34 assists this season, while the second midfield unit of Pat Byrnes (9, 7), J.P. Dalton (9, 4) and Phil Dobson (7, 2) has added 25 and 13. Additionally, Nikko Pontrello has started to mix in with the second midfield, allowing Loyola’s attackers the opportunity to invert, and he has four goals and six assists.

Spreading Out The Scoring Wealth

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

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

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

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

Loyola’s 12-straight to start the season tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (3/14-3/17) and 1999 (3/6-3/8).

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

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey has guided the Greyhounds to a 16-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play.

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

The win over Denver in the Quarterfinals was the 60th victory of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 60 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .619 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

All-ECAC Honors

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

Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and is now third nationally, in goals (51) and goals per game (3.0). Butts has scored 19 goals and assisted on 13 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also regularly playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 38 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and is 11th nationally with 45 goals (2.68 per game), and he also has 16 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 32 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers entering the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Big Runs

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

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

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

On The Flip Side

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

On The EMO

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

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

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 63-22 in the third quarters of games and 117-61 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).

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

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