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Navy QB Reynolds honored by Touchdown Club of Columbus

Posted on 05 December 2013 by WNST Staff

Navy Quarterback Keenan Reynolds Named The Touchdown Club Of Columbus, Ohio Male Athlete Of The Year

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Navy sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds has been named the Male Athlete of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio.  Reynolds will be honored on Saturday, February 8 at the 59th annual Touchdown Club of Columbus Award.  Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M won the award last year.

Reynolds has led Navy to a 7-4 record with games still remaining against Army on Dec. 14 and the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30.  He has rushed for 1,124 yards and 26 touchdowns on the year.  He needs one more rushing touchdown to tie and two to break the NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback set by Ricky Dobbs (Navy, 2007) and Collin Klein (Kansas State, 2011).

Reynolds is averaging 14.2 points per game, which leads the country for all players, and is responsible for 18.7 points per game (11th best in the country).

Reynolds has been responsible for a school record 204 points already this season (passing and rushing touchdowns) and his 36 career rushing touchdowns stands third on Navy’s  career list.

Reynolds has also been deadly threw the air, completing 63 of his 114 pass attempts for 1,028 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions.  He is just the fourth quarterback in school history to rush and pass for more than 1,000 yards in a single season.

Reynolds ran for seven touchdowns in Navy’s last game, a 59-52 triple overtime victory over San Jose State, which tied the NCAA record for most rushing touchdowns in a game against an FBS opponent.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 03 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Big Ten/ACC Challenge: Ohio State @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm Comcast Center), Siena @ Maryland (Monday 7pm Comcast Center); NBA: Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Denver Nuggets @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV); Boxing: Zab Judah vs. Paulie Malignaggi (Saturday 8pm from Brooklyn live on Showtime); Auto Racing: NASCAR Awards Banquet (Friday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Fox Sports 2)

10. Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Wednesday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Halestorm (Wednesday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Panic! at the Disco (Monday 8pm Rams Head Live); Spacehog & Sponge (Friday 7:30pm Baltimore Soundstage), Monster Magnet (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Carbon Leaf (Friday 8pm Saturday 3pm & 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Megadeth (Wednesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), NOFX (Friday 7:25pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Matisyahu (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Muse “Live at Rome Olympic Stadium” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I don’t care what face you’re making, it doesn’t change how much I secretly love TSO.

I don’t know if I’ll make it to Soundstage Sunday night, but you should sing along with this tune for me.

I believe by law Carbon Leaf is not allowed to go more than a month without playing around here.

I’ll be the Muse record doesn’t suck.

9. Jeff Dunham (Thursday 7pm Patriot Center); Donnell Rawlings (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); The Wolverine” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Tuesday-Sunday France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at The Hippodrome); Parade of Lighted Boats (Saturday 6pm Fells Point/Inner Harbor); “A Monumental Occasion” (Thursday 5pm Mount Vernon Place)

I don’t really have a lot to say about any of this. Sorry. I didn’t really have time to study if we’re being fair.

Instead, courtesy of The Robb Report, for Christmas this year I’d like you to buy me a backyard stadium for $30 million. For reals.

I would also settle for this $83 million sky yacht.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Caps Start 2013-14 With High Expectations Once Again

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Caps Start 2013-14 With High Expectations Once Again

Posted on 29 September 2013 by Ed Frankovic

It is awfully difficult to win a championship in professional sports but heading into 2013-14 that is once again the goal of the Washington Capitals, who have yet to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup since their inception in 1974. The Caps, who have made the playoffs the last six years, have another quality team as they prepare to open their season against the defending champs, the Chicago Blackhawks, in the Windy City on Tuesday night at 8pm on NBCSN.

On Sunday, Caps General Manager George McPhee made several moves to help put some clarity to the opening night roster culminating with a trade of center Matheiu Perreault to the Anaheim Ducks for a 4th round pick and AHLer John Mitchell. In addition, several players were sent to Hershey, including defenesemen Tyson Strachan and Dmitry Orlov. For now, here is what the Caps roster looks like:

Goalies (2): Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth

Defensemen (7): Mike Green, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, John Erskine, Jack Hillen, Steve Oleksy, and Connor Carrick

Forwards (14): Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Mikhail Grabovski, Brooks Laich, Troy Brouwer, Martin Erat, Tom Wilson, Eric Fehr, Joel Ward, Jay Beagle, Jason Chimera, Aaron Volpatti, and Michael Latta

The move of Perreault was predicted here last week and makes sense from a hockey and salary cap standpoint. This Caps team needed to get bigger and more powerful up front and Wilson’s outstanding camp made keeping him up with the main club, rather than shipping him back to a weaker league (OHL), an easy decision. The 19 year old, who was the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft, brings a dimension that this Washington team needs more of in the post season: size and the ability to score the tough goals in close. Six months with Coach Adam Oates and some highly talented teammates is what is needed for Wilson to continue his development, the OHL is just not going to help him get any better.

As for the rest of the squad, the strengths appear to be in goal and up front. Braden Holtby has established himself as a number one goalie and has the chance to move into the elite category with a very strong season. As McPhee told the media last Tuesday, to win the Stanley Cup you have to have great goaltending. #70 is the guy being counted on to deliver that, but Neuvirth is a more than capable net minder and will be needed to play well so that Washington can qualify for the post season in a very competitive Metropolitan Division.

At forward, the Capitals have some serious depth on the wings but still aren’t sure who is going to be the third line center. Backstrom has the first line locked up with Grabovski manning the second unit. The club could go with Beagle as the 3rd line center and Latta pivoting the 4th to start the season, but that depends on the health of the others, primarily Laich, who has been battling a hip flexor issue. Right wing is just loaded up with Ovechkin, Brouwer, Fehr, Wilson, and Ward. Both Fehr and Erat were tried at center this preseason by Oates with some success, so the head coach has lots of options. Johansson could play 3rd line center at some point too. The Caps have not had as talented a crew of forwards to start the season in many years and with the players they have there is lots of room for flexibility.

On defense, the top three is awfully good with Green, Alzner, and Carlson. After that, it gets dicey. Erksine was super last spring in the regular season but is he really a top 4 d-man? #4 will have a chance to prove it starting this week. Oleksy came out of seemingly nowhere to take a 3rd pair spot in the spring and Hillen overcame an early season injury to play a lot of quality minutes last year. Carrick was the biggest surprise of training camp, has great offensive skills and his hockey IQ is high. Learning to play defense in the NHL is harder than any other position so Washington has to be careful to not put too much on the 19 year old, who has incredible potential. The organization still has high hopes for Orlov, but given his injury situation last season, starting him in Hershey made too much sense. The 2009 2nd round pick will play top pair minutes in the AHL and can hone his craft for what appears to be an inevitable jump back to the NHL at some point during the 82 game season.

Special teams will be an important component of Washington’s success. Last season the Caps were #1 in the NHL with the power play (26.8%). You can expect it to remain at least top 5 and Oates and assistant coach Blaine Forsythe will continually be tweaking things to counter opposition tactics. As for the penalty kill, Laich stated on Tuesday that is one of the areas this Capitals club will have to improve in if they want to do well in the regular season and playoffs. The PK has been one of the team’s weaknesses the last few years and it was 27th out of 30 in 2012-13 with a success rate of only 77.9%.

In summary, the expectations are high for this Capitals team. The playoffs are not a given, but if this club can stay relatively healthy, then they have the talent to compete for the division title. Every team in the Metropolitan Division has its issues. The Penguins are the pick of many but their goaltending and team defense certainly has its question marks. Will the Rangers respond positively to a new coach in Alain Vigneault? How will the Devils do with the departure of Ilya Kovalchuk? The Flyers added Vinny Lecavalier but will Ray Emery or Steve Mason step up and be a top goalie in a pressure packed Philly market? Are the Islanders ready to take the next step up the ladder or was their playoff run last spring a one time deal? Is Columbus going to play like the team that nearly qualified for the post season last spring or the cellar dweller crew that started 2013? Finally, will Cam Ward returning in net for Carolina propel them to a winning season? Nothing is set in stone heading into the season and in the salary cap era every team has holes and/or issues. What is important is that the Capitals get off to a good start since coming from behind in the standings is not going to be as achievable as it was in the Southeast Division.

 

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Towson run ends with Tourney loss to Ohio State

Posted on 12 May 2013 by WNST Staff

Columbus, Ohio – No. 3 Ohio State held No. 17 Towson to two goals in the second half en route to a 16-6 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday afternoon at Ohio State.

Towson (10-8) scored two of the first three goals before Ohio State (12-4) asserted itself, scoring four straight goals and holding an 8-4 lead at halftime. The Buckeyes’ defense improved in the second half, holding Towson scoreless for 14:46 over the second and third quarters and for 12:27 over the third and fourth quarters.

Junior Andrew Hodgson led the Tigers with a hat trick, while senior Matt Hughes posted two goals for the second straight game. Logan Schuss had a game-high six points on three goals and three assists for Ohio State. Senior Andrew Wascavage made eight saves for the Tigers, while Greg Dutton stopped seven shots for the Buckeyes.

“I want to commend Ohio State on an excellent game today,” said Head Coach Shawn Nadelen. “That said, we can’t make as many mistakes as we did today, we can’t allow them so many opportunities as far as possession times. They are a very balanced team and a very dangerous offense.

“I’m extremely proud of our team this year, and how they competed from the start to the finish. We didn’t start strong, but we finished strong. We were one of 16 teams to play in the NCAA tournament. A lot of people didn’t give us a chance, but our guys believed in themselves and put in the effort to get us to this point, back into the conversation as being a top team in the country.”

The Tigers won the opening face-off and worked the ball quickly down into the Buckeyes’ defensive zone. Sophomore Greg Cuccinello moved down the left side of the field and passed to Hughes who was waiting right in front of the cage. Hughes continued his stellar end-of-season play, posting the game’s first goal at 14:13.

Just under five minutes later, Schuss equalized for OSU unassisted at 9:16. The Tigers got strong play from their defense in the first quarter, particularly sophomore JoJo Ostrander and junior Jordan Fortmann. A caused turnover by Ostrander late in the third quarter led to a goal from Hodgson, off a feed from sophomore Justin Mabus, that gave Towson a 2-1 lead at 5:37 in the first quarter.

OSU’s King knotted the score at 2-2 with under two minutes remaining in the first quarter, and Carter Brown gave the Buckeyes the lead with 29 seconds left in the quarter, 3-2. Ohio State picked up a controversial David Planning goal as time expired on the first frame to hold a 4-2 advantage.

A series of quick passes led to King’s second goal for the Buckeyes at 14:09 in the second, but Towson’s Hodgson answered with his second of the game at 13:31 to inch the Tigers closer, 5-3. King’s third goal and a fast break tally from Dominique Alexander at 5:40 pushed the Buckeyes’ margin to four, 7-3. Hodgson then notched his second hat trick of the season with 2:06 left in the half. But confusion over the timer and possession led to another Ohio State goal, and the Buckeyes held an 8-4 advantage at the half.

Ohio State went on a tear in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 8-2 over the two frames. Cuccinello scored a goal at 2:52 in the third quarter and Hughes added his second at 5:26 in the fourth for Towson.

Towson finishes the season at 10-8, 4-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).

NOTES: Towson scored first for the eighth time this season (6-1) … Senior Matt Hughes scored two goals for the first straight game … Junior Andrew Hodgson posted his fourth straight multi-goal game and second hat trick of the season … the game marked Towson’s 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2007.

College Men’s Lacrosse: No. 17 Towson 6, No. 3 Ohio State 16
Towson (10-8)              2-2-1-1/6
Ohio State (13-3)          4-4-4-4/16

GOALS: TOW – Hodgson 3, Hughes 2, Cuccinello; OSU – King 4, Schuss 3, Brown 3, Planning 2, Alexander, Evans, Kapinos, Liddil. ASSISTS: TOW – Cuccinello, DeNapoli, Mabus; OSU – Alexander 3, Schuss 3, Planning 2, Brown, Crawford, Evans, King. SAVES: TOW – Wascavage (8, 60:00, 16 GA); OSU – Dutton (7, 60:00, 6 GA).SHOTS: TOW – 23; OSU – 40. GROUND BALLS: TOW – 23; OSU – 34. FACE-OFFS: TOW – 5-24; OSU – 19-24. CLEARS: TOW – 14-16; OSU – 14-15. EMO: TOW – 0-0; OSU 2-4. ATT: 2358.

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Loyola defense strong in win over Ohio State

Posted on 30 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Defense Yields Just Four Goals In Men’s Lacrosse Win At Ohio State

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Loyola University Maryland’s defense allowed just 23 Ohio State University shots, and the Greyhounds shutout the Buckeyes for a stretch of nearly 33 minutes during a 9-4 ECAC Lacrosse League victory on Saturday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Field.

Jack Runkel made nine saves in goal for the Greyhounds (8-2 overall, 4-0 ECAC), while Loyola forced 16 Ohio State (6-3, 1-2) turnovers.

The Greyhounds also held Ohio State without an extra-man goal despite five opportunities in the game. Entering the contest, the Buckeyes was tops in the ECAC and fifth in NCAA Division I with a 53.8-percent success rate on man-up chances.

David Planning rolled off a check and scored on a shot at the top right for Ohio State with 3:03 left in the first half, tying the score at 3-3, but that was the last goal the Buckeyes would score until just nine seconds remained in the game.

The Loyola defense held Ohio State without a goal for 32:54 between scores. Meanwhile, the Greyhounds’ offense and transition game reeled off six unanswered goals.

Chris Layne put Loyola on top with 1:54 to go before halftime with his first goal a goal off a Justin Ward assist. Ward used a quick restart from behind the cage after a wide Loyola shot and found Layne running down the right side after checking in from the box. Layne one-timed a shot past Ohio State goalkeeper Greg Dutton who had 14 saves in the loss.

Just 70 seconds later, Layne shot a pass to Zach Herreweyers below goal-line extended on the right, and Herreweyers rolled to the crease, using a low-to-low shot to score.

Nikko Pontrello, who had a game-high three goals, made it three goals for Loyola in just 1:41 of action with a goal after a toe-drag move. Davis Butts reversed the ball from the top of the box to Layne who then got the ball to Pontrello who used the toe-drag to beat his defender and score 13 seconds before halftime, staking the Greyhounds to a 6-3 halftime advantage.

Pontrello scored his second-straight with 8:31 on the third-quarter clock, scoring from close on the right side after a feed by Herreweyers.

A Runkel save and ground ball pickup led to the Greyhounds’ eighth goal just before the end of the third period. Loyola cleared the ball to its offensive end, and when it looked like it would allow time to run out in the quarter, Layne sent a 20-yard pass from the high right side to Scott Ratliff on the left side of the crease.

Ratliff used a multiple shot-fake and beat Dutton with four seconds left in the quarter, pushing the advantage to 8-3 for the Greyhounds.

Ohio State committed a faceoff violation on the opening faceoff of the fourth quarter, and Josh Hawkins took a Ratliff pass and raced down the right side, scoring with an overhand shot form five yards out 13 seconds into the final period.

From there, the Greyhounds’ defense took the leading role, as they gave up just four shots in the final 15 minutes, and Ohio State committed four turnovers during the same span.

Nick Liddil scored the game’s final goal, off a Planning assist, with nine ticks left on the clock, snapping the 32:54 scoreless streak.

Joe Fletcher led Loyola’s defense with five ground balls, while Runkel had three in addition to his nine saves.

Brendan Donovan went 6-of-8 on faceoffs for Loyola, picking up three ground balls. Pat Laconi caused two of the six turnovers Loyola was credited with.

Ohio State’s Logan Schuss, who entered the game leading the Buckeyes with 20 goals, scored the game’s first just 55 seconds after the opening faceoff.

Loyola responded with its first at 10:27 when Sean O’Sullivan flipped a pass to Butts who whipped a 10-yard sidearm shot for a goal.

Pontrello then gave Loyola its first lead at 4:36, ripping a 12-yard shot from the top right after a long feed from Ward near the crease.

Ohio State tied the game 1:21 into the second quarter when Jesse King dodged from the top and fed a pass inside for a goal by Carter Brown with a 30-second warning in play.

Mike Sawyer gave Loyola the lead back at 6:11 after Ward threw a skip pass to the right side out of a double-team.

Loyola outshot Ohio State, 41-23, in the game while picking up 29 ground balls to the Buckeyes’ 20.

The Greyhounds return to Ridley Athletic Complex for the first time since early March for an ECAC game on Saturday, April 6, against Fairfield University. The game against Fairfield starts at 2:30 p.m. following the Loyola women’s game against Georgetown University that commences at 12 noon.

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Capitals announce preseason schedule

Posted on 12 June 2012 by WNST Staff

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have released their 2012 preseason schedule, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. The schedule features seven games against four opponents and includes three games at Verizon Center. The Capitals will face-off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second-annual Baltimore Hockey Classic at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore on September 26.

Washington will open the preseason on Tuesday, Sept. 25 (7 p.m.), at Verizon Center in a rematch of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals vs. the Boston Bruins. The Capitals will begin their preseason road schedule on Sunday, Sept. 30 (5 p.m.), at Detroit versus the Red Wings.

The team’s preseason home schedule includes the Nashville Predators on Friday, Oct. 5 (7 p.m.), and Detroit on Sunday, Oct. 7 (5 p.m.). In addition, Washington will play exhibition games on the road against Columbus on Monday, Oct. 1 (7 p.m.), and at Boston on Wednesday, Oct. 3 (7 p.m.).

The Capitals were 3-3-1 in the preseason last year, and their all-time preseason record is 143-115-29-10.

Each preseason game will be broadcast live on WashingtonCaps.com. The complete 2012-13 NHL regular season schedule will be released at a later date.

2012 WASHINGTON CAPITALS PRESEASON SCHEDULE
DATE VISITOR HOME TIME (ET)
TUES., SEPT. 25 BRUINS CAPITALS 7 PM
WED., SEPT. 26** BLUE JACKETS** CAPITALS** 7 PM**
SUN., SEPT. 30 CAPITALS RED WINGS 5 PM
MON., OCT. 1 CAPITALS BLUE JACKETS 7 PM
WED., OCT. 3 CAPITALS BRUINS 7 PM
FRI., OCT. 5 PREDATORS CAPITALS 7 PM
SUN., OCT. 7 RED WINGS CAPITALS 5 PM

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Baltimore Hockey Classic Officially Set For September 26

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Baltimore Hockey Classic Officially Set For September 26

Posted on 20 April 2012 by WNST Staff

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second Baltimore Hockey Classic presented by W.R. Grace on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, at 7 p.m. at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Capitals general manager George McPhee, 1st Mariner Arena/SMG general manager Frank Remesch and president of the Baltimore City Council Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced today.

“We are excited to return to Baltimore,” said Capitals president Dick Patrick. “The overwhelming support from the city of Baltimore and our fans in Maryland made this decision to return for a second-consecutive season an easy one.”

Last year’s inaugural Baltimore Hockey Classic, which featured the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals kicking off the Capitals’ 2011-12 preseason schedule, sold out as the capacity crowd of 11,082 fans enjoyed the first professional hockey game played in Baltimore since 1997.

Every Washington Capitals full-season account holder will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the Baltimore Hockey Classic presented by W.R. Grace beginning Friday, April 20, at 10 a.m. Details on ticket availability and pricing will be sent to full season-ticket holders when they become available. All other fans interested in attending the event are encouraged to purchase their tickets when they go on sale on Monday, April 23, at 10 a.m.

The Capitals clinched their fifth-straight playoff berth in 2011-12, marking the longest streak of playoff appearances in franchise history since their 14-straight postseason trips from the 1982-83 season through 1995-96. The streak of five straight playoff appearances is tied for the fourth-longest active playoff streak in the NHL. For the third consecutive year, the Capitals sold out all of their homes games and set a club record with 147 consecutive sellouts dating back to 2008-09 (including playoffs). Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin finished the 2011-12 season ranked fifth in the NHL with 38 goals and scored his 30th goal of the season on March 18 in Chicago to become the ninth player in NHL history to score 30 or more goals in each of his first seven seasons in the league.

The Washington Capitals called Landover, Md., home from 1974-1997. They played their home games at the Capital Centre before moving to downtown Washington, D.C., for the 1997-98 season.

From 1981-1993, Baltimore was home to the Skipjacks, a minor league affiliate that began in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League and then moved to the American Hockey League. The Jacks were affiliated with the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals before moving to Portland, Maine, after the 1992-93 season. Former Capitals legends Don Beaupre and Olie Kolzig, to name a few, spent some of their minor league careers in Baltimore. The Baltimore Bandits, AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, played at 1st Mariner Arena from 1995-97.

The 1st Mariner Arena, formerly the Baltimore Arena, is Baltimore’s largest indoor venue and entertainment facility and has long been considered an anchor that contributed to the growth and prosperity of Baltimore. The arena opened in 1962 and was the cornerstone of the Baltimore Inner Harbor redevelopment. It hosts an average of 130 events and more than a half million guests come through the turnstiles annually.

For more information on The Baltimore Classic presented by W.R. Grace or 1st Mariner Arena, please visit www.WashingtonCaps.com or www.1stMarinerArena.com.

 

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Loyola Looks to Stay Perfect Saturday Against Ohio State

Posted on 31 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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

Game Data

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

Series History

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

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

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

In The Polls

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

Ohio State is receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse poll.

Ten Or More

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

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

The Only Ones

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

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

Topping Out

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

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

Sharing The Rock

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

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

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

Already Outpacing Last Year

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

Big Runs

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

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

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

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

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

Second-Half Success

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

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

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

Lusby Matches Career-High

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

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

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

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

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

Sawyer, Runkel Honored Again

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

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

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

Shot Advantage

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

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

Second Midfield Scoring

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

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

Toomey Wins 50th

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

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

Sawyer Shows Same Form

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

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

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

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

Dominant At The ‘X’

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

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

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

Ward Dishes Five

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

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

Scoring In Two Straight

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

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

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

Ratliff Honored For Second Time

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

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

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

Sawyer, Runkel Earns ECAC Honors

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

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

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

Bonitatibus, Runkel Both Win First Starts

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

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

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

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

Record At Ridley

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

What’s Next

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

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Number One Meets Number Two Saturday As Hopkins Visits Virginia

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

The Game: Second-ranked Johns Hopkins (7-0) hits the road for a key midseason matchup at top-ranked Virginia (8-0).

Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins improved to 7-0 with an 11-7 victory over then sixth-ranked Syracuse at Homewood Field last Saturday. Virginia erased an early 6-1 deficit and knocked off Ohio State, 11-9, in Columbus.

Series History: Johns Hopkins and Virginia are meeting for the 85th time in a series that dates to a 9-0 Johns Hopkins victory in 1904. The Blue Jays lead the series 55-28-1 and won last season, 12-11, at Homewood Field. A complete series history can be found at the back of this week’s note packet.

These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Virginia with an all-time record of 919-294-15 (.754). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.

Game Number 175: This week’s game at Virginia will the 175th for Dave Pietramala as the head coach at Johns Hopkins. He sports a 133-41 (.764) record since taking over in 2001.

Career Win Number 150: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up career win number 150 with the 12-6 victory vs. Towson in the season opener. He now sports an all-time record of 156-58 (.729), including a 133-41 (.764) record at Johns Hopkins. He ranks second all-time in school history in career coaching victories as only Hall of Fame coach Bob Scott (158 wins from 1955-74) has more victories than Pietramala while patrolling the sidelines at Homewood.

About the 7-0 Start: Johns Hopkins is 7-0 for the first time since 2005 and just the second time under head coach Dave Pietramala (2004). Prior to opening at 7-0 in 2005, JHU hadn’t opened a season with seven straight wins since 1995. Since 1977 the Blue Jays have opened a season with seven straight wins seven times (including this season). JHU has won the national championship three times in those six years, made two other trips to the title game and advanced to the NCAA semifinals the other year.

Program Ties: Johns Hopkins freshman attackman Wells Stanwick is the younger brother of Virginia senior attackman Steele Stanwick. Virginia freshman midfielder Ryan Tucker is the son of current Johns Hopkins women’s lacrosse coach Janine Tucker and former Johns Hopkins standout John Tucker ‘84. Virginia senior attackman Chris Bocklet is the younger brother of Matt Bocklet, a standout defenseman on Johns Hopkins’ 2007 national championship team and 2008 national runner-up team.

Yes, They Have Played Before: This will be the second time Johns Hopkins freshman attackman Wells Stanwick has played against his older brother, Virginia attackman Steele Stanwick. As a freshman at Boys’ Latin in high school, Wells faced Steele’s Loyola Blakefield squad. For the record, Loyola won that game 8-5.

Against Number One: This week’s game will be the 10th game Johns Hopkins has played against a top-ranked team under head coach Dave Pietramala. The Blue Jays are 5-4 in their previous nine games against a team-ranked number one under Pietramala.

Against Number One Virginia: This week’s game at Virginia will mark the 10th time Johns Hopkins has taken on the Cavaliers when UVa is ranked number one. JHU is 4-5 in the previous nine games.

Marching Orders: Johns Hopkins will close out the March portion of its 2012 schedule this weekend at Virginia. The Blue Jays are looking for their first perfect record in the month of March since 2005, when they won all five of their games played in the month. Since 1972, JHU has posted a perfect record in the month of March 15 times. In six of those years the Blue Jays went on to win the national championship and in seven other instances JHU finished as national runner-up.

Streaking – Part 1: In case you didn’t notice, Johns Hopkins is 15-1 in its last 16 games, 20-3 since the start of the 2011 season and 22-5 in its last 27 games.

Streaking – Part 2: Johns Hopkins is 108-29 (.788) in its last 137 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 125-37 (.772) overall since the start of the 2002 season.

13-Win Seasons: With a 13-3 record last season, Johns Hopkins reached the 13-win mark for the fifth time under head coach Dave Pietramala and the 12th time in school history.

Home Cookin’: Johns Hopkins ran its home winning streak to 11 games with the 11-7 win over sixth-ranked Syracuse on March 17. The streak is the second-longest under head coach Dave Pietramala, who picked up his 75th career victory at Homewood Field with the win earlier this season against Delaware and sports a gaudy 78-12 (.867) record in home games during his career at JHU. JHU won a school and national-record 37 straight home games from 2001-06 under Pietramala’s guidance and the current 11-game home winning streak is the fourth home streak of seven wins or more since he arrived.

More Home Cookin’: In addition boasting the second-longest home winning streak of the Dave Pietramala era, Johns Hopkins’ current 11-game winning streak at Homewood Field is also the third longest active home winning streak in the nation. Only Virginia, which has currently won 14 straight at Klockner Stadium, and Cornell, which has won 12 straight at Schoellkopf Field, have longer current streaks in the home whites than Johns Hopkins.

Fourteen Straight: Johns Hopkins ran its regular season winning streak to 14 games with the 11-7 win over Syracuse. This is the longest regular season winning streak for JHU since a 19-game run that bridged the 2004 and 2006 seasons. Hopkins’ last loss during the regular season … a 5-4 double-overtime setback at Syracuse last season.

Fourteen Straight – Historically: Not only is the current 14-game regualr season winning streak the second longest under Dave Pietramala, it’s also the sixth longest in school history during the NCAA Tournament era (1971 – Present).

Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins has employed virtually the same first and second midfield units throughout the first seven games and those units have proven to be steady in terms of production. JHU’s first unit of Rob Guida(7), John Ranagan (7) and John Greeley (6) has combined for 20 goals, while the second unit of Lee Coppersmith(8), Mark Goodrich (5) and Greg Edmonds (1) has 14 goals to its credit. The major difference between the two groups has been with assists. The unit of Guida, Ranagan and Greeley has combined for 13 assists. The next assist for the second unit will be its first of the year.

Jumping Right In: Junior John Kaestner had played in 12 career games and hadn’t so much as taken a shot before getting the starting nod at Princeton with freshman Wells Stanwick out. No worries, all Kaestner did is stick the first two goals of his career during a 4-1 fourth-quarter run that fueled JHU’s 10-8 win. He came back with one goal and one assist in the win vs. Manhattan and duplicated that effort in the win over UMBC.

Bassett Now 20-3 in Last 23 Starts: Sophomore goalie Pierce Bassett picked up his 23rd career victory in goal with the 11-7 win vs. Syracuse as he posted nine saves and allowed seven goals to improve to 23-7 in his 30 career starts. He is 20-3 in his last 23 starts dating back to the start of the 2011 season. Through seven games Bassett currently ranks second in the nation in goals against average (5.50) and seventh in save percentage (.606).
Bassett concluded his first full season as the starter for the Blue Jays last season and posted a 7.07 goals against average and a .570 save percentage. He finished fifth in the nation in GAA and 10th in save percentage. His fifth-place finish in GAA is the highest by a JHU goalie since Jesse Schwartzman led the nation in 2005 (6.68), while he is just the third Blue Jay to finish in the top 10 in save percentage since the NCAA began tracking men’s lacrosse statistics in 2000.
Bassett’s 7.07 goals against average is the second best by a JHU goalie since 1993 (Schwartman’s 6.68 GAA in 2005 is the best since records became available in ‘93).

Poppleton, Kennedy Fuel Success at the X: Freshman Drew Kennedy did a solid job on faceoffs in the season-opener vs. Towson as he won 9-of-14 in the absence of junior Mike Poppleton. Poppleton returned against Delaware and has been solid in six games since as he ranks third in the nation in FO win percentage (.651 • 69-of-106). He won 15-of-18 against Siena, 11-of-21 at Princeton, 10-of-12 vs. Manhattan and 12-of-18 against Syracuse. As a team, JHU is 80-of-135 (.593) on faceoffs this season and ranks seventh in the nation in FO winning percentage.

Poll Position: The Blue Jays check in at number two in both the USILA Coaches Poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll this week. The Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications Office uses the USILA Poll to represent JHU’s official ranking at the time of a game. Prior to falling out of the top 20 of the USILA Poll on April 26 and May 3, 2010 (JHU was receiving votes in both polls), the Blue Jays had been ranked in the top 20 in 367 consecutive polls dating back to the first poll in 1973.

More Poll Position: Including this week’s USILA Poll, there have been 389 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 387 of those 389 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 366 of the 389 and the top five in 292 of those 389.

Offensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU offense:
• JHU has scored at least one goal in 27 of 28 quarters this season and two or more in 23 of the 28 quarters.
• For all the talk about JHU being a slow down team, the Blue Jays are averaging 36.7 shots per game. That number compares favorably to JHU’s averages in 2005 (38.1) and 2007 (36.3) – the most recent years in which Johns Hopkins won the national championship.
• Johns Hopkins ranks 24th in the nation in scoring offense (10.43), 22nd in extra-man offense (.391) and seventh in scoring margin (+5.14).

Defensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest concerning the JHU defense:
• Hopkins held Towson to just 18 shots and Manhattan to just 14. Hopkins is surrending an average of just 24.6 shots per game.
• Johns Hopkins has held each of its seven opponents scoreless for a stretch of at least 19:30.
• JHU has held the opposition scoreless in 11 of 28 quarters this season (39.3%).
• The Blue Jays rank second in the nation in scoring defense (5.29), 10th in man-down defense (.750) and seventh in scoring margin (+5.14) this season.

Now That’s a Drought: The Johns Hopkins defense did not allow an even-strength goal for an amazing stretch of 116:37 from late in the win at Princeton through early in the fourth quarter of the win over UMBC. The Retrievers did score a pair of extra-man goals in the first half, but the first six-on-six goal they scored came 34 seconds into the fourth quarter.

About the Shutout: Shutouts in college lacrosse are rare, but JHU notched one with the 11-0 victory over Manhattan. Prior to that, the Blue Jays had last posted a shutout on March 26, 1988, when they knocked off Princeton, 9-0. The shutout vs. Manhattan was the 61st in school history with 57 of those 61 shutouts coming prior to 1950.

Noting JHU in the NCAA Tournament: Johns Hopkins made its 40th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season. By comparison, the next six longest active streaks of qualifying for the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament add up to exactly 40 consecutive appearances (Maryland-9, Cornell-8, Virginia-7, Notre Dame-6, Duke-5, North Carolina-5).

First to 900: Johns Hopkins’ 10-6 win at Towson in the 2011 season opener not only got the season off on the right foot for the Blue Jays, but also made history. The win was the 900th all-time in school history, making Johns Hopkins the first program to record 900 all-time wins. JHU now has 919 all-time wins.

That’s 625 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 919-294-15 (.754) … that’s 625 games over .500. To put this in perspective: JHU has played an average of just over 15 games per season under head coach Dave Pietramala. Using a 15-game season as a reference, if the Blue Jays posted a 5-10 record for 125 straight seasons, they would still be five games over .500.

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Greyhounds Meet With Media At NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh

Posted on 14 March 2012 by WNST Staff

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Loyola student-athletes.

How are you liking Pittsburgh so far?

SHANE WALKER: Love it.

ERIK ETHERLY: Great city. I’m a Steelers fan.

DYLON CORMIER: Been a great trip so far.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for our student-athletes from Loyola.

Q. The nation has found out about your coach, how personable he is, is that the right way to put it? Can you give us your memory when he went off on some rant or tandem that you said, I don’t know what this guy is talking about?

SHANE WALKER: I feel like he can do that any day. Anytime somebody asks him a question, it’s a 15-minute answer. He goes off on a tandem, you have no idea where he’s going. He’s such a great guy, you just learn to accept it and love it.

ERIK ETHERLY: I think the most memorable one for me is halftime of the Fairfield game with Bobby Steele and the Black Panthers. Nobody saw that one coming. He got his message across.

DYLON CORMIER: I think for me is him, the inch-by-inch statement he just came out with. He said, To win, we got to block and tackle, same thing in basketball.

Q. Dylon, he said earlier this week where you have a special relationship, he’ll challenge you, you’ll challenge him right back.

DYLON CORMIER: It’s kind of like he want me to do better, so he’ll yell me and tell me I’m not doing something better, just so I can do it even better.

Q. You’re known for your man-to-man defense. Also explain to us what your flex offense is like.

SHANE WALKER: I feel like our defense is so, so good because everybody has bought in. Years past, not necessarily everybody has bought in. Me being a senior leader, I demanded that from the rest of the team, and we all bought in. It wasn’t a problem.

ERIK ETHERLY: We also help each other out a lot. We have a great team in terms of being able to switch a lot of stuff so we don’t get caught up on a lot of screens and we always help on all of our screens.

DYLON CORMIER: I think we have a great inside presence with Shane and Erik, and also J’hared and Julius coming off the bench. So the two players has been effective for us this year.

Q. Shane, can you talk about the matchup with Ohio State. Has Jimmy brought up any history of No. 15 seeds beating No. 2 seeds?

SHANE WALKER: Yeah, he’s talked about Coppin State in the past. Was it South Carolina? Yeah, it was maybe 15 years ago, he brought that up.

He’s not really concerned about years past, he’s concerned about the team now and doing the best we can. He’s not really focused about other teams.

Q. Were you the Steelers fan?

ERIK ETHERLY: I was at the opening game when the Steelers played the Ravens. I took  a lot of heat for it, but I wore it at the stadium.

Q. When you break down Ohio State, what stands out offensively in terms of what you need to stop?

DYLON CORMIER: Their inside presence in Jared Sullinger and Thomas, their four-man, they got a great inside presence and a couple shooters where they kick it out. I think we have to prevent the ball from getting in the post as much as we can.

SHANE WALKER: When I look at them, they’re not very deep. They only play six or seven guys. I feel like we can run them. They try to slow the game down. We try to speed it up. Hopefully that will work in our advantage.

Q. You talked about coach. Were you tournament fans, seeing power teams getting beaten?

DYLON CORMIER: Not at a very young age. I remember George Mason went on a run and beat a lot of good teams.

ERIK ETHERLY: And VCU. That’s a local team, so we look up to them, as well.

THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you.

We have Coach Patsos from Loyola. Make a few opening comments.

COACH PASTOS: Great to be in Pittsburgh, what a great town. My wife is from here. What a great sports town, what a great building. Other than the fact the Steelers play here, I really like it. We’re Ravens fans in Baltimore. A lot of the Ravens, Jim Harbaugh, people like that are following this game. But everybody loves Pittsburgh. Everybody says the same thing, what a great place it is.

I see my commissioner out there. We’re from the MAAC. Really have a lot of pride in our basketball league. We have two teams in the NCAA, which is great for us this year.

I was out with Dave Dickerson, Matt Roe, and Billy Hahn last night for about an hour, because we’re all family friends from Maryland. It’s a really interesting, happy time for me in my life.

I’m really proud of what the kids have done. This is about Loyola, what a great university it is. You don’t get here without the support of Jim Paquette, my AD, the president Father Linnane, things like that. So it’s a happy time for Loyola. Now we’re excited to play Ohio State, one of the great programs in the country.

Unfortunately Dave Dickerson knows me really well, so they don’t have to scout us because I run everything that we ran at Maryland together. They should know everything we’re running.

I’m happy to take questions.

Q. Obviously you know what it’s like to cut down the nets. Can you contrast emotionally the difference between being in the first chair here with a program like Loyola and having it done at Maryland?

COACH PASTOS: That’s a good question because both programs were the same when I got there. Obviously the depths of 1 and 27 is different from what happened at Maryland. However our climb at Maryland were when Duke and Carolina were winning NCAA tournaments. Georgia Tech had gone to the Final Four. So, in other words, I feel the same.

I feel great when we cut down the nets at Maryland even though I was the assistant, and I feel great cutting down the nets at Loyola as head coach. The climb was not always easy. You can always climb the first few runnings. You can be a beat writer, but you can’t be Lenn Robbins and have your own column in the widest circulated paper in the country. It takes a while to get there. It’s the last part that’s hard. You know that. It’s the last part of the journey that’s difficult.

Whether it’s at Loyola or the University of Maryland, I feel good we were lucky enough to make that last climb. I’m not sure I ever thought that would happen, at either place by the way.

THE MODERATOR: The 24-win season, what did that mean to the program? It was the first since you went to Division I 30 years ago.

COACH PASTOS: It was great because the last time we went to NCAA, Skip Prosser, who is a fantastic coach and great person, was here. They were like the 6 seed and won it. We’re in a great basketball league. To win 24 games in the MAAC, we have NBA players, we have coaches that have left to go on and be successful at a higher level. Kind of puts a signature on your program. When you win 20, it says something. When you win the MAAC, which like I said, I’m not joking about the New York thing, we love being in the New York league because you get a lot of attention media-wise. It’s a great basketball city with a lot of tradition.

Len Elmore and I were joking today, he played at Powell Memorial and I know that because New York is where the best players come from and everybody is a tough critic. If you’re successful there, you’re really happy.

Q. Talk about the concerns you have about Ohio State.

COACH PASTOS: I have major concerns about Ohio State. I just ran into Sullinger in the hallway. The guy is a monster. Thomas, the left-handed 6’8″ guy. Remember, Gary Williams does the Big Ten Network. Not that he would give me any inside information. I know what a great team Ohio State it. It’s an honor to play them. We probably have little chance of winning the game. Four minutes at a time, we’ll see what we can do.

We’ll still run and press against them. Ohio State wants to play their way. If you play their way, you’re not going to beat them. I think they can win the national championship this year, especially with Fab Melo being out. I’m talking as a fan. This has nothing to do with coaching. I see Ohio State have a chance to get to the Final Four because of their size. I like the kid Ravenel that comes off the bench.

But Craft is scary because he reminds me of Steve Blake. The Steve Blake, nobody ever thought he was that good until you played against him. He made shots, steals the ball, he’s quicker, smarter, you find out that he was the quarterback on his high school team, which scares me because you find out he’s a leader. Thomas is much better than I thought. He’s going to cause problems for us. Sullinger, you can put down 20-10, I just hope it’s not 35-18.

Q. Is there a hope with what you do defensively, Ohio State plays their starters a lot of minutes, that maybe you can try to wear them down?

COACH PASTOS: I mean, I can. But they’re four sophomores. Buford knows what he’s doing. We will try and press them. We simulated at little 20-minute scrimmage on Monday night. We took two-and-a-half-minute timeouts and my guys couldn’t believe how long they were. What you find out is they can rest. They can rest those two and a half minutes.

They’re used to playing minutes. It’s like one thing if you lose a couple guys and all of a sudden you have to play six and you’re not used to it. They’ve done it. He’s a great coach.

We will try and press ‘em, not as much to wear ‘em down, but probably to speed the game up. We need the game to go fast. You saw Iona, but they didn’t score at the end. Our league is a scoring league. We’re going to have to keep scoring. I want the pace of the game more than wearing them down. Is that fair to say? That’s what we’re looking to do.

Q. What you mentioned with Dave Dickerson, is there some element of surprise because a staff member knows you?

COACH PASTOS: Well, Dave, we just got together for like an hour. It was really nice to see everybody. But Dave really quickly says, I saw you’ve reverted back to the original Gary Williams, pressing on the make. He loved his time at St. John Arena. His daughter still lives in Columbus. He saw the pressing. He saw the 2 play, which is our version of the flex.

Gary Williams has had assistants like Rick Barnes, Fran Fraschilla, all these guys. I shouldn’t say this, but they’re probably more successful because they didn’t run all his stuff so much. But no (laughter).

Dave goes, You’re the only dummy that runs everything Gary did. Didn’t you learn? I’m like, Okay. Because Fran Fraschilla and Fran Dunphy and all those guys. I run like Gary’s stuff and I’ve kind of reverted back to it because I thought we could press a lot with eight guys this year.

We have an older team and they get used to the terminology, like 55′s, full-court press, and they all know it. Dave said, I just watched a half and I don’t have to scout anymore. He’s doing exactly what we thought he would do.

We probably play a little more zone, but we play Gary’s zone action, a 3-2, not a 2-3. It will be interesting. Got him 600 some wins and his name on the court, so I stuck with it.

Q. When you got together last night, what was that like? Did you devise a plan to get Gary off of Congressional this weekend?

COACH PASTOS: He’s doing Big Ten games. He’s part of the media now. Preparing to tear some coach apart. No, I’m just kidding.

Gary is going to Chicago to do the Big Ten. No, it was impromptu. Billy Hahn actually led us. Gary was the dad. Billy was the big brother. Dave was the middle. Actually Dave was probably more like Robert Duvall in The Godfather. He was really like sane. I was more like Michael. Billy was definitely like Sonny. I’m not Sonny. There’s no Fredo. Although Gary probably would have picked the same result for Fredo.

Billy kind of texted and said, Let’s get together and talk. Matt Roe was doing the radio for Syracuse. Matt Roe is one of the first guys that came to Gary when there was like nobody to play because they were on probation. It was fun. We talked about all the stuff, how much we accomplished. We laughed with everybody having a video guy, a weight guy. I said, My academic lady is with me, Colleen Campbell. I was the academic guy. Dave did the video. Billy went to weight lifting in the morning. It changed.

It was a good little time. It was nice to be with your family because in basketball that’s our family and we have a nice family.

Q. The guys that were up before said you mentioned the Coppin State win that happened across the street.

COACH PASTOS: I was over there checking it out. They’re taking it down.

Q. It’s a little sad.

COACH PASTOS: Not when you have this, it isn’t.

Q. What motivation have you used as a 15 seed going up against 2?

COACH PASTOS: That it can happen. 16-1 is not going to happen. 15-2 is going to happen once every three or four years. I actually think, my commissioner is here, he’s done a tremendous job with our league. We could have been a 14. They picked Iona as a 14. I don’t see us as a longshot 15. I can do the math. St. Bonnie wins, they pushed us down. That’s okay. Is Ohio a real 2? Unfortunately they could have been a 1 had they won Sunday.

It doesn’t matter. It’s 40 minutes. It’s 10 four-minute segments. We have to try to win six of those segments. We keep track of the segments, which we sole from Thad Matta when he was at Xavier. They have four-minute wars, 10 of them. We have to win six of them to win the game. That’s okay.

I think we have a chance, though, I do, because if we can get the game going fast, we have a chance. If they put us in the meat grinder and go slow, Sullinger goes to work, you can call me at 410, I’ll be in Baltimore Friday by noon.

Q. How much does the loss of Fab change the whole east region?

COACH PASTOS: The guy is a tremendous defensive player. I think in the  tournaments, like at Maryland we had Chris Wilcox. He scored the least. When he blocked Drew Gooden’s shots, Marcus traveled with us, a defensive guy like that can really change the game.

At Maryland I didn’t think we were ever going to win the title until we had a defensive guy like Chris Wilcox. I think they can make some plays. We don’t beat Fairfield if we don’t block some shots. You have to win a defensive game along the way.

Boeheim is a great coach. He’s setting everybody up because he has nine players. He still has eight good ones. That’s a tough one to lose because he’s a 7-footer, great player. It’s none of my concern. It’s an odd time for that to happen. I think that’s not good for a team. Like you can lose a guy three weeks ago and stuff. Like we have a guy, Anthony Winbush, who just had to have stitches Monday. I’ll tell you, he may play, he may not. He had 10 stitches. That’s a weird thing to have happen right now. But he’s not our best player.

Fab Melo is a big loss. Can Boeheim still win? Absolutely. He is one of the great coaches ever and a great golfer, a much better golfer than all the other coaches.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

 

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