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Big second half lifts Loyola past Canisius in Tourney opener

Posted on 13 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Top-seeded Loyola University Maryland scored 13-straight goals to start the second half, and the Greyhounds rolled to a 17-5 victory over visiting Canisius College in the NCAA Championships First Round on Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Greyhounds (15-1) will play the winner of North Carolina-Denver on Saturday, May 19, in the NCAA Quarterfinals in Annapolis, Md.

Loyola led 4-0 at the end of the first quarter, but Canisius scored three unanswered in the second, pulling within a goal with 2:48 left in the first quarter on Jimmy Haney’s second goal in six minutes.

Mike Sawyer, however, scored the first of his game-high five goals 3:15 into the second half, sparking a 13-0 run that would see Loyola hold the Golden Griffins (6-8) scoreless until there were just under six minutesleft in the game.

‘”I want to give our guys a lot of credit for coming out in that second half with a sense of urgency,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “I think you’re going to need that in every quarter of this tournament. We hadCanisius take it to us for one quarter, but I think we’ll be ready going forward.”

Sawyer’s five goals lifted his season total to 50, tying the school single-season record by matching the 2000 total by Tim Goettelmann.

Eric Lusby also had five points, scoring three goals and assisting, while Justin Ward had a goal and two assists. Scott Ratliff scored twice, both in the first quarter, and had six ground balls.

Ratliff scored the game’s first goal off a Ward assist after Dylan Grimm caused a turnover, and the Greyhounds cleared the ball to theiroffensive zone.

Loyola tallied another transition goal at 9:59 to play when Pat Laconi fired a pass to Lusby on the right side of the crease, and Lusby got his first of the game.  Ratliff tallied his second 53 ticks of the clock later when he picked up a ground ball and went end-to-end to score and make Loyola’s lead 3-0.

Davis Butts then scored Loyola’s first settled goal of the game, dodging past a defender to score at 6:11.

The Golden Griffins, however, bounced back in the second quarter as they dominated possession and the scoring. Canisius won all fourfaceoffs in the frame, and Travis Gibbons scored at 13:01, and Jimmy Haney added a pair at 8:23 and 2:48 to close the gap to 4-3 at halftime.

Sawyer, however, scored 3:15 into the second half to begin the 13-0 run. Eric Lusby took a shot that was saved by Sean Callahan, but the ball bounced high in front of the crease, and Sawyer reached up for the ground ball and shot it past Callahan in one motion.

Just over four minutes later, he added his second of the game on a Nikko Pontrello assist, and Chris Layne caught a Lusby feed at 4:09, scoring to make Loyola’s lead 7-3.

Sawyer added his third on a Ward assist 20 seconds later, and Lusby scored when Pat Byrnes found him open on the right side at 1:05 to put Loyola ahead 9-3 at the end of the thir quarter.

Sawyer scored 80 ticks into the final frame when he played give-and-go with Sean O’Sullivan and scored from 10 yards out.

Ward then found himself scoring on an empty net at 12:31, and Lusby tallied his third of the game 40 seconds later. Sawyer scored with 11 minutes to play, making the lead 10, 13-3.

Butts tallied his second of the game at 9:07, and Will Fredericks scored on a Josh Hawkins assist to cap a transition run at 7:23.Tyler Foley then used a Fredericks feed to score his first career goal at 6:29.

Loyola used a 47-22 advantage in shots, and a 39-30 lead in ground balls. Canisius had a 15-12 lead in the category at the half, but the Greyhounds used a 10-8 advantage in the third and 17-7 in the fourth quarters.

In addition to Ratliff’s six, he also had three faceoff wins and two caused turnovers. He broke the Loyola season record for long-pole scoring, notching his 17th and 18th points of the year to top the 1995 mark of 16 points set by current Loyola assistant coach Matt Dwan.

Josh Hawkins had a season-best seven ground balls, and he also caused two turnovers. Grimm and Laconi each had two caused turnovers, as well.

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Loyola opens NCAA Tournament with visit from Canisius Saturday

Posted on 11 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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

Game Data

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

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

On The Tube And Web

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

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

Series History

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

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

NCAA Championships History

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

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

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

Top Spot

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

School Record In Wins

Loyola’s victory over Fairfield in the ECAC Championship Game was its 14th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.

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

In The Polls

Loyola moved up to No. 2 in both the USILA Coaches and Inside Lacrosse Media Polls following their ECAC Championship. The Greyhounds were ranked No. 1 for two weeks before losing their only game of the season on April 28 to Johns Hopkins.

The Greyhounds finished the regular-season with the No. 1 RPI in the NCAA, as well.

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

The Hardware Department

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

The men’s golf team started the trend with its fifth-straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference crown on April 29, and the men’s lacrosse team followed by taking the ECAC title on May 4. The women’s lacrosse team completed the trifecta on May 5 when it defeated then-No. 2 Syracuse to win its second-straight BIG EAST Championship.

Balanced Scoring In ECAC Championships

Loyola traveled to Denver for the 2012 ECAC Lacrosse League Championships and left the Mile-High City with a 97-pound trophy (no, really). The Greyhounds, who earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and finished the regular-season 6-0 in the league, beat host and No. 4 seed Denver, 14-13, in overtime to advance to the final. There, Loyola topped Fairfield, 14-7.

Fifteen different Greyhounds scored goals in the two games with 11 tallying goals in the semifinal and 10 in the title game. Mike Sawyer led the team with four goals in the two games, a trio coming in the final, while Eric Lusby, Chris Layne and Scott Ratliff each had three.

Justin Ward led the Greyhounds with eight total points, dishing out three assists in the semifinal and three along with two goals in the championship.

Two players scored their first collegiate goals in the games, one in each contest. Kevin Ryan tallied a first-quarter goal on a man-up possession against Denver, and Brian Schultz recorded his first in the fourth quarter versus Fairfield.

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola junior does a lot, as he leads the team in ground balls (68) and caused turnovers (32), is tied for sixth in goals (9) and is seventh in assists (7).

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

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

From Way Downtown

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

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

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

50 Points, 40 Goals

Mike Sawyer scored four goals on April 21 at Hobart to reach the 40-goal mark in 13 games, and he current sits at 45 after tallying his 10th hat trick of the season in the ECAC Championship Game against Fairfield. Against Hobart, he became the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000.

His one goal in the ECAC Semifinal versus Denver pushed his season point total to 50, a number that is now at 53, making him the first Greyhound to reach 50 in a season since Prout had 58 (37 g, 21a) in 2001. It is the fourth time this century that a Loyola player has scored 50 or more points in a season. Goettelmann (65) and Prout (53) both reached the mark in 2000, and Prout did it again the following season. With his next point, Sawyer’s teammate Eric Lusby will record his 50th of the season.

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

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The duo has combined for 82 goals in 15 games this season, an average of 5.5 per game.

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

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 37 or more goals in the same season since 2000 when Tim Goettelmann set the school single-season record with 50, and Gavin Prout tallied 41. As a side note, the Goettelmann-Prout duo has gone on to highly successful professional careers. Goettelman recently retired from Major League Lacrosse as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 268 goals in 11 seasons. Prout has been an MLL Champion and has scored 314 National Lacrosse League goals to go with 625 assists as a multiple-time all-star.

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

Ratliff’s Scoring

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

With his second-quarter assist against Fairfield, he tied the Loyola single-season record for long-pole scoring, matching the record of 16 points set by current assistant coach Matt Dwan his senior season in 1995 when he tallied 11 goals and five assists and earned All-America honors.

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

Spreading Out The Scoring Wealth

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

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

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

Scoring From Different Places

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

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

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

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

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

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

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

Back-To-Back OTs

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

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

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

Ratliff Named ECAC Defender Of The Year

Junior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, marking the second time in four years a Greyhounds’ long pole has received the award. P.T. Ricci earned the honor in 2009, as well.

Ratliff leads the ECAC with 32 caused turnovers (2.13 per game) and is eighth nationally in that category, and he is tops on the Greyhounds with 68 ground balls (4.5 per contest).

The native of Marietta, Ga., also has scored nine goals and has seven assists this year, keying the Greyhounds’ transition game on many occasions. He earned ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week twice during the year and was the Defensive Player of the Week early in the season.

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey guided the Greyhounds to a 14-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play.

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

Earlier this season, Toomey won the 50th game of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 50 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .611 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

All-ECAC Honors

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

Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and is now third nationally, in goals (45) and goals per game (3.0). Butts has scored 16 goals and assisted on 12 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also regularly playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 36 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and is 16th nationally with 37 goals (2.47 per game), and he also has 12 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 28 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers entering the NCAA Tournament.

Ratliff, Sawyer Named Tewaaraton Semifinalists

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

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

Big Runs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just nine times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions. Only Denver (seven), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

Following six of the nine opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 50-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year.

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

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 55-20 in the third quarters of games and 100-54 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).

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

Record At Ridley

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

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Loyola crushes Fairfield for ECAC crown

Posted on 05 May 2012 by WNST Staff

DENVER – Loyola University Maryland used an 8-1 run that spanned three quarters to take control of the ECAC Championship Game, and the third-ranked Greyhounds defeated No. 16 Fairfield University, 14-7, to claim the league crown at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

The Greyhounds set a school record in the process, winning their 14th game of the season. They will enter the NCAA Championships with a 14-1 record.

“I have a special group of young men who come to play everyday,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “Today, I thought they were relentless on the ground balls, and I thought they played so hard on both the offensive and defensive ends. Their will won us this game.”

Fairfield (12-4 overall) pulled within a goal when Sam Snow scored with 27 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but Loyola got a once-in-a-lifetime goal from defender Reid Acton.

Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel made a save on a Fairfield shot, and he passed the ball to Acton. Acton threw the ball nearly 75 yards, and it went over the stick of Fairfield goalkeeper Charlie Cipriano to make the score 5-3 with one second to go in the first quarter.

Justin Ward and Mike Sawyer scored in the second quarter, and Loyola only allowed one Fairfield goal to lead 7-4 at the half. The Greyhounds then scored five in a row to start the second half, outscoring Fairfield 4-0 in the third quarter and going up 12-4 when Chris Layne scored with 13:50 left in regulation.

Sawyer led all players with three goals, his 12th hat trick of the season, and Ward and Layne each had two goals. Ward also added three assists. Ten players scored for the team in all.

Loyola long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the Tournament Most Outstanding Player. He had a goal and assist, as well as seven ground balls in the title game and finished the Championships with three goals, two assists and 15 ground balls.

“Scott Ratliff gets us going between the lines, him and his running mates,” Toomey said. “They were not going to be denied today.”

Ratliff added, “It’s a great feeling (to win the tournament). It is really the first goal that we have accomplished that we set out to do at the beginning of the season. You hope to win every game, but in terms of goal, it’s win the conference, and we knocked the first goal out.”

He was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Sawyer, Ward and defenders Dylan Grimm and Joe Fletcher.

Ratliff got the scoring under way when a Fairfield clear went bad, and Ward picked up the ground ball. He raced back into the box and passed it to a crashing Ratliff who scored three minutes into the game.

Fairfield evened the score quickly when John Snellman had his shot blocked only to pick up the ground ball and score on the rebound at 10:23.

Loyola jumped right back in front as J.P. Dalton pushed the faceoff in front to himself, picked up the ground ball and scored eight seconds later.

Eric Warden tied the game for Fairfield at 3:53, but the Stags would keep it tied for only nine seconds.

The Greyhounds got possession on a false start by Fairfield on the faceoff, and Davis Butts picked up the ball, drove down the middle and threw a pass to Sawyer on the left side. Sawyer ripped a goal from 10 yards out to give Loyola a lead it would hold for the rest of the game.

Ward put the Greyhounds up two with 2:20 left in the first quarter catching a Layne pass after the midfielder used a hard dodge down the left side and found Ward on the crease. Snow would make it 4-3, but Acton would put Loyola back up two.

Loyola scored again in transition less than five minutes into the second when Ratliff picked up a ground ball off a Fairfield turnover and passed it to Ward for the goal. Sawyer then added another deep shot with 7:44 to go before the half off a Ward helper.

Snellman scored his second, and final, of the game on a bouncer from the left side with 1:58 on the first-half clock, sending the teams to the locker room with Loyola in front 7-4.

The Greyhounds, who had outscored opponents 51-20 in the third quarter this season entering the Championship Game, came out and scored four unanswered in the period.

Layne started the scoring with a goal off a dodge frommidfield, and Sawyer added one in an unsettled situation that Eric Lusby assisted.

Lusby then got one himself at 6:58, and Sean O’Sullivan scored with 4:32 on the clock. Layne tallied his second of the game 1:10 into the fourth quarter, making it 12-4 Loyola.

Nikko Pontrello would score in the fourth quarter, and Brian Schultz scored the first of his career in the final minute to bring the final to 14-7.

Loyola dominated nearly every statistic in the game, outshooting Fairfield, 43-39, and picking up 33 ground balls to the Stags’ 23. The Greyhounds also forced 19 Fairfield turnovers and committed only eight themselves.

Fletcher led all players with five caused turnovers, while Reid Acton had three ground balls and Grimm added two. Josh Hawkins had four ground balls, as well for Loyola.

The Greyhounds will find out their NCAA Championships opponent, and the date and time of the game, on Sunday, May 6, at 9 p.m. when the Selection Show airs on ESPNU.

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Loyola battles Fairfield Friday for ECAC title

Posted on 03 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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

Game Data

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

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

On The Tube And Web

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

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

Series History

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

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

ECAC Championships History

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

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

School-Record Tying Win

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

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

In The Polls

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

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

Fairfield is ranked 16th in both polls.

Back-To-Back OTs

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

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

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

Comeback Thwarted

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

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

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

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

Ratliff’s Scoring

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

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

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

Spreading Out The Scoring Wealth

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

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

Scoring From Different Places

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

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

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

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

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

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

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

Ratliff Named ECAC Defender Of The Year

Junior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, marking the second time in four years a Greyhounds’ long pole has received the award. P.T. Ricci earned the honor in 2009, as well.

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

The native of Marietta, Ga., also has scored six goals and has six assists this year, keying the Greyhounds’ transition game on many occasions. He earned ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week twice during the year and was the Defensive Player of the Week early in the season.

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

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey guided the Greyhounds to a 12-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play.

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

Earlier this season, Toomey won the 50th game of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 50 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .611 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

All-ECAC Honors

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

Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and was third nationally, in goals (41) and goals per game (3.15). Butts scored 15 goals and assisted on 11 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 33 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and in the top-20 nationally with 34 goals, and he also has 10 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 25 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers entering the post season.

Ratliff, Sawyer Named Tewaaraton Semifinalists

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

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

40-Goal Mark

Mike Sawyer scored four goals on April 21 at Hobart and added one each against Johns Hopkins and Denver, raising his season total to 42 through 14 games. Against Hobart, he became the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000.

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

Big Runs

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

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

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

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

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

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

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just nine times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions. Only Denver (seven), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

Following six of the nine opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The duo has combined for 78 goals in 14 games this season, an average of 5.6 per game.

Sawyer has scored 42 goals, and his 3.0 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 36 goals and a 2.57 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 14th in the country. Loyola is one of two schools to have two players in the top 14 of goals per game nationally.

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 36 or more goals in the same season since 2000 when Tim Goettelmann set the school single-season record with 50, and Gavin Prout tallied 41. As a side note, the Goettelmann-Prout duo has gone on to highly successful professional careers. Goettelman recently retired from Major League Lacrosse as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 268 goals in 11 seasons. Prout has been an MLL Champion and has scored 314 National Lacrosse League goals to go with 625 assists as a multiple-time all-star.

On The EMO

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

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

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 51-20 in the third quarters of games and 94-52 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).

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

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Loyola Opens ECAC Tournament Wednesday at Denvere

Posted on 01 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent ECAC Semifinals | Denver Pioneers
Date Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Time 5:00 p.m. (Mountain)
Location Denver, Colo. | Peter Barton Stadium
TV | Radio Denver Webstreaming
Series Record Denver leads, 2-1
Last Meeting Loyola 12, Denver 9 – April 14, 2012 at Denver

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland makes its second trip to the Rocky Mountains this week as it travels to Denver for the ECAC Lacrosse League Championships.

The Greyhounds, who earned the top seed in the tournament with a 6-0 record in the league during the regular season, will face host Denver University, the No. 4 seed, in a semifinal game on Wednesday, May 2, at 5 p.m. (Mountain).

The winner of the Loyola-Denver game will face the winner of No. 2 Ohio State University and No. 3 Fairfield University in the ECAC Championship Game at 4 p.m. (Mountain) on Friday, May 3, in a game that will air on ESPNU.

Free Webstream Available

The ECAC semifinals will be webstreamed live, free of charge, on DenverPioneers.com.

Series History

Denver and Loyola will meet for the fourth time in series history on Wednesday with the Pioneers holding a 2-1 advantage in the first three games. Denver won regular-season games against the Greyhounds in 2010 and 2011, but the Greyhounds prevailed, 12-9, less than three weeks ago, on April 14, at Peter Barton Stadium.

Mike Sawyer scored three times, and Eric Lusby added a pair of goals, as nine Loyola players scored in that victory. Denver took its only lead of the game, 8-7, with 8:24 to play in the third quarter on an Eric Adamson goal, but Nikko Pontrello scored for Loyola less than three minutes later, sparking a 4-0 run that the Greyhounds would extend to 5-1 to close the game.

ECAC Championships History

Loyola was the No. 2 seed in the first ECAC Championships, which were also held at Denver last year. The Greyhounds lost, 11-9, to third-seeded Fairfield in the semifinal. The host Pioneers took home the title and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament last season.

In The Polls

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

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

Denver is ranked 12th in the coaches poll, 11th in the media.

Record-Tying Win Streak

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

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

Ratliff Named ECAC Defender Of The Year

Junior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, marking the second time in four years a Greyhounds’ long pole has received the award. P.T. Ricci earned the honor in 2009, as well.

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

The native of Marietta, Ga., also has scored six goals and has six assists this year, keying the Greyhounds’ transition game on many occasions. He earned ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week twice during the year and was the Defensive Player of the Week early in the season.

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

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey guided the Greyhounds to a 12-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play.

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

Earlier this season, Toomey won the 50th game of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 50 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .611 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

All-ECAC Honors

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

Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and was third nationally, in goals (41) and goals per game (3.15). Butts scored 15 goals and assisted on 11 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 33 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and in the top-20 nationally with 34 goals, and he also has 10 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 25 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers entering the post season.

Comeback Falls Short

The Greyhounds trailed Johns Hopkins 9-5 when Rob Guida scored with 14:13 to play in regulation, but Loyola held the Blue Jays scoreless for the remainder of the fourth quarter and scored four-straight goals to send the game to overtime.

With less than 10 seconds to play, Justin Ward dodged around the crease, and he whipped a shot past Blue Jays goalkeeper Pierce Bassett with 5.4 ticks left to tie the game at 9-9.

The Greyhounds won the face-off to start overtime and were able to get off two shots. Chris Layne had an attempt go wide left, and Eric Lusby’s shot hit the left post, after which Johns Hopkins picked up the ground ball.

Johns Hopkins’ first shot went wide left, and then with less than 10 seconds in overtime, Loyola’s Josh Hawkins trail-checked a John Ranagan shot from the right side, but the ball floated right to the stick of Zach Palmer, just below goal-line-extended on the right side. Palmer flicked a pass to Guida on the crease, and he one-timed a shot into the net with 2.3 seconds left in the period for the win.

Packed House

Loyola recorded its second sellout crowd in the three-year history of Ridley Athletic Complex last Saturday when it hosted Johns Hopkins. Six-thousand people filled the stands on the school’s first official Homecoming event.

Close Calls Against Championships Competition

Loyola defeated the numbers, two, three and four seeds by one (8-7, Ohio State), two (8-6, Fairfield) and three (12-9, Denver) goals this season.

Overall this year, Loyola has outscored opponents by an average of 4.84 goals per game, the third-best scoring margin mark in the nation.

Business Trip

Before taking on Johns Hopkins on April 28, the Greyhounds last played at Ridley Athletic Complex on March 31 before embarking on a three-game ECAC Lacrosse League road trip that took Loyola over 2,200 miles for games against Fairfield, Denver and Hobart.

Loyola defeated the trio of teams to clinch the ECAC regular-season title.

Regular-Season Sweep

Loyola finished its ECAC Lacrosse League regular-season schedule with a 6-0 record to win its first outright conference title since 2008.

The Greyhounds’ undefeated league record is the second in the history of the program – Loyola was an independent at the NCAA Division I level from 1982-2001 and again from 2003-2005. The Greyhounds won the 2002 Colonial Athletic Conference crown with a 5-0 mark.

Ratliff, Sawyer Named Tewaaraton Semifinalists

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

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

40-Goal Mark

Mike Sawyer scored four goals on April 21 at Hobart and added another versus Johns Hopkins, raising his season total to 41 through 13 games. Against Hobart, he became the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000.

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

Defense Standing Tall

The Greyhounds’ defense is ranked seventh in NCAA Division I, and tops in the ECAC, with a 7.31 goals allowed per game mark. It took 13 games for an opponent to reach double-figures in goals against Loyola when Johns Hopkins reached 10 with an overtime goal. The Greyhounds had been one of just two teams in the nation (Notre Dame) to limit opponents to nine or fewer.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first 13 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 25 occasions this season.

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

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

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

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

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just eight times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions. Only Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

Following six of the eight opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The duo has combined for 75 goals in 13 games this season, an average of 5.8 per game.

Sawyer has scored 41 goals, and his 3.15 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 34 goals and a 2.62 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 14th in the country. Loyola is one of two schools to have two players in the top 14 of goals per game nationally.

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 32 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.

Runkel Moving Up Stats Charts

Entering the final game of the 2012 regular-season, sophomore goalkeeper Jack Runkel has risen to eighth in the nation with a 7.52 goals against average. In 11 games, nine starts, Runkel has made saves on 55.9-percent of shots on goal he’s faced, the No. 17 mark in the country.

While Runkel has picked up three weekly conference awards this year, much of the credit can also go to the defensive unit as a whole. Opponents have taken 330 total shots while Runkel has been in goal this year, but just 179 have been on goal.

Runkel made a career-high 14 saves against Johns Hopkins.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 51.4-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year.

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

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 47-19 in the third quarters of games and 88-44 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).

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

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds have gone 6-1 at home this year. Loyola is now 14-4 all-time at Ridley.

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Loyola LSM Ratliff, Coach Toomey pick up top ECAC honors

Posted on 30 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Ratliff Earns Top ECAC Defensive Honor; Toomey Coach of the Year

CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year, and he was joined by four of his teammates on the All-ECAC teams, the league office announced Monday.

Greyhounds Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year after leading Loyola to a perfect 6-0 record in the conference regular-season, a 12-1 overall record and a national No. 1 ranking for two weeks. It is the third time in seven years Toomey has been tabbed the league’s top coach.

Ratliff was one of three Greyhounds named to the All-ECAC First Team, joining Mike Sawyer on attack and Davis Butts in the midfield. Ratliff was named to the team as a defender. Eric Lusby and Joe Fletcher were named to the All-ECAC Second Team on attack and defense, respectively.

Ratliff led the ECAC and is seventh in the nation in caused turnovers per game, finishing the regular-season with 30 total, an average of 2.31 per game. He also tops the Greyhounds with 52 ground balls, 4.0 per game, and has been a key part of the Loyola defense that is seventh in the nation in scoring defense per game. Ratliff was twice named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week, and he also earned an ECAC Defensive Player of the Week nod.

Butts led the Greyhounds’ first midfield in scoring, checking in with 15 goals, third-best on the team, and 11 assists, second-most for Loyola. He was also a frequent contributor on the wing for faceoffs and as a defensive midfielder, logging 33 ground balls. Butts contributed eight multi-point games and set career-highs with four goals at Bellarmine and four assists versus Air Force.

Sawyer led the ECAC in total goals (41) and goals per game (3.15) during the regular-season. Through 13 games, he is ranked third in the nation in goals per game, and along with Ratliff, he was named a semifinalist for the Tewaaraton Award, given yearly to the nation’s top player. He logged hat tricks in nine of the Greyhounds’ 13 games and had multi-goal efforts 11 times. Sawyer’s 41 goals are the most by a Loyola player since the 2001 season

Fletcher, in his first year as a starter, has been noted as one of the top lock-down defenders in the nation, earning Midseason All-America Second Team honors from Inside Lacrosse. He has caused 14 turnovers and picked up 25 ground balls on the team that is ranked seventh in the nation in scoring defense.

The Greyhounds earned the top seed in this week’s ECAC Championships that will be played at Peter Barton Stadium on the campus of Denver University. Loyola will play the fourth-seeded, and host, Pioneers, at 5 p.m. (Mountain) on Wednesday, May 2. The winner of the game will play the winner of No. 2 Ohio State University and No. 3 Fairfield University in the Championship Game on Friday at 4 p.m. (Mountain).

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Loyola Suffers First Loss As Hopkins Wins OT Thriller

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Loyola Suffers First Loss As Hopkins Wins OT Thriller

Posted on 28 April 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, MD – Sophomore Rob Guida provided the emotional spark the Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team needed when he opened the scoring with an unassisted goal less than three minutes into Saturday’s showdown at top-ranked Loyola. Guida did himself one better with 2.3 seconds remaining in overtime when he quick-sticked home a pass to the crease from junior Zach Palmer to lift the 10th-ranked Blue Jays to a 10-9 win before a capacity crowd of 6,000 at Loyola’s Ridley Athletic Complex.

In a game that saw the Blue Jays lead 9-5 with less than 13 minutes remaining in regulation, Guida netted his game-winner after Loyola hit the post with its second shot in overtime and the Blue Jays failed on an extra-man opportunity. With the clock winding down, Hopkins midfielder John Ranagan worked to an ally dodge, but was trail-checked nicely and the ball flew out to Palmer along the goal line. There, he threaded a pass to the crease, where Guida caught it for the briefest time and slipped a quick shot between the legs of Loyola goalie Jack Runkel. The goal completed Guida’s first career hat trick and improved Hopkins’ record to 19-9 all-time in overtime games under head coach Dave Pietramala.

A late goal in overtime didn’t look like it would be necessary for the Blue Jays after Guida’s extra-man goal early in the fourth quarter gave JHU a 9-5 lead. To that point, the ‘Hounds hadn’t been closer than three since the first quarter and the Blue Jays appeared to be in control.

It look less than two minutes for Davis Butts to answer Guida’s tally and less than a minute after that before a Sean O’Sullivan strike made it 9-7 with more than 11 minutes remaining.

The 9-7 lead held for the Blue Jays (10-3) for more than eight minutes as Runkel and his counterpart, JHU goalie Pierce Bassett, traded saves. Still, the Greyhounds made it a one-goal game with 54 seconds remaining when Justin Ward found Pat Laconi alone in the high slot and Laconi picked the near post for his first goal of the season.

Loyola (12-1), which had its 12-game winning streak snapped, won the ensuing faceoff and worked the ball to Ward behind the goal. Hopkins senior Gavin Crisafulli bodied up with Ward along the goal line and appeared to be in solid position, but Ward worked topside just slightly and rifled home the equalizer to force the extra period.

Loyola maintained possession for more than 90 seconds in overtime and Eric Lusby rang the far post with the ‘Hounds second shot, but Guida came up with the ensuing ground ball and drew a flag for a hold while trying to clear. Hopkins maintained possession after the penalty expired and Palmer threaded his pass to a tightly-marked Guida a short time later to seal Hopkins’ 13th straight win over the Greyhounds.

After back-to-back losses the Blue Jays were looking for something positive early in the game and Guida, Mark Goodrich and Lee Coppersmith provided just that with first quarter goals that gave JHU a 3-0 lead at the end of the opening quarter. It marked the 15th time Hopkins has held an opponent scoreless in a quarter this season and the first time all year that Loyola failed to score in the opening quarter of a game.

The Blue Jays pushed the lead to 5-0 when Coppersmith and Wells Stanwick scored in the opening 2:03 of the second period, but Loyola got goals by Butts, Lusby and Chris Layne in the final 11:15 of the period with only a Palmer strike in that time for JHU to account for a 6-3 score at the half.

The teams traded third-quarter goals to make it 8-5 entering the final period and Gudia’s extra-man goal 47 seconds into the fourth quarter gave JHU the 9-5 lead. Butts ignited Loyola’s 4-0 run a short time later when he scored on an ally dodge and Ward capped the spree in the final seconds with his only goal of the game. That set the stage for the overtime period, which went nearly the full four minutes before Palmer and Guida put an end to the dramatics and lifted Hopkins to its 47th all-time win in the 50-game series with Loyola.

Guida, who had scored previously scored a career-high two goals in a game six times in his career, led the Blue Jays with his three goals, while Palmer added two goals and two assists. Coppersmith and Goodrich added two-goal efforts for the Blue Jays, who held advantages in shots (40-28) and ground balls (34-30). Bassett posted nine saves in goal and freshman Michael Pellegrino added a game-high seven ground balls for the Blue Jays, who picked up their second win of the season against a team ranked number one and have now won 7-of-11 against teams ranked number one under Pietramala.

Loyola got two goals from Lusby and Butts, one goal and two assists from Layne and the one goal and one assist from Ward, while Runkel was solid in goal with 14 saves on the day. J.P. Dalton took all 23 faceoffs in the game for Loyola and won 14 of them, although the Blue Jays won 7-of-11 in the second half.

Johns Hopkins will return to action next Saturday, when the Blue Jays welcome Army to Homewood Field for JHU’s annual Homecoming game. Loyola has a quick turnaround as the Greyhounds will play at Denver in the ECAC Semifinals on Wednesday.

#10 Johns Hopkins (10-3) 3-3-2-1-1/10
#1 Loyola (12-1) 0-3-2-4-0/9

GoalsJ: Guida-3, Palmer-2, Coppersmith-2, Goodrich-2, Stanwick. L: Lusby-2, Butts-2, Layne, Ward, Sawyer, O’Sullivan, Laconi. AssistsJ: Boland-2, Palmer-2, Burkhart. L: Layne-2, Ratliff, Ward. SavesJ: Bassett-9. L: Runkel-14, Bonitatibus-0. Shots: J-40. L-28. EMOJ: 2-for-4. L: 0-for-1. Attendance: 6,000.

 

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Loyola Hosts Hopkins Saturday In One Of Biggest Games In School History

Posted on 27 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent Johns Hopkins Blue Jays
Date Saturday, April 28, 2012
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex
TV | Radio Hounds Unleashed
Series Record Johns Hopkins leads, 46-3
Last Meeting Johns Hopkins 8, Loyola 7 – April 30, 2011 at Hopkins

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland wraps up the 2012 regular-season with a Saturday, April 28, game against Charles Street foe Johns Hopkins University. The Greyhounds and Blue Jays will face-off at 1 o’clock at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Sellout Crowd

Tickets to Saturday’s game have been sold out. It will be the second sellout crowd in the three-year history of the crowd, following the inaugural game on March 13, 2010, between Loyola and Duke. A severe storm, however, prevented many fans from attending that game, however, no tickets remained.

It is the largest presale of tickets in history to a Loyola athletics’ event.

Free Webstream Available

As with all Loyola men’s lacrosse games this year, a free webstream will be available of the game on Hounds Unleashed, the video arm of LoyolaGreyhounds.com.

Series History

The Greyhounds and Blue Jays will be meeting for the 50th time in series history on Saturday when they take the field. Johns Hopkins holds a 46-3 advantage in the all-time series and is currently on a 12-game winning streak.

Loyola’s last win against the Blue Jays came on March 12, 1999, when the Greyhounds took a 14-5 decision on the road.

Last year, Loyola outshot Johns Hopkins, 16-4, in the second half, but the Greyhounds could not overcome an 8-4 deficit, and the Blue Jays came away with an 8-7 win.

When the teams play for the 50th time, Johns Hopkins will tie Penn State for the opponent Loyola has played second-most in school history. Towson is the Greyhounds’ most-played opponent at 54 meetings.

In The Polls

The Greyhounds are ranked No. 1 in both the USILA Coaches and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Polls entering the game.

Johns Hopkins checks in at No. 10 in the coaches version and 11th in the media rankings.

The last time either team was ranked No. 1 when this game was played came on May 7, 2005, in a 12-6 Hopkins win on Homewood Field. It will be the first time the Blue Jays have faced Loyola with the Greyhounds in the top spot. Their win in 1999 over Johns Hopkins vaulted Loyola into first, a slot it would hold for nine weeks through the end of the regular-season.

Top Spot

Loyola is ranked No. 1 in the nation (in the USILA poll) for the first time since May 10, 1999, when the Greyhounds completed a 12-0 regular-season. Loyola was ranked first in the final nine polls of that season, and it was No. 1 for two weeks during the 1994 season (April 12 and 19) and one week in 1992 (March 31).

The Greyhounds are just the second team since the USILA poll was introduced in 1973 to go from being unranked to No. 1 in the same season. The other team to accomplish the feat was the 2007 Duke team that went from being unranked in the first poll of the year to No. 2 in the second and first in the third.

Loyola has also been first in the two version of the RPI released thus far by the NCAA.

Record-Tying Win Streak

Loyola’s 12-straight wins this season have tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (March 14-May 17) and 1999 (March 6-May 8).

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

Business Trip

The Greyhounds last played at Ridley Athletic Complex on March 31 before embarking on a three-game ECAC Lacrosse League road trip that took Loyola over 2,200 miles for games against Fairfield, Denver and Hobart.

Loyola defeated the trio of teams to clinch the ECAC regular-season title.

Regular-Season Sweep

Loyola finished its ECAC Lacrosse League regular-season schedule with a 6-0 record to win its first outright conference title since 2008.

The Greyhounds’ undefeated league record is the second in the history of the program – Loyola was an independent at the NCAA Division I level from 1982-2001 and again from 2003-2005. The Greyhounds won the 2002 Colonial Athletic Conference crown with a 5-0 mark.

Loyola enters the May 2-4 ECAC Championships in Denver as the No. 1 seed. The Greyhounds will take on the host Pioneers at 5 p.m. (MDT) on Wednesday, May 2, and the winner of that game plays the winner of Fairfield-Ohio State on Friday, May 4, at 4 p.m., in a game that will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Fast Start

Playing as the nation’s No. 1 team for the first time in almost 13 years, the Greyhounds showed no let down against Hobart last Saturday, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game.

The Greyhounds ended the first quarter ahead 7-1, getting goals from six different players and two from Mike Sawyer.

Ratliff, Sawyer Named Tewaaraton Semifinalists

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

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

40-Goal Mark

Mike Sawyer scored four goals on Saturday at Hobart, raising his season total to 40 through 12 games, becoming the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000.

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

Defense Standing Tall

The Greyhounds’ defense is ranked sixth in NCAA Division I, and tops in the ECAC, with a 7.08 goals allowed per game mark, as they have not allowed more than nine goals in a single game this season. The Greyhounds are one of two teams (Notre Dame is the other) who have allowed fewer than 10 in each outing this season.

Road Warriors

Loyola has used second-half comebacks to win its first two games of its ECAC road trip, scoring the last four gaols of the  game to beat then-No. 14 Fairfield, 8-6, on April 7, before using a 5-1 run to close the game in a 12-9 win at then-No. 8 Denver.

The Fairfield game was the first time this season Loyola had trailed in the fourth quarter, and the 4-4 tie going into the final stanza was the first time it had not led outright entering the frame.

The Greyhounds held Fairfield scoreless for the final 11 minutes, 59 seconds of action, and they then kept Denver off the board for 22:32 in the third and fourth quarters while they scored four unanswered.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first 12 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 24 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, and after falling behind 3-2 in the second quarter against Ohio State, the Greyhounds strung together four in a row to go ahead 6-3 by the end of the third quarter.

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

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just seven times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions. Only Fairfield (five) and Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

Following six of the seven opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

Taking Care Of The Ball

Loyola committed a season-low seven turnovers in the win at Denver, and the Greyhounds have been one of the best in the nation this season at taking care of the ball.

The Greyhounds lead the ECAC this year with the fewest turnovers per game, averaging 13.33, more than 1.5 fewer than Ohio State which is second with 15.08. Loyola is eighth nationally in the stat category.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The Tewaaraton Award nominees have combined for 72 goals in 12 games this season, an average of 6.6 per game.

Sawyer has scored 40 goals, and his 3.33 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 32 goals and a 2.67 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 13th in the country. Loyola is the only school to have two players in the top 14 of goals per game nationally.

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 32 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.

Balanced Attack

Ten Loyola players scored against Hobart, marking the second game in a row, and third time this season, that nine or more have tallied goals in a game. The 10 goals matched the Greyhounds’ best for the season that came in a win over Air Force.

This season, four Greyhounds – Mike Sawyer (40), Eric Lusby (32), Sean O’Sullivan (13) and Davis Butts (13) – have 10 or more goals, and five others have 10-plus points.

Defense Digs In Again

Loyola’s defensive unit held Denver to more than three goals fewer than its season average. The Pioneers came into the game averaging nearly 12.7 goals per game, but the Greyhounds limited them to just nine.

Denver’s Mark Matthews sported a 39-game goal scoring streak coming into the game, but Loyola held him to just a single assist, snapping what had been the nation’s second-longest streak.

Ratliff Earns Third Award Of Season

Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week on Monday after scoring a goal, assisting on two, causing four turnovers and winning two ground balls against Hobart.

The award is the third of the season for Ratliff who was named ECAC Defensive Player of the Week after the season-opener and Co-Specialist of the Week on March 19.

Loyola players have won six of this year’s 10 ECAC Defensive Player of the Week awards and four of the last five. In addition to Ratliff’s opening honor, goalkeeper Jack Runkel earned the award on March 12.

Runkel again won the award on March 26, starting a four-week stretch in which he and defender Reid Acton have alternated garnering the honor.

Acton was named the April 18 recipient after he drew primary marking responsibilities on Denver’s Mark Matthews, holding the All-American without a goal for the first time in 40 games.

Runkel Moving Up Stats Charts

Entering the final game of the 2012 regular-season, sophomore goalkeeper Jack Runkel has risen to eighth in the nation with a 7.29 goals against average. In 11 games, nine starts, Runkel has made saves on 55.5-percent of shots on goal he’s faced, the No. 17 mark in the country.

While Runkel has picked up three weekly conference awards this year, much of the credit can also go to the defensive unit as a whole. Opponents have taken 290 total shots while Runkel has been in goal this year, but just 155 have been on goal.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 52.9-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year.

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

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 45-17 in the third quarters of games and 82-40 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.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds have opened their third year at the stadium with six wins at home. Loyola is now 14-3 all-time at Ridley.

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Loyola Stays Perfect With Win At Hobart

Posted on 22 April 2012 by WNST Staff

GENEVA, N.Y. – Mike Sawyer and Eric Lusby combined to score seven goals, and the top-ranked Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team lead wire-to-wire on Saturday afternoon, finishing its ECAC Lacrosse League regular-season schedule undefeated with a 17-6 win at Hobart College.

Sawyer finished with four goals and an assist, while Lusby tacked on three goals and an assist. Fellow Tewaaraton Award candidate Scott Ratliff scored a goal, assisted on two, caused four turnovers and picked up two ground balls. Davis Butts added two goals and an assist.

The Greyhounds (12-0 overall, 6-0 ECAC) scored the game’s first five goals, starting when Josh Hawkins scored in transition 1:27 into the contest.

Lusby, Butts, Pat Byrnes, Mike Sawyer (two) and Kyle Duffy all scored in the first quarter, and the Greyhounds led 7-1 at the end of the first 15 minutes.

Loyola outshot Hobart (3-9, 1-4), 42-36, and picked up 31 ground balls to the Statesmen’s 28. Joe Fletcher led the way with five off the ground, and goalkeeper Jack Runkel had four in addition to eight saves.

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Loyola Faces Potential Trap Game Saturday at Hobart

Posted on 20 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Game Data

  • Loyola University Maryland wraps up ECAC Lacrosse League play on Saturday, April 21, 2012 when it concludes a three-game road trip with a 12 noon face-off at Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y.

Series History

  • The Greyhounds will meet Hobart for the 15th time in series history when the teams take the field on Saturday and the eighth time as ECAC foes. Both programs joined the league for the 2005 season.
  • Loyola holds an 11-3 advantage in the previous 14 games that have been played between the teams, including an 11-8 victory on April 23, 2011, at Ridley Athletic Complex. Four Greyhounds – Patrick Fanshaw, Matt Langan, Stephen Murray and Mike Sawyer – scored two goals each.

In The Polls

  • The Greyhounds rose to No. 1 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll and are tied for the top spot in the USILA Coaches ranking with fellow unbeaten Massachusetts. More on the rankings later.

Top Spot

  • Loyola is ranked No. 1 in the nation (in the USILA poll) for the first time since May 10, 1999, when the Greyhounds completed a 12-0 regular-season. Loyola was ranked first in the final nine polls of that season, and it was No. 1 for two weeks during the 1994 season (April 12 and 19) and one week in 1992 (March 31).
  • The Greyhounds are just the second team since the USILA poll was introduced in 1973 to go from being unranked to No. 1 in the same season. The other team to accomplish the feat was the 2007 Duke team that went from being unranked in the first poll of the year to No. 2 in the second and first in the third.
  • Since the inception of the ECAC Lacrosse League in 2000, Loyola is the second conference member to attain a No. 1 ranking, joining former member Georgetown, which was in the top spot for a week in 2007.
  • Loyola is also ranked first in the initial version of the RPI released by the NCAA.

Road Warriors

  • Loyola has used second-half comebacks to win its first two games of its current ECAC road trip, scoring the last four gaols of the game to beat then-No. 14 Fairfield, 8-6, on April 7, before using a 5-1 run to close the game in a 12-9 win at then-No. 8 Denver.
  • The Fairfield game was the first time this season Loyola had trailed in the fourth quarter, and the 4-4 tie going into the final stanza was the first time it had not led outright entering the frame.
  • The Greyhounds held Fairfield scoreless for the final 11 minutes, 59 seconds of action, and they then kept Denver off the board for 22:32 in the third and fourth quarters while they scored four unanswered.

Defense Standing Tall

  • The Greyhounds’ defense is ranked sixth in NCAA Division I, and tops in the ECAC, with a 7.18 goals allowed per game mark, as they have not allowed more than nine goals in a single game this season. The Greyhounds are one of three teams (Massachusetts and Notre Dame are the others) who have allowed fewer than 10 in each outing this season.

ECAC Spot Locked Up

  • Loyola’s win at Denver secured the No. 1 seed in the upcoming ECAC Championships for the Greyhounds, as well as at least a share of the ECAC regular-season crown. It is Loyola’s third time sharing, or winning outright, the ECAC title since joining the conference in 2005.

Big Runs

  • Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first 11 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 21 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, and after falling behind 3-2 in the second quarter against Ohio State, the Greyhounds strung together four in a row to go ahead 6-3 by the end of the third quarter.
  • At Fairfield, Loyola scored the final four goals of the game to rally from a 6-4 deficit to win 8-6. The Greyhounds then scored four in a row during the third and fourth quarters at Denver that brought them from down 8-7 to a 12-9 victory.

On The Flip Side

  • Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just seven times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions.
  • Only Fairfield (five) and Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.
  • Following six of the seven opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

Taking Care Of The Ball

  • Loyola was outshot, 39-34, and Denver had seven more ground balls (32-25) than the Greyhounds last Saturday, but Loyola used a significant turnover margin to its advantage in the win. The Greyhounds committed a season-low seven turnovers against the Pioneers who had 16.
  • The Greyhounds lead the ECAC this year with the fewest turnovers per game, averaging 13.45, more than 1.5 fewer than Fairfield which is second with 15.17. Loyola is seventh nationally in the stat category.

Balanced Attack

  • Nine Loyola players scored in the win over Denver with Mike Sawyer (3) and Eric Lusby (2) leading the way as the only players to score multiple times. Only once this season, Air Force (10) have more Loyola players scored in a game.
  • This season, four Greyhounds – Mike Sawyer (36), Eric Lusby (29), Sean O’Sullivan (12) and Davis Butts (11) – have 10 or more goals, and four others have 10-plus points.

Transition Scoring

  • Loyola used three goals in unsettled situations to its advantage on the way to the win at Denver. Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was involved in all three, scoring a goal and an assist, and clearing the ball for an unassisted Mike Sawyer dodge-and-goal in another.
  • Ratliff, a Tewaaraton Award Nominee, is tops on the team in ground balls (45) and caused turnovers (24) and has scored five goals and assisted on three this season.

Defense Digs In Again

  • Loyola’s defensive unit held Denver to more than three goals fewer than its season average. The Pioneers came into the game averaging nearly 12.7 goals per game, but the Greyhounds limited them to just nine.
  • Denver’s Mark Matthews sported a 39-game goal scoring streak coming into the game, but Loyola held him to just a single assist, snapping what had been the nation’s second-longest streak.

Another Defensive Honor

  • Loyola players have won six of this year’s nine ECAC Defensive Player of the Week awards and each of the last four. Scott Ratliff won the initial award following the season-opener against Delaware, and goalkeeper Jack Runkel earned the honor on March 12.
  • Runkel again won the award on March 26, starting a four-week stretch in which he and defender Reid Acton have alternated garnering the honor.
  • Acton was named the most recent recipient on Monday after he drew primary marking responsibilities on Denver’s Mark Matthews, holding the All-American without a goal for the first time in 40 games.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

  • Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The Tewaaraton Award nominees have combined for 65 goals in 11 games this season, an average of 5.9 per game.
  • Sawyer has scored 36 goals, and his 3.27 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 29 goals and a 2.64 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for the country. Loyola is the only school to have two players in the top 15 of goals per game nationally.
  • The Greyhounds have not had two players score 29 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.

Runkel Moving Up Stats Charts

  • Entering the final two games of the 2012 regular-season, sophomore goalkeeper Jack Runkel has risen to seventh in the nation with a 7.32 goals against average. In 10 games, eight starts, Runkel has made saves on 55.3-percent of shots on goal he’s faced, the No. 17 mark in the country.
  • While Runkel has picked up three weekly conference awards this year, much of the credit can also go to the defensive unit as a whole. Opponents have taken 255 total shots while Runkel has been in goal this year, but just 141 have been on goal.

Causing Miscues

  • Loyola’s defense is fourth in Division I in caused turnovers per game, averaging 9.64 a contest. Four Greyhounds – Scott Ratliff (2.1), Reid Acton (1.18), Dylan Grimm (1.18) Joe Fletcher and Dylan Grimm (both 1.0) – are averaging more than one per game. Ratliff ranks ninth in Division I in the category.

On The EMO

  • Loyola continued its success on extra-man opportunities, going 2-of-2 against Denver last Saturday, both during the closing 5-1 run.
  • This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 54.8-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.583) has a better mark this year. The last time Loyola finished above .500 in man-up offense was in 1997 when it converted 39-of-77 (.506).

Closer Calls

  • Loyola’s 8-7 victory on March 31 against Ohio State marked the first time this year that the Greyhounds played a game decided by less than three goals. Previously, Loyola’s closest victory was 11-8 on March 3 at Bellarmine, and no other game was within five goals.
  • Since then, however, all three of Loyola’s games have been decided by three or fewer goals.

Lusby, Ratliff Join Sawyer On Tewaaraton Watch List

  • Loyola’s Eric Lusby and Scott Ratliff were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, joining fellow Greyhound Mike Sawyer who was named to the group before the season. Lusby is second on the team with 29 goals and 38 points, while Ratliff paces the team in caused turnovers with 24 and ground balls, 45.

Second-Half Success

  • Loyola continued a trend of strong second-half play this season by pulling away from Denver in the second half, outscoring the Pioneers, 6-4.
  • The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 41-5 in the third quarters of games and 73-38 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.

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.

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 six wins at home. Loyola is now 14-3 all-time at Ridley.

What’s Next

  • Loyola returns to Ridley Athletic Complex for its final regular-season game on Saturday, April 28. The Greyhounds will host Johns Hopkins University in a 1 o’clock face-off.

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