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Greyhounds Stay Perfect With Win At Fairfield

Posted on 08 April 2012 by WNST Staff

No. 4 Men’s Lax Scores 4 In Fourth To Top No. 14 Stags

FAIRFIELD, Conn. —  All season, the Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team has used second-half runs to defeat their opponents, and Saturday’s game at No. 14 Fairfield University was no different.

The fourth-ranked Greyhounds improved to 10-0 for the first time since 1999 by scoring the game’s final four goals to rally from a two-goal fourth-quarter hole, defeating the Stags, 8-6, in ECAC Lacrosse League action Saturday afternoon at Lessing Field.

Loyola’s win clinched a spot for the Greyhounds in the ECAC Championships that will be held May 2-4 in Denver. The Greyhounds also notched their 10th win of the year for the first time since the 2001 season.

The Stags (9-2 overall, 2-1 ECAC) used a 5-0 run – the longest of the season by a Loyola opponent – that spanned the second, third and fourth quarters to go up 6-4 on a John Snellman goal with 11:59 remaining in regulation.

Loyola (10-0, 4-0) won the ensuing face-off, however, and in an unsettled situation, Davis Butts fed a crashing J.P. Dalton who scored eight seconds after Snellman’s goal to pull the Greyhounds within a goal.

Minutes later, Loyola’s Jack Runkel, who had 12 saves, made a stop on a Colin McLinden shot, and Reid Acton picked up the ground ball for the Greyhounds.

Two Sean O’Sullivan shots were off cage for Loyola, but the Greyhounds had both attempts backed up, retaining possession.

Off the second restart, Eric Lusby found Justin Ward who scored his second goal of the game, tying the score at 7:19.

The Stags got the ground ball on the next restart, but after running more than 90 seconds of offense, Scott Ratliff caused a Fairfield turnover, and Joe Fletcher came away with the ground ball.

Loyola cleared it effectively, and Ward fed Mike Sawyer who scored his second of the afternoon, making the Greyhounds’ advantage, 7-6, with 5:24 to go.

Fairfield again got the ball on the face-off – the Stags won 15-of-19 at the ‘X’ – but Drew Federico had a shot blocked. The Stags then ran a play, and Eric Warden got free topside, but Runkel made a save on his shot from inside five yards.

Sixty-eight seconds after Runkel’s save, O’Sullivan ripped a shot to give Loyola a two-goal cushion with 2:47 remaining in regulation.

The Greyhounds forced two Fairfield turnovers, thereafter, and both Stag shot attempts went wide.

“We didn’t let the two-goal deficit stop us today, even though Fairfield had all of the momentum going their way,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “We made some good things happen on defense, like Scott Ratliff causing a big turnover, and (Jack) Runkel really standing tall in goal for us. The offense fed off that, and we got some good looks to convert on late in the game.”

Ward finished the game as Loyola’s leading scorer with three points on two goals and an assist, while Sawyer had a pair of goals. Butts recorded a goal and an assist, as well.

Ratliff posted four caused turnovers, a game-high, while Hawkins led Loyola with five ground balls.

Loyola took a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter after Chris Layne and Ward scored first-quarter goals, and Butts tallied an unassisted score 3:29 into the second stanza.

Eric Warden broke through for the Stags with a goal at 6:01, but Sawyer answered with a Loyola goal 2:52 before halftime, making it 4-1 Greyhounds.

Fairfield drew within two 26 seconds later on a Sam Snow score, the first goal of the Stags’ 5-0 run.

Shawn Honovich and Warden each scored for Fairfield in the third quarter, as the Stags shut out the Greyhounds in the frame, and McLinden tallied a go-ahead goal for the Stags 39 ticks into the fourth quarter.

The Greyhounds limited Fairfield’s leading scorer, Brett Adams to just two assists in the game, led by the defense by Ratliff. Snellman, who came into the game with a team-high 25 goals, was marked by Acton and held to just one goal.

Loyola is back in action next Saturday, April 14, when they travel to Colorado to face Denver University at 7 p.m. (Mountain Time).

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Loyola Looks to Stay Perfect Saturday at Fairfield

Posted on 06 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent Fairfield Stags
Date Saturday, April 7, 2012
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Fairfield, Conn. | Lessing Field
TV | Radio Hounds Unleashed
Series Record Loyola leads, 11-2
Last Meeting Fairfield 10, Loyola 9 – May 5, 2011 at Denver/ECAC Semi.

Game Data

The Greyhounds embark on a three-game roadtrip that will take them from Connecticut to Colorado in ECAC Lacrosse League action when they play at 1 o’clock on Saturday, April 7, at Fairfield University.

Series History

Loyola and the Stags will meet for the 14th time when they face-off on Lessing Field Saturday. The Greyhounds hold an 11-2 lead in the all-time series, but the teams split two meetings last year with Loyola winning, 7-6, in overtime during the regular-season, but Fairfield picking up a 10-9 decision in the ECAC Semifinals in Denver.

In The Polls

Loyola checked in at No. 4 for the second week in a row in the USILA Coaches’ Poll this week, and the Greyhounds moved up one spot in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings to No. 4. The coaches’ poll mark is Loyola’s highest ranking since it checked in at third in the April 1, 2002, poll with a 7-0 record after downing Towson, 15-7.

Fairfield, meanwhile, is ranked 14th in both the USILA and Inside Lacrosse polls.

Close Call

Loyola’s 8-7 victory last Saturday against Ohio State marked the first time this year that the Greyhounds have 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.

Ten Or More Streak Snapped

The Greyhounds had 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. Ohio State, however, held Loyola to just eight goals when the teams met last Saturday.

New Feeling

Loyola was outshot for the first time this season on Saturday against Ohio State, as the Buckeyes tallied 33 shots to the Greyhounds’ 27.

Ohio State, however, managed to put just 15 shots on goal, and goalkeeper Jack Runkel made saves on eight.

Loyola, meanwhile, had 20 shots on goal, a season-best 74-percent of its overall shots.

Previously, Loyola had outshot opponents by a minimum of nine in the first eight games of the year.

Acton Draws Recognition

Junior defender Reid Acton was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after recording five ground balls and a career-best five caused turnovers last Saturday against Ohio State.

Acton’s primary marking responsibility against the Buckeyes was leading scorer Logan Schuss who entered the game averaging 3+ goals and 4+ points per game. Acton limited him to two goals and an assist, and his final goal came with just nine seconds left and Loyola leading by three.

Near The Top Of The Rankings

While Loyola had its season-low total of eight goals on Saturday against Ohio State, the Greyhounds’ defense played nearly to its season average by allowing just seven goals.

As of this Monday, Loyola is ranked sixth in NCAA Division I with an average of 7.11 goals allowed per game. The Greyhounds slipped to ninth (from a tie for fifth last week) in scoring offense, as they are now averaging 12.44 goals per game through nine contests.

Loyola is second nationally in scoring margin (+5.33), just behind Massachusetts (+6.22).

Sharing The Rock

No Loyola player has more than 6 assists (Justin Ward) through nine games, but nine players have at least four assists, and 14 have two or more. In addition to Ward’s 6, Sean O’Sullivan has nine, Davis Butts and Eric Lusby have eight, Mike Sawyer has seven, Chris Layne checks in with six, and Nikko Pontrello has five and J.P. Dalton and Pat Byrnes have four each.

With 78 assists this season, the Greyhounds lead Division I with 8.78 per game.

Ward Distributes

Justin Ward posted three assists in the win over Ohio State, two off his career-high of five set earlier this season against Towson. He now leads the team with 16 assists and is third with 20 points.

Ward also tallied a big goal for the Greyhounds, coming around screens by Mike Sawyer and Sean O’Sullivan to rip a seven-yard shot that put Loyola ahead 7-5 late.

More Than Last Year

This year’s team has already eclipsed last year’s total of 62 assists in just eight games. The Greyhounds’ 112 goals this season are already more than the 110 the 2011 team put up in 13 games a year ago.

Big Runs

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

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.

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just four times this year, the most recent coming when Ohio State tallied three unanswered in the second quarter last Saturday to go up 3-2. Only one team (Air Force) has scored four in a row.

Every time an opponent has logged those runs, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

Lusby, Ratliff Join Tewaaraton Watch List

On Wednesday, 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 27 goals and 35 points, while Ratliff paces the team in caused turnovers with 17, and his 39 ground balls are tied for the team lead.

Second-Half Success

Loyola continued a trend of strong second-half play this season by outscoring Ohio State, 3-0, in the third quarter.

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 37-10 in the third quarters of games and 63-29 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 27 goals and 35 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.

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 38 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. He also was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List.

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 .620 clip (124-of-200). As a unit, the Greyhounds entered the week fourth-best in the nation at .612.

Dalton is tied for the team lead with 39 ground balls with one of his primary wings, Scott Ratliff. Josh Hawkins, who returned from injury to make his season-debut on March 10 against Duke, has 24 in five games, and Pat Laconi has 15. Davis Butts has also seen time on the wing and has 23 ground balls this season.

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

What’s Next

Loyola continues its stretch of road games with a 7 o’clock (Mountain) game at Denver on Saturday, April 14.

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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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Loyola Cruises to Win at UMBC

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

CATONSVILLE, Md. – Loyola University Maryland’s Mike Sawyer scored four straight Greyhounds goals during a 10-1 Loyola run, and the junior finished with five goals and two assists, as fifth-ranked Loyola defeated UMBC, 13-5, on a rainy Saturday night at UMBC Stadium.

Loyola improved to 8-0 for the first time since the 1999 season when it started the year 12-0. The Greyhounds also remained the onlyteam in NCAA Division I to score 10 or more goals in every game this season.

The Retrievers (2-4 overall) took a 3-1 lead when Scott Jones scored his second goal of the first quarter in transition with less than a second left before the horn, and UMBC held Loyola scoreless for nearly seven minutes of the second quarter.

Sawyer helped jumpstart Loyola’s run not with a goal but with an assist on Justin Ward’s goal at 8:08. Sean O’Sullivan drove hard down the left alley and shot a pass to Sawyer behind the crease. Sawyer then flipped a pass to a cutting Ward on the rightside doorstep, and Ward scored to pull Loyola within 3-2.

Sawyer then tallied two goals in a 10-second span to push the Greyhounds up by a goal. He got a low-to-low shot past UMBC’s Adam Cohen, and after J.P. Dalton pushed the face-off to himself, Dalton fed Sawyer on the high left side, and Sawyer whipped another shot by Cohen at 5:58, giving the Greyhounds their first lead of the game.

“When Mike Sawyer, Eric Lusby and those guys are stepping in on their shots, we have a chance,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “We have to get better at the start of games, but I am proud of the effort that we had and the way we maintained that through the end of the game.”

Rob Grimm tallied his second extra-man goal of the night at 2:26 off a Joe Lustgarten flick from behind that was identical the way UMBC scored its first goal of the night.

Loyola came right back, however, as Dalton again flipped the face-off to himself and stuck a pass to Sawyer in the same location at the top left, and Sawyer ripped a shot into the net just six ticks of the clock after Grimm’s goal, putting Loyola in front for good with 2:20 to go in the first half.

Sawyer’s next goal was the one, however, that will make the highlight reels, as he cut downt he right alley, took a Ward pass and flipped a behind-the-head shot to beat Cohen and make it 6-4 with 1:46 on the clock.

Loyola would tack on another goal before the half when Sawyer fed Lusby, and the graduate student scored his second of the game with 15.9 left in the first half.

The Greyhounds would push their run to seven-straight goals, although both teams were scoreless for nearly nine minutes in the third quarter.

Davis Butts caught a Chris Layne pass and stepped in to score at 6:19, starting a stretch of two minutes, 15 seconds in which Butts, Lusby, Josh Hawkins and Sawyer would score for Loyola.

Sawyer’s fifth of the game, which came on a man-up possession, make the Loyola lead 11-4.

Grimm scored his third of the game with 11:25 to go in the fourth quarter, getting the Retrievers back within six, but Butts and Dalton each scored thereafter for the Greyhounds to close out the game.

In addition to Sawyer’s five goals – he now has seven hat tricks this season in eight games – Lusby tallied three and Butts had two. Ward and Dalton each notched a goal with two assists, and Phil Dobson distributed the first two assists of his career.

Dalton was again solid at the face-off ‘X’, winning 14-of-20. The Greyhounds also controlled possession for much of the game asthey picked up 32 ground balls to UMBC’s 17. Reid Acton led the way with six ground balls, and Hawkins had five.

Loyola’s defense allowed 31 shots, but Jack Runkel turned away 13 of the Retrievers’ 18 shots on goal. His 13 saves were a career-high.

The Greyhounds return to ECAC Lacrosse League action for their next four contests, starting with their lone home game of the stretch. Loyola will host Ohio State at 1 o’clock at Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday, March 31.

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Loyola Puts Undefeated Record On Line Saturday At UMBC

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent UMBC Retrievers
Date Saturday, March 24, 2012
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Catonsville, Md. | UMBC Stadium
TV | Radio UMBC Webcasting
Series Record UMBC leads, 16-13
Last Meeting UMBC 9, Loyola 8 (2OT) – April 19, 2005 at Loyola

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will make the short trip across town to take on the UMBC Retrievers on Saturday night in Catonsville, Md. The game will be held at UMBC Stadium at 7 o’clock

Series History

UMBC and Loyola will meet for the 30th time in series history when the teams take the field on Saturday with the Retrievers holding a 16-13 advantage in the previous 29 contests.

The teams will play for the first time during the regular-season since 2005, although they have played for several years in preseason exhibitions.

UMBC prevailed, 9-8, in double overtime the last time the schools met on April 19, 2005, at Loyola’s Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.

In The Polls

Loyola checks in at No. 5 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll for the second week in a row, and the Greyhounds moved up to fifth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings.

UMBC, meanwhile, is receiving votes in both polls.

Ten Or More

The Greyhounds have scored at least 11 goals in each of their first seven games of the 2012 season, marking the longest stretch of games with 10 or more goals they have put together since March 31-May 5, 2001. The Greyhounds went 5-2 during that 2001 stretch where they averaged 14.9 goals per game.

The last time Loyola opened the season with seven or more games with 10-plus goals was the 2000 season when they reeled off 12 or more in seven-straight wins.

The Only Ones

Loyola is the only team to score 10 or more goals in its first seven games of this season throughout all of NCAA Division I.

As of Monday, the Greyhounds were ranked fifth in Division I with a 13.33 goals per game average.

Second-Half Success

Following its trend from the season, Loyola used a 6-0 run that covered more than 15 minutes of action during the third and fourth quarters Wednesday against Georgetown, en route to an 11-6 victory. The run came days after Loyola reeled off 10-straight goals over the first 28 minutes, 35 seconds of the second half Saturday against Air Force to dispense of a 7-4 halftime deficit.

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 30-10 in the third quarters of games and 52-5 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.

Getting Defensive, Too

Loyola’s offense hasn’t been the only unit to put up good numbers in the first part of the 2012 season. The Greyhounds’ defense has allowed no more than eight goals in a game this season, in fact they have allowed eight exactly to five teams.

Through seven games, the Greyhounds’ defense is allowing an average of 7.43 goals per game to rank eighth in Division I in scoring defense.

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.

Lusby has scored at least one goal in each of Loyola’s seven games this season and has four hat tricks. 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 seven games, Lusby is second on the team with 21 goals, and he is tied for the team lead with 29 points.

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 312 shots while holding opponents to 171.

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.

Butts Dishes Four

Davis Butts did not score a goal against Air Force, but he was a key component in the Greyhounds matching their season-high with 15 goals. He posted a career-high four assists in the game, eclipsing his previous best of two.

Butts’ game was the second this season where a Loyola player tallied four or more assists. Justin Ward had five against Towson.

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, the trio has combined for 14 goals and five assists. Byrnes and Dobson each have five goals, and Dalton has four. Byrnes, meanwhile, has three assists, and Dalton has tallied a pair. The unit has already scored more goals than it did last year when it had 10 goals and two assists during the season.

On The Ground

Loyola picked up a season-high 45 ground balls against Air Force, grabbing 16 more than the Falcons. Scott Ratliff and Reid Acton led the way with seven each, while J.P. Dalton had six.

Josh Hawkins grabbed five ground balls for the second game in a row since returning from an injury that held him out of Loyola’s first four games of the year.

Sharing The Rock

No Loyola player has more than 11 assists (Justin Ward) through seven games, but seven players have at least four assists, and 12 have two or more. In addition to Ward’s 1, Eric Lusby has eight assists, Davis Butts eight, Sean O’Sullivan seven and Mike Sawyer five.

Man-Up Success

Entering the week, Loyola led the nation in extra-man success this season, converting on 75-percent (12-of-16) man-up opportunities in six games. After going 1-of-5 against Georgetown, the Greyhounds’ percentage dipped slightly to .619, but four players – Eric Lusby (4), Mike Sawyer (4), Davis Butts (2) and Sean O’Sullivan (2) – have scored two or more man-up goals this year.

Last season, the Greyhounds extra-man unit was seventh nationally with a .420 (21-of-50) conversion percentage in 2011.

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.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first six games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. They scored five-straight in the second quarter against Delaware to take a 5-3 lead and never trailed again in the game, and the Greyhounds turned a 6-2 advantage against Towson into an 11-2 lead with a run of five-straight that stretched from the second quarter to the third quarter.

Loyola rattled off four-straight against Bellarmine in the fourth quarter, turning a 7-6 advantage into an 11-6 lead with less than six minutes to go, and it scored eight-straight against Michigan between the first and second quarters to claim an 8-1 lead.

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.

Sawyer Shows Same Form

Mike Sawyer has picked up where he left off a year ago, leading the team with 24 goals and 29 points through the first seven 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 three goals against Air Force, he now has 15 career multi-goal games and the 18 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 six games, Dalton ranks ninth nationally in face-off percentage, winning restarts at a .609 clip (98-of-161). As a unit, the Greyhounds entered the week fifth-best in the nation at .608.

Dalton is second on the team with 32 ground balls, while one of his primary wings, Scott Ratliff leads the team with 33. Josh Hawkins, who returned from injury to make his season-debut on March 10 against Duke, has 10 in two games, and Pat Laconi has 11. Davis Butts has also seen time on the wing and has 16 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).

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

Loyola moves back to ECAC Lacrosse League action on Saturday, March 31, when it hosts Ohio State University at 1 o’clock. It is the first of four straight ECAC games, but the only one that will be played at home.

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Loyola Tops Air Force To Stay Unbeaten

Posted on 17 March 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE - Ten Greyhounds combined for 11 second half goals as the No. 5/6 Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team rallied to beat Air Force, 15-8, on Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex in ECAC action.

Mike Sawyer led Loyola (6-0, 2-0 ECAC) with three goals, giving him his 18th career multi-goal game. Sean O’Sullivan, Chris Layne and Scott Ratliff each added two for the Greyhounds, who scored 10 or more goals for the sixth-straight game to start the season.

The 6-0 start is the best since 2002, when Loyola won its first seven games, while the streak of six-straight games with 10 or more goals is the longest since 2000.

Ratliff along with Reid Acton led the team with seven ground balls each, while Jack Runkel made nine saves between the pipes to help pace the defensive effort. The Greyhounds have held opponents to eight or fewer goals in each of the first six games.

J.P. Dalton was excellent in the faceoff ‘X’, winning 18 of 26 draws. He also added a goal and six ground balls.

Davis Butts paced the Greyhounds with four assists, with Eric Lusby and Pat Byrnes each notching two.

After trailing 7-4 at halftime, the Greyhounds came out attacking in the second half, scoring 10-straight goals and outscoring the Falcons (3-3, 0-1) 11-1 in the final two quarters.

The Greyhounds stay home at Ridley Athletic Complex to finish their three-game homestand, as they host Georgetown on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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Loyola, Georgetown Square Off In ECAC Battle Saturday

Posted on 17 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Game Data
• Loyola University Maryland remains home to battle its second ECAC opponent, as Air Force visits Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday, March 17 at noon.
• The Greyhounds are off to their first 5-0 start since 2002 when the squad won its first seven games.

Team Connections
• Air Force’s assistant coach Bill Wilson is a 1994 graduate of Loyola.
• Wilson was a four-year letterwinner and four-year starter at defense for the Greyhounds.
• Loyola qualified for the NCAA Tournament each season, while advancing to the quarterfinals three times.

Series History
• The Greyhounds hold a 5-1 advantage in the all-time series with Air Force, but lost, 8-6, in March of last year at Falcon Stadium in Colorado. Since the Falcons joined the ECAC, Loyola is 2-1.
• In last year’s game, Loyola outshot the Falcons, 32-23 and 19-8 in the second half. Brian Wilson made 10 saves in goal for the Falcons.
• The Greyhounds also had an 11-18 advantage at the face-off `X’, as J.P. Dalton won a career-high 10-of-16 restarts. Scott Ratliff led Loyola with five ground balls.

In The Polls
• Loyola moved up to No. 5 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll and sixth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings after its 13-8 victory over No. 11/9 Duke. The Greyhounds are one of three ECAC teams in the polls, joining Denver (9/9) and Fairfield (13/13). Air Force and Ohio State are also receiving votes in both polls.

Finding The Back Of The Net
• Loyola has posted 10 or more goals through the first five games to open the season, marking the first time since 2000 that the team has scored 10-plus goals in its first five games.
• The Greyhounds tallied 10 or more goals for seven-straight games to open 2000, going 7-0 in those contests. In addition, Loyola lost to Syracuse, 16-9, in its eighth game that season, marking the only time in the 14 games that the Greyhounds didn’t reach 10 goals.
• Through the first five games this year, the Greyhounds rank fifth in NCAA Division I in goals per game (13.00) as of the March 13 rankings.

Toomey Wins 50th
• Head coach Charley Toomey recorded his 50th-career win on Wednesday, March 7, as the Greyhounds defeated 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 Baltimore.

Faster Start
• After totaling just two first quarter goals in their first three games, the Greyhounds scored five times in the first quarter at Michigan and three times vs. Duke.
• Justin Ward, Sean O’Sullivan and Davis Butts each scored once while Mike Sawyer tallied twice at Michigan.
• Sawyer, O’Sullivan and Phil Dobson scored for Loyola in the first quarter against Duke.

Sawyer, Runkel Earns ECAC Honor
• Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel were honored as ECAC Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week following a win at Michigan and vs. Duke win.
• 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.

Big Runs
• Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first five games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time.
• Loyola scored five-straight in the second quarter against Delaware to take a 5-3 lead and never trailed again in the game.
• The Greyhounds turned a 6-2 advantage against Towson into an 11-2 lead with a run of five-straight that stretched from the second quarter to the third quarter.
• Loyola rattled off four-straight against Bellarmine in the fourth quarter, turning a 7-6 advantage into an 11-6 lead with less than six minutes to go.
• The Greyhounds scored eight-straight against Michigan between the first and second quarters to claim an 8-1 lead.
• 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.

Getting Defensive
• Loyola has held opponents to eight or fewer goals in each of the first five games.
• It is the first time since 2005 that the Greyhounds have held opponents to eight or fewer goals in five-consecutive games. The last time in happened, Loyola lost to Duke, 6-5, on March 12, 2005, beat Wagner, 13-7, on March 15, St. John’s, 6-3, on March 19, Massachusetts, 6-5, on March 26, and Rutgers, 10-5, on April 2.

Sawyer Shows Same Form
• Mike Sawyer picked up where he left off a year ago, leading the team with 18 goals and 23 points through the first five games. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 36 assists.
• 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. It was his 13th and 14th career multi-goal game and the 16th and 17th multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.
• He is currently ranked third nationally with 3.6 goals per game and fourth with 4.80 points per game.
• 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.

Hasn’t Lost A Step
• Eric Lusby 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 five games, Lusby is second on the team with 15 goals and ranks 12th nationally with 4.20 points per game.

Making Adjustments
• The Greyhounds continued a trend from the last two years in the opener against Delaware, making adjustments at halftime to outscore their opponents in the third quarter and second half. The Greyhounds outscored the Blue Hens 5-1 in the third quarter and 8-4 after the break.
• Loyola has outscored its opponents 20-8 in the second quarter and 22-9 in the third quarter this year.
• The Greyhounds outscored their opponents 69-52 after halftime last season (including two overtime goals) despite being outscored 54-39 in the first half of games.

Dominant At The ‘X’
• J.P. Dalton was 15-of-23 for the second-straight game in Loyola’s win against Michigan.
Dalton raised his season percentage to 64.0-percent, which ranks 10th nationally.
• It is the third-straight game that the Greyhounds have dominated the face-off ‘X’, as the team won 15-of-23 restarts against Bellarmine and 14-of-21 against Towson.
The Greyhounds are seventh in the nation in face-off win percentage at 59.7-percent.

Extra-Man Success
• Loyola’s man up unit currently leads the nation with a 73.3-percent success rate (11-for-15).
• The Greyhounds were successful on all four of its extra-man opportunities against the Wolverines, scoring two man-up goals in the third quarter.
• The Greyhounds were 3-for-3 on man-up opportunities vs. Delaware in the season opener and  2-for-3 EMOs in the wins over Towson and Duke.
• Eric Lusby leads the team with four man-up goals, while Davis Butts, Mike Sawyer and Sean O’Sullivan have each scored two EMO goals for the Greyhounds. Two of Lusby’s game against Duke, while O’Sullivan scored both of his vs. Towson and Butts tacked notched both of his man-up goals at Michigan.
• Loyola’s extra-man unit was seventh nationally with a .420 (21-of-50) conversion percentage in 2011.

Comeback Kids
• Loyola has come-from-behind to win two of their first five games; vs. Delaware and at Bellarmine.
• Loyola trailed 3-0 after the first quarter against Delaware, but then outscored the Blue Hens 10-2 in the second and third quarter to go on to a 13-8 win.
• Against Bellarmine, the Greyhounds went into halftime trailing 4-2, but scored five times in the third quarter to take a 7-6 lead and went on to the, 11-8, win.

Four By Two
• Mike Sawyer and Sean O’Sullivan both scored four goals in the Greyhounds’ win over Towson on Feb. 25, becoming the first pair of Loyola players to record four or more goals in the same game since Patrick Fanshaw and Matt Langan scored five and four, respectively, on March 20, 2010, in a 17-3 win over Air Force.
• O’Sullivan matched his career-high, set as a sophomore in 2010 at the U.S. Military Academy against Rutgers, and Sawyer was one off tying his career-best. O’Sullivan needed just four shots to score his four goals, two of which came on extra-man opportunities.

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 before that, 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.
• Ward is currently ranked tied for 21st nationally with 1.80 assists per game.

Ratliff Earns ECAC Honor
• Scott Ratliff was honored as the ECAC Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career following the Delaware win after picking up a career-high seven ground balls against Delaware.
Ratliff keyed Loyola’s possession and defensive efforts in the final three quarters when he helped J.P. Dalton win 14-of-21 face-offs.
• Ratliff also had two caused turnovers, and the long-stick midfielder scored the fifth goal of his collegiate career in the third quarter when Michael Bonitatibus made a clean save and sent a pass to Ratliff who executed a one-man clear and scored in transition.

Bonitatibus;Runkel Win First Starts
• Junior Michael Bonitatibus and sophomore Jack Runkel each made their first collegiate starts this season in goal for the Greyhounds, and each picked-up wins.
• Bonitatibus made his first collegiate start in goal for the Greyhounds against Delaware after having played less than two minutes prior to this season. He 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.
• Runkel, who appeared in one game as a freshman, played the second half at Bellarmine, making three saves and allowing just four goals to get the win. He then made his first start against Michigan, making five saves and allowing just eight goals to get the victory.

Season-Opener Success
• Loyola won its season opener for the third-straight year, defeating Delaware, 13-8, Saturday, Feb. 18 at Ridley Athletic Complex. The Greyhounds trailed, 3-0, after the first quarter, but they scored five in a row to go up 5-4 at halftime.

Greyhounds Picked Second In ECAC
• The Greyhounds were picked to finish second in the ECAC Lacrosse Leagues by the head coaches of their peer schools. Loyola received 54 points in the poll, trailing only Denver, which had 61.

Record At Ridley
• After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds opened their third year at the stadium with a 13-8 win over then-No. 19 Delaware and a 13-6 victory against Towson. A 13-8 win vs. Duke improved the Greyhounds to 11-3 all-time at Ridley.

Ranked Opposition At Ridley
• The Greyhounds are 3-2 against ranked opponents at Ridley Athletic Complex, including 2-0 in 2012.
• Loyola downed No. 11/9 Duke, 13-8, on Saturday, March 10 and No. 19 Delware, 13-8, in the 2012 opener.
• The biggest win for the program at Ridley was an 11-6 win vs. No. 9 Georgetown in 2010.

What’s Next
• Loyola will host Georgetown on Wednesday, March 21 at the Ridley Athletic Complex at 7 p.m.

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Loyola Wins First Ever Matchup With Michigan

Posted on 07 March 2012 by WNST Staff

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Mike Sawyer had career-high seven points, scoring five goals along with two assists as the Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team took down future ECAC foe Michigan, 15-8, on Wednesday night at Oosterbaan Field House in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Sawyer helped the Greyhounds (4-0, 1-0 ECAC) become the first Loyola team since 2001 to score 10 or more goals in four-straight games, while also giving the team its first 4-0 start since 2002.

Davis Butts and Eric Lusby each added for points, with two goals and two assists apiece. Sean O’Sullivan also had a pair of goals, while Patrick Fanshaw, J.P. Dalton and Pat Byrnes each found the net once. Chris Layne helped out with two assists.

Loyola outshot the Wolverines (1-5) 42-20 while going 4-for-4 on man-up opportunities. Jack Runkel got the win between the pipes, recording five saves in his first career start.

Dalton once again was effective in the faceoff ‘X’, going 15-of-23. He also had a team-best seven ground balls, helping Loyola to a 41-29 advantage in the category.

The Greyhounds used a strong first half to take control of the game, scoring eight-straight goals at one point to claim an, 8-2, halftime lead.

The Greyhounds got off to their fastest start of the season, scoring five times in the first quarter to take a 5-1 lead. The five goals were more than Loyola had scored in the first quarter of its first three games combined (two).

After the Wolverines, who were hosting their first-ever home lacrosse game, struck first less than two minutes into the contest, Loyola’s Justin Ward started the eight-goal run for the Greyhounds, finding the back of the net at the 11:30 mark of the first quarter.

Sawyer quickly put the Greyhounds on top, tallying less than a minute later to give Loyola a 2-1 lead. That would be as close as Michigan would be for the remainder of the game.

After O’Sullivan made it 3-1, Butts capitalized on a man-up opportunity with 4:20 left in the first on an assist by Fanshaw. Sawyer rounded out the first quarter scoring with his second goal, this time on an assist by Butts with 25 second left.

Sawyer wasted no time recording his hat trick, beating Wolverine keeper Emil Weiss for the third time less than two minutes into the second quarter that made it 6-1 Greyhounds.

Dalton and Sawyer scored the next two before Michigan’s Alex Vasileff ended Loyola’s run with a goal at the 5:00-minute mark of the second quarter.

Loyola got off to a fast start in the second half as well, with Lusby and Sawyer each firing in goals less than two minutes in, giving the Greyhounds their largest lead of the game at 10-2.

The Wolverines fought back by scoring four of the next five, with Willie Steenland scoring his second of the game with 14:06 left in the fourth quarter to cut Loyola’s lead to 11-6.

But O’Sullivan and Byrnes responded with back-to-back goals a minute apart to put the Loyola lead back at seven (13-6) with 11:37 left in the contest.

Butts and Fanshaw rounded out the scoring in the game and gave Loyola its third, 13-plus goal effort of the season.

Loyola returns home to Ridley Athletic Complex for the first of three-straight home games when they host No. 11/9 Duke University on March 10, at noon. The contest is part of a doubleheader that features the women’s team facing UMBC at 3:30 p.m.

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Loyola Beats Bellarmine in ECAC Opener

Posted on 03 March 2012 by WNST Staff

LOUISVILLE – Eric Lusby and Davis Butts each recorded career-highs in goals and points, and J.P. Dalton controlled the face-off ‘X’ as No. 11/14 Loyola University Maryland defeated host Bellarmine University, 11-8, on Saturday afternoon in the ECAC Lacrosse League opener for both teams.

Lusby finished with five goals and six points, all coming in the second half, and Butts scored four times.

Dalton finished the game 15-of-23 on restarts, going 7-of-8 in the third quarter when Loyola (3-0 overall, 1-0 ECAC) came back from a 4-2 halftime deficit to take a 7-6 lead.

Bellarmine (1-2, 0-1) scored the game’s first three goals and after Loyola scored twice to get within one, the Knights scored with three seconds left following a Greyhounds’ turnover before the half.

Dalton then won the second half’s first two face-offs, and Loyola took advantage. Butts used a Chris Layne pass to scored 2:19 into the third quarter, and Pat Byrnes tied the game at 4-4 with a goal 43 seconds later.

The game would not stay tied for long, however, as Bellarmine won the ensuing face-off, and Michael Ward put the Knights up 5-4 with 11:17 on the clock.

That was the only face-off Dalton would lose, however, in the third quarter. Lusby scored his first of three-straight at 4:03, and hethen gave Loyola its first lead of the game at 3:21 with another.

Each of his first two goals came off Justin Ward assists. Ward, who had five assists last week, finished with a game-high three helpers.

Ward then completed the hat trick in at the 2:28 mark when he hit the post with a shot, picked up the ground ball and beat Bellarmine goalkeeper Dillon Ward for his third goal in 1-minute, 35-seconds. The third goal in the stretch put Loyola on top, 7-5.

Bellarmine got back within a goal as Michael Ward scored with 58 ticks left in the frame, but Loyola scored four in a row to start the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach.

Lusby added his fourth of the game 1:16 into the stanza, and Butts scored off a Lusby assist with 10:51 to play. Lusby tallied his career-high fifth goal with 7:40, and Butts added his fourth with 5:41 to play.

Bellarmine added two man-up goals in the final six minutes, but the Greyhounds held off any further Knights advances late.

Jack Runkel came on in goal for the second half, relieving starter Michael Bonitatibus. Runkel made three saves and earned his first collegiate win between the pipes.

Lusby eclipsed his previous career-high of four goals set in the 2012 season-opener on February 18 against Delaware. Butts had just one goal in the Greyhound’s first two wins of the season, and his four goals today doubled his previous high of two.

Dalton logged a career-best in face-off wins with 15, one better than his previous high of 14 from the Delaware game. He also picked up a game- and career-high eight ground balls. He also scored a first-half goal.

Scott Ratliff and Dylan Grimm each had five ground balls, a career-best for Grimm. Lusby and Butts each had four ground balls, as well.

Loyola continues its road trip on Wednesday, March 7, when it takes on the University of Michigan in the Wolverines first-ever home game.

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Loyola Lacrosse Looks For 2-0 Start Saturday Against Towson

Posted on 25 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent Towson Tigers
Date Saturday, February 25, 2012
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex
TV Hounds Unleashed
Series Record Towson leads, 27-26
Last Meeting Loyola 3, Towson 2 – Feb. 26, 2011 at Towson

Game Data

The Greyhounds play their second game of the year on Saturday, February 25, 2012, when they host Towson University at 1 o’clock on Awalt Field at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Towson enters the game with a 1-1 record after defeating Jacksonville to open the season before falling at Johns Hopkins.

Series History

The Loyola-Towson rivalry is the most played series in the history of men’s lacrosse at both schools. Saturday’s game will be the 54th all-time meeting between the teams, dating back to 1959, the first year of intercollegiate lacrosse at Towson.

Of Loyola’s opponents, only Towson (53) and Penn State (50) have played the Greyhounds 50 or more times. Johns Hopkins will play Loyola for the 50th time later this season, and Georgetown will meet the Greyhounds for the 35th time next month.

Towson holds a slight 27-26 advantage in the series, but Loyola has won the last four.

Last year’s game was a defensive affair, as the Greyhounds won 3-2 when Matt Langan scored with 3:41 to play to put Loyola ahead.

In The Polls

Loyola moved up to No. 13 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll, and 16th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings after its 13-8 victory over Delaware.

Towson is receiving votes in the coaches version.

Season-Opener Success

Loyola won its season opener for the third-straight year, defeating Delaware 13-8 last Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex. The Greyhounds trailed, 3-0, after the first quarter, but they scored five in a row to go up 5-4 at halftime.

Lusby Makes Return

Eric Lusby returned to game action 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. The four goals were a career-high for the Severna Park, Md., native.

Lusby was third on the 2010 team in goals with 20 as a member of the team’s first midfield unit. This year, Lusby has moved back to his natural position of attack.

Sawyer Shows Same Form

Mike Sawyer picked up where he left off a year ago, tallying three goals and assisting on Eric Lusby’s first, in the win over the Blue Hens. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 36 assists.

The Delaware game was Sawyer’s 11th career multi-goal game and the 14th 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.

Ratliff Earns ECAC Honor

Scott Ratliff was honored as the ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career on Monday after picking up a career-high seven ground balls against Delaware.

Ratliff helped key Loyola’s possession and defensive efforts in the final three quarters when he helped J.P. Dalton win 14-of-21 face-offs.

Ratliff also had two caused turnovers, and the long-stick midfielder scored the fifth goal of his collegiate career in the third quarter when Michael Bonitatibus made a clean save and sent a pass to Ratliff who executed a one-man clear and scored in transition.

Extra-Man Success

Loyola was successful on all three of its extra-man opportunities in the game against the Blue Hens, scoring three man-up goals in the second quarter during its 5-0 run.

Patrick Fanshaw, Eric Lusby and Mike Sawyer each scored EMO goals of the Greyhounds, and Fanshaw added another at the end of a Delaware non-releasable penalty just as the teams returned to even strength.

The Greyhounds extra-man unit was seventh nationally with a .420 (21-of-50) conversion percentage in 2011.

Bonitatibus Wins First Start

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.

Second Half Scoring

Loyola continued a trend from the last two years in the opener against Delaware, making adjustments at halftime to outscore their opponents in the third quarter and second half. The Greyhounds outscored the Blue Hens 5-1 in the third quarter and 8-4 after the break.

Loyola outscored its opponents 69-52 after halftime last season (including two overtime goals) despite being outscored 54-39 in the first halves of games.

The Greyhounds scored 34 third-quarter goals to their opponents’ 27. In 2010, they outscored opponents 41-24 in the third quarters of games and 76-55 overall after halftime.

Dalton At The ‘X’

After Delaware won all four face-offs in the first quarter, J.P. Dalton dominated play at the ‘X’ for the Greyhounds in the final three quarters. He finished the game by winning 14-of-25 (.560), going 14-of-21 (.667) in the last 45 minutes.

Dalton, who entered the game having won 30-of-58 restarts in his first three years at Loyola, won 5-of-7 in both the second and third quarters as Loyola gained and extended the lead.

Loyola Debuts

Four players made their regular-season debuts for Loyola against Delaware and four made their first starts in Greyhound uniforms.

Sean O’Sullivan (Army) and Chris Layne (North Carolina) both took the field and started for the first time as Greyhounds after transferring from other schools. Kevin Ryan saw action in the midfield for the Greyhounds after not playing in 2011 as a freshman.

Nikko Pontrello made his collegiate debut as the only freshman to play for Loyola. He responded well, scoring a goal and assisting on Phil Dobson’s first collegiate tally.

Michael Bonitatibus and Justin Ward also made their first collegiate starts for the Greyhounds.

Greyhounds Picked Second In ECAC

The Greyhounds were picked to finish second in the ECAC Lacrosse Leagues by the head coaches of their peer schools. Loyola received 54 points in the poll, trailing only Denver University which had 61.

Scorers Back

Mike Sawyer returns in 2012 as the team’s leading scorer after finishing last year with 31 goals and five assists for 36 points. He took 124 shots during the 2011 season, 59 more than anyone else on the team.

The Greyhounds also welcome back one of their top scorers from two seasons ago. Eric Lusby, who will play as a graduate student this year, returns to the lineup after missing all but two games last year following a knee injury in the 2010 NCAA Championships. Lusby scored 20 goals and assisted on five from the Greyhounds’ midfield in 2010.

Two other players who scored 10 or more goals a year ago are back in 2012 for the Greyhounds Patrick Fanshaw returns after tallying 12 goals, six of the extra-man variety, last season, and Davis Butts is also back after tallying 10 goals and five assists.

Transfer Talent

Loyola’s midfield will be bolstered by the addition of two transfer student-athletes that have joined the program. Juniors Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan will suit up for the Greyhounds after spending previous seasons at North Carolina and Army, respectively.

Layne, who is the younger brother of former Loyola All-American Steve Layne, scored five goals as a sophomore on the Tar Heels’ second midfield after playing in 15 games  as a short-stick midfielder during his first season in Chapel Hill.

O’Sullivan played two seasons at West Point, scoring 16 goals as a midfielder in 2010.  He earned All-Patriot League Second Team honors following his sophomore season, as well.

Experienced Defense

The Greyhounds return two starters on close defense, their top two long-stick midfielders and top three short-stick defensive middies in 2012, forming a cohesive group on the defensive end of the field.

Senior co-captain Dylan Grimm is joined on defense by another returning starter, junior Reid Acton. Grimm finished his first year as a starter, 2011, with 22 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers, while Acton tallied 19 and 15, also in his first season as a starter.

The duo is joined by sophomore Joe Fletcher who played in 13 games and started one as a freshman. Fletcher saw considerable time as an extra-man and fourth defender for the Greyhounds a year ago.

Scott Ratliff and Kevin Moriarity created a formidable long-stick midfield duo last year, combining for 50 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers. Ratliff also added three goals and three assists on the offensive end of the field.

Josh Hawkins, Pat Laconi and Kyle Duffy return as short-stick middies for the Greyhounds  after each saw action in all 13 games last year.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds opened their third year at the stadium with a 13-8 win over then-No. 19 Delaware. Loyola is now 9-3 all-time at Ridley.

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