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Ovechkin, Caps Rout Predators, 5-2

Posted on 07 December 2013 by Ed Frankovic

In hockey, if you play the right way, good things usually happen.

On Tuesday night, Washington played the right way for the first 30 minutes against Carolina but ended up losing, primarily on goaltending. On Saturday night, the Capitals once again came out the correct way, but this time they received the expected result, racing to an early 3-0 lead and cruising to a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators.

Troy Brouwer, Alex Ovechkin, Karl Alzner, Nate Schmidt, and Eric Fehr all tallied in a much needed win that pushes the Caps record to 15-12-2 (32 points), good for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Going up and down the roster on Saturday night, every player contributed in this victory and Caps Coach Adam Oates has to be happy about that. His team did a nice job of getting pucks and bodies to the net and that allowed them to score more goals. Sure Nashville misses goalie Pekka Rinne, who is one of the league’s best, but Washington made it tough on backup Marek Mazanec with an increased net presence.

Defensemen Patrick Wey received his first NHL game tonight replacing Tyson Strachan, who was sent back to Hershey before hitting the 10 game limit that eventually would require #23 to clear waivers to go to Chocolatetown, and he acquitted himself well playing with Dmitry Orlov. Since #81 has gotten into the lineup the Capitals puck movement out of their own zone has been on the uptick (last three games). Every defensemen played well on Saturday. Schmidt notched his 1st NHL goal, Alzner scored his first ever tally at the Verizon Center, and Mike Green and John Carlson were dominant. #74 was +3 on the night. I’m not a big +/- stat guy, but that number was reflective of Carlson’s performance against Nashville. He is playing super and Preds GM David Poile, who doubles as Team USA GM, has to be pretty happy about having Carlson on the American Olympic team roster in Sochi in February.

Up front, Martin Erat (1 assist) had a productive night against his old team and he clicked as the center with Joel Ward and Jason Chimera. Both of those wingers, #’s  25 and 42, have continued to make whomever their 3rd line mate is look good this season. As I said above, up and down the lineup there were strong performances. Tom Wilson continues to impress and at some point, he will deserve more ice time. Washington has a surplus of forwards and they’ve now used 12 defensemen this season. That is number one in the NHL. The defense, after Green, Carlson, and Alzner, is extremely inexperienced. Schmidt is playing super but it’s a long season and then comes the playoffs. Once everyone is healthy up front, and Brooks Laich doesn’t appear to be close to that right now, a trade to get a more experienced and top 4 D seems necessary.

Right now, what matters is playing properly and getting wins. This was a victory against a Western Conference team and in regulation. Washington played well and deserved the two points, now they go to New York on Sunday night to take on the despised New York Rangers. A victory there would be big for this team. If they play the same way they did tonight and get pucks and bodies to the net, the Caps will finally be able to dent Henrik Lundqvist, assuming he’s in net for the Blueshirts.

Notes: Lundqvist took the loss for the Rags against the Devils tonight so it’s not clear if the $59.5M man will start against Washington on Sunday. One would imagine that Oates comes back with Holtby at Madison Square Garden. Braden is great in Saturday night games and once again he produced a victory. It must be the Hockey Night in Canada influence that gets #70 to raise the bar on Saturday tilts…the Caps were 1-4 on the power play and Ovechkin now has 136 career PP goals, one behind the Capitals all time leader, Peter Bondra. The Gr8 has 22 goals in 27 games, a staggering pace…Wilson beat up Rich Clune after the Predator tried to change the momentum of the game. #43 is tough and is already in the “Eats Rocks for Breakfast” club…Mikhail Grabovski and Nicklas Backstrom each had two assists…Washington won the faceoff battle, 34-30.

 

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UMBC begins season Friday night at Arizona State

Posted on 07 November 2013 by WNST Staff

The UMBC men’s basketball team makes its first-ever journey to Arizona State and opens the 2013-14 campaign in Tempe, Ariz. on Nov. 8. Tip-off time is set for 6:00 p.m. (MST). Paul Mittermeier has all the play-by-play action on Q1370/www.q1370.com starting with the pre-game show at 7:55 p.m. (EST). The game will be televised by the PAC-12 Networks with Jason Knapp and Ernie Kent on the call.  

RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC (8-23 a year ago) returns six letterwinners and three starters from a team that closed the gap dramatically against America East competition in Aki Thomas’ first year as head coach. UMBC upset third-seeded Hartford in the league championship quarterfinals. Six of seven newcomers are Maryland natives and a majority of expected to contribute in 2013-14. SR F Chase Plummer (11.8, 6.4) is the team’s leading returning scorer and rebounder, who surpassed the 1,000-point mark in three seasons.

SUN DEVIL UPDATE: The Sun Devils, under eighth-year head coach Herb Sendek, notched their fourth 20-win season (22-13) in his seven years in 2012-13. The Sun Devils have a roster that includes the 2012-13 Pac-12 co-Freshman of the Year (Jahii Carson, 18.5 ppg, 5.1 apg) and the top-single season shot blocker in Pac-12 annals (Jordan Bachynski, 120 rejections). No Pac-12 player made more three-pointers than Jon Gilling last year, as he pumped in 84, fourth-most by a Sun Devil in school history. The junior averaged 9.7 points per game last year in his sophomore season.

WHO’S UP NEXT: UMBC opens the home schedule on Monday, Nov. 11 when they host Eastern (Pa.) University at the RAC Arena. That contest is the back-end of a hoops doubleheader and will tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

THE BENCH BOSS: Aki Thomas enters his second year as head coach of the UMBC men’s basketball program, earning the title on the eve of the 2013 America East Tournament. Thomas served as acting head coach since Oct. 10, 2012 after five previous seasons as a Retrievers’ assistant coach.

Despite the loss of three post players due to injury, Coach Thomas led UMBC to more victories (8) since the 2008-09 campaign. The cohesive Retrievers knocked off third-seeded Hartford in the quarterfinals of the league championships, and led Vermont for much of the first 32 minutes of play before bowing in the semis. Thomas and his staff bolstered the hopes for the future by bringing in a strong, locally-based recruiting class for the 2013-14 campaign.

Thomas, age 34, was the 11th-youngest NCAA Division I head coach in the nation in 2012-13. He was a standout for Howard in 2000-01, when he averaged almost 12 points and eight rebounds per game en route to being named to the All-MEAC second team. Before Howard, Thomas played for three seasons at the University of Colorado. The Manhattan, N.Y. native was a two-time league rebounding champion in the Venezuelan LPB League (2003-04) and earned the same title during a stint in the Colombian Federation Cup League (2004).

At 34 years of age, Aki Thomas is currently the 11th-youngest Division I head coach in the country. At 33 years and nearly six months of age, Thomas was only five months younger when he coached his first official game (at Penn on Nov. 9) than UMBC’s first Division I coach, Jeff Bzedelik (now the head coach at Wake Forest) was when he coached his first game for the Retrievers at Northwestern in November of 1986.

AND THE REST: The 2013-14 coaching staff has an average age of just over 28 years. A pair of Coach Thomas’ staff members- fifth-year assistant coach John Zito (‘06) and third-year assist Jay Greene (‘09) are UMBC alums and played together on the 2005-06 Retriever squad.

A LOOK (WAY) BACK: The trip to Tempe to open the 2013-14 season is UMBC’s longest since competing at San Diego State/Long Beach State in the 2005-06 campaign.

The meeting with the Sun Devils will be just the second time that the Retrievers have faced a Pac-12 opponent. UMBC played a Jason Kidd-led Cal squad in Berkeley early in the 1993-94 campaign.

This will be the second time the UMBC basketball program has competed in Arizona. In their third year of NCAA Division I competition (1988-89), the Retrievers opened the campaign with a 61-47 victory at Northern Arizona.

47 YEARS: The Retrievers are competing in their 47th season of intercollegiate basketball, the 28th at the NCAA Division-I level (1986-87) and the 11th as members of the America East Conference. UMBC has won 494 and dropped 747 (.398) and are 301-478 (.386) since 1986-87. The Retrievers enter their 11th season in the America East Conference, after stints as an independent (1986-90), the East Coast Conference (1990-92), the Big South Conference (1992-98) and the Northeast Conference (1998-2003).

The America East Conference and SEFCU, the largest credit union in New York’s Capital Region, announced a presenting sponsorship agreement for the 2013 and 2014 America East Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, which will be held at UAlbany’s SEFCU Arena March 7-9, 2014. This is the second time SEFCU has been the presenting sponsor for an America East Championship. The 2009 men’s basketball championship, which was also held at Albany, was presented by SEFCU.

HEART OF CHAMPIONS: UMBC has an 9-9 all-time America East Tournament record. The Retrievers went five consecutive years with at least one victory in post-season play before a quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Vermont in 2009-10. The Retrievers snapped a four-game losing streak with a quarterfinal victory over Hartford in 2012-13.

BATTLE-TESTED: Over the last six seasons, UMBC is 34-22 (.607) in games decided by five points or less. The Retrievers were 4-8 in games decided by eight points or less in 2012-13. UMBC led seven of those 11 contests with ten minutes remaining on the clock.

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!: UMBC is 7-4 in extra time vs. America East opponents and 0-7 vs. non-conference opponents in since joining America East in 2003-04. The Retrievers have now lost eight consecutive extra session affairs (the most recent to American on Dec. 6) to non-conference foes since a win over Quinnipiac in the 2001-02 season. The overtime loss at UNH on Feb. 13 drops UMBC to 0-3 in OT this season.

LOCATION, LOCATION: Towson is the first program that UMBC has acheived 20 victories against, followed by Loyola (19) and Mount St. Mary’s (18). The Retrievers will play all three of those local squads this season. In addition, the Retrievers will face Coppin State, GW, American, UMES and play a home-and-home series versus Navy.

BUY!: With eight victories in 2012-13, UMBC collected its most wins since amassing 15 in the 2008-09 season.

QUICK HITS

* In 2012-13, UMBC allowed 71.5 points per contest, 5.6 points lower than the previous season.

* UMBC excelled from behind the arc, offensively and defensively in league play. The Retrievers finished third in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (34.7) and made treys (7.2) per game and second in 3-point defense (28.9%).

* UMBC’s second-half field goal percentage of 78.9% was the second-best ever for a half (in quarterfinals vs. Hartford) in America East Championship history. The Retrievers also hold the best mark, hitting 18 of 21 (85.7%) vs. Stony Brook on in a 2005-06 first round game.

* UMBC was 21-of-39 (53.8%, 10.5 made per game) from behind the arc in the two America East games.

* UMBC’s opponents made only five fewer free throws (515) than the Retrievers attempted (520) last season. The Retrievers’ season 63.1% free throw percentage was just .5% better than a school-record low of 62.6% in 2003-04.

PLAYERS, PAST AND PRESENT

Seniors Ryan Cook and Brian Neller both competed their senior campaigns in fine fashion. Cook finished the 2012-13 season with 478 points, the ninth-most in school history. Neller, who set the UMBC single-season record for treys, completed his four-year run with 261 three-point field goals, second-most in school history.

Cook has signed a professional contract with OKK Sloboda Tuzla in the Bosnian Liga I in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He excelled at the June 2013 First Team All iBall Pro Combine, which was scouted by a group of former and current NBA and overseas players. He averaged 16.0 points per game during the combine, which ranked second amongst the 43 players that were invited. OKK Sloboda Tuzla was the runner-up in both the regular season and the championships of Liga I in 2012-13.

Senior Chase Plummer became the 17th player in school history to reach the 1,000 point plateau with 1,017 after three seasons. He is just the eighth Retriever to score 1,000 points in three or fewer seasons and is the leading active scorer in the America East Confernce.

Plummer corralled 199 rebounds, the sixth-best figure for a UMBC Division I junior and he has accumulated 524 career caroms, now 17th in school history.

Plummer also recorded 54 steals, the sixth-most in a single season in school history and his 150 career thefts are also sixth in UMBC’s basketball history. He placed second in the conference with 1.7 steals per outing.

Junior Joey Getz hit 31-of-54 field goal attempts (57.4%) in the months of February and March and led the team with a 50.4 field goal percentage for the campaign.

Senior Quentin Jones ranked tenth in America East in assists (2.7) per game during league play. The former walk-on earned a scholarship for his senior season and he has also earned the title of co-captain.

Senior Brett Roseboro suffered an on-court injury during an altercation in practice on Jan. 25 and did not dress for the final 12 games of the season. He was ranked in the top ten in America East in rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots until falling below the 75% mark in games played for 2012-13.

NEWBIES

The Retriever coaching staff brought in seven newcomers to complement the six returners for the 2013-14 squad. All six of the incoming freshmen have Maryland connections. The seven players who list a Maryland town as their hometown on the roster are the most for a Retriever men’s basketball team since having an all-time high of eight on the 1992-93 squad.

O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN

UMBC Head Men’s Basketball Coach Aki Thomas has tabbed senior guard Quentin Jones and sophomore forward Malik Garner as Retriever co-captains for the 2013-14 season.

“Q is very mature beyond his years and is consistent on and off of the court,” said Thomas. ” He is a true leader by example and a good teammate.  As a coach, it is a luxury to have a player with these qualities at the point guard position.”

“Malik’s attention to detail, commitment, and character are his best attributes.  He works extremely hard in the classroom and on the court, making him a perfect fit for this role on our team,” said Thomas.

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Navy looks for 4-1 start Saturday at Duke

Posted on 11 October 2013 by WNST Staff

Game 5 Navy (3-1) at Duke (3-2, 0-2 ACC)
Date and Kickoff Oct. 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm ET
Location Durham, N.C. | Wallace Wade Stadium (33,941)
Television Raycom Sports -ACC Network
TV Talent Steve Martin (play-by-play), Dave Archer (analyst), Rachel Baribeau (sideline)


Setting the Stage

• Navy and Duke will meet for the 40th time on the gridiron when they square off on Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium (33,941) in Durham. The game is scheduled to kick off at 12:30 pm.
• Saturday’s game will be televised by Raycom Sports / ACC Network with Steve Martin (play-by-play), Dave Archer (color) and Rachel Baribeau (analyst) on the call.
• You can find a list of affiliates carrying Saturday’s game by going to: http://raycomsports.com/theacc/matchCenters/view/321(.) The game will also be available on ESPN3, ESPN GamePlan and at www.theACC.com(.)

Looking To Go 4-1 For First Time Since 2006
• Navy is looking to start its season with a 4-1 record for the first time since 2006.
•    In 2006, the Mids defeated East Carolina (28-23), Massachusetts (21-20) and Stanford (37-9) to start the year 3-0 before falling to Tulsa, 24-23, in overtime.  The Mids bounced back from the Tulsa loss by beating Connecticut 41-17 and Air Force 24-17.  They went on to post a 9-4 record and played Boston College in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Injuries
•    Starting slot back Geoffrey Whiteside (ankle) is expected to return after missing the Western Kentucky and Air Force games.
•    Starting safety Wave Ryder (head) is probable after leaving the Air Force game in the first quarter.
•    Starting guard Thomas Stone (knee) is out after leaving the Western Kentucky game in the first quarter.
•    Starting tackle Graham Vickers (head) is out for the year.
•    Projected starting slot back Colin Osborne is out for the year with a torn ACL in his right knee. Osborne injured his knee early in the fall and had surgery on September 12.

Scouting Duke
•    The Blue Devils enter Saturday’s game with a 3-2 record having beaten North Carolina Central (45-0), Memphis (28-14) and Troy (38-31).  Their losses were against Georgia Tech (38-14) and Pitt (58-55).
• Duke features a balanced attack on offense and is ranked 46th in the country in rushing (193.0 yds/gm) and 47th in passing (258.6 yds/gm).  It is 43rd in total offense (451.6 yds/gm) and 36th in scoring offense (36.0 pts/gm).
•    Quarterback Brandon Connette has completed 75 of his 117 pass attempts for 1,022 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions.  Connette’s favorite target is Biletnikoff Award finalist Jamison Crowder, who has caught 37 passes for 530 yards and two touchdowns.  Meanwhile, Jeal Duncan (47-247, 2 TDs) and Josh Snead (39-245) lead the Duke rushing attack.
•    Connette is ranked 23rd in the country in total touchdown passes and sixth in points responsible for per game (20.4).  Crowder is 16th in receiving yards, 16th in receptions per game (7.4) and 19th in receiving yards per game (106.0).
•    Duke’s defense ranks 76th against the run (167.6 yds/gm), 69th in pass defense (232.4 yds/gm), 64th in total defense (400.0 yds/gm) and 76th in scoring defense (28.2 pts/gm).
•    Jeremy Cash leads the Duke defense with 51 tackles and five tackles for a loss.  Kenny Anunike has 6.5 tackles for a loss. Cash is ranked 15th in the country in tackles, averaging 10.2 tackles per game.
•    The Blue Devils are ranked fourth nationally in net punting (42.76) and eighth in punt returns (17.0)
•    Crowder ranks fifth in the nation in punt returns, averaging 19.3 yards per return, and has returned a nation’s-best two punts for touchdowns.  Punter Will Monday ranks 15th in the country in punting, averaging 44.9 yards per punt.

Navy vs. The ACC
•    Navy has played the teams currently in the ACC fairly tough, posting a 128-130-8 (.496) record overall.
•    The Mids lead their respective series against Duke, Maryland, NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Reynolds, Defense Carry Navy To 28-10 Victory Over Air Force
•    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Keenan Reynolds ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns, and Navy used a strong second half to beat Air Force, 28-10.
• A record crowd of 38,225 filled Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for this pivotal matchup. The previous 16 winners of this game have gone on to win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy, awarded annually to the service academy with the best record in games involving Air Force, Navy and Army.
• Navy (3-1) has won the trophy eight of the last 10 years and now the Midshipmen are poised to do it again after outscoring Air Force 21-0 in the second half.
• Reynolds returned from a concussion to rush for a team-high 126 yards and throw for another 54 (6-for-10).
• The Falcons led at halftime and got a solid performance from a defense that had allowed an average of 48.75 points in its previous four games, but the offense was limited to a season low in points.
• After amassing 202 yards in offense in the first half, Air Force got only 111 over the final 30 minutes.
• Navy opened the second half with a 75-yard drive that ended with a 38-yard touchdown run by Demond Brown for a 14-10 lead.
• A series of punts followed until Air Force fullback Broam Hart was stuffed for no gain by Kwazel Bertrand on fourth-and-2 from the Navy 34 on the second play of the fourth quarter.
• Reynolds then directed a 66-yard march in which he twice converted third downs, once on a 17-yard run and the other with a 12-yard completion. On the 11th play of the drive, he ran in from the 2.
• Air Force’s next three possessions ended in turnovers. After the second one, an interception by Chris Johnson, Reynolds ran in from the 10 with 4:37 remaining.

The Red Zone    
• Navy has scored on 17 of its 19 possessions (.894) in the red zone this year, scoring 14 touchdowns, kicking three field goals, missing a field goal and taking a knee to end the game in Navy’s 51-7 victory over Delaware.
• The opposition has scored on nine of its 11 red zone opportunities (.818), scoring nine touchdowns, throwing an interception and missing a field goal.

Inside Linebackers Cleaning Up On Tackles
•    Navy senior inside linebackers DJ Sargenti and Cody Peterson have been all over the field for the Navy defense this season.
•    Sargenti, who had never even recorded a tackle prior to this year and wasn’t moved to inside linebacker (was a QB as a freshman and OLB as a sophomore and junior) until the start of fall practice, is currently ranked fifth in the nation in solo tackles per game (6.8 tackles per contest).
• Peterson, the Mids’ defensive captain, is ranked 12th nationally in solo tackles, averaging 6.5 per game.

Defense Stepping Up
•    The Navy defense is ranked 22nd in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 17.8 points per game.
• The Mids have held all four opponents well below their scoring average.

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Caps Start 2013-14 With High Expectations Once Again

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Caps Start 2013-14 With High Expectations Once Again

Posted on 29 September 2013 by Ed Frankovic

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

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

Goalies (2): Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Maryland women top Duke to reach Final Four

Posted on 18 May 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Senior Tewaaraton finalist Alex Aust led top-seeded Maryland to a 14-9 victory over Duke in the quarterfinals of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship Saturday.

With the win, the Terps (21-0) punched their ticket to a fifth-straight national semifinal and will face Syracuse Friday at Villanova Stadium. Aust recorded five goals and added two assists. The Sterling, Va., native also moved into third all-time in points (119) in single season history at Maryland.

After being stymied in the beginning of the Stony Brook match in the second round, the Terps wasted no time getting their attack rolling against the Blue Devils, notching the first two tallies of the game in the first seven minutes of play. Brooke Griffin and Halle Majorana put Maryland up with a pair of unassisted scores before Duke landed on the scoreboard with a goal at 20:25.

A pair of goals at 19:13 and 14:52 by Aust and fellow attacker Kristen Lamon extended the Terrapin lead to 4-1 before the two teams exchanged goals twice for a 6-3 score with five minutes remaining. The Terps would outscore Duke 2-1 down the stretch in the first half to carry a solid 8-4 cushion into the break.

Maryland preserved that momentum early in the second half, adding on to its four-goal lead with three early tallies in the stanza. Aust played a hand in all three, scoring goals at 26:30 and 22:44 and assisting on a Katie Schwarzmann score in-between.

Duke posted its first goal of the period with a Maddy Morissey score at 21:55 but Maryland compiled a devastating 3-0 run in-and-around the 17-minute mark – courtesy of goals from Schwarzmann, Griffin and Beth Glaros - to mount a 14-5 advantage with 15 minutes to play.

Duke turned up the heat with four goals in the final seven minutes of play, but Maryland would hold on for the 14-9 win, the last for eight Terrapin seniors at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex.

Maryland benefited from a balanced attack with seven goal-scorers on the day. Griffin added three goals and two assists and Schwarzmann tallied a pair of scores to aid the attack.

Defensively, senior Kasey Howard recorded seven saves in the cage. Aust, Schwarzmann and Cummings combined for 10 ground balls. Cummings and fellow freshman Alice Mercer led the way with two caused turnovers each.

“Congratulations to Duke. It was a fun game, a hard-fought game and I don’t think you’d expect anything less when you get a Maryland-Duke rivalry,” head coach Cathy Reese said. “For us, we are thrilled to be in the position we are in. We’re excited and looking forward to being one of the final four teams standing and heading to the final four next week.”

Maryland – which is headed to its nation-leading 21st final four – will play fourth-seeded Syracuse next Friday in the national semifinals at Villanova Stadium in Villanova, Pa.

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Loyola suffers heartbreaking 2OT Tourney loss to Duke

Posted on 12 May 2013 by WNST Staff

Duke Slips Past Men’s Lacrosse In Double Overtime Thriller

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University’s Case Mathias scored the game-tying goal with 55 seconds left in regulation, and he tallied the game-winner two minutes, 20 seconds into the second overtime period, and the seventh-seeded Blue Devils defeated visiting Loyola University Maryland, 12-11, on Sunday in NCAA Championships First Round action at Koskinen Stadium.

Duke (12-5 overall) and Loyola (11-5) traded turnovers on the Blue Devils offensive end in the final scramble, as Blue Devil long-stick midfielder Luke Duprey picked up a ground ball and got the ball to Mathias.

Mathias then raced in from the right side and slid a shot inside the near post for the winning tally. His shot ended a game that featured a combined 98 shots and 35 saves by the goalkeepers.

Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel posted a career-high 22 saves, far outdistancing his previous best of 15 that came last year in an NCAA Semifinal win over Notre Dame. He is the first Loyola goalkeeper to post 20 or more saves since Michael Fretwell made 21 against Hobart in 2005.

Runkel made saved in the final five seconds of both the first and third quarters and one with 13 ticks left in regulation.

The Blue Devils score the game’s first goal just 53 seconds in on an unassisted Jordan Wolf tally, but the Greyhounds responded with three in a row, two coming on extra-man scored by Brian Schultz and Sean O’Sullivan. Nikko Pontrello’s goal with 3:17 in the first quarter was the Greyhounds’ first six-on-six score of the day, and it gave Loyola a 3-1 lead.

Duke’s Deemer Class scored the second quarter’s first goal, 2:19 in, but Chris Layne beat his defender down the middle and shot a pass to Zach Herreweyers, and the freshman sparked a 4-0 Loyola rally with a four-yard shot at 8:12.

O’Sullivan dodged hard to his left and then reversed a pass right to Mike Sawyer who ripped a goal at 5:31, and then Josh Hawkins executed a one-man clear and scored from inside three yards at 4:59.

Herreweyers scored his second of the quarter dodging from goal-line extended on the right side at 3:06, putting Loyola in front 7-2.

Duke got two back before the half, the first on a Josh Dionne extra-man goal, and the second when David Lawson scored with 1:07 left before halftime, pulling the Blue Devils back within three, 7-4.

Loyola got the first goal of the second half as a Runkel save keyed a Greyhounds’ transition run that Scott Ratliff capped with his 14thgoal of the season, extending his single-season goal scoring record for a long-pole at Loyola.

Duke, however, reeled off four in a row, and Myles Jones’ post-up goal with 1:57 left in the third quarter tied the score at 8-8.

Matt Sawyer, however, put Loyola back in front with 12:41 on the fourth-quarter clock, scoring off a Justin Ward assist on an extra-man opportunity.

Wolf, however, tied it back up 25 seconds later, and Josh Offit goal at 9:20 put Duke in front for the first time since Schultz’s goal with 10:35 to play in the first quarter tied the score at 1-1.

The Greyhounds responded with two goals in a row, with several Runkel saves mixed in between Mike Sawyer took a Ward feed and scorched a 13-yard shot on a man-up at 8:39, tying the score at 10-10, and Herreweyers tallied his team-high third of the game with 3:32 left, again on a Ward assist, to give Loyola an 11-10 advantage.

Ward finished with five assists, tying his career-high.

Mathias’ goal at 1:05 came from in front of the goal after Lawson hit the post. Mathias scooped the rebound into the net, tying the game at 11-11.

Loyola won the ensuing faceoff, but the Greyhounds turned it over, and Duke has possession with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

Greg DeLuca ran the clear, but Runkel saved his shot with fewer than 15 seconds remaining in regulation.

In the first overtime, Runkel made saves on shots by Wolf and Matheis, and the Greyhounds killed a 30-second penalty in the process.

Loyola had a man-advantage in the final 30 seconds, but the Greyhounds’ first shot was wide, and the second was saved by Kyle Turri as one of his 13 in the game with just over 10 seconds left.

Runkel made a save on an Offit shot 48 seconds into the second overtime, but Loyola turned it over after clearing it to its offensive end. Duke cleared the ball, setting up the final flurry where the teams traded turnovers and Matheis scored the winner.

Hererweyers and Matheis tied for game-high honors with three goals each, while Mike Sawyer scored twice and assisted on another for Loyola. O’Sullivan, Ratliff, Hawkins, Pontrello, Schutz and Matt Sawyer each had single goals for the Greyhounds.

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Defending champs Loyola visit Duke to open NCAA Tournament

Posted on 11 May 2013 by WNST Staff

Opponent Duke Blue Devils | NCAA First Round
Date Sunday, May 12, 2013
Time 5:15 p.m.
Location Durham, N.C. | Koskinen Stadium
TV | Radio ESPNU
Series Record Duke leads, 15-10
Last Meeting Duke 9, Loyola 8, March 8, 2013, in Durham, N.C.


Game Data

Loyola will make its 21 all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships and 19th at the Division I level when it takes on Duke University in the First Round on Sunday, May 12, 2013.

The game is slated for a 5:15 p.m. start from Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C.
Watch The Action

The ESPN family of networks will televise all 15 games of this year’s NCAA Championships, and Sunday’s Loyola-Duke game will air live on ESPNU.

Mike Corey will call the play-by-play action, and Ryan Flannigan will provide color analysis.

The game can also be seen on the WatchESPN mobile platform.
Series History

Sunday will be the 26th meeting all-time between the Blue Devils and the Greyhounds, with Duke holding a 15-10 advantage in the series.

Including this year, the teams have played during the regular-season for 14-straight seasons (since 2000). Sunday’s game will be the second time the programs have met in the NCAA Tournament. Duke defeated Loyola, 12-7, in the 2008 NCAA First Round in Durham.

The Blue Devils won this year’s regular-season meeting, 9-8, outscoring Loyola 5-3 in the fourth quarter. Josh Offit’s goal with 12:26 left in regulation gave Duke its first lead since the second quarter, 6-5, but Sean O’Sullivan struck on an extra-man opportunity for Loyola, and the Greyhounds tied the game less than two minutes later.

Offitt and Christian Walsh, however, scored back-to-back goals to put the Blue Devils in front for good.

Justin Ward had two goals and an assist for Loyola and was the Greyhounds’ only multi-point scorer in the game. Offitt, Josh Dionne, Case Matheis and Jordan Wolf all scored twice, while Wolf added two assists.

Scott Ratliff had seven ground balls and four caused turnovers on the defensive end for Loyola.

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

The series dates back to 1946.
In The Polls

Loyola enters the NCAA Championships ranked ninth in both the USILA coaches poll and in the Inside Lacrosse media ranking.

Duke is fourth in the coaches version, eighth in the media’s.
Last Time Out

Ohio State scored with 1:33 to play in the third quarter, opening an 8-0 run that closed the game, and the Buckeyes defeated Loyola, 18-11, on Thursday, May 2, in the ECAC Semifinals.

Mike Sawyer and Chris Layne scored at 6:49 and 3:59 in the third quarter to break a 9-9 tie and give the Greyhounds a 11-9 advantage, but the Buckeyes tied the game on a Logan Schuss goal 51 ticks into the fourth, and he added another goal 55 seconds later to put Ohio State up for good.

Schuss scored five goals and added an assist, while Jesse King tallied four goals and an assist and Dominique Alexander scored once and had five assists for the Buckeyes.

Sawyer scored four to lead Loyola, while Nikko Pontrello tallied two goals and two assists, and Davis Butts and Justin Ward each had a goal and two assists.

Scott Ratliff picked up eight ground balls for Loyola, helping the Greyhounds win 18-of-33 faceoffs in the game.
NCAA Championships History

Loyola is making its 21st all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 19th in Division I history (since 1982). The Greyhounds are 12-19 all-time in the tournament, 12-17 at the Division I level.

The Greyhounds won the first NCAA Division I Championship, in any sport, last season, when they defeated Maryland, 9-3, on Memorial Day. The win completed an 18-1 season for the Greyhounds in which they tied the NCAA Division I record for wins in a season, matching the 18-2 Duke team from 2008. Loyola entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and defeated Canisius, Denver and Notre Dame en route to the title game.
Two Tewaaraton Nominees

The Greyhounds one of five programs nationwide with five men’s nominees for the 2013 Tewaaraton Award, and Loyola is one of six schools with at least one man and one woman nominated.

Scott Ratliff and Mike Sawyer were named Tewaaraton Award nominees for the second-straight season, as was Marlee Paton from the Loyola women’s team.

Ratliff enters NCAA Championships play as one of the top long-stick midfielders in the game. He has 75 ground balls and 29 caused turnovers, both tops among players in the ECAC, and he has some of the top offensive numbers for long-stick players in the game’s history with 13 goals and four assists this year.

Sawyer has been on a hot streak of late (more later) and now leads the Greyhounds with 34 goals. He is second on the team with 40 points, as well.
ECAC Honors

Scott Ratliff became the first player in ECAC Lacrosse League history to earn an end-of-the-year award from the conference in a different category. The senior long-stick midfielder was named the 2013 ECAC Specialist of the Year in unanimous fashion after earning ECAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2012.

Joe Fletcher was named the 2013 ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, and both he and Ratliff earned All-ECAC First Team honors.

Mike Sawyer, Justin Ward, Davis Butts and Reid Acton were named to the All-ECAC Second Team, while Zach Herreweyers and Justin Verratti claimed ECAC All-Rookie Team laurels.
Sawyer Keeps Scoring

Mike Sawyer recorded his fourth-straight hat trick in the ECAC Semifinals against Ohio State, the second time in his career he’s accomplished that feat. He previously scored three or more goals in five-consecutive games from March 7-21, 2012.

In the Greyhounds’ last four games, Sawyer has scored 15 goals while assisting on four. In his first nine this year, he tallied 19 goals and two assists. He has three four-goal games to go with a three-goal outing against Johns Hopkins.

Sawyer put up his best offensive numbers of the season on April 13 against Denver, scoring four goals and recording two assists for six points, season-highs in all categories.

The senior attacker quickly replicated that effort on April 20 at Hobart, posting the same numbers in each category.

With his 15 goals in three games, Sawyer has leapt into the team lead for goals scored with 34 this season. He finished the regular-season as the ECAC leader in goals per game during conference games (2.47).

In 57 career games, Sawyer has scored 126 goals and has 25 assists for 151 points.

Earlier this year, against UMBC, he became the eighth player in school Division I history to reach 100 goals, and his 126 total place him are second-most on the program’s Division I career chart. He is seven back of Pat Lamon in first. Sawyer’s 151 points rank eighth in school Division I history.
Fletcher Continues Consistent Performance

Joe Fletcher earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the third time this season on May 7 after a standout performance on close defense against Johns Hopkins.

The junior picked up five ground balls and helped start Loyola’s transition game that cleared the ball successfully all 20 times it attempted clears.

He was matched up against the Blue Jays’ leading scorer, Wells Stanwick, who entered the game averaging 4.0 points per game. Fletcher held Stanwick to just one point on an assist that came in transition off a Johns Hopkins faceoff win. Stanwick, who had 23 goals entering the game, managed just three shots against Fletcher.

This season, Fletcher has picked up 57 ground balls and caused 17 turnovers.
Second Half Defensive Success

Loyola’s defense held Johns Hopkins to just one goal in the second half and none in the game’s final 29 minutes, 18 seconds. The Blue Jays’ final 18 shots of the second half were either saved or went off target.

Jack Runkel made six of his 10 saves in the second half, four during the fourth quarter.

Johns Hopkins also turned the ball over 10 times in the final 30 minutes, 16 times in all during the game.

Loyola also shutout the Blue Jays on extra-man opportunities Saturday, holding them scoreless on three attempts, two in the fourth quarter.
Defending The Midfield

Loyola did not allow an offensive midfielder to score for Johns Hopkins in 23 shot attempts when entering the game, the seven players that ran on the two midfield lines had combined for 69 goals and 43 assists.

The Greyhounds’ defensive midfield kept the Blue Jays middies from dodging to space and forced outside shots, keeping 17-of-23 shots off cage. The six that were on goal were all saved by Jack Runkel in goal.
Hawkins On The Fly

In just eight games this year, Josh Hawkins has already eclipsed his previous high in goals, scoring 10 this season to beat his total of six from last season and his 2010 freshman campaign. He also has two assists this season.

Prior the Ohio State game in the ECAC Semifinal, the defensive midfielder had scored at least two points in each of Loyola’s last four games and has at least one goal in every game he’d played this year. He scored twice against Fairfield, Denver and Hobart and registered a goal and an assist versus Johns Hopkins.

He has put 17-of-28 shots on goal and scored on 35.7-percent of his total shots.

In 48 career games, Hawkins has scored 25 goals and has nine assists as a short-stick defender.
O’Sullivan Shooting On Target

Sean O’Sullivan has scored eight goals in the Greyhounds’ last five games, nearly doubling his output of nine in the team’s first 10 outings this season. He is currently third on the team with 17 goals and fifth with 20 points.

He matched his career-high with four goals against Denver, and his final goal of the game tied the score with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, forcing overtime. O’Sullivan needed just four shots in the game against the Pioneers to score his four goals.

On April 20 at Hobart, he scored twice on four shots, and he added a goal on his only shot and an assist at Johns Hopkins.

This season, he has scored his 17 goals on just 43 shots (.398 shot percentage), and he is putting 69.8-percent of his total shots on goal (30-of-43). His four extra-man goals in conference play led the ECAC in that category.
Rookie Production

Zach Herreweyers recorded his fourth hat trick of the season at Hobart in just his seventh game of the season.

The freshman from London, Ontario, posted three goals and two assists against the Statesmen, and with a goal at Johns Hopkins, he raised his first-year total to 16 goals and three assists in eight contests.

Herreweyers, who had hat tricks against Air Force, Georgetown, Michigan and Hobart, leads ECAC Lacrosse League freshmen with 2.0 goals per game and 2.4 points per contest.

Against Air Force, Herreweyers became the first Loyola freshman to score three times in a game since current senior Patrick Fanshaw scored five goals and assisted on another on March 20, 2010, also against Air Force.
Ratliff Sets Record

Scott Ratliff did something believed to be a first in the modern era of college lacrosse  (circa 1971) on April 6 in the Greyhounds’ win over visiting Fairfield. The senior long-stick midfielder scored four goals, becoming the first player with a pole to do so.

Ratliff scored once off a Loyola faceoff win, a second time on a give-and-go in transition with Pat Laconi and twice more off set plays in settled offense with feeds from Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello.

In recent years, at least two long-sticks, Duke’s C.J. Costabile and Bryant’s Mason Poli, have recorded hat tricks.
Multi-Point Ventures For Ward

Johns Hopkins All-American defender Tucker Durkin held Justin Ward to just one assist on April 27, the first time this season the junior attacker was held to less than two points. He rebounded, though, with a goal and two assists versus Ohio State for his 14th multi-point game in 15 games this year.

He has now tallied at least two points in all but one games this season, and he has three or more in 10 of those outings.

In the Georgetown game, he became the 10th player in the program’s Division I history (since 1982) to log 50 or more assists in his career. With 62 career assists, Ward is in seventh place on the school’s Division I career chart; he is now 10 away from tying Kevin Beach and Tim O’Shea for fifth place.

Ward put up his second game with seven or more points on March 16 against Air Force, logging seven with two goals and five assists in the win over the Falcons. His five assists tied his career-high, set twice in 2012 against Towson and Fairfield.

On February 26, against UMBC, as the junior finished with seven goals and three assists for 10 points. His goal and point outputs were career-highs. He became the first player to score at least seven goals in a game since Gavin Prout tallied eight in a 19-11 win at Hobart on April 28, 2001.

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

Through 13 games this year, Ward leads the team with 30 assists and 57 points. His 30 assists are tied for seventh in school single-season history.
CLASSy Senior Candidate

Three weeks ago, Scott Ratliff was named one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, an honor given yearly to a NCAA Division I senior who has notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition

Ratliff has continued his high production on defense, transition and offense that helped him earn USILA All-America Third Team and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year honors a year ago when he led the team last year in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7).

His career totals now stand at 29 goals and 14 assists, and his 43 career points are second-most among active long-poles to Bryant’s Mason Poli. Last year, he set the school’s single-season long-pole scoring record with 12 goals and seven assists, eclipsing the previous high of 16 points on 11 goals and five assists set in 1995 by current Loyola assistant coach Matt Dwan.

Additionally, Ratliff is now seventh in school Division I history in career ground balls (216) and he is second in caused turnovers (88). His caused turnovers are two shy of tying the school record set by P.T. Ricci.
Crane A Finalist For Yeardley Love Unsung Hero Award

Freshman Jason Crane is one of five men’s players nationally to be a finalist for the Yeardley Love Unsung Hero Award. In January, Crane led a group of 13 of his teammates to Newtown, Conn., to put on a youth lacrosse clinic for members of the town affected by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Crane and his teammates have kept up the connection with the Newtown Youth Lacrosse players, hosting them and their families at the April 13 game against Denver.
Pontrello Keeps Tallying Points

Nikko Pontrello tallied two goals and two assists in the ECAC Semifinal against and Ohio State, coming up with his fourth multi-goal game of the season in addition to three hat tricks (UMBC, Air Force, Ohio State regular-season).

In his first season as a starter, Pontrello has scored 15 goals while assisting on 19 for 34 points, third-most on the team. As a freshman in 2012, he scored four goals and assisted on six.

He posted his second six-point game this season March 16 against Air Force, scoring a career-high four goals to go with two assists. He scored in the first quarter, tallied a pair during Loyola’s 4-0 third-quarter run and added his fourth in the final frame. Earlier this year against UMBC, Pontrello posted three goals and three assists for six points against the Retrievers.
Helmet Stickers

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

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

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

Scott Ratliff was the first pick of the second round, going ninth to the Boston Cannons, and Davis Butts was taken early in the third round, 19th overall to the Denver Outlaws. Joining Hawkins in Hamilton will be Reid Acton, the team’s fourth round pick, 26th overall.
Big Runs

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

The Greyhounds have continued the trend this year, scoring three or more in a row 21 times and have had runs of 3-0 or better in every game but one (Maryland).
Second-Half Success

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

This year, Loyola is outscoring opponents 58-29 in the third quarter and 81-69 overall after halftime.

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Maryland, Loyola, Towson dancing; Hopkins’ streak ends at 41

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Maryland, Loyola, Towson dancing; Hopkins’ streak ends at 41

Posted on 06 May 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - For the 11th-straight year the University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team will compete in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship tournament. The Terps, which received the No. 6 seed with an at-large bid, will play Cornell on Sun., May 12 at 1 p.m. at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.

The Terrapins (10-3) are making their 36th NCAA tournament appearance, while the Big Red (12-3), which earned an at-large bid out of the Ivy League, will be making their 25th appearance in the tournament field.

Maryland and Cornell have played 15 times with the Terps holding a 13-2 series advantage. The two teams have not met since 2000 when the Terps won, 8-7, at the Big Red. This will be the fourth meeting between the two programs in the NCAA tournament. Maryland and Cornell met for the 1971 and 1976 NCAA championships with the Big Red winning both of those meetings. The Terps won the 1974 meeting in the semifinals.

This marks the fourth time that Maryland has been named the No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Terps were previously a No. 6 seed in 1983, 1992 and 2000. In 1983, Maryland topped No. 3 seed Virginia in the first round, which was also the quarterfinals, by a 13-4 score. The Terps then lost to No. 2 seed Syracuse in the semifinals, 12-5. In 1992, beat Duke, 13-11, in the first round, but lost to No. 3 seed Princeton, 11-10, in the quarters. The 2000 tournament was also a 1-1 finish for the Terps with a first round victory over Hofstra, 14-12, and a 10-7 loss in the quarters to No. 3 seed Princeton.

The winner of the Maryland/Cornell game will meet the winner of the No. 3 seed Ohio State/Towson first round game in the quarterfinals on Saturday, May 18, at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. The other quarterfinal matchup in College Park will come from the winners of No. 1 Syracuse/Bryant and #8 Penn State/Yale first round games.

Tickets for the Maryland-Cornell game will be available for by calling the Maryland ticket office at 1-800-462-TERP (8377). Adult general admission seating is $10 and student/senior tickets are $5. Mezzanine seating and suite holder tickets are available for $15.

Tournament Breakdown:
College Park Bracket
No. 1 Syracuse (Big East AQ) vs. Bryant (NEC AQ) – May 12, 7:30 p.m., ESPNU
No. 8 Penn State (CAA) vs. Yale (Ivy AQ)- May 11, 2:30 p.m., ESPNU

Indianapolis Bracket
No. 5 North Carolina (ACC) vs. Lehigh (Patriot AQ) – May 11, Noon, ESPN2
No. 4 Denver (ECAC) vs. Albany (AE AQ) – May 11, 7:30 p.m., ESPNU

College Park Bracket
No. 3 Ohio State (ECAC AQ) vs. Towson (CAA AQ) – May 12, 3 p.m, ESPNU
No. 6 Maryland (ACC) vs. Cornell (Ivy) – May 12, 1 p.m., ESPN2

Indianapolis Bracket
No. 7 Duke (ACC) vs. Loyola (ECAC) – May 12, 5:15 p.m., ESPNU
No. 2 Notre Dame (Big East) vs. Detroit (MAAC AQ) – May 11, 5 p.m., ESPNU

Tournament Teams By Conference:
ACC (3): Duke, North Carolina, Maryland
ECAC (3): Ohio State (AQ), Denver, Loyola
Big East (2): Syracuse (AQ), Notre Dame
CAA (2): Towson (AQ), Penn State
Ivy (2): Yale (AQ), Cornell
Patriot League (1): Lehigh (AQ)
America East (1): Albany (AQ)
MAAC (1): Detroit (AQ)
NEC (1): Bryant (AQ)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Towson can’t get going offensively in loss at Duke

Posted on 16 March 2013 by WNST Staff

DURHAM, N.C. - Four different players scored for Towson men’s lacrosse (3-5) as the Tigers fell, 12-4, to No. 17 Duke (5-4) Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium.

Duke ran out to a 4-0 lead before sophomore Justin Mabus posted his first goal of the season off a feed from Thomas DeNapoli to break the ice for the Tigers and end a 27:05 scoring drought. Sophomore Cory Dobyns scored his 13th of the year to start the third quarter, but the Blue Devils closed out the game on a 7-2 run. Sophomore Ben McCarty and junior Andrew Hodgson each tallied a goal for the Tigers during that run.

Senior Andrew Wascavage had another stellar game in goal for the Tigers with 14 saves – his third-straight game with double-digit stops. Duke outshot Towson 43-36 and picked up 41 ground balls to the Tigers’ 26. The Blue Devils also claimed the advantage in face-offs, winning 13-of-19.

Duke’s David Lawson (11:43, 1Q), Bill Conners (0:15, 1Q), Case Matheis (8:16, 2Q), and Henry Lobb (7:36, 2Q) all scored to give the Blue Devils a 4-0 advantage in the first half before Mabus’s goal at 2:55 in the second. With his assist, DeNapoli stretched his point streak to nine games. Dobyns fought through traffic to pick up a loose ball directly in front of goal and buried it, but Duke’s Jake Tripucka, Matheis and Myles Jones each tallied a goal over the next 6:40. McCarty notched his third of the year with 2:31 remaining in the third.

Josh Offit’s goal for Duke at 1:27 in the third spurred a 5-0 run by the Blue Devils that continued through the fourth quarter. Hodgson’s extra man goal at 7:47 in the final frame was Towson’s first goal in the quarter.

The Tigers return to action on Tuesday, March 19 at crosstown rival UMBC at 7:30 p.m.

NOTES: Junior Thomas DeNapoli continued his point streak with his assist on Mabus’ goal … it now stands at nine games … Towson sophomore Rob Zoppo played against two of his US U19 Men’s National teammates in Duke’s Kyle Turri and Kyle Keenan … the trio won a gold medal in the world championships last summer in Finland … the regular season series between the teams resumed Saturday after a 41-year hiatus … the last time Towson faced Duke was in the NCAA Tournament at UMBC on May 12, 2001 … Towson claimed a 12-10 win that day.

College Men’s Lacrosse: No. 17 Duke 12, Towson 4
Towson (3-4)     0-1-2-1/4
Duke (4-4)         2-2-4-4/12

GOALS: TOW – Dobyns, Hodgson Mabus, McCarty; DUKE – Lawson 2, Matheis 3, Conners, Fowler, Jones, Lobb, Offit, Tripucka, Wolf. ASSISTS: TOW – DeNapoli, Dobyns; DUKE – Matheis 2, Wolf 2, Class, Loftus. SAVES:TOW – Wascavage (14, 60:00, 12 goals allowed); DUKE – Turri (16, 60:00, 4 goals allowed). SHOTS: TOW – 36; DUKE – 43. GROUND BALLS: TOW – 26; DUKE – 41. FACE-OFFS: TOW – 6-19 ; DUKE – 13-19. CLEARS: TOW – 18-20; DUKE – 15-16. EMO: TOW – 1-5; DUKE – 1-3

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Towson faces tough test Saturday at Duke

Posted on 15 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Opening Face-Off
The Tigers bounced back from a last-second overtime defeat to Marist with an 8-7 win at Navy on Tuesday. No. 17 Duke picked up a win against local rival No. 6 UNC, 11-8, on Wednesday evening. Today’s game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. and can be heard live on the Towson Sports Network on www.towsontigers.com with Spiro Morekas and former Tiger midfielder Hunter Lochte calling the action.

Updating the Tigers
Towson returned to winning ways with an 8-7 victory at Navy. It was the Tigers’ first-ever win at the Yard. Towson held the Mids scoreless over the last 22 minutes of the game and sophomore Greg Cuccinello posted his first career game winner at 10:28 in the fourth. Senior Andrew Wascavage was stellar in net, making 14 stops. He is the Tigers’ goalie of record with a .558 save percentage and a goals-against-average of 9.14. Junior Thomas DeNapoli leads Towson with 19 goals and 22 points. Sophomore Cory Dobyns is the other Tiger with double-figure goals (12-1-13).

Scouting the Blue Devils
Duke was ranked as high as sixth earlier this season but fell out of the polls last week after losses to unranked Penn and No. 1 Maryland. The Blue Devils won back-to-back games for the first time this season with the 11-8 win over No. 6 UNC in Chapel Hill on Wednesday. Jordan Wolf’s 20 goals and 11 assists lead Duke. Goalie Kyle Turri got his first start of the year against the Tar Heels, but Dan Wigrizer has more time in net with a goals-against-average of 12.22 and a save percentage of .425. 

Towson-Duke Series History
The Tigers and Blue Devils met frequently in the the 1960s and ‘70s before the rivalry came to an abrupt halt in 1972. Towson was 6-1 in those games, the only loss coming in 1969 by the score of 9-7. Most recently, Towson and Duke played each other in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament, with the Tigers coming away victorious, 12-10.

Towson-Duke By the Numbers

All-Time Series Record Towson leads, 7-1
at Towson 0-0
at Navy 0-0
at Neutral Sites Towson leads, 1-0
at Unknown Sites 6-1
First Meeting 1966 – Towson 14, Duke 7
Last Meeting 2001 – Towson 12, Duke 10
Streak Towson +4

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