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Terps try to get offense going at #1 Duke Saturday

Posted on 25 January 2013 by WNST Staff

After defeating Boston College 64-59 Tuesday night, Maryland heads south for a road test at No. 1 Duke on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Terrapins are tied for seventh place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 3-3 record, a game behind second-place NC State and 2.5 games behind Miami, which at 5-0 is the last team with an unblemished league record. The Blue Devils are ranked No. 1 in both polls and are 3-2 in the league after a 90-63 setback at Miami on Wednesday night.

Storyline

• Propelled by a strong second half, Maryland improved its record to 15-4 with the win over BC. Jake Layman scored 10 of his 15 points after halftime, and the Terrapins shot 48.3 percent in the second half. Dez Wells efficiently ran the offense in the second half, recording seven of his career-high eight assists without committing a turnover in the final 20 minutes. Nick Faust scored nine of his 11 points in the second half, including five in the final 1:37 to help ice the game.

• Alex Len recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 boards against the Eagles. He leads the team and ranks 15th in the ACC in scoring (13.5 per game) and sixth in rebounding (8.2 per game). With seven of the 10 players in Maryland’s regular rotation either freshmen or sophomores, the majority of Maryland’s scoring this season has come from underclassmen. Of the 71.8 points per game Maryland is averaging, 58.2 come from underclassmen (81 percent).

• The Terps have held all six ACC opponents under 38 percent shooting and the last five opponents to 65 points or fewer. Opponents are shooting just 35.1 percent against Maryland this season, a mark which ranks third nationally behind just Texas (34.5) and Kansas (34.8). Maryland has also outrebounded all 19 opponents this season and ranks third in the country in rebounding margin (plus-10.4).


Maryland-Duke Series History

• Maryland trails the all-time series 61-112, which dates back to 1925. The Terps trail the series 15-56 on the road, with their last win in Cameron coming on Feb. 28, 2007. In that game, the 24th ranked Terrapins defeated the 14th-ranked Blue Devils, 85-77.

• Duke won both meetings last season, including a 73-55 victory in Durham, and has won five straight in the series. Maryland’s last victory came on March 3, 2010, a 79-72 win in Comcast Center.


Quick Hitters

• Maryland last defeated a No. 1 team on Jan. 19, 2008, when it beat North Carolina 82-80 in Chapel Hill, N.C. That was also Maryland’s last win over a ranked team on the road.

• Maryland’s 51-50 win over then-No. 14 NC State on Jan. 16 was its first win over a ranked opponent since March 3, 2010, when it beat No. 4 Duke 79-72 at home.

• Maryland ranks second in the ACC in field goal percentage at .468, behind just NC State (.510). The Terps shot 42.4 percent against Boston College, snapping a streak of four straight games in which they shot under 40 percent. Prior to that streak of four games, Maryland had shot better than 40 percent in 12 of its previous 13 games.

• The Terps are 14-0 this season when they have the lead with 5:00 left in the game, and 1-0 when tied with 5:00 left.

• The 13-game winning streak Maryland went on earlier this season is tied for the second longest in school history, trailing just the 14-game streak the Terps went on in 1931-32. Maryland also went on a 13-game win streak in 2001-02, the year they went on to win the national title.

• It was also the 11th time in school history Maryland has put together a 10-game winning streak. In the past 30 years, Maryland has gone on a 10-game winning streak on six occasions, and in each of the previous instances it has gone on to play in the NCAA Tournament.

• Logan Aronhalt is averaging one 3-point field goal made for every 7.7 minutes on the floor. By comparison, the ACC leader in 3PT FGs made, Reggie Bullock of North Carolina, makes one every 11 minutes on the floor.

• Seven of the 10 players in Maryland’s regular rotation are underclassmen and 81 percent of Maryland’s scoring (58.2 of 71.8 points per game) is coming from underclassmen. Additionally, Maryland’s top four scorers are underclassmen.

• At least eight players have scored in 16 of Maryland’s 19 games this year. The exceptions are vs. George Mason, at Miami and at North Carolina, when just seven players scored.

• Maryland has nearly made more free throws (262) than the opponent has attempted (276) this season. The Terps are 10-1 when making more free throws than the opponent.

• When Seth Allen, Jake Layman and Shaquille Cleare drew starts against UMES, it marked the first time Maryland started three true freshmen since Dec. 28, 1993, when Keith Booth, Matt Kovarik and Joe Smith did vs. Hofstra.

• Charles Mitchell earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors on Dec. 31 for his play against Delaware State on Dec. 29. Mitchell came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 14 rebounds, both career highs. Mitchell is the second Terp to earn weekly ACC honors; Alex Len was Player of the Week on Nov. 12.


Hitting the Mark

• Maryland has assisted on 61 percent (305 of 500) of its field goals this season. The Terps have recorded double-digit assists in 17 of 19 games (exceptions are at Miami & at North Carolina), and are 14-1 when recording at least 14 assists.

• On average, Maryland has recorded 17.7 assists per game in wins, while in its four losses it has averaged just 9.8.


Field-goal Percentage Defense

• Maryland leads the ACC and ranks third nationally in field goal percentage defense at .351. The Terps have held 13 of the last 15 opponents under 40 percent shooting, with Stony Brook and IUPUI being the exceptions. Maryland has held each of its six ACC opponents under 38 percent shooting (VT – .373; FSU – .367; Miami – .349; NC State – .311; North Carolina – .354; Boston College – .357).

• Since 2000, five Terrapin teams have held the opponent under 40 percent shooting. Of those five, four went on to at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament.


Super Subs

• Maryland’s bench has been an asset all season, as the Terps’ non-starters have outscored the opponents non-starters in 16 of 19 games (exceptions are Kentucky, George Mason & North Carolina).

• On the year, Maryland’s bench has a 480-200 (25.3 to 10.5 per game) advantage over the opponent.

• All 10 players in Maryland’s regular rotation are averaging double-figure minutes, and no player is averaging more than 27 minutes per game (Alex Len is first at 26.4).

• Logan Aronhalt has been a consistent contributor as a long-range specialist. He is eight 3-point field goals made shy of qualifying for the ACC lead, but his .476 mark from beyond the arc would lead the league. He has made at least one 3-pointer in 15 of 19 games this season. Of his 32 field goals made this season, 30 are 3-pointers.

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Navy battles Arizona State in Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Saturday to close season

Posted on 28 December 2012 by WNST Staff

Date and Kickoff Dec. 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm PT / 4:00 ET
Location San Francisco, Calif. | AT&T Park (40,184)
Television ESPN2
TV Talent Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Brian Griese (analyst), Jenn Brown (sideline)

Setting the Stage
• Arizona State and Navy will meet on the gridiron for the first time when they square off at AT&T Park in San Francisco in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.  Kickoff is set for 4:07 pm Eastern, 1:07 pm Pacific.
• Navy is 7-9-1 all-time in bowl games and 1-1-1 all-time against current Pac-12 schools in bowl games.  Navy tied Washington, 14-14, in the 1924 Rose Bowl; defeated California, 42-38, in the 1996 Aloha Bowl; and lost to Utah, 35-32, in the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl. This will be Navy’s ninth bowl game in the last 10 years.
•    Navy has lost four of its last five bowl games. The only win was a 35-13 pounding of Missouri in the 2009 Texas Bowl.  The Mids have lost to Boston College (25-24 in the 2006 Meineke Car Care Bowl); Utah (35-32 in the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl); Wake Forest (29-19 in the 2008 EagleBank Bowl) and San Diego State (35-14 in the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl) during that time span.  Niumatalolo is 1-3 in bowl games.
• ESPN2 will televise the game nationally with Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Jenn Brown calling the action.
•    Touchdown Radio has the national radio call with Roxy Bernstein and Gino Toretta on the call.

Navy’s Last Trip to San Francisco … 
Navy 34, New Mexico 19    Dec. 30, 2004 | San Francisco, Calif.
•     Aaron Polanco accounted for four touchdowns and 237 yards of total offense as Navy defeated New Mexico, 34-19, in the 2004 Emerald Bowl.  The victory gave the Midshipmen a school-record tying 10 wins for the season and marked just the fifth bowl victory in school history.
• After the Lobos took a 7-0 lead on the first possesion of the game, the Mids answered with a touchdown drive of their own, moving 80 yards on just seven plays.  Polanco scored from 14 yards out to tie the game at seven.
• The game turned on the ensuing possession when safety Vaughn Kelley hit New Mexico’s DonTrell Moore just as he was catching a pitch.  The hit caused a fumble that was recovered by Lane Jackson and knocked Moore out of the game.
• Navy quickly took advantage of the turnover, as Polanco scored from one yard out five plays later to give Navy a 14-7 lead.  The touchdown was set up by a third-and-eight pass from slot back Frank Divis to Polanco for 17 yards
• Josh Smith stopped New Mexico’s next drive with an interception and the Mids made the Lobos pay dearly, as Polanco hit wide receiver Corey Dryden on the second play from scrimmage with a 61-yard touchdown pass to make the score 21-7.
• After the two teams punted on their initial possessions of the third quarter, Polanco ran for his third touchdown of the day, this one from 27 yards out, to make the score 31-19.
• New Mexico, however, marched right back down the field.  The Lobos had the ball first-and-goal at the Navy six, but on fourth-and-goal from the one Lobo running back D.D. Cox was stopped short of the goal line by Kelley and Bobby McClarin.
• The Navy offense would take over the game from there, mounting an epic 26-play, 94-yard, 14:26 drive that was capped off by a Geoff Blumenfeld 22-yard field goal to make the score 34-19.  The 26 plays and 14:26 time of possession were both NCAA records for a single drive.

Fourth Quarter Rally Leads Navy To 11th Straight Win Over Army
•    Freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds extended Navy’s dominance against Army, scoring the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter in a 17-13 victory in the 113th playing of America’s Game.
• Navy captured its 11th consecutive victory over Army and in doing so won the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy which is awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies. Army and Navy each beat Air Force, putting the prestigious trophy up for grabs in the regular-season finale for the first time since 2005.
• In front of 69,607 fans and Vice President Joe Biden at Lincoln Financial Field, Navy caught a break when Army missed a late field goal attempt.
• Reynolds quickly found Brandon Turner down the sideline for a 49-yard gain. Reynolds then escaped a rush and followed with the eight-yard touchdown run with 4:41 left in the game.
• Unlike previous games over the last decade, the Black Knights were in this one until the final drive. Army had driven to the Navy 14 when fullback Larry Dixon fumbled on a sloppy exchange with quarterback Trent Steelman. Junior nose guard Barry Dabney recovered the fumble and the Mids’ sideline went wild as the CIC trophy was coming back to the Naval Academy for a record 13th time after a two-year stint at Air Force. Before Navy started its 11-game winning streak, the longest winning streak in a series that started in 1890 was only five games by either team.
• Late in the third quarter, Army’s James Kelly stripped the ball from Reynolds and linebacker Alex Meier recovered to give the Black Knights the ball at Navy’s 37. Eric Osteen kicked a 21-yard field goal 10 plays later for a 13-10 lead.
• Osteen, however, was wide left on a 37-yard attempt with 6:57 left in the game.
• Navy made them pay on Reynolds’ score. The Midshipmen now lead the series 57-49-7
• After a scoreless first quarter, Army and Navy swapped rushing TDs in the second. Navy fullback Noah Copeland plowed straight up the middle for a 12-yard score. Trent Steelman matched him with an 11-yarder for his program-tying 17th TD run of the season, then saluted the cadets after the score.
• Freshman kicker Nick Sloan put Navy up 10-7 with a 31-yard field goal late in the second, but Army answered when Osteen’s 41-yarder as the first half expired hit the upright and bounced in to tie the game at 10.
•    Reynolds was named the Philadelphia Sportswriters Most Valuable Player, rushing for 43 yards and a touchdown and completing 10 of his 17 passes for 130 yards.  Sophomore fullback Noah Copeland rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, while senior slot back Gee Gee Greene caught three passes for 23 yards.
• Junior linebacker Cody Peterson led the Navy defense with a career-high 14 tackles, while senior outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel recorded 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and one sack.  Senior Matt Warrick was also in on 11 stops, while sophomore outside linebacker Josh Tate, senior linebacker John Michael Nurthen and Dabney all recovered fumbles.

Senior Salute
•    Navy’s 28 seniors have compiled a 32-19 record (.627), qualified for three bowl games, won a bowl game (2009 Texas Bowl against Missouri) and won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy twice in their four years. The seniors were 4-0 against their biggest rival, Army, and 6-2 in Service Academy games (2-2 against Air Force).
•    The 28 seniors are:  offensive tackle Andrew Barker (High Point, N.C.), linebacker Matt Brewer (Wildwood, Mo.), safety Tra’ves Bush (Johnston, S.C.), guard Josh Cabral(Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), tackle Evan Campbell (Pasadena, Md.), fullbackPrentice Christian (Bowie, Md.), long snapper Billy Coats (Minden, Nev.), guard Matt Couch (Enola, Pa.), defensive end Josh Dowling-Fitzpatrick (Westerville, Ohio), safetyJerad Fehr (Draper, Utah), linebacker Brye French (Deatsville, Ala.), wide receiverJonathan Gazaille (Grand Prairie, Texas), slot back Gee Gee Greene (Columbia, S.C.), guard Beau Haworth (Annapolis, Md.), defensive end Wes Henderson (Wexford, Pa.), slot back John Howell (Hatfield, Pa.), wide receiver Tyler Lynch (Irving, Texas), linebacker John Michael Nurthern (Phoenixville, Pa.), wide receiver John O’Boyle (Charlotte, N.C.), tackle Ryan Paulson (Broomfield, Colo.), center Kahikolu Pescaia (Kailua, Hawai’i), tackleJoe Ryan (Tucson, Ariz.), wide receiver Matt Shibata (Honolulu, Hawai’i), slot back Bo Snelson (Pasadena, Texas), defensive end Collin Sturdivant (High Point, N.C.), wide receiver Brandon Turner (Renton, Wash.), linebacker Matt Warrick (Chesterfield, Mo.), outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel (Palos Heights, Ill.).

Scouting Arizona State
•    The Sun Devils enter the bowl game with a 7-5 record against an extremely difficult schedule.
•    ASU has defeated Northern Arizona (63-6), Illinois (45-14), Utah (37-7), California (27-17), Colorado (51-17), Washington State (46-7) and Arizona (41-34).  Meanwhile, its losses have come at the hands of Missouri (24-20), Oregon (43-21), UCLA (45-43), Oregon State (36-26) and USC (38-17).
• ASU is one of the most balanced teams in the country ranking 38th in the country in rushing offense (190.8 yds/gm), 46th in passing offense (258.5 yds/gm), 31st in total offense (449.3 yds/gm) and 21st in scoring offense (36.4 pts/gm).
• Defensively, ASU ranks 75th in rushing defense (172.0 yds/gm), 12th in pass defense (178.8 yds/gm), 26th in total defense (350.8 yds/gm) and 41st in scoring defense (24.0 pts/gm).
•    Quarterback Taylor Kelly ranks 23rd nationally in passing efficiency (153.3). He has completed 224 of his 340 pass attempts for 2,772 yards with 25 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.  Chris Coyle is Kelly’s favorite target, with 53 catches for 659 yards and five touchdowns.  Running back Marion Grice has 39 catches for 406 yards and eight touchdowns, while running back D.J. Foster has 36 catches for 522 yards and four touchdowns.
• Cameron Marshall is the Sun Devils’ leading rusher with 524 yards and seven touchdowns on 127 carries, while Grice has 520 yards and nine touchdowns on just 89 carries.
• Arizona State’s defense has been terrific this year, ranking second in the country in sacks and tackles for a loss.  All-American defensive tackle Will Sutton ranks fifth nationally in tackles for a loss (1.82) and 13th in sacks (0.95).
• Safety Keelan Johnson ranks 11th in the country in interceptions (0.11 per game), while linebacker Brandon Magee is 29th in tackles (9.5 per game).
• Punter Josh Hubner ranks third in the country (47.1 yards per punt), while ASU is sixth in the nation in net punting (40.7 yards per punt).

Navy Quick Hitters
• Since 2003, Navy has won 19 games against schools from a BCS conference.  The 19 wins against BCS schools during that time period, which have come against 10 different teams, are the most in the country by a non-BCS school.
• Navy has played six bowl eligible teams this year (counting Penn State, which is not going to a bowl due to NCAA sanctions) and compiled a 3-3 record against the six programs.  The Mids defeated Air Force (6-6), Central Michigan (6-6) and East Carolina (8-4) and lost to Notre Dame (12-0), Penn State (8-4) and San Jose State (10-2).
• Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo is just the third coach in school history to start his coaching career at Navy with a 5-0 record against Army.  Paul Johnson turned in a 6-0 mark against West Point (2002-07), while Wayne Hardin won his first five games (1959-63) before losing.
• Navy has been the dominant Service Academy over the last decade, posting a 19-2 record (.905) against Army (11-0) and Air Force (8-2) in the last 21 meetings, winning eight Commander-In-Chief’s Trophies in the last 10 years and going to nine bowl games in the last 10 years.  Navy has amassed an 83-44 (.654) overall record in the last 10 years, while Air Force is 68-55 (.553) and Army is 32-88 (.267).  The 83 wins are the 21st most in the country over the last decade.
• Navy is 4-0 this year in games decided by eight points or less after going 2-5 last year in such games.
• Ken Niumatalolo has led the Midshipmen to a 40-25 (.615) record in this his fifth season as head coach.  He is fourth all-time at Navy in career wins.  Niumatalolo holds Navy coaching records for most wins in the first two (18), three (27), four (32) and five seasons (40) of a career.
• Navy’s four losses this season (Notre Dame, Penn State, San Jose State and Troy) have come at the hands of opponents who are a combined 35-13 (.729).  Notre Dame (12-0) is ranked No. 1 in the country and will play in the BCS National Championship Game, while San Jose State (10-2) is ranked 24th and will play Bowling Green in the Northrop Grumman Military Bowl in Washington, D.C.
• Over the last 10 games (8-2), Navy has outscored the opposition in the second half, 153-83.  The Navy defense has allowed just eight touchdowns in the second half of the last 10 games.
• The Mids have turned the ball over 12 times in their four losses and six times in their eight wins.
•     Senior outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT and is believed to be the only current FBS player in the country to accomplish such a feat.  He carries a 3.89 GPA in systems engineering and was named a Capital One First-Team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America.  Wetzel has also been a force on the field for the Midshipmen, recording 74 tackles (tied for third on the team), a team-high 15 tackles for a loss, a team-high seven sacks, has forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.  He is just one sack away from third on Navy’s single-season sacks list.
• Keenan Reynolds is the first freshman to start at quarterback for Navy since Jim Kubiak started five games in 1991.  Meanwhile, he is just the third freshman in school history to start at quarterback (the other was Alton Grizzard in 1987). Reynolds is 6-1 as a starting quarterback with wins over Central Michigan, Indiana, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Texas State and Army and a loss to Troy.  He also came off the bench with Navy down eight points to Air Force in the fourth quarter to lead the Mids to an overtime victory.  Kubiak won just one game as a freshman starter (beat a 5-5 Army team) and Grizzard won two games (lost to Army).  Reynolds is the first Navy quarterback to win his first four career starts since senior Bob Powers, who won his first six career starts in 1979.
• Sophomore punter Pablo Beltran is averaging 43.9 yards per punt (40 punts) this season, which is the second-best single-season average in school history. John Skaggs currently holds the single-season punting record at 44.8 yards per punt in 2001.  Beltran would stand 16th nationally if he qualified (must average 3.6 punts per game).
• Navy was 4-0 during the month of October after going 0-5 last year in October. It is the first time Navy went undefeated in the month of October since 1996.  That Navy team finished 9-3 and defeated California in the Aloha Bowl.
• Navy owns a 6-3 record all-time in overtime games, winning six of its last seven.
• Navy owns an 83-44 (.654) record over the last 10 years after posting a 3-30 (.091) mark from 2000-02.  The 83 wins are the 21st most in the country over the last decade.
• Navy is trying to finish No. 1 in fewest penalties and penalty yards per game for the second consecutive year and for the third time in the last four seasons.  The Mids are currently tied for second in penalties (3.5 /gm) and in penalty yards per game (27.9).
• Navy is 4-0 this year and 31-4 (.886) under Niumatalolo when scoring first and 4-4 this year and 9-21 (.300) under Niumatalolo when the opponent scores first.
• The Mids are 3-0 ths year and 24-3 (.889) under Niumatalolo when leading after the first quarter and 5-4 this year and 16-22 (.421) under Niumatalolo when trailing or tied after the first stanza.
• Navy is 6-0 this year and 27-4 (.871) under Niumatalolo when leading at the half and 2-4 this year and 12-22 (.353) under Niumatalolo when tied or trailing at the half.
• Navy is 5-0 this year and 31-3 (.912) under Niumatalolo when leading after three quarters and 3-4 this year and 8-23 (.258) under Niumatalolo when tied or trailing after three quarters.
•    Navy owns a 19-7 (.731) record in games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium under Niumatalolo and is 21-18 (.538) away from home.

California Dreaming
•    Navy has 10 players on its travel roster from the state of California.
•    Senior starting offensive guard Josh Cabral hails from Rancho Santa Margarita, sophomore starting long snapper Joe Cardona is from El Cajon, freshman center Brandon Greene is from Highland, freshman punter Gavin Jernigan is from Lawndale, freshman safety Mike Markovsky is from Costa Mesa, sophomore wide receiver James King is from Orinda, sophomore defensive end Paul Quessenberry is from Carlsbad, freshman starting kicker Nick Sloan is from San Diego, junior linebacker Michael Tuimavave is from Daly City and junior starting offensive tackle Graham Vickers is from Diamond Bar.

Playing Against The Home State
•    Senior guard Joe Ryan hails from Tucson, while junior wide receiver Casey Bolena is from Phoenix.

Balanced Attack
• Navy’s slot backs have rushed for 1,467 yards and six touchdowns on 200 carries (7.3 yards per carry), the fullbacks have ran for 943 yards and seven touchdowns on 202 carries (4.7 yards per carry) and the quarterbacks have rushed for 921 yards and 13 touchdowns on 230 carries (4.0 yards per carry).

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Arizona State to face Navy in Fight Hunger Bowl

Posted on 02 December 2012 by WNST Staff

Navy To Play Arizona State In The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

 

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Navy and Arizona State will meet on the gridiron for the first time at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 29 at AT&T Park in San Francisco it was announced today by Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Executive Director and co-founder Gary Cavalli.  The game will kick at 1:00 PM in San Francisco (4:00 PM ET) and will be televised by ESPN2.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to select Arizona State to meet Navy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 29,” Cavalli said. “It promises to be an intriguing matchup between two high-scoring, high-profile teams. Navy has won six of its last seven games, and ASU also finished strong with a come-from-behind win over Arizona in the Territorial Cup.  We look forward to welcoming the Midshipmen and Sun Devil players and coaches, as well as thousands of their fans, and providing them with a memorable experience in San Francisco.”

The Sun Devils finished the regular season 7-5, with a 5-4 record in the Pac-12, including a 41-34 victory over in-state rival Arizona.  Arizona State scored 24 fourth quarter points to rally from a 10-point deficit in that game as running back Marion Grice carried 18 times for a career-high 156 yards and three touchdowns.

“Arizona State is an outstanding football team with great players on both sides of the ball,” said Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo.  “We have played a very tough schedule this year and there is no doubt that Arizona State will be as talented as any team we’ve faced.  However, right now our only focus is on Saturday’s game against Army.  It’s the biggest game of the year and this year it has added significance with the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy on the line. We will worry about Arizona State after the Army game.”

“The annual goal for every college football team is to have a successful season and play in a Bowl game,” said Arizona State head coach Todd Graham.  “We are very proud to have reached that goal by participating in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against a worthy opponent such as the U.S. Naval Academy.   It will be an honor to travel to and participate in this wonderful Bowl experience in one of America’s great cities.”

Led by junior QB Taylor Kelly, Arizona State was third in the Pac-12 in scoring offense, averaging 36.4 points per game.   The Sun Devils were also formidable defensively, ranking second [to Pac-12 champion Stanford] in allowing only 350.8 yards per contest.

Kelly (224-340-2,772-25 TD-9 INT) completed 65.9% of his pass attempts while throwing for an average 231 yards per game.   Five receivers caught 33 or more passes on the year, led by WR Chris Coyle (53-659-5 TD).

Arizona State ranked first overall against the pass, permitting just 178.8 yards per game through the air in the passing-conscious Pac-12 Conference.

The Sun Devils additionally picked off 20 passes in 12 games, returning three for touchdowns.    Part of that success is attributed to a front seven that ranked second in the Pac-12 with 48 sacks.

Junior defensive tackle Will Sutton was named the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year despite missing a portion of the season due to injury.   He had a team-leading 10.5 sacks while totaling 58 stops.

Senior DE Brandon Magee was the Pac-12’s second-leading tackler, with 104 stops that also featured 6.5 sacks.   He had 17 tackles against Arizona.

“Based on our visit in 2004, we have seen first hand that the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is a magnificent overall environment and event,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk.  “The city of San Francisco, the stadium, the hospitality from the community, the bowl administration and the beauty of Northern California present as fine a postseason experience as we could possibly enjoy.  The Academy is sincerely grateful to Gary Cavalli and his staff for inviting us back and setting the stage for our team to earn an enjoyable trip to the West Coast and an inspiring matchup against a great Arizona State team.”

Tickets for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl are on sale now at www.navysports.com.

Tickets can also be purchased starting Monday morning at 9 a.m. by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY or at the Ricketts Hall Box Office.

Ticket prices are $25 (Upper Level End Zone), $40 (Upper Level Corner), $50 (Upper Level Sideline and Lower Level End Zone and Corner), $60 (Lower Level Sideline and Sideline Bleacher behind the team bench) and $75 (Club).  The only way to sit with the Navy contingent is to buy your tickets through the Navy ticket office.

Fans can also purchase tickets to sponsor midshipmen and enlisted personnel and their families for $50 per ticket. Donated tickets are 100% tax deductible.

“We strongly encourage Navy fans to buy their bowl tickets directly from the Naval Academy Athletic Association,” said Gladchuk. “It is very important for this game and for future Navy bowl considerations for our fans to purchase tickets through the NAAA. If you can’t make it to the game we ask that Navy fans buy tickets for our midshipmen and enlisted personnel, which will allow us to create the usual pageantry of Navy football.”

This will be Navy’s 18th bowl appearance in school history and the ninth in the last 10 years.

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UMBC welcomes former conference foe CCSU to RAC Tuesday

Posted on 20 November 2012 by WNST Staff

UMBC (1-2) meets a familiar foe on Tuesday, Nov. 20, when the Retrievers welcome the the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (2-2). Both programs debuted at the NCAA Division I level in 1986-87 and Tuesday’s contest will be the 34th between the Devils and Dawgs. Tipoff time is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be streamed on www.umbcretrievers.tv.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: In UMBC’s last outing, JR F Chase Plummer broke out for 28 points at Loyola (Md.) on Nov. 14, but the hot-shooting Greyhounds held off UMBC, 86-70. SR G Ryan Cook has been in double figures in all three games and leads the squad at 18.0 ppg.

BLUE DEVIL UPDATE: After opening the season with a one-point loss to Fairfield (64-63, ot) and a three-point setback at St. Peter’s, (64-61), CCSU roared back with impressive victories over Brown (86-71) and at LaSalle (81-74) on Nov. 15 and 18. SO G Kyle Vinales (23.3 ppg), the 2012 NEC Rookie of the Year, was named the NEC Player of the Week. Vinales posted three straight 20-plus point outings in Central’s 2-1 week. SO F Adonis Burbage scored a career-high 21 points and hit 7-of-8 from the field, 5-of-6 from three in the win over LaSalle.

Who’s Up Next: The Retrievers travel to Marquette for a contest in Milwaukee on Monday, Nov. 26. The game will be streamed on ESPN3.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 05 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour FedEx St. Jude Classic (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Memphis), Champions Tour Regions Tradition (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from Shoal Creek, AL on Golf Channel), Wegmans LPGA Championship (Thursday & Friday 12pm Saturday & Sunday 2pm from Pittsford, NY live on Golf Channel); WNBA: New York Liberty @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Mixed Martial Arts: UFC on FX 3-Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall (Friday 9pm from Sunrise, FL live on FX); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Charlotte Hounds @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/ESPN3.com)

10. Gavin DeGraw & Colbie Caillat (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Foster The People (Sunday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Carbon Leaf/Civil Twilight (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live); Hawthorne Heights (Sunday 5pm Recher Theatre); Victor Wooten (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Edwin McCain (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Little River Band (Sunday 1pm Rams Head on Stage), Marshall Tucker Band (Sunday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Bootsy Collins (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Jimmy Cliff (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Wailers (Tuesday 8pm Howard Theatre); Beach Boys “That’s Why God Made The Radio” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

There was a time in my life when I genuinely enjoyed the tunes of Gavin DeGraw. Maybe that’s not something I should be broadcasting…

Since Foster The People are coming to town and the Beach Boys are putting out a new record, here’s FTP’s EXCELLENT take on the greatest Beach Boys tune of all time…

Any excuse to share a Carbon Leaf tune is a good one…

I wish I could go to RHL Saturday night. Civil Twilight is excellent too…

9. “Prometheus” opens in theaters (Friday); Safe House“, “John Carter” and “Act of Valor” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Greg Proops (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Doug Benson (Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Honfest (Saturday & Sunday Hampden); Maryland Wine Week begins (Friday)

You know Prometheus as THAT MOVIE EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WANTS TO SEE. Well, at least until “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” comes out, at which point they might as well just stop making movies.

Honestly, there is no single greater gift you could ever purchase me than this movie poster…

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Your Monday Reality Check-Best team all season ending up winning title

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Your Monday Reality Check-Best team all season ending up winning title

Posted on 28 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

It’s a particular shame Monday’s NCAA lacrosse Championship Game was in Foxborough instead of right here at M&T Bank Stadium. It would have been a special celebration of a beloved game in Charm City.

Instead, Memorial Day became a special celebration of a deserving champion at Gillette Stadium.

I was at Ridley Athletic Complex Saturday, March 10 to see the Loyola University Maryland Greyhounds face the Duke Blue Devils. The Hounds had gotten off to a nice 4-0 start at that point in the season, reaching double digit goals in every game and holding their opponent to single digits in every game as well.

The issue at that point was the competition. Home wins over Delaware and Towson and road victories at Bellarmine and Michigan did little to convince anyone the Greyhounds were on the cusp of a breakthrough campaign.

It changed that day.

Star attackman and eventual Tewaaraton Award finalist Mike Sawyer put on an absolute clinic for Charley Toomey’s team, scoring six goals and leading the Hounds to a 13-8 win over the Devils. The Hounds were actually ranked ahead of the Devils in one of the recognized college lacrosse polls, but the victory still had the feel of an upset, as Duke was viewed as a legitimate national title contender.

From the opening whistle, it was apparent the Hounds were the more focused, determined squad. The 13-8 final didn’t even necessarily reflect the nature of the game, as Loyola held a 12-5 advantage after three quarters and appeared to let up late. The win came just after Toomey installed Jack Runkel as his starting goalie ahead of Michael Bonitatibus, a move that he would not have to reconsider at all the rest of the season.

On that day at Ridley Athletic Complex, the Loyola Greyhounds became more than just a team with a capable combination of scorers (Sawyer and graduate student Eric Lusby). They became more than just a fun team to watch. They became a legitimate threat to make a run to the Final Four.

Two and a half months later, they found themselves there. It wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t a run of good fortune. It wasn’t about bad luck for other teams. It wasn’t about an easy schedule.

This Loyola team proved that for the 2012 NCAA lacrosse season, they were unquestionably the best team in the country.

In Monday’s NCAA Championship Game, the Hounds dominated the University of Maryland in a way that perfectly encapsulated their entire season. They showed an incredible ability to score goals at times, but also showed that their midfield unit was as capable as their attack. Their wings battled for balls when face-offs appeared to be lost. Their defense was SUFFOCATING, preventing even a single goal from Maryland for a stretch of more than two and a half quarters, stifling a unit that had tallied 16 just two days prior against those same Duke Blue Devils. On top of all of that, Runkel was spectacular for a second straight game.

They left no doubt not only about who was the best team on Memorial Day Monday, but who was the best team in the country. They were a deserving #1 seed and they worked to become a deserving national champion.

A deserving national champion that didn’t play a single game on television until the postseason.

They lost just one game along the way, an overtime heartbreaker to a fine Johns Hopkins squad. They won THREE games over ECAC rival Denver University, two of those wins coming in the Mile High City. They recorded a win over every team that reached Memorial Day weekend.

Lusby and Sawyer now have name recognition, but the work of Runkel, Scott Ratliff, Chris Layne, Josh Hawkins, Pat Byrnes, Davis Butts, Justin Ward, Joe Fletcher, Nikko Pontrello, Patrick Fanshaw, Kevin Ryan, Phil Dobson, Sean O’Sullivan, Dylan Grimm, Pat Laconi, Kevin Moriarty and J.P. Dalton were deserving of having their names typed in a column like this as well.

Loyola becomes the smallest school to ever win a national championship in lacrosse. The title is the first and only Division 1 title in any sport for the school. The team was unranked before the season started. Toomey was able to accomplish the feat after being on the losing end as a goalie in the school’s only ever run to the National Championship Game back in 1990. Lusby broke the record for most goals in a single NCAA Tournament in the process.

The word amazing keeps coming to mind.

The title drought continues for the Terrapins, as they have not held the trophy since 1974. John Tillman has been to the title game twice in his two seasons in College Park, but the inability to win the big one will now already become a topic of conversation for the Terps’ alumni and fan base. They were a remarkably young team this season and will likely be right back in the title picture a year from now. It won’t help the sting of a Championship Game loss, but they showed many signs of being a team on the verge of greatness.

Loyola however was the definition of greatness. They were exceptional. And perhaps they even earned a measure of revenge for the city of Baltimore on the field where the Ravens saw their season end months earlier in the AFC Championship Game.

Eh…they were the best lacrosse team in the country. We’ll be more than happy to have that in Charm City.

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 28 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Antonio Tarver vs. Lateef Kayode (Saturday 9pm from Carson, CA live on Showtime), Gabriel Rosado vs. Joel Julio (Friday 9pm from Bethlehem, PA live on NBC Sports Network); WNBA: Minnesota Lynx @ Washington Mystics (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Denver Outlaws (Saturday 9pm from Denver live on ESPN3.com)

10. Zac Brown Band (Thursday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Capital Jazz Fest feat. Indie.Arie, Bill Cosby (Friday-Sunday Merriweather Post Pavilion); Radiohead (Sunday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Miranda Lambert/Jerrod Niemann (Sunday 4pm Jiffy Lube Live);  City and Colour (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live); Smile Empty Soul (Saturday 5pm Recher Theatre); Crossfade (Monday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Dandy Warhols (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Used (Wednesday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Victor Wooten (Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre); Dr. John (Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Rhett Miller (Monday 8pm Jammin Java)

I’d watch ZBB do just about anything, but this was as good as anything I’ve seen them do…

My favorite tune from Thom Yorke and the boys?

For more traditional country folk, I sorta dig this Jerrod Niemann tune…

I wish I didn’t have to admit to digging this tune…

9. Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival (Saturday & Sunday 12pm Oregon Ridge); Guy Torry (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Corey Holcomb (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “Man on a Ledge” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Glenn Clark’s first ever “Hogfest” (Saturday)

That’s right. For the first time in my (still?) young life, I will be roasting a pig Saturday. It’s all thanks in part to ABC Rental Store in Rosedale. A talented young man I listen to on the radio is always talking to me about them. I think his show is called “The Reality Check.” I PRAY my results make me as happy as George W. Bush…

Also, I will be hosting a qualifier for the Olympic KanJam team Saturday (more on Twitter @OlympicKanJam). I expect the day to look much like this…

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Loyola aims for first D1 title in school history Monday

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Loyola aims for first D1 title in school history Monday

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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

Game Data

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

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

On The Tube, Web And Radio

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

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

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

Series History

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

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

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

NCAA Championships History

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

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

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

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

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

Five, Twice In A Row

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

Lusby’s Tournament

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

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

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

Runkel Stops 15

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

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

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

Defense Limits Chances

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

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

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

50-50

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

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

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

And, 60-60

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

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

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

Seven Earn All-America Honors

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

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

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

Sawyer Sets Goals Record

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

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

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

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

Three-For-Three

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

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

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

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

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

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

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

A Lot Of Everything

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

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

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

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

Ratliff’s Scoring

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

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

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

Ward Dishes Out Assists

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

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

Top Spot

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

School Record In Wins

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

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

The Hardware Department

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

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

Sawyer Named One Of Five Tewaaraton Finalists

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

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

Midfield Scoring

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

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

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

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

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

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

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

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

All-ECAC Honors

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

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

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

Big Runs

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

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

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

On The Flip Side

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

Second-Half Success

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

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

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Terps punch title game ticket with emphatic win over Duke

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Terps punch title game ticket with emphatic win over Duke

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Senior Drew Snider scored four goals to lead the Maryland men’s lacrosse team to it’s second straight NCAA title game with a 16-10 victory over No. 3 seed Duke in the semifinals Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium.

The Terps (12-5) will play No. 1 seed Loyola on Mon., May 28 at 1 p.m. for the NCAA championship. The Greyhounds advanced to the title game with a 7-5 victory over No. 4 seed Notre Dame in the first semifinal. The Blue Devils finish their season with a 15-5 record.

After a rocky start for both teams that saw the first five possessions of the game end in turnovers, Maryland got on the board first when junior Kevin Cooper skipped a cross-crease pass to junior Billy Gribbin and Gribbin one-timed the ball past Duke goalie Dan Wigrizer with 10:28 to play in the first.

Gribbin then gave the Terps a 2-0 lead at the 3:11 to go in the first when senior Joe Cummings found him open on the crease for an easy score.

The lead grew to 3-0 a minute later when freshman Kevin Forster came around the left side of the Duke goal and hit a running jumper with 2:12 to go. It was Forster’s first goal since the Terps’ season opener on Feb. 18 vs. Hartford.

The Blue Devils wouldn’t let the first quarter go without making a run and goals by Josh Dionne and Rob Rotanz in the final 1:30 made it a 3-2 Terrapin lead going into the second.

The Terps’ EMO unit took advantage of the opportunity with junior John Haus skipping a pass to redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk in the top right slot and Chanenchuk ripped a laser into the top left corner to give Maryland a 4-2 lead 32 seconds into the second.

The lead would be trimmed back to one on the ensuing faceoff. Two Terps got tangled up going for the groundball, which allowed Duke’s CJ Costabile to come down the middle and he hit a bouncer at the 14:19 mark.

Cooper upped the lead back to two when he worked a perfect pick-and-slip with Forster on the left side of the goal. Cooper got off a quick shot that beat Wigrizer to the far post, making it 5-3 with 13:05 to go in the second.

Another brilliant pass from Cummings to junior Owen Blye on the left side of the crease gave Blye a one-on-one with Wigrizer and the Blue Devil goalie couldn’t keep up with the fakes and Blye scored with 10:26 to go in the second to up the lead back to three, 6-3.

It looked like Blye scored again around the 6:00 mark, but the officials waived it off, calling that Blye stepped on the crease line before the ball went in the goal.

Duke cut it back to a two-goal deficit with a put-back goal by Christian Walsh at the 3:13 mark. Sophomore goalie Niko Amato made a spectacular one-on-one save, stoning Dionne, but the rebound went right to Walsh.

Amato made another big save on the Blue Devils’ next possession to give Maryland one more crack at the Duke goal before the end of the half. Cummings made that possession pay off when he ran the clock down to under 20 seconds before making his move. He didn’t get to the goal, however, but he slipped a pass to Snider on the crease for a one-timer and a 7-4 Terrapin lead going into halftime.

Maryland started the second half a man-down after junior Jesse Bernhardt was called for a trip on Costabile on the ensuing faceoff.

But, the extra-man chance came to an end thanks to two huge stops by Amato, who first stuffed Rotanz and then saved the rebound effort by Dionne.

Snider then completed his third hat trick in as many NCAA tournament games this season, scoring twice from the left alley to put the Terps up 9-4 with 7:20 to go in the third.

Duke then got back-to-back goals from Justin Turri and Josh Offit to trim the Terrapin lead back to three at 9-6 with 3:58 left in the quarter.

Maryland pushed the lead back to four at the 2:58 mark when Gribbin found Haus open in front of the goal and Haus snapped off a quick shot that found the net for the 10-6 Terrapin lead.

Turri netted his second score of the third with 2:20 to go to make it a 10-7 Maryland lead going into the fourth.

Duke scored 1:26 into the final period to make it a two-goal game on a transition goal by Rotanz.

But Maryland scored the next six to put the game away for good.

Snider started the run with his fourth of the day with a fantastic individual effort. He started with a dodge down the left wing, but was forced to roll back to the front of the cage and somehow found some space to finish into the top right corner.

Blye made it a 12-8 game with 10:04 to play with another dodge to the front of the crease. Unlike his earlier effort, he stayed off the line this time and connected on a high-bouncer under the crossbar.

The run continued with Cummings scoring his first of the day off a feed from Cooper, who found Cummings cutting across the crease and Cummings hit a turn-around with 9:10 left on the clock to make it 13-8.

Blye then scored his third of the game off of a feed from Cooper to push it to 14-8 with 6:01 to play.

The six-goal lead allowed the Terrapins some flexibility in the final minutes and Forster and sophomore Sean McGuire finished off the scoring for Maryland.

Andrew Vekstein and Eddie Loftus scored the final two goals for the Blue Devils.

Maryland dominated possession in large part because of the play of junior Curtis Holmes at the faceoff X. Holmes won 12-of-21 faceoffs with six groundballs.

Game Notes:
• With today’s 16-10 win, Maryland is now 60-20 all-time vs. Duke.
• The Terps are now 3-2 all-time vs. the Blue Devils in the NCAA tournament and 2-1 in the semifinals.
• Maryland is now 11-10 all-time in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament.
• With four points on one goal and three assists, senior Joe Cummings now has 31 multi-point and five multi-assist games for his career.
• The four points gives Cummings 115 for his career, which moves him into 30th on the all-time points list.
• With four points on four goals, senior Drew Snider now has six hat tricks, 17 multi-point and 12 multi-goal games for his career.
• With three points on three goals, junior Owen Blye now has four hat tricks, 22 multi-point and 12 multi-goal games for his career.
• With two points on a goal and an assist, junior John Haus now has 19 multi-point games for his career.
• With five points on one goal and four assists, junior Kevin Cooper now has 11 multi-point and six multi-assist games for his career.
• With three points on two goals and an assist, junior Billy Gribbin has nine multi-point and seven multi-goal games for his Maryland career.

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Loyola, Notre Dame square off Saturday in Final Four

Posted on 25 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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

Game Data

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

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

On The Tube, Web And Radio

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

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

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

Series History

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

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

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

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

NCAA Championships History

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

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

Sawyer Sets Goals Record

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

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

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

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

Lusby Right Behind After 5-Goal Game

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

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

Three-For-Three

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

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

Faceoff Turnaround

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

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

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

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

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

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

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

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

Two Over 40/50

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

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

A Lot Of Everything

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

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

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

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

Ratliff’s Scoring

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

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

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

Ward Dishes Out Assists

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

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

NCAA Semifinals Connections

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

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

Top Spot

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

School Record In Wins

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

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

Second-Half Run

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

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

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

The Hardware Department

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

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

Sawyer Named One Of Five Tewaaraton Finalists

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

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

Midfield Scoring

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

Spreading Out The Scoring Wealth

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

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

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

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

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

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

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

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

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

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

All-ECAC Honors

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

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

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

Big Runs

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

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

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

On The Flip Side

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

On The EMO

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

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

Second-Half Success

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

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

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