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Loyola lacrosse to play Air Force in 2013 Mile High Classic

Posted on 15 November 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland’s men’s lacrosse game against Air Force will be part of the Whitman’s® Sampler® Mile High Classic, an Inside Lacrosse event, on Saturday, March 16, 2013.

The game will be played at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, home of the National Football League’s Denver Broncos. Loyola’s game is part of a doubleheader that will include a second game between Notre Dame and Denver.

Loyola and Air Force were slated to play their ECAC Lacrosse League game on the Falcons’ home field in Colorado Springs, but the game was moved to Denver to be a part of the event. Faceoff is slated for 4 p.m. (Mountain) with the Notre Dame-Denver game following.

This is the second Inside Lacrosse event the Greyhounds have been part of. Loyola played Notre Dame in the 2010 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

The Loyola-Air Force game is slated to appear on one of the ESPN family of networks with complete details forthcoming.

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Loyola to depart MAAC for Patriot League

Posted on 29 August 2012 by WNST Staff

Loyola University Maryland has accepted an invitation to join the Patriot League at the beginning of the 2013-14 academic and athletic year.

“It is an honor to join the Patriot League’s distinguished member institutions, all of which consistently demonstrate a profound commitment to excellence both in the classroom and on the field.That commitment is one we share at Loyola, and we see this move as a vital opportunity to continue to elevate our already outstanding athletics programs in keeping with our goal of becoming the nation’s leading Catholic, comprehensive university,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., Loyola’s president.

The Patriot League’s full members are AmericanUniversity, Bucknell University, Colgate University, the College of the Holy Cross, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Military Academy, and fellow new addition for 2013 BostonUniversity.

“Loyola University Maryland is an outstanding addition to our membership as a private institution with an excellent academic reputation and rich athletic history,” said Daniel H. Weiss, Ph.D., chair of the Patriot League’s Council of Presidents and president of Lafayette College. “The decision to add Loyola reflects the presidents’ commitment to the stability and long-term positioning of the league.”

Since 1998, the Patriot League has ranked first among all Division I conferences in student-athlete graduation rates in the NCAA Graduation Rates report. In the most recent report, Loyola had 11 teams with perfect graduation rates. A total of 15 Patriot League sports are guaranteed advancement into NCAA postseason competition each year, and all Loyola teams currently eligible for automatic bids will have the same opportunity after the move in 2013.

“Loyola athletics’ primary mission is to support the development of student-athletes who thrive academically, athletically, spiritually, and socially,” said James Paquette, assistant vice president and director of athletics at Loyola. “The Patriot League embraces and supports those values, and we are thrilled to become partners with the league. Its members’ histories of academic and athletic excellence are impressive, and consistent not only with Loyola’s past achievements, but our future ambitions as well.”

“We are delighted to expand the Patriot League membership to 10 full members with the addition of Loyola,” Patriot League Executive Director Carolyn Schlie Femovich said. “Loyola further strengthens the league in the southern portion of our footprint. With the addition of both Boston University and Loyola University Maryland for the 2013-14 academic year, we believe that the Patriot League has enriched its future both on the field of play and in the classroom.”

Currently, 16 of Loyola’s teams compete in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, while men’s lacrosse plays in the Eastern College Athletic Conference and women’s lacrosse plays in the Big East. All of Loyola’s NCAA Division I athletics teams will make the conference move with the exception of men’s rowing. The Patriot League does not conduct a championship in the sport, but Loyola will continue to row a regionally competitive schedule.

About Loyola University Maryland:

Established in 1852, Loyola University Maryland is a Jesuit comprehensive university comprising Loyola College, its school of arts and sciences; the Sellinger School of Business and Management; and the School of Education. Loyola enrolls 3,800 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students from across the country and around the world.

About the Patriot League:
The Patriot League continually demonstrates that student-athletes can excel at both academics and athletics without sacrificing its high standards. The Patriot League’s athletic success is achieved while its member institutionsremain committed to its founding principle of admitting and graduating student-athletes that are academically representative of their class. Participation in athletics at Patriot League institutions is viewed as an important component of a well-rounded education.

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Loyola lacrosse players honored for academics

Posted on 22 June 2012 by WNST Staff

CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Four members of the Loyola University Maryland NCAA Champion men’s lacrosse team earned Academic All-ECAC Lacrosse League honors on Friday, the conference office announced.

Graduate Student Eric Lusby (3.278, Masters of Computer Science, senior Dylan Grimm (3.281, Business Administration and International Business) and sophomores Kyle Duffy (3.538, Business Administration and Finance) and Joe Fletcher (3.777, Accounting) were honored by the league.

Lusby was named the NCAA Championships Most Outstanding Player after setting a tournament record with 17 goals in four games. He tallied four in the title game against Maryland, five each in the semifinalversus Notre Dame and quarterfinal against Denver and three versus Canisius in the first round. He finished the year with a school single-season record 54goals and earned USILA All-America Honorable Mention and All-ECAC Second Team honors. He has joined the Major League Lacrosse Charlotte Hounds to start his professional career.

Grimm anchored the Loyola defense that set a pair of NCAA Championship Weekend records, allowing just three goals in the ChampionshipGame to Maryland and a combined eight after yielding just five versus Notre Dame in the Semifinal. A starter in every game over the last two seasons, Grimm was a co-captain this season along with Lusby and two others. He finished his senior campaign with 42 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers, a total good for third on the team. During the Greyhounds’ run to the ECAC Championship, Grimm was named to the All-Tournament team after the team’s wins over Denver and Fairfield.

Duffy was a member of the Greyhounds’ rope unit that was a critical part of the defensive success throughout the year. A short-stick midfielder, Duffy played in all 19 games and finished the year with seven ground balls and four caused turnovers. He also scored his first collegiatepoints, tallying a goal and three assists during the season.

Fletcher was another key member of the Loyola defense,earning All-ECAC Second Team and USILA All-America Honorable Mention. In his first year as a starter, Fletcher emerged as one of the nation’s top shut-down defenders. He compiled 41 ground balls and was second on the Greyhounds with 26 caused turnovers. On NCAA Championship Weekend, Fletcher had nine ground balls and four caused turnovers and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team. Additionally, he earned ECAC All-Tournament honors earlier in May.

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Stevenson D Holechek honored by ECAC

Posted on 21 June 2012 by WNST Staff

CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Stevenson men’s lacrosse junior Kyle Holechek (Reisterstown, Md./Loyola Blakefield) was named to the 2012 ECAC Division III Men’s Lacrosse Mid-Atlantic All-Star Team on Wednesday. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be a first team all-conference selection.

A USILA Second Team All-America selection, Holechek was also named to the All-CAC First Team and led the team with 54 caused turnovers. He also led the team with 79 ground balls while adding a goal and two assists from his defensive position.

Holechek anchored a defense that allowed just 6.13 goals per game, ranking the Mustangs 10th in Division III in scoring defense.

Joining Holechek on the first team defense was Salisbury’s Andrew Sellers, Cabrini’s John McSorely and Utica’s Mick Krajacic.

The Capital Athletic Conference had eight players represented, including seven from Salisbury and one from Stevenson. The State
University of New York Athletic Conference also had eight while the Liberty League and Colonial States Athletic Conference each had three and the Empire 8 Conference had two.

Salisbury’s Sam Bradman was the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year while Union’s Sean Aaron repeated as a Defensive Player of the Year. RIT’s Brendan MacDonald received Rookie of the Year honors.

The ECAC all-star team is voted on by ECAC members.

Holechek was also one of only 12 players in Division III to be named to Lacrosse Magazine’s Jac Coyne’s All-America Team on Wednesday.

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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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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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Loyola’s Sawyer, Ratliff receive All-America honors

Posted on 24 May 2012 by WNST Staff

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland juniors Mike Sawyer and Scott Ratliff earned All-America Second and Third Team honors, respectively, from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, becoming the first pair of Greyhounds to earn honors other than Honorable Mention in the same season since 2000.

In addition to the honors Sawyer and Ratliff received, five other Loyola players – graduate student Eric Lusby, juniors Reid Acton, Davis Butts and Josh Hawkins and sophomore Joe Fletcher – were named Honorable Mention All-Americans.

The last time two or more Loyola players were named to teams was 2000 when Mike Battista was named to the second, Tim Goettelmann to thesecond and Gavin Prout to the third.

Seven players are the most Greyhounds to be honored in a year since seven received recognition in 1999.

Sawyer, who is also a Tewaaraton Award finalist, set aschool record last Saturday in a NCAA Quarterfinals victory over Denver with his 51st goal of the year. His goal tally surpassed Goettelmann’s 2000 total of 50.

The junior attacker from Waxhaw, N.C., has totaled 58 points and 38 ground balls, as well, this year. He is third in the NCAA in goals per game (3.0) and second in total goals.

Ratliff earned Third Team honors as a long-stick midfielder while leading the Greyhounds in ground balls (79) and caused turnovers (34)this season. A Tewaaraton Award semifinalist, he also set the school long-pole single-season scoring record, recording 12 goals and seven assists thus far.

He is the first player from the state of Georgia, hailing from Marietta, to earn All-America honors, and he follows his father, Randy, as an All-American. Randy earned honors at the University of Maryland in 1977 and 1979.

Lusby, an attacker from Severna Park, Md., earned Honorable Mention this season after returning for his fourth year of eligibility. He played in just two games last year and received a medical redshirt following a knee injury in the 2010 NCAA First Round. Lusby has led the Greyhounds in points (61) this season, scoring 45 goals to go with 16 assists. He tied his career-high with five goals in the NCAA Quarterfinals against Denver and set a career-best with seven points.

Acton, a defender from Toronto, Ontario, was one of the top inside defenders in the nation and frequently drew the matchup against opponents’ top attacker. He has 41 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers this season and also scored a 75-yard goal in the ECAC Championship Game against Fairfield. Earlier in the year, he had primary marking responsibility against Denver All-American Mark Matthews, as Acton’s fellow Canadian’s 39 games with a goal streak was snapped.

Butts, a midfielder form Walpole, Mass., used his speed and dodging ability from the midfield to create opportunities for himself and teammates. He has scored 19 goals and has 13 assists this year, and his play on the wings of faceoffs on occasion has helped him scoop up 38 ground balls.

Fletcher, a defender from Syracuse, N.Y., earned a reputation during the season as one of the nation’s top defenders in his first year as a starter. He has totaled 32 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers, and he made one of the biggest plays of the year for Loyola, knocking down a Denver shot with less than 20 seconds to play in the NCAA Quarterfinals, securing the Greyhounds’ win.

Hawkins, a defensive midfielder from Amherst, Mass., continued to be one of the finest short-sticks in the nation, rolling up 60ground balls, good for second on the team despite missing the first four games of the year with a n injury. He also scored five goals and had two assists,helping key Loyola’s potent transition game.

Loyola will continue its season on Saturday, May 26, when it makes its third appearance in the NCAA Semifinals. The Greyhounds will take on Notre Dame at 2:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., in a gamethat will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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Dangerfield, West honored amongst top Towson athletes of academic year

Posted on 19 May 2012 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. – Junior Jordan Dangerfield of the Colonial Athletic Association champion football team and senior Kacy Catanzaro of the gymnastics team were named as Towson University’s Male and Female Athlete of the Year award winners, it was announced at the Golden Paws Event in the Towson Center on Saturday night.

In addition, Rob Ambrose, who led the Tiger football team to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA FCS playoffs, was honored as the Coach of the Year. Ambrose was one of four Towson head coaches to be named as conferences coach of the year (Bruce Atkinson, Vicki Chliszczyk, Sonia LaMonica) this past season and he was recognized as the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year presented to the top coach in NCAA FCS football.

Dangerfield, a first team All-American, was one of the captains of the “Turnaround Tigers”. He led Towson with 93 tackles from the strong safety position and ranked second in the CAA among defensive backs in total tackles. Dangerfield also had two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries en route to being named first team All-CAA. He helped the Tigers finish the season as the ninth-ranked team in the nation.

Catanzaro was named as the 2012 ECAC Gymnast of the Year after leading the Tigers to a 20-5 record as a senior and a four-year mark of 75-16. She was honored as the NCAA Southeast Regional Gymnast of the year and she was a five-time selection as ECAC Gymnast of the Week. Catanzaro qualified for the NCAA regionals and set an ECAC record with a 9.975 vault score at the ECAC Championship Meet to win the title. She was chosen first team All-ECAC on vault, bars, floor and all-around while leading the Tigers to a second-place finish.

Seniors Jocelyn Papciak of women’s soccer and Matt Lamon of men’s lacrosse were honored as the winners of the Tiger Club Scholar-Athletes of the Year Award.

The Female Unsung Hero Award was presented to Kelly Custer of the CAA Champion women’s lacrosse team while the Male Unsung Hero Award went to baseball’s Tyler Austin.

A first team All-CAA selection, Custer helped the Tigers post a 15-3 mark and take home the CAA Title. She tied for the team lead with 31 goals and dished out eight assists. Custer tallied four goals with three assists in the CAA Tournament en route to being named to the All-Tournament team.

A four-year letter-winner for the Tigers, Austin has appeared in a school record 81 games. He leads the CAA with his 12.38 strikeouts per nine innings. Tyler has already broken the Towson career record for strikeouts with 205 in his four years.

Senior women’s lacrosse goalie Mary Teeters was honored as the winner of the Female Senior Career Achievement Award. A four-year starter at goalkeeper for the Tigers, Teeters played in a school record 75 games. She led the Tigers to the 2012 CAA Championship and was named as the CAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer. A two-time All-CAA first team selection, Teeters ranks among Towson’s all-time leaders with 620 career saves. She was a nominee for the Tewaaraton Trophy as the top lacrosse player in the country.

Senior Tyler Wharton of the football team was chosen as the winner of the Male Career Achievement Award. A three-year starter at fullback, Wharton was one of the key players for the 2012 CAA Champion Tiger football team. He was a key blocker for the Tigers’ run game which led the CAA with 230 rushing yards per game. Wharton was second on the team with five touchdowns in 2012 and he was a two-time All-CAA selection.

Freshman running back Terrance West and freshman shortstop Hailey Balk were named as the Male and Female Rookie of the Year Award winners.

The winner of the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in NCAA FCS, West led the nation a set a school record with 29 touchdowns. West was named the CAA Rookie of the Year and First Team All-CAA. He rushed for 1,292 yards and was a key player in the Tigers’ dramatic improvement from 1-10 to 9-3 and a CAA Championship.

A starter in 46 of 52 games at shortstop, Balk led the Tigers in hitting a .358 clip which ranked her fifth in the CAA. As a freshman, she was third in the CAA with 54 hits, including an 18-game hitting streak. Balk had 16 multi-hit games, drove in 23 runs and scored 22.

The Tiger women’s swimming and diving team and the men’s soccer team were selected as the winners of the Wayne Edwards Team Academic Achievement Awards as the programs with the highest grade point averages.

Face-off specialist Ian Mills of the men’s lacrosse team and Catanzaro of the gymnastics team were selected as the Strength and Conditioning Athletes of the Year.

In addition, Director of Athletics Mike Waddell and University President Dr. Maravene Loeschke presented Lonnie McNew with the prestigious Minnegan Award for dedication to Tiger athletics.

In addition, Ted Zaleski was honored with the Director’s Award while Jacki Molen was the winner of the Service to Tiger Athletics Award.

The final award of the evening was a tie for Team of the Year as the football team and women’s lacrosse team, who each won CAA Titles this past season, shared the honor.

Spiro Morekas, a 1983 Towson graduate who has served as the radio broadcaster for Tiger football, basketball and lacrosse games, served as the Master of Ceremonies.

-TowsonTigers.com-

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Loyola beats Denver again to get back to Final Four

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Loyola beats Denver again to get back to Final Four

Posted on 19 May 2012 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Eric Lusby scored five goals and had a career-high seven points, and J.P. Dalton won 17-of-22 faceoffs, as the top-seeded Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team defeated the University of Denver, 10-9, on Saturday afternoon to advance to next weekend’s NCAA Semifinals for the first time since 1998.

Lusby’s five goals tied his career-best, and he added two assists. Dalton dominated at the faceoff ‘X’, winning 77.2-percent of restarts against a team that had won 67.8-percent against the Greyhounds in two previous meetings this season.

The Greyhounds (16-1) will play the winner of No. 4 seed Notre Dame and No. 5 seed Virginia on Saturday, May 26, in the NCAA Semifinals at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

“What a day for the Greyhounds,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “I’m just so pround of these guys. It’s hard for me not to get emotional because this team has worked so hard for so long together through good times and bad this spring.”

Loyola will make its third trip to the NCAA Semifinals, joining the teams from 1990 and 1998 that also played on Championship Weekend. Toomey was the starting goalkeeper and team co-captain of the 1990 team that lost in the NCAA title game to Syracuse.

Lusby scored the second of two Loyola goals, the first was an unassisted tally from Mike Sawyer who wrapped around the crease on the right side and beat Denver goalkeeper Ryan LaPlante with a low-to-low shot at 10:30. Lusby then scored on an extra-man opportunity at 9:01, taking a Sean O’Sullivan and converting on a shot from the high right side.

Denver (9-7), however, would battle back and tie the game by the end of the first quarter. Mark Matthews found himself in space and scored from eight yards out with 2:20 left in the first, and he added a second goal at the end of a Jeremy Noble transition run with just six ticks left on the clock to tie the game at 2-2 heading to the second.

Noble put Denver briefly in front, 3-2, with a goal at 8:46, putting Loyola at a disadvantage on the scoreboard for the first time in over 201 minutes of game action, dating back to the regular-season finale against Johns Hopkins on April 28.

Loyola was not down for long, however, as Scott Ratliff passed it to Eric Lusby on the right side, and Lusby drew a double team. Lusby then got the ball right back to Ratliff who scored after using a shot fake,tying the game at 3-3 with 7:21 to play before halftime.

Kevin Ryan then scored just his second career goal – the first also came against Denver in the ECAC Semifinal – on a man-up possession. Ryan took a Brian Schultz feed near the crease and dumped an over the shoulder shot into the goal to put the Greyhounds in front at 6:27.

The Pioneers rallied with a Cameron Flint goal at 5:05, and then Lusby struck twice in a row to close the second quarter.

Both times, he scored off Justin Ward assists, the first coming from eight yards out on the right side, and the second with 1:09 left in the period after Ward fed him on the crease.

During the second quarter, as Loyola outscored Denver, 4-2, Dalton won all seven faceoffs.

“I would give a lot of credit to (Volunteer Assistant) Coach (Steve) Vaikness,” Toomey said of the faceoff success. “He spends countless hours with (J.P.) watching film. We know what we’ve got coming in off the wings. (Ratliff, Josh Hawkins, Kevin Moriarty and Davis Butts) are very athletic and are ground ball hawks. J.P. answered the bell today for us; J.P. was a beast.”

Chris Layne put Loyola up three, 7-4, 1:53 into the second half when he beat his man from behind and scored after getting topside. Denver, however, scored two in a row, as Wes Berg fed a pass from behind to Flint who scored on a Pioneers extra-man, and Berg then buried an off-balance shot from five yards out to pull Denver within a goal, 7-6, with 10:21 left in the third.

Lusby again tallied back-to-back goals to re-extend the Greyhounds’ advantage to three, 9-6. The first came when he cut to the middle and caught a Butts pass and scored from seven yards out. He then used a Schultz feed from behind to score an extra-man goal at 2:06.

“We see (Lusby’s shooting) every day,” Toomey said. “We know what we have on the corners, whether it’s Mike Sawyer or Eric Lusby. I think Eric would be the first one to tell you he was the recipient of Mike getting shut off. (Eric) shoots the ball with such velocity, but the one thing that we see is that he is so unselfish with the ball. When people are getting to his hands, he’s creating other opportunities.”

Schultz had his first career multi-point game with twoassists, a career-high.

The Greyhounds extended their lead to a game-high four goals 4:31 into the final quarter when Lusby flipped the ball to Butts 15 yards from the crease, took two defenders with him and allowed Butts to run free down the right alley. Butts then converted a jump-shot to make it 10-6 Loyola at 10:29.

With his two assists, Lusby was involved in seven of Loyola’s 10 goals on Saturday.

Denver scored the next three goals, one by Matthews, asecond from Noble and the third an unassisted Berg goal with 2:43 left in regulation.

Hawkins, who tied for game-high honors with six groundballs, came away from the faceoff after Berg’s goal with the ball, but Denver took back possession after a Loyola turnover at 1:47.

Berg appeared to have an open lane on the right side, but Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel stuffed the shot with one of his 11 saves on the day.

The Greyhounds cleared the ball, but a Butts shot was blocked, and Denver got the loose ball to set up one final transition opportunity.

Flint came free near the top of the box, and he took a shot from 10 yards out, but Loyola defender Joe Fletcher knocked it out of the air, and Ratliff picked up the ground ball and ran out the clock.

Loyola outshot the Pioneers, 48-31, and the Greyhounds had a 32-25 advantage in ground balls. Hawkins had six, while Ratliff and Runkel had five and four, respectively. Dalton picked up three, as well.

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Loyola, Denver meet for third time Saturday with Final Four trip at stake

Posted on 18 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent NCAA Quarterfinals | Denver Pioneers
Date Saturday, May 19, 2012
Time 2:30 p.m.
Location Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
TV | Radio ESPN2 | ESPN3
Series Record Series tied, 2-2
Last Meeting Loyola 14, Denver 13 (OT) – May 2, 2012 at Denver

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland travels to nearby Annapolis, Md., and Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday, May 19, 2012.

The top-seeded Greyhounds will face fellow ECAC Lacrosse League member University of Denver for the third time this season at 2:30 p.m.

On The Tube And Web

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.

Series History

Loyola and Denver will meet for the fifth time in series history and third time this season when the teams take the field Saturday. The Greyhounds and Pioneers have met during the regular-season in each of the last three seasons and then earlier this month in an ECAC Semifinal. The series is tied 2-2 through the first four meetings.

Denver won the first two meetings, 12-4 at Invesco Field in 2010 and 12-8 last year at Ridley Athletic Complex.

This season, Loyola used a 5-1 run to close the game, overcoming an 8-7 third-quarter deficit on April 14 in Denver to beat the Pioneers, 12-9.

The teams met again with Loyola as the No. 1 seed, and Denver the fourth, in the ECAC Semifinals on May 2, again in Denver. Loyola opened up a 13-6 lead with 13:14 left in regulation before the Pioneers scored seven-straight to tie the game at 13-13 with 3:30 remaining on the clock. Scott Ratliff picked up the ground ball to start overtime, and he scored eight seconds later, lifting Loyola to the ECAC title game.

NCAA Championships History

Loyola is making its 20th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 18th at the Division I level. The Greyhounds are 9-19 all-time in Championships play, 9-17 at the Division I level.

The Greyhounds are making their 13th NCAA Quarterfinals appearance and the first since 2001. They are 2-10 in Quarterfinal games with their last victory in the round coming in 1998 against Georgetown in a 12-11 decision.

NCAA Rematches

Saturday will be the first time in Loyola men’s lacrosse history (since 1938) that the Greyhounds will have played the same team three times in the same season.

A rematch with a regular-season opponent in the NCAA Championships is not unusual for Loyola. It will be the 12th time that the Greyhounds have faced a team in the NCAAs that they played earlier in the year. Including a game in the 1979 Division II-III Tournament, Loyola is 2-9 in those games. The last time it happened, Duke defeated the Greyhounds, 12-7, in the 2008 First Round.

This Season Against Denver

Loyola has featured balanced scoring in its two games against Denver with 13 players tallying goals in the two games and eight scoring two or more. Mike Sawyer and Eric Lusby lead the way with four goals each, while Scott Ratliff has three. Davis Butts, Pat Byrnes, Sean O’Sullivan, Phil Dobson and Nikko Pontrello each have scored two against the Pioneers this year. Justin Ward is tops on Loyola with four assists in the two games.

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 Canisius in the NCAA Championships First Round was its 15th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.

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

In The Polls

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

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

Denver entered the NCAAs 13th in both versions.

Second-Half Run

Loyola used 13 unanswered goals to break open a 4-3 halftime lead against Canisius last Saturday 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.

Sawyer Ties Single-Season Record

Mike Sawyer scored five times in the game against Canisius – his fourth game in 2012 with five or more goals – raising his season total to 50 goals to match the 2000 school record set by Tim Goettelmann. 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 53, 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).

Two Over 40/50

Mike Sawyer (50g, 58p) and Eric Lusby (40g, 54p) 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 (74) and caused turnovers (34), is tied for sixth in goals (11) and is seventh in assists (7).

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, raising his season totals to 11 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 and Dwan are now tied for the lead with 11 goals each.

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.

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 (18g, 30p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 26) and Chris Layne (10, 20) has combined for 44 goals and 32 assists this season, whiel 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.

Balanced Scoring In ECAC Championships

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

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

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

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

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The duo has combined for 90 goals in 16 games this season, an average of 5.625 per game.

Sawyer has scored 50 goals, and his 3.13 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 40 goals and a 2.5 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 14th in the country. Loyola is one of two schools to have two players in the top 14 of goals per game nationally (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.

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 (March 14-May 17) and 1999 (March 6-May 8).

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

Ratliff Named ECAC Defender Of The Year

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

Ratliff leads the ECAC with 34 caused turnovers (2.13 per game) and is sixth nationally in that category, and he is tops on the Greyhounds with 74 ground balls (4.5 per contest).

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

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey has guided the Greyhounds to a 15-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play.

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

Earlier this season, Toomey won the 50th game of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 50 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .618 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 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 (50) and goals per game (3.13). Butts has scored 18 goals and assisted on 12 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also regularly playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 36 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and is 14th nationally with 40 goals (2.5 per game), and he also has 14 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 30 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers entering the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 6 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 32 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 10 times this year, with the most recent coming when Canisius scored three in the second quarter. Only Denver (seven), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

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

On The EMO

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

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

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 60-20 in the third quarters of games and 113-56 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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