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Loyola Cruises to Win at UMBC

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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UMBC Hopes To Pull Another Stunner Saturday Against Loyola

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

The UMBC men’s lacrosse team (2-3) welcomes Loyola back to UMBC Stadium for the first time since 2004 on Saturday, March 24.  The Retrievers had a rare week off after the March 10 setback to No. 2 Johns Hopkins, while the fifth-ranked Greyhounds defeated No. 11 Duke on the same day and have improved to 7-0 with subsequent wins over Air Force and Georgetown.

The opening face-off is scheduled to take place at 7:00 p.m. Game coverage includes streaming on www.umbcretrievers.tv.

SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS

The Retrievers had the week off after facing a pair of top five teams (No. 4 Maryland, No. 2 Johns Hopkins) in a five-day span. UMBC will face its
third consecutive top-ten team and fourth straight top-20 team when they entertain No. 5 Loyola.

Junior attackman Scott Jones has now scored goals in 10 consecutive games. He has 25 goals in that span which began vs. Binghamton on April 9, 2011. As of March 12, Jones was 30th in the nation with 2.4 goals per game

Junior goalkeeper Adam Cohen is 10th in the country with 11.2 saves per contest (as of March 12).

Junior attackman Joe Lustgarten recorded a career-high three assists against Johns Hopkins on March 10.

UMBC has outscored the opposition, 16-9, in fourth quarter scoring this season.

The Retrievers’ strength of schedule is currently fourth in the nation. For the second consecutive week, UMBC is receiving votes in both the USILA poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse poll.

SCOUTING THE GREYHOUNDS

Loyola held the Air Force Academy scoreless for over 31 minutes, and the Greyhounds used a 10-0 run to down the Falcons, 15-8, last Saturday
afternoon in ECAC Lacrosse League action at Ridley Athletic Complex. They defeated Georgetown, 11-6, at home on Wednesday evening.

The Greyhounds are currently ranked No. 5 in both the USILA and Nike/Inside Lacrosse polls.

J.P. Dalton was critical for the Greyhounds in the comeback over AFA, winning 18-of-26 face-offs, 10-of-13 in the second half. He also had five
ground balls. Loyola trailed, 7-4, at the half.  Dalton is winning 62.8 percent in the circle in 2012.

JR A Mike Sawyer leads the explosive Greyhound offense with 24 goals and 29 total points. Grad student A Eric Lusby, who scored five goals vs.
Georgetown, is second on the team with 21 goals, and he is tied for the team lead with 29 points.

Loyola’s most notable victory was the 13-8 triumph over No. 11 Duke at Ridley Athletic Complex on March 10.  Sawyer scored six times in the game and Lusby added three goals and two assists.

THE SERIES

This will be the 30th meeting between UMBC and Loyola, although it will be the first meeting since a 2005 contest at Loyola. The teams met every year from 1970-1996, then met in back-to-back years in both 2004 and 2005. UMBC leads the all-time series, 16-13 and won both the 2004 (13-7) and 2005 (9-8, 2ot) contests. The 2004 Retriever victory snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Hounds.

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Loyola Puts Undefeated Record On Line Saturday At UMBC

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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

Game Data

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

Series History

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

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

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

In The Polls

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

UMBC, meanwhile, is receiving votes in both polls.

Ten Or More

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

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

The Only Ones

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

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

Second-Half Success

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

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 30-10 in the third quarters of games and 52-5 overall this year in the second half.

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

Getting Defensive, Too

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

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

Lusby Matches Career-High

Eric Lusby scored three times during Loyola’s second half run and finished the Georgetown game with five goals, matching his career-high set on March 3 at Bellarmine.

Lusby has scored at least one goal in each of Loyola’s seven games this season and has four hat tricks. The graduate student returned to game action in the season-opener after missing all but two games of the 2011 season. Now a graduate student, Lusby tore his right ACL in the 2010 NCAA First Round game against Cornell. He attempted to come back last year, but he saw limited action against Navy and Towson and was shut down to rehab the injury for the remainder of the season.

Lusby burst back onto the scene against Delaware, scoring the Greyhounds’ first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity, and the 2010 All-ECAC First Team member tallied three more in the second half.

Lusby reset his career-high at Bellarmine, tallying five goals in the victory to go with one assist, and added two more at Michigan.

Through Loyola’s first seven games, Lusby is second on the team with 21 goals, and he is tied for the team lead with 29 points.

Shot Advantage

Loyola has outshot its opponents in every game this season by a minimum of nine. The game against Duke (37-28) is the only time this season a Greyhounds’ opponent has been within 10 shots of Loyola.

In all, the Greyhounds have taken 312 shots while holding opponents to 171.

Ratliff Honored For Second Time

Loyola long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week on Monday after turning in impressive numbers in last Saturday’s win over Air Force. Ratliff scored twice and had an assist while picking up seven ground balls against the Falcons.

Earlier this season, Ratliff earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week laurels after the Greyhounds’ opener against Delaware.

Ratliff is currently sixth among active long poles in career scoring. He has seven goals and five assists for 12 points. This year, he has three goals and two assists, as well as a team-leading 32 ground balls.

Butts Dishes Four

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

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

Second Midfield Scoring

All three members of Loyola’s second midfield unit scored at least one goal against Air Force, and the unit combined for three goals and two assists. Pat Byrnes led the way with a goal and a career-best two assists. J.P. Dalton and Phil Dobson each added goals of their own.

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

On The Ground

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

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

Sharing The Rock

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

Man-Up Success

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

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

Toomey Wins 50th

Head coach Charley Toomey earned his 50th-career win Wednesday, March 7, as Loyola beat Michigan, 15-8.

Toomey, who is in his seventh season, has led Loyola to eight-plus wins in each of the last three seasons and has had the Greyhounds finish .500 or better in all seven seasons since coming to the Evergreen campus.

Big Runs

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

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

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

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

Loyola then used a 6-0 run to break a 5-5 tie early in the third quarter with Georgetown on the way to a 11-6 victory.

Sawyer Shows Same Form

Mike Sawyer has picked up where he left off a year ago, leading the team with 24 goals and 29 points through the first seven games. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 36 points.

Sawyer tied a then-career-high with five goals in the team’s, 15-8, win at Michigan, before scoring a new personal-best six goals against Duke.

After scoring three goals against Air Force, he now has 15 career multi-goal games and the 18 multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.

Before the season, Sawyer was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Team and was named to the Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.

Dominant At The ‘X’

In his first year as the Greyhounds’ primary face-off man, senior J.P. Dalton has continued Loyola’s tradition of excellence at the ‘X’.

Through six games, Dalton ranks ninth nationally in face-off percentage, winning restarts at a .609 clip (98-of-161). As a unit, the Greyhounds entered the week fifth-best in the nation at .608.

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

Ward Dishes Five

Justin Ward played the role of feeder in Loyola’s 13-6 win over Towson, finishing the game with five assists. Just one week previously, the sophomore recorded his first collegiate assist against Delaware.

Ward became the first Loyola player to record five or more assists since Shane Koppens had six in a March 10, 2009, win over Bryant.

Scoring In Two Straight

Loyola posted 13 goals in back-to-back games to open the season, marking the first time since April 2007 that the Greyhounds scored 13 or more in two games in a row.

The last time it happened, Loyola defeated Fairfield, 19-2, on April 21, 2007, and Hobart, 17-10, on April 28.

Through just two games, the Greyhounds rank eighth in NCAA Division I in goals per game (13.0).

Sawyer, Runkel Earns ECAC Honors

Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel were honored as ECAC Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week on March 12 following wins at Michigan and against Duke.

Sawyer scored 11 goals and had 14 points, setting career highs in both categories. He scored five goals and had six points in Michigan’s first-ever home game, before breaking those personal records with six goals and eight points in a win over Duke. He also picked up a career-high six ground balls, finishing the week with nine ground balls.

Runkel made the first two starts of his collegiate career, posting an 8.00 goals-against average and .515 save percentage to help the Greyhounds in two wins. Playing less than three minutes between the pipes as a freshman last season, he started the Michigan game and held the Wolverines to eight goals, while making five saves. He then made a career-high 12 saves against a Duke team that has played in the last five Final Fours.

Bonitatibus, Runkel Both Win First Starts

Junior Michael Bonitatibus made his first collegiate start in goal for the Greyhounds against Delaware after having played less than two minutes prior to this season.

Bonitatibus, who played 65 seconds in his collegiate debut last year at Duke, made seven saves for the Greyhounds and allowed just eight goals. He also picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Bonitatibus became the first Loyola goalkeeper to win his starting debut in nearly 11 years. The last was Mark Bloomquist who also defeated Delaware, 8-7, on February 24, 2001.

Jack Runkel made his first career start against Michigan and also won his initial outing as a starter. He tallied five saves against the Wolverines, and he then posted a career-high 12 against Duke.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds have opened their third year at the stadium with five wins at home. Loyola is now 13-3 all-time at Ridley.

What’s Next

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

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Loyola Tops Air Force To Stay Unbeaten

Posted on 17 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Loyola, Georgetown Square Off In ECAC Battle Saturday

Posted on 17 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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

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

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

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

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

Toomey Wins 50th
• Head coach Charley Toomey recorded his 50th-career win on Wednesday, March 7, as the Greyhounds defeated Michigan, 15-8.
• Toomey, who is in his seventh season, has led Loyola to eight-plus wins in each of the last three seasons and has had the Greyhounds finish .500 or better in all seven seasons since coming to Baltimore.

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

Sawyer, Runkel Earns ECAC Honor
• Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel were honored as ECAC Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week following a win at Michigan and vs. Duke win.
• Sawyer scored 11 goals and had 14 points, setting career highs in both categories. He scored five goals and had six points in Michigan’s first-ever home game, before breaking those personal records with six goals and eight points in a win over Duke. He also picked up a career-high six ground balls, finishing the week with nine ground balls.
• Runkel made the first two starts of his collegiate career, posting an 8.00 goals-against average and .515 save percentage to help the Greyhounds in two wins. Playing less than three minutes between the pipes as a freshman last season, he started the Michigan game and held the Wolverines to eight goals, while making five saves. He then made a career-high 12 saves against a Duke team that has played in the last five Final Fours.

Big Runs
• Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first five games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time.
• Loyola scored five-straight in the second quarter against Delaware to take a 5-3 lead and never trailed again in the game.
• The Greyhounds turned a 6-2 advantage against Towson into an 11-2 lead with a run of five-straight that stretched from the second quarter to the third quarter.
• Loyola rattled off four-straight against Bellarmine in the fourth quarter, turning a 7-6 advantage into an 11-6 lead with less than six minutes to go.
• The Greyhounds scored eight-straight against Michigan between the first and second quarters to claim an 8-1 lead.
• Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

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

Sawyer Shows Same Form
• Mike Sawyer picked up where he left off a year ago, leading the team with 18 goals and 23 points through the first five games. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 36 assists.
• Sawyer tied a then-career-high with five goals in the team’s, 15-8, win at Michigan, before scoring a new personal-best six goals against Duke. It was his 13th and 14th career multi-goal game and the 16th and 17th multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.
• He is currently ranked third nationally with 3.6 goals per game and fourth with 4.80 points per game.
• Before the season, Sawyer was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Team and was named to the Face-Off
Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.

Hasn’t Lost A Step
• Eric Lusby returned to game action in the season-opener after missing all but two games of the 2011 season. Now a graduate student, Lusby tore his right ACL in the 2010 NCAA First Round game against Cornell. He attempted to come back last year, but he saw limited action against Navy and Towson and was shut down to rehab the injury for the remainder of the season.
• Lusby burst back onto the scene against Delaware, scoring the Greyhounds’ first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity, and the 2010 All-ECAC First Team member tallied three more in the second half.
• Lusby reset his career-high at Bellarmine, tallying five goals in the victory to go with one assist, and added two more at Michigan.
• Through Loyola’s first five games, Lusby is second on the team with 15 goals and ranks 12th nationally with 4.20 points per game.

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

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

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

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

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

Ward Dishes Five
• Justin Ward played the role of feeder in Loyola’s 13-6 win over Towson, finishing the game with five assists. Just one week before that, the sophomore recorded his first collegiate assist against Delaware. Ward became the first Loyola player to record five or more assists since Shane Koppens had six in a March 10, 2009, win over Bryant.
• Ward is currently ranked tied for 21st nationally with 1.80 assists per game.

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

Bonitatibus;Runkel Win First Starts
• Junior Michael Bonitatibus and sophomore Jack Runkel each made their first collegiate starts this season in goal for the Greyhounds, and each picked-up wins.
• Bonitatibus made his first collegiate start in goal for the Greyhounds against Delaware after having played less than two minutes prior to this season. He made seven saves for the Greyhounds and allowed just eight goals. He also picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.
• Bonitatibus became the first Loyola goalkeeper to win his starting debut in nearly 11 years. The last was Mark Bloomquist who also defeated Delaware, 8-7, on February 24, 2001.
• Runkel, who appeared in one game as a freshman, played the second half at Bellarmine, making three saves and allowing just four goals to get the win. He then made his first start against Michigan, making five saves and allowing just eight goals to get the victory.

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

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

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

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

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

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Sawyer Leads Way For Loyola in Big Win Over Duke

Posted on 10 March 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Mike Sawyer scored a career-high six goals and eight points Saturday afternoon, leading the No. 9/12 Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team to a 13-8 victory over No. 11/9 Duke University at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Greyhounds built a 12-5 lead by the end of the third quarter and coasted to their first 5-0 start in 10 seasons.

Sawyer had his second game in a row with five or more goals after scored five on Wednesday night at the University of Michigan, his previous career-best. He now has four games with three or more goals in five outings this season.

Loyola built a 3-1 lead in the first quarter as Sawyer put the Greyhounds on the board 2:28 into the contest with a 7-yard shot from the left side. Duke (3-3) tied the game with 8:19 to play in the quarter when Blue Devils defender Chris Hipps scored in transition after a Loyola turnover.

Sean O’Sullivan rolled right to left and put Loyola up 2-1 with a goal at 3:51, and Phil Dobson scored his first of a career-high two with 2:26 to play in the quarter.

Chris Layne quickly made it a 4-1 Loyola lead 32 seconds into the fourth quarter when he bounced a shot over the shoulder of Duke goalkeeper Dan Wigrizer and into the top right corner of the goal.

Duke rallied, scoring a pair of goals in the span of just four seconds to get with in a goal. Robert Rotanz dodged down the right alley and dumped a pass to a waiting Jordan Wolf who scored on the doorstep at 11:17.

C.J. Costabile won the face-off to himself and scored in an unsettled situation to pull Duke within 4-3 four seconds after Wolf’s goal.

Loyola went on a 3-0 run after that, sparked by a pair of Sawyer scores. He used a stutter-step at goal-line extended on the left side after O’Sullivan threaded a pass around a Duke defender, and Saywer scored at 10:17 to make it 5-3 Loyola.

He then scored a high-to-high shot over Wigrizer’s shoulder at 4:11, pushing Loyola back up by three.

Exactly a minute later, Eric Lusby made it 7-3 Loyola off a Saywer assist on an extra-man opportunity. The Greyhounds looked to take the lead into the locker room, but Duke’s Josh Dionne turned and scored from four yards in front of the cage to make it 7-4 with 14 seconds left in the half.

The Blue Devils could not maintain the momentum, however, in the second half, as Sawyer picked up a ground ball on a failed Duke clear and scored into an empty net 3:07 into the half.

Lusby added his second of the game, also off a Sawyer assist, to make it 9-4 Loyola with 6:38 to play in the third, and Dobson tallied his second of the game on a low-to-high shot off Nikko Pontrello’s pass, pushing the advantage to 10-4.

Jake Tripucka momentarily stopped the run for Duke with a goal at 2:30, but J.P. Dalton won the face-off to himself for the Greyhounds, and he fed Lusby on the right side of the crease, and Lusby finished off his third goal of the game six seconds past Tripucka’s goal.

Loyola scored quickly after that, as Dalton won the face-off, and Sawyer scored 14 ticks later. He added his sixth of the game with 11:35 to play, giving the Greyhounds a 13-5 advantage.

The Greyhounds controlled a close 33-31 lead in groundballs, as Josh Hawkins returned to action after missing the first four games with an injury. He led Loyola ground balls, while Lusby and Reid Acton each had four. Scott Ratliff and Pat Laconi each had three ground balls, and Ratliffcaused four turnovers.

Jack Runkel made his second career start in goal for Loyola and finished with a career-high 12 saves.

The win was Loyola’s third in eight days, and the Greyhounds will have the week off from competition before taking on the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday, March 17, at 12 noon in ECAC Lacrosse League action.

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Loyola Wins First Ever Matchup With Michigan

Posted on 07 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Loyola Makes First Ever Trip to Michigan Wednesday Night

Posted on 07 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Game Information
Opponent Michigan Wolverines
Date Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Ann Arbor, Mich.| Oosterbaan Field House

Game Data

  • Loyola University Maryland travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., on Wednesday night to battle the University of Michigan Wolverines at 7 p.m.
  • It is the first home game for the Wolverines in program history.
  • The Greyhounds are looking for their first 4-0 start since 2002 when the squad won its first seven games.

Series History

  • Wednesday’s match-up marks the first-ever meeting between the Wolverines and the Greyhounds.
  • Michigan is a future ECAC Lacrosse member.

In the Polls

  • Loyola moved up to No. 9 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll, and 12th in the Nike/Inside La­crosse Media Rankings after its 11-8 victory at Bellarmine. The Greyhounds are one of four ECAC teams in the polls, joining Denver (13/11), Ohio State (20/18) and Fairfield (17/17).

Coming from Behind

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

Hasn’t Lost a Step

  • Eric Lusby returned to game action in the season-opener after missing all but two games of the 2011 season. Now a graduate student, Lusby tore his right ACL in the 2010 NCAA First Round game against Cornell. He attempted to come back last year, but he saw limited action against Navy and Towson and was shut down to rehab the injury for the remainder of the season.
  • Lusby burst back onto the scene against Delaware, scoring the Greyhounds’ first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity, and the 2010 All-ECAC First Team member tallied three more in the second half.
  • Lusby reset his career-high at Bellarmine, tallying five goals in the victory to go with one assist.
  • Through Loyola’s first three games, Lusby ranks seventh in the nation at 3.33 goals per game.

Making Adjustments

  • Loyola continued a trend from the last two years in the opener against Delaware, making adjustments at halftime to outscore their opponents in the third quarter and second half. The Greyhounds outscored the Blue Hens 5-1 in the third quarter and 8-4 after the break.
  • The Greyhounds have scored just two goals in the first quarter of games this season, but have outscored opponents 13-4 in the second quarter and 14-5 in the third quarter this year.
  • Loyola outscored its opponents 69-52 after halftime last season (including two over­time goals) despite being outscored 54-39 in the first halves of games.
  • The Greyhounds scored 34 third-quarter goals to their opponents’ 27. In 2010, they outscored opponents 41-24 in the third quarters of games and 76-55 overall after halftime.

Four by Two

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

Ward Dishes Five

  • Justin Ward played the role of feeder in Loyola’s 13-6 win over Towson, finishing the game with five assists. Just one week previously, the sophomore recorded his first collegiate assist against Delaware.
  • Ward became the first Loyola player to record five or more assists since Shane Kop­pens had six in a March 10, 2009, win over Bryant.
  •  Through the first three weeks of the season, Ward is tied for fourth nationally with a 3.0 assists per game mark.

Scoring In Three Straight

  • Loyola has posted 10 or more goals through the first three games to open the season, marking the first time since April 2008 that the Greyhounds scored 10 or more in three games in a row.
  • The last time it happened, Loyola defeated Rutgers, 15-3, on April 5, 2008, Georgetown, 11-9, on April 12, 2009 and Fairfield, 13-4, on April 19, 2008.
  • Through the first three games, the Greyhounds rank 12th in NCAA Division I in goals per game (12.33).

Extra-Man Success

  • Loyola was successful on all three of its extra-man opportunities in the game against the Blue Hens, scoring three man-up goals in the second quarter during its 5-0 run. The Greyhounds followed that by converting on 2-of-3 EMOs in the win over Towson.
  • Patrick Fanshaw, Eric Lusby and Mike Sawyer each scored EMO goals of the Grey­hounds, and Fanshaw added another at the end of a Delaware non-releasable pen­alty just as the teams returned to even strength. Sean O’Sullivan tacked on both of the man-up goals against Towson.
  • Loyola is tied for sixth nationally with a 62.5-percent EMO success rate through the first three weeks of the season.
  • The Greyhounds extra-man unit was seventh nationally with a .420 (21-of-50) con­version percentage in 2011.

Dominant At The ‘X’

  • J.P. Dalton was 15-of-23 on restarts, going 7-of-8 in the third quarter to help Loyola come from behind to beat Bellarmine.
  • Dalton raised his season percentage to 63.6-percent, which ranks 10th nationally.
  • It is the second-straight game that the Greyhounds have dominated the face-off ‘X’, as the team won 14-of-21 restarts against Towson.
  • The Greyhounds are fifth in the nation in face-off win percentage at 62.3-percent.

Sawyer Shows Same Form

  • Mike Sawyer picked up where he left off a year ago, tallying three goals and assisting on Eric Lusby’s first, in the win over the Blue Hens. He then tacked on four goals and an assist against Towson. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 36 assists.
  • The Towson game was Sawyer’s 12th career multi-goal game and the 5th multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.
  • Before the season, Sawyer was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Team and was named to the Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.

What’s Next

  • Loyola returns home to Ridley Athletic Complex for the first of three-straight home games when they host Duke University on Saturday, March 10 at 12 noon. The contest is part of a doubleheader that features the women’s team facing UMBC at 3:30 p.m.
  • Loyola battles ECAC foe Air Force on Saturday, March 17 at noon.

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Loyola Beats Bellarmine in ECAC Opener

Posted on 03 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Loyola Lacrosse Looks to Continue Hot Start Friday at Bellarmine

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Loyola Lacrosse Looks to Continue Hot Start Friday at Bellarmine

Posted on 02 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent Bellarmine University
Date Friday, March 2, 2012
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Louisville, Ky. | Owsley B. Frazier Stadium
TV Bellarmine Webstreaming
Series Record Loyola leads, 2-0
Last Meeting Loyola 9, Bellarmine 6 – March 5, 2011

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland heads on the road for the first time this season, starting a two-game trek with a Friday night game in Louisville, Ky., against Bellarmine University at 7 o’clock.

Friday’s game marks the start of Loyola’s eighth season in the ECAC Lacrosse League, as the game is the conference opener for both teams. The Greyhounds are 46-11 all-time in conference games.

Series History

Loyola will meet Bellarmine for the third time in series history on Friday with the Greyhounds winning the first two games.

The Greyhounds won the first meeting, 14-8, in Louisville during the 2010 season when current Loyola players Eric Lusby and Patrick Fanshaw each scored three goals.

Last season, the teams were tied 3-3 at halftime and 4-4 after the first minute of the third quarter before the Greyhounds scored five in a row to break the game open and go on to a 9-6 victory.

Mike Sawyer scored five goals in the game, and Matt Langan tallied four assists.

In The Polls

Loyola moved up to No. 11 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll, and 14th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings after its 13-6 victory over Towson. The Greyhounds are one of four ECAC teams in the polls, joining Denver (14/12), Ohio State (17/16) and Fairfield (20/RV).

Four By Two

Mike Sawyer and Sean O’Sullivan both scored four goals in the Greyhounds’ win over Towson last Saturday, becoming the first pair of Loyola players to record four or more goals in the same game since Patrick Fanshaw and Matt Langan scored five and four, respectively, on March 20, 2010, in a 17-3 win over Air Force.

O’Sullivan matched his career-high, set as a sophomore in 2010 at the U.S. Military Academy against Rutgers, and Sawyer was one off tying his career-best. O’Sullivan needed just four shots to score his four goals, two of which came on extra-man opportunities.

Ward Dishes Five

Justin Ward played the role of feeder in Loyola’s 13-6 win over Towson, finishing the game with five assists. Just one week previously, the sophomore recorded his first collegiate assist against Delaware.

Ward became the first Loyola player to record five or more assists since Shane Koppens had six in a March 10, 2009, win over Bryant.

Through the first two weeks of the season, Ward is tied for third nationally with a 3.0 assists per game mark.

Scoring In Two Straight

Loyola posted 13 goals in back-to-back games to open the season, marking the first time since April 2007 that the Greyhounds scored 13 or more in two games in a row.

The last time it happened, Loyola defeated Fairfield, 19-2, on April 21, 2007, and Hobart, 17-10, on April 28.

Through just two games, the Greyhounds rank eighth in NCAA Division I in goals per game (13.0).

Extra-Man Success

Loyola was successful on all three of its extra-man opportunities in the game against the Blue Hens, scoring three man-up goals in the second quarter during its 5-0 run. The Greyhounds followed that by converting on 2-of-3 EMOs in the win over Towson.

Patrick Fanshaw, Eric Lusby and Mike Sawyer each scored EMO goals of the Greyhounds, and Fanshaw added another at the end of a Delaware non-releasable penalty just as the teams returned to even strength. Sean O’Sullivan tacked on both of the man-up goals against Towson.

Loyola is tied for third nationally with an 83.3-percent EMO success rate through the first two weeks of the young season.

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

Dominant At The ‘X’

Loyola used a large advantage at the face-off ‘X’ to secure the win over Towson, winning two-thirds (14-of-21) restarts against the Tigers.

J.P. Dalton won 9-of-11 face-offs in the first half and finished 13-of-18 in the game to raise his season percentage to 62.8 (27-of-43).

Dalton grabbed four ground balls, while wings Scott Ratliff and Pat Laconi each had four, as well. Dalton also finished with a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds.

Season-Opener Success

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

Lusby Makes Return

Eric Lusby returned to game action in the season-opener after missing all but two games of the 2011 season. Now a graduate student, Lusby tore his right ACL in the 2010 NCAA First Round game against Cornell. He attempted to come back last year, but he saw limited action against Navy and Towson and was shut down to rehab the injury for the remainder of the season.

Lusby burst back onto the scene against Delaware, scoring the Greyhounds’ first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity, and the 2010 All-ECAC First Team member tallied three more in the second half. The four goals were a career-high for the Severna Park, Md., native.

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

Sawyer Shows Same Form

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

The Towson game was Sawyer’s 12th career multi-goal game and the 5th multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.

Before the season, Sawyer was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Team and was named to the Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.

Ratliff Earns ECAC Honor

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

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

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

Bonitatibus Wins First Start

Junior Michael Bonitatibus made his first collegiate start in goal for the Greyhounds against Delaware after having played less than two minutes prior to this season.

Bonitatibus, who played 65 seconds in his collegiate debut last year at Duke, made seven saves for the Greyhounds and allowed just eight goals. He also picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Bonitatibus became the first Loyola goalkeeper to win his starting debut in nearly 11 years. The last was Mark Bloomquist who also defeated Delaware, 8-7, on February 24, 2001.

Second Half Scoring

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

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

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

Dalton At The ‘X’

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

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

Greyhounds Picked Second In ECAC

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

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds opened their third year at the stadium with a 13-8 win over then-No. 19 Delaware and a 13-6 victory against Towson. Loyola is now 10-3 all-time at Ridley.

What’s Next

Loyola stays on the road for its next game, a Wednesday, March 7, contest against future ECAC foe University of Michigan. The Wolverines will host the Greyhounds their first-ever varsity home game in a 7 p.m. start.

The Greyhounds then return to the friendly confines of Ridley Athletic Complex for a day of doubleheader lacrosse action on Saturday, March 10. The men will host Duke University at 12 noon with a women’s game against UMBC following at 3:30 p.m.

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