Tag Archive | "Foxborough"

Ravens-Patriots: Inactives and pre-game notes

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Ravens-Patriots: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 20 January 2013 by Luke Jones

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Ravens are the only team in the NFL to have made the playoffs and won a postseason game in each of the last five years.

No other head coach and quarterback have done that to begin their respective careers, but John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco know what follows that narrative. They haven’t been to a Super Bowl, but they’ll have their third opportunity in five seasons as they take on the New England Patriots in Sunday night’s AFC Championship game.

Baltimore travels to Gillette Stadium to take on the Patriots in the playoffs for the third time in four years. Of course, the Ravens felt heartbreak last year in the form of a Lee Evans drop and a Billy Cundiff 32-yard miss, but they’ll have their chance for redemption after making an improbable run to the conference title game.

Despite being listed as questionable in the final injury report released on Friday, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, running back Bernard Pierce, and fullback Vonta Leach are all active. It remains to be seen how close to 100 percent each will be against the Patriots, but there was very little doubt surrounding their availability for Sunday’s game.

The only mild surprise on the list of inactives is defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson, who was last deactivated on game day back in Week 6. However, the rookie hasn’t been receiving as many defensive snaps of late and the Ravens wanted to have an extra cornerback in veteran Chris Johnson available against the pass-happy Patriots.

New England tight end Rob Gronkowski was placed on injured reserve on Thursday, so that explains why he wasn’t listed as inactive for the game.

The Patriots are 6-1 in the all-time regular-season series and the teams are tied 1-1 in postseason history.

Sunday night’s referee will be Bill Leavy. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-30s by kickoff and winds will be approximately 17 miles per hour.

The Ravens will wear their white jerseys with black pants while New England sports its blue tops and silver pants.

Here are Sunday night’s inactives …

BALTIMORE
CB Asa Jackson
OL Ramon Harewood
DL DeAngelo Tyson
DT Bryan Hall
S Omar Brown
LB Adrian Hamilton
WR Deonte Thompson

NEW ENGLAND
DB Malcolm Williams
OL Nick McDonald
OL Markus Zusevics
DE Jake Bequette
WR Kamar Aiken
DB Derrick Martin
DL Marcus Forston

Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the day as Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio, and I bring live updates and analysis from Gillette Stadium.

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Ravens-Patriots: Five predictions for AFC Championship

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Ravens-Patriots: Five predictions for AFC Championship

Posted on 19 January 2013 by Luke Jones

Coming as close as they possibly could to reaching the Super Bowl last season before heartbreak occurred in the form of a Lee Evans drop and a Billy Cundiff missed field goal in the final seconds of the AFC Championship, the Ravens return to the scene of the crime in Foxborough as they again take on the New England Patriots.

Defeating New England for the first time ever in the regular season by way of a 31-30 final in Baltimore back in September, the Ravens will now try to win their second postseason game at Gillette Stadium in the last four seasons. Aside from their 33-14 blowout victory in the wild-card round of the 2009 season, the Ravens are used to seeing their meetings with the Patriots come down to the wire as each of their other four meetings in the John Harbaugh era have been decided by fewer than seven points.

The Ravens will again hope to extend the career of inside linebacker Ray Lewis by one more game and advance to their first Super Bowl since Jan. 28, 2001. And for Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco, a win means taking another step toward elite status at their respective positions in the National Football League.

Of course, standing in their way are Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the two men who have been at the top of their respective classes for the last decade.

Here’s what to expect as the 12-6 Ravens try to punch their ticket to New Orleans and Super Bowl XLVII …

1. The Ravens won’t have to deal with Rob Gronkowski, but Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez will cause major problems over the middle of the field. It’s no secret that slot receiver Wes Welker and Hernandez are the most dangerous weapons at Brady’s disposal, and they each provide difficult challenges to the Baltimore pass defense. Corey Graham is the clear choice to match up against Welker in the slot as the Ravens will run the nickel package extensively, and the cornerback is playing with more confidence than ever after intercepting two Peyton Manning passes last week in Denver. Welker will get his yards, but the Ravens are confident that Graham can prevent the Pro Bowl wideout from having a monster game. Hernandez will be trickier to cover as defensive coordinator Dean Pees will likely lose a combination of linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and strong safety Bernard Pollard in trying to mix up coverages against Brady. I have my doubts that either player will be able to stick with him as the middle of the field has been a problem all year long. Hernandez will produce 80 receiving yards and a touchdown.

2. With the Patriots focusing heavily on Torrey Smith by matching Aqib Talib against the speedy receiver, Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta will combine for 160 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Smith has been a major thorn in the side of New England as the second-year wideout has produced three touchdowns and 209 receiving yards in two contests against New England. The Patriots could use Talib against Smith exclusively – the Baltimore receiver usually lines up on the side of the field on which Talib plays anyway — but they will likely offer safety help as well if they were paying attention to what Smith did against Champ Bailey last week. Deep safeties will allow more room for Boldin and Pitta to work the middle of the field as the Patriots ranked 29th against the pass this season. Though still mixing it their spots to be aggressive with the vertical passing game, the Ravens will try to use Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce on first and second down to create third-and-manageable situations in which Flacco loves to use his tight end and possession receiver. The Patriots will do everything they can to stop Flacco’s deep balls to Smith and Jacoby Jones, meaning the quarterback will instead choose to attack the intermediate portion of the field more frequently.

3. As he has for much of the season, running back Stevan Ridley will add another dimension to the New England offense that will wear down the Ravens in the second half. Pees downplayed the significance of his defense playing 87 snaps in each of the last two games, but you have to wonder how much more a group that’s already less than 100 percent can take if they’re on the field for extended periods on Sunday. Ridley rushed for 1,263 yards this season as the Patriots had the seventh-best rushing attack in the league. The New England offense still centers around Brady, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a heavy dose of Ridley in the second half to see if the Patriots can tire out the Ravens’ front seven, thus neutralizing any potential pass rush in the process. Inside the red zone, the Patriots won’t hesitate to use a quick-snap approach if the Ravens aren’t set and will hand off to Ridley before the defense even knows what’s happening. Any defense spends so much time studying Brady and trying to dissect him, so it’s easy to overlook the New England running game in the process. It will pay dividends in the second half for the Patriots, especially if they have a lead.

4. The team that wins the battle inside the red zone will come away with the AFC title. The objective is clear against the Patriots — even if it’s a difficult one. You know they’re going to score points, but if you can hold them to field goals on at least a few scoring possessions while you score touchdowns on your trips inside the 20, you’ll typically find yourself within striking distance in the fourth quarter. It will be a test of will in that area of the field as the Patriots scored touchdowns on 70 percent of their trips inside the red zone (best in the NFL) while the Baltimore defense was second in the league by allowing touchdowns on only 43.4 percent of opponent’s trips inside the 20. Conversely, Flacco and the offense must come away with touchdowns when they’re knocking on New England’s end zone. This is where Boldin and Pitta will be critical against the league’s 13th-ranked red-zone defense. If you want any chance of beating New England on the road, you cannot trade field goals for touchdowns or you’ll find yourself in a hole early. The Baltimore offense is playing at a high level and shouldn’t have any reason to believe they can’t move the ball against the Patriots at will, but they need to finish drives with touchdowns. Barring an inordinate number of special-teams and defensive scores – like the Ravens win in Denver last week, for instance — the team that prevails inside the red zone will be the one advancing to New Orleans.

5. Joe Flacco will continue a tremendous postseason with 250 passing yards and two touchdowns, but the Ravens will again fall excruciatingly short in Foxborough with a 31-27 loss. The Baltimore quarterback is playing the best football of his career over the last month and will have another strong performance against the Patriots on the second-biggest stage the NFL has to offer. However, Flacco needs to advance to the Super Bowl to truly receive the recognition he deserves. As was the case last week, the Ravens are matched up against a better overall team, but they have every opportunity to win against the Patriots, who have some clear deficiencies unlike the Broncos. Regardless of what happens on Sunday, this season should be viewed as a success considering the number of injuries this team has sustained and how badly it was struggling just over a month ago. In the end, however, the Patriots will just have a little too much offensively for the Baltimore defense to handle and for the Ravens offense to overcome. This one could very well come down to the final possession of the game, but I just can’t bet against Brady and the Patriots in the conference championship, a game in which they’re 5-1 in the Belichick era. It won’t come down to a devastating dropped touchdown or field-goal miss, but the Ravens will fall short yet again despite a terrific effort in New England.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 15 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Orlando Salida vs. Mikey Garcia (Saturday 9:45pm from New York live on HBO), Sergey Kovalev vs. Gabriel Campillo (Saturday 9pm from Uncasville, CT live on NBC Sports Network); Women’s College Basketball: NC State @ Maryland (Thursday 8:30pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Maryland @ Georgia Tech (Sunday 3pm from Atlanta live on ESPN2); Soccer: MISL Baltimore Blast @ Syracuse Silver Knights (Friday 7:30pm Sunday 1:30pm from Syracuse, NY live on MISLtv.com); High School Basketball: Perry Hall @ Woodlawn (Wednesday 6:30pm), Perry Hall @ Milford Mill (Friday 7pm)

10. Superstars of 70′s Soul Jam feat. The Stylistics, Peaches and Herb (Saturday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); The Darkness (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head Live), G. Love & Special Sauce (Sunday 8:30pm Rams Head Live); Hollywood Undead (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Gin Blossoms (Tuesday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage), Eric Benet (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); 2 Chainz (Saturday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Ellie Goulding (Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Janelle Monae (Sunday 6pm 9:30 Club); WAR (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere); Morrissey (Wednesday 8pm Strathmore); Smokey Robinson (Friday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Soundgarden (Friday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Tim Reynolds (Sunday 8pm & 10pm Blues Alley); Augustana (Monday 7pm U Street Music Hall)

I’d like to do like 100 more things this week that involve the Gin Blossoms…

I hate admitting how much I enjoy this Ellie Goulding tune…

I’ve been a Janelle Monae fan since the first time I knew there was such a thing as Janelle Monae…

Soundgarden, huh? I’ll sign up for just about anything that involves Chris Cornell singing tunes…

9. Baltimore County Winter Restaurant Week (Tuesday-Monday throughout Baltimore County); Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade (Saturday 12pm MLK Boulevard); “Taken 2″ available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Broken City” and “The Last Stand” out in theaters (Friday)

My favorite part of Taken 2 was when Liam Neeson was talking about Tim Tebow…

On the list for Winter Restaurant Week? The Grill at Harryman House. Where a burger looks like this…

Ummm…yes.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

Posted on 04 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

It was as if there were some in the sports broadcasting universe that wanted to remind me that the Baltimore Orioles have been struggling mightily as of late.

Sure, they’re just one game out of first place at the time I type this, but the Birds sadly appear to be in a downward spiral that unfortunately most of us expected.

I’ve been a regular “Baltimore expert” for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio since the channel’s inception, and I rotate having conversations with hosts about the O’s and the Baltimore Ravens. When I received a call last week asking me to appear on the channel, I assumed the conversation would go in the direction of the O’s, as I’ve made about four Orioles-related guest spots already this season.

But when the producer asked me if I’d be interested in talking some Ravens football, I was admittedly caught off guard. “It’s still baseball season” I thought. Just one night later I received a call from another producer on the channel, also asking me to make an appearance to discuss the Purple & Black.

So on both Friday & Saturday night of this past weekend I found myself talking Ravens football across the country on SXM. It was perhaps the single greatest reminder that in Charm City, a “June Swoon” is a great reminder that Training Camp isn’t particularly far away.

As the 2011 football season ended, there were two main narratives surrounding the defending AFC North Champs. One was surrounding the pending free agency of RB Ray Rice. The other surrounded the future of QB Joe Flacco, who was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract. The Ravens’ season ended 132 days ago in Foxborough (at least as of the time I wrote this) and yet seemingly little progress has been made regarding either situation.

It leads to the question (at least for me), “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?”

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said in a recent appearance on “The Reality Check” (an excellent afternoon radio program on AM1570 WNST.net) that Rice’s agent Todd France was dead set on getting a deal similar to contracts given to Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (seven years, $100 million with $36 million guaranteed) or Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson (four years, $53 million with $30 million guaranteed). The Ravens are believed to be more interested in a deal similar to those recently given to Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (five years, $45 million with $20.76 million guaranteed) or Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (five years, $43.5 million with $20.75 guaranteed).

On top of that, a source with knowledge of talks revealed to me in recent weeks the Rice camp has a desire to see the running back’s deal exceed the overall value of Flacco’s.

A Carroll County Times report this weekend indicated the Ravens “aren’t anywhere close” to getting a deal done with Flacco. Flacco’s negotiating ability has been limited by the fact that contracts signed by quarterbacks not named Peyton Manning this offseason have been less than overwhelming financially. Manning landed a five year, $96 million deal, but if he’s healthy the Denver Broncos believe him capable of being Peyton Manning. The highlights of other QB contracts this offseason have been San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith (three years, worth up to $33 million with with $16.5 million guaranteed) and Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Flynn (three years, $26 million with $10 million guaranteed).

Neither deal is helpful to Flacco’s agent Joe Linta, although despite all of the goofy conversation nationally about Flacco’s standing against other National Football League quarterbacks, there simply could not be any argument either of those two quarterbacks have accomplished as much as Flacco. Humorously, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo’s deal is up a season after Flacco’s. There had been rumors the Chicago Bears were interested in getting a new deal done with QB Jay Cutler, a decision that could have been helpful in figuring out the parameters of a Flacco contract.

Remember when I asked “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?” Yeah, I’m aware that I’ve essentially answered my own question.

In both of my chats on SiriusXM this weekend I was asked what expected would ultimately happen with these situations. It was remarkably difficult to answer.

(Continued on Page 2)

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Title drought continues for Maryland after loss to Loyola

Posted on 28 May 2012 by WNST Staff

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - After a back and forth battle in the first half that saw two Terrapin leads and three ties, the University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team fell to top-seeded Loyola 9-3 Monday in the NCAA title game in front of 30,816 at Gillette Stadium.

Junior Jesse Bernhardt, redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk, and junior Kevin Cooper scored all three of Maryland’s goals in the first 20 minutes of the game, but the Greyhounds (18-1) took a two-goal lead before halftime they would not relinquish.

Jesse Bernhardt put the Terrapins on the board first with 9:34 to go in the first quarter. He went coast to coast down the field for the score after sophomore Michael Ehrhardt forced a Greyhound turnover. Bernhardt did the rest, scoring on a low shot in transition from the right alley.

Loyola tied it up just under five minutes later with a shot by Davis Butts from Chris Layne. Eric Lusby gave the Hounds their first lead at 2-1 with an unassisted goal with 1:55 remaining in the first quarter.

Chanenchuk tied the game up with 12:12 left in the second quarter. He came around the cage and shot under the stick of Loyola’s Josh Hawkins for the Terps’ second goal.

Less than 90 seconds later, senior Joe Cummings found Kevin Cooper in the middle of the box to send a straight shot into the back of the net for a 3-2 Maryland lead.

With 9:22 to go in the first half, Loyola’s Pat Byrnes tied the game back up with an unassisted score. Loyola took ahold of the lead with just under six minutes to go when Mike Sawyer scored off a pass from Layne to make it 4-3. Two minutes later, the Greyhounds extended their lead to two with an unassisted goal from Phil Dobson.

Loyola led 5-3 at the break, then made it a 6-3 lead with 10:12 to go in the third quarter with an unassisted goal by Justin Ward.

Lusby pushed Loyola’s lead to four with 11:12 left in the fourth quarter. Layne picked up his third assist of the day on the play. Lusby scored his third and fourth goals of the game in the final five minutes to make it a 9-3 final score.

The Terps took 19 of their 29 shots in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter and six in the final 3:45, but their stretch of unlucky shooting continued.

Sophomore goalkeeper Niko Amato finished with eight saves, while Loyola’s Jack Runkel finished with six. Four of Runkel’s saves came in the second half to hold the Terps off.

Joe Cummings, Drew Snider and Jesse Bernhardt were named to the NCAA All-Tournament team.

Maryland ends the season with a 12-6 record on the season.

The game marked the end of a remarkable run for seven Maryland seniors: Joe Cummings, MJ Leonard, David Miller, Pat Morrison, Tim Shaeffer, Michael Shakespeare and Drew Snider. The 2012 senior class compiled a 47-22 (.712) record during its time in College Park, brought the Terps their first ACC Championship since 2005 and took the team to back-to-back NCAA title games for the first time since 1997 and 1998.

Game Notes:
• With today’s 9-3 loss, Maryland is now 19-2 all-time vs. Loyola.
• The Terps are now 1-1 all-time vs. the Greyhounds in the NCAA tournament and 1-1 in the Final Four.
• Maryland is now 2-9 all-time in the finals of the NCAA tournament.
• Second-year head coach John Tillman has led the Terrapins to the NCAA Championship game in both of his first two seasons in College Park. He owns a record of 25-11 (.694) and an NCAA Tournament record of 6-2 at Maryland.

-Terps-

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Greyhounds top Terps for first ever NCAA title

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Greyhounds top Terps for first ever NCAA title

Posted on 28 May 2012 by WNST Staff

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team checked off a lot of firsts throughout the 2012 season, and the Greyhounds capped their magical season with another on Memorial Day at Gillette Stadium.

Loyola won its first-ever NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship and the first national title in the school’s Division I history. The Greyhounds set a record for fewest goals allowed in an NCAA Championship Game, defeating the University of Maryland, 9-3.

“I thought Saturday was a pretty cool day for the Greyhounds. But, today is special,” said Charley Toomey who became the first coach to win an NCAA title in his first trip to the NCAA Semifinals. “When I look at my locker room, I’m just so proud of them. They’ve handled every situation with dignity and class this year. Coming back on short preparation to play a tough Maryland team, a physical Maryland team, they responded in a big way to give Loyola our first National Championship.”

Eric Lusby was named the Championship’s Most Outstanding Player after scoring four goals in the title game and setting a tournament record with 17 in four games. He also ends his season with a school-season record 54 goals, surpassing teammate Mike Sawyer who set the record two games ago and finished the year with 52.

Four Greyhounds joined Lusby on the All-Tournament Team: Josh Hawkins, Joe Fletcher, Scott Ratliff and Jack Runkel.

The Greyhounds trailed on two occasions during the game, 1-0 and 3-2, but after Maryland’s Kevin Cooper scored at 10:40, Loyola did not allow a goal for the remaining 40-minutes, 40-seconds of the contest.

Loyola’s win capped a season that it started outside the national Top-20 after concluding 2011 with an 8-5 record. The Greyhounds’ 18 wins set a program record, and Loyola became just the ninth team to win an NCAA Division I title since the first Championship in 1971.

The team is also the second in Loyola history to win a national crown, joining the 1976 men’s soccer side that won the NCAA Division II title.

Maryland took a 1-0 lead 5:26 into the game when Jesse Bernhardt caused a turnover and went the distance to score. The Terrapins (12-6) held Loyola scoreless for more than four more minutes, but Davis Butts broke through for the Greyhounds, scoring on a bouncer from nine yards out after taking a feed from Chris Layne.

Lusby pushed Loyola in front at the 1:55 mark in the first quarter, spinning free from a defender to dump in his first goal of the game.

Maryland, however, scored two in a row in the first five minutes of the second quarter to take brief 3-2 lead. Mike Chanenchuk got loose curling around the crease and scored at 12:12, and Cooper’s goal off a Joe Cummings feed made it 3-2 with 10:40 left in the frame.

The Terrapins’ advantage, however, did not last long as Pat Byrnes dodged around a defender from goal-line extended on the right side, putting a low-to-low shot around Maryland goalkeeper Niko Amato 1:18 after Cooper’s goal.

Layne then found Sawyer open about seven yards out, and Sawyer put a low-to-low shot into the net at 5:57 to put the Greyhounds up for good.

With 3:57 to go before the half, Phil Dobson came down the right side and ripped a shot to make it 5-3 at the break.

From that point, it was the defense’s turn to take over. Maryland took 19 shots in the third and fourth quarters, but Loyola did not yield a goal. Runkel made six of his seven saves in the second half in goal for the Greyhounds.

“Jack was tremendous this week, but that is what we see of him in practice every day,” Toomey said. “I felt like he got his first save, and that started things off right.”

Runkel was quick to credit the defense in front of him.

“A dream come true to play with these guys,” he said. “They give me shots that I want to see. I’m a lot better up top seeing shots and saving them.”

The close defense of Fletcher (2 ground balls, 1 caused turnover), Reid Acton (3, 2) and Dylan Grimm (1 gb) and rope unit of Ratliff (5, 2), Hawkins (2, 2), Pat Laconi (1 gb), Kyle Duffy and Kevin Moriarty led the way in front of Runkel.

Justin Ward scored the only goal of the third quarter,wrapping around the crease and depositing a high-to-high shot into the goal at 10:12, making Loyola’s lead 6-3.

The fourth quarter offense, then, belonged to Lusby.

He took a Layne pass and whipped a hip-high shot for a goal with 11:12 on the clock, and he made it an 8-3 Greyhounds lead with 5:07 toplay when Layne worked the ball to Sawyer, and Sawyer found Lusby alone on the top right side, and he scored from eight yards in front of the crease.

Lusby scored his record-setting goal with 3:45 left on the clock after Maryland had called a timeout to set up a ride.

Butts carried the ball around a double team for the Greyhounds, and then when he appeared to be trapped near the top of the box, Butts split the defenders and raced toward the goal. He sliced a pass in front of the crease to Lusby who finished his fourth goal of the afternoon.

“I just got hot at the right time,” Lusby said of his 17-goal outburst in the Championships. “I knew going into the tournament, my shot was a little off. I kept missing the cage, so I knew I wanted to shoot for net. But I have to give credit to all the other guys in the offense. From the middies to Davis Butts and Pat Byrnes, all those guys.”

“They were dodging hard all weekend and drawing slides and giving me all the opportunities I had. And, Mike Sawyer drawing all the attention on his side of the field. When I had the opportunity to shoot andscore, I wanted to make sure I made it count.”

Lusby opened the Championships with three goals and two assists against Canisius, and he then scored five goals with two assists in a Quarterfinal win over Denver. Saturday, he tallied five goals and a helper in the Semifinals against Notre Dame, leading to his four-goal performance in the title match.

He eclipsed the previous record of 16 goals set in 2006 by Virginia’s Matt Ward and tied a year later by Duke’s Zach Greer.

Lusby’s 17 goals came on 40 shots, and his 22 points were just three shy of tying the Championships’ record set in 1977 by Cornell’s Eamon McEneaney and tied in 1987 by Cornell’s Tim Goldstein.

The Greyhounds, who had made one previous appearance in the Division I Championship Game (1990 when Toomey was a co-captain and starting goalkeeper) and one in the Division II title contest (1981), joined Cornell, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Maryland, North Carolina, Princeton, Syracuse and Virginia as teams that have won Division I titles.

“For our alumni, for our past presidents (Rev. Joseph Sellinger and Rev. Harold Ridley), for our current president (Rev. Brian Linnane), (Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics) Jim Paquette, for (Athletic Director Emeritus) Joe Boylan, (Executive Vice President) Susan Donovan, the people (who) have supported us for so many years to allow this team to be what it is, I’m just so happy for those people,” Toomey said.

“This is a special group of guys. This is a special group of young men that fought through a lot of things this year to put themselves in position, and they stood tall on the biggest day.”

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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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Salisbury tops Cortland for another DIII title

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The No. 1 Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team capped off the program’s seventh undefeated season and 10th National Championship on Sunday by defeating the State University of New York at Cortland in the 2012 NCAA Division III National Championship game, 14-10, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

The team finished the season with a 23-0 record and ends the year riding a 30-game winning streak. Twenty-three wins matches the program record for most in a season and the national title is the 16th team title in Salisbury University history.

“We’ve had some pretty special teams at Salisbury,” Head Coach Jim Berkman said. “I can honestly say that this team is right there with some of those other teams. When we talk about the best teams, this is definitely right there in the same breath.”

Senior attackman Sam Bradman became the first Division III men’s lacrosse player to win the Most Outstanding Player award in a National Championship game in back-to-back years. Bradman led the Sea Gulls with seven points on six goals and one assist in the game.

“I’ve loved big competition, big games ever since high school,” Bradman said. “Getting into the big games, my intensity goes up, and I just like to give it my all.”

Bradman and senior attackmen Matt Cannone and Lantz Carter led Salisbury to victory, completing the championship repeat. Cannone led the team with three assists and netted two goals for five points. Carter chipped in with four points on three goals and one assist.

Bradman put Salisbury on the board first with an unassisted goal just 29 seconds into the game. Two Cortland goals gave the Red Dragons the lead before Carter netted his first score to tie the game, 2-2.

Bradman scored his second with 16 seconds left in the first and the Gulls went into the second quarter tied with Cortland, 3-3.

Goals by Bradman and Cannone to start the second quarter gave Salisbury a 5-3 lead. After Cortland scored two to tie the game, senior midfielder Jeff McGuire and Carter netted scores to regain the two-goal lead. Carter’s goal came with two seconds left, and Salisbury took the 7-5 lead into halftime.

The Sea Gull offense came to life in the second quarter to outshoot the Red Dragons 14-7. In the first half, Salisbury outshot Cortland 19-16, won 8-of-13 faceoffs and was successful on 6-of-7 clears.

Salisbury started the second half slowly, as the Red Dragons netted two quick scores in the first five minutes of the third quarter. However, two more goals from Bradman and a man-up score from senior attackman Erik Krum gave the Gulls a 10-9 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Salisbury held the lead despite being outscored 4-3 in the third period.

The Sea Gulls rebounded in the fourth quarter to outscore Cortland 4-1, and solidify the win. Bradman, Cannone, Carter and junior midfielder Ryan Clarke all scored in the quarter.

“We had a great senior class, 18 kids who contributed a great deal over a four-year period,” Berkman said. “I’m very fortunate to be able to coach those 18 seniors.”

Throughout its time at Salisbury University, the senior class has amassed a record of 81-7, made it to four NCAA tournaments, advanced to three National Championship games and won two National Championships.

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Loyola aims for first D1 title in school history Monday

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Loyola aims for first D1 title in school history Monday

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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

Game Data

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

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

On The Tube, Web And Radio

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

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

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

Series History

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

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

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

NCAA Championships History

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

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

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

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

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

Five, Twice In A Row

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

Lusby’s Tournament

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

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

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

Runkel Stops 15

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

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

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

Defense Limits Chances

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

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

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

50-50

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

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

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

And, 60-60

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

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

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

Seven Earn All-America Honors

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

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

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

Sawyer Sets Goals Record

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

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

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

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

Three-For-Three

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

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

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

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

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

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

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

A Lot Of Everything

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

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

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

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

Ratliff’s Scoring

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

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

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

Ward Dishes Out Assists

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

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

Top Spot

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

School Record In Wins

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

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

The Hardware Department

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

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

Sawyer Named One Of Five Tewaaraton Finalists

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

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

Midfield Scoring

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

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

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

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

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

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

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

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

All-ECAC Honors

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

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

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

Big Runs

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

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

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

On The Flip Side

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

Second-Half Success

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

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

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Former Navy coach Meade takes Furman post

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

FOXBOROUGH, MASS. — Furman University director of athletics Dr. Gary Clark announced today that U.S. men’s national senior team coach Richie Meade has been named the school’s first men’s head lacrosse coach.

The announcement was made by Clark and Furman president Rod Smolla at a press conference at Gillette Stadium, site of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship.

Furman, a private, co-educational university of 2,700 students in Greenville, S.C., and member of the Southern Conference, announced on Feb. 9 that it would add men’s and women’s lacrosse to its Division I athletics program.  The teams will begin varsity competition by the 2014-15 academic year.

“Richie Meade is the ideal person to jump start our new men’s lacrosse program at Furman,” Clark said.  “He sports a tremendous combination of experience and leadership to help grow lacrosse in a non-traditional area of the country.  We are thrilled to have Richie join the Furman family.”

Said Meade, “My family and I are very excited with the opportunity to join the Furman community. I am grateful to President Smolla and Gary Clark for their faith and trust in me.  We will build our program with integrity, substance, and toughness.  Our goal will be to compete with passion, skill and honor, and to graduate individuals who will make a difference in the world and reflect the values of a great American university.”

Meade was named head coach of the U.S. men’s national senior team by US Lacrosse in December. He is the 12th head coach in the history of the men’s senior team program, and he will lead Team USA in its title defense at the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship in Denver, Colo., July 10-19.

“We are very pleased that such a well-respected and highly qualified coach as Richie Meade has agreed to lead our men’s lacrosse program,” said Smolla.  “His connections in the sport are unparalleled, and he has enjoyed great success in coaching and recruiting at the national level.  We welcome Richie and his family to the Furman community, and we look forward to seeing the men’s lacrosse program grow and prosper under his guidance.”

A 35-year veteran of collegiate coaching, Meade most recently served as head coach for the United States Naval Academy men’s team from 1994-2011, where he led the Midshipmen to a 142-97 (.589) record. In his 21-year career as a head coach, including four years at the University of Baltimore, Meade compiled a 162-120 (.585) ledger.

During Meade’s head coaching tenure at Navy, his teams claimed five Patriot League regular season and tournament titles, appeared in seven NCAA tournaments, and racked up 39 All-America citations. In 2004, Navy advanced to the national championship game and Meade was honored with the Morris Touchstone Memorial Award as National Coach of the Year. He also was twice named Patriot League Coach of the Year (2004 & ’07).

Meade began his coaching career as an assistant at Duke University in 1977. Following a two-year stint in Durham, he moved on to the University of North Carolina, where he served as an assistant for one year before accepting his first head coaching job at the University of Baltimore (1980-83).  In 1984 he was named defensive coordinator at Navy (1984-88) before returning to Chapel Hill (1989-90) for a two-year stint as offensive coordinator.  He accepted the same post, as well as an instructor’s role in physical education, at the United States Military Academy in 1991, remaining there for three seasons, before returning to Navy as head coach in 1994, becoming the seventh lacrosse mentor in school history.

In addition his coaching duties with the Midshipmen, he also served as a tenured professor of physical education and is a Senior Fellow at the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the Naval Academy.

He has served the sport in a variety of administrative positions, including the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Rules Advisory Committee, U.S. Lacrosse Men’s Coaches Council, and NCAA Rules and Equipment Committee.  Since 2005, he has been president of the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) and over the last two years has served as executive director of the Wounded Warrior Project Lacrosse.

A native of Williston Park, N.Y., Meade attended and played lacrosse at Nassau (N.Y.) Community College.  He then transferred to the University of North Carolina, from which he graduated with a B.A. in 1976 with a degree in parks and recreation administration.  He later added an M.S. from UNC in 1979.

Meade is a member of both the New York Metropolitan Long Island Lacrosse Hall of Fame and University of Baltimore Athletic Hall of Fame.

He and his wife, Sue, have three daughters:  Jillian, Shannon Grace, and Cassidy.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT FURMAN’S RICHIE MEADE… 

“Richie Meade represents everything that is good about college lacrosse. Furman University hit a home run. Coach Meade is a well-respected individual that brings instant credibility to Furman. He is an outstanding coach, strong recruiter and dynamic leader. Most importantly, he is a tremendous human being. Hats off to Furman for recognizing what a special individual Coach Meade is.”

Dave Pietramala
Men’s Lacrosse Coach
Johns Hopkins University

“The announcement of Furman adding Division I men’s lacrosse was exciting to all who love the game and want to witness its growth. The hiring of Coach Meade shows great conviction and dedication by Furman to get the absolute best lacrosse man possible to lead that charge.  I am thrilled for Richie, his family, the university, and all of lacrosse, that this great coach is back in the college game.”

Bill Tierney
Men’s Lacrosse Coach
University of Denver
National Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductee

“Rarely does a start-up program have the chance to hire someone with the experience and ability of Richie Meade. Furman University is fortunate to have a proven winner, a man of integrity and a committed leader like Richie.”

Kevin Corrigan
Men’s Lacrosse Coach
University of Notre Dame

“Furman is not only hiring one of the best lacrosse coaches of all time, but they are hiring one of the best leaders, a tremendous motivator and a wonderful person. You build a program from the ground floor up and this foundation with Coach Meade is rock solid. I couldn’t be happier for both Furman and Coach Meade.”

David Cottle
Chesapeake Bayhawks (MLL)

“Furman University has hit a home run with this hire.  No one is more capable of building a Division 1 lacrosse program from scratch to national prominence than coach Meade.  He is one of the most respected coaches in lacrosse.  He is a proven winner and, most importantly, a leader, teacher and mentor of young men.  Coach Meade’s passion for and commitment to developing leaders of integrity who are also athletes will reverberate across the Furman campus in the same manner that it did at the Naval Academy. I congratulate the search committee on their excellent choice of coach Meade to lead the Furman lacrosse program.”

Dr. Tom Virgets
Senior Associate Athletics Director/ Head Physical Education
United States Naval Academy

“Richie Meade, USA Team head coach, is arguably the best collegiate lacrosse coach in the country.  With the hiring of Coach Meade to head up its new program, Furman University has stamped its name on the lacrosse collegiate landscape in a most prominent way.  He is an absolute winner. The boys who will experience his leadership will be better men for it and Furman, as time passes, will be increasingly proud to call Richie Meade their head lacrosse coach.”

Coach Jack Emmer
National Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductee

“This is absolutely a tremendous hire by Furman University!  Richie Meade is one of the most respected, admired and revered men’s lacrosse coaches in the history of our sport. Furman lacrosse has just now burst onto the Division 1 lacrosse world. For Furman to land the next Team USA head job is just brilliant. The future of Paladin lacrosse could not be brighter. I am so happy for Richie, his family, and Furman athletics.”

Mike Pressler
Men’s Lacrosse
Coach 
Bryant Univeristy
Head Coach, Team USA 2010

“Furman’s hiring of Richie Meade as its lacrosse coach is great news for the sport of lacrosse and also for one of college lacrosse’s most respected coaches. The announcement of a new Division I lacrosse program in South Carolina at a school with Furman’s athletic reputation is a positive step in the growth of the men’s game. Having Richie Meade as the individual responsible for the leadership of a start-up program is another positive in ensuring that Furman lacrosse is in most capable hands.  I think the kids who compete for Furman will benefit by having Richie as their coach.  The people involved in anything you do are the most important and significant factors.  Richie will get good kids. Their experience as undergraduates and lacrosse players will be enhanced by studying at Furman and having a coach like Richie Meade.”

Willie Scroggs
Senior Associate Athletics Director
University of North Carolina
National Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductee

“Furman’s announcement that coach Meade has been hired to lead the men’s lacrosse program is evidence of the excellence that is a hallmark of the university. Coach Meade brings national credibility to the upstart Furman program, and it is the perfect pairing of a coach whose integrity and coaching prowess have turned young men into leaders and a university whose priorities and goals are perfectly aligned with the coach.  It is a great match.”

Dan Einstein
Furman Lacrosse Advisory Committee

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