Tag Archive | "Gillette Stadium"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ravens-Patriots: Five predictions for Saturday

Posted on 09 January 2015 by Luke Jones

The Ravens have made a mostly-pleasant habit of traveling to Foxborough in January to take on the New England Patriots.

The latest chapter in this underrated rivalry will be written Saturday with Baltimore eyeing its fourth trip to the AFC Championship game under head coach John Harbaugh. Meanwhile, the No. 1 seed Patriots are seeking their first championship in a decade with 37-year-old quarterback Tom Brady not getting any younger.

Joe Flacco will try to continue an impeccable postseason run in which he’s thrown 20 touchdowns and just two interceptions over his last nine playoff games. The seventh-year signal-caller has thrown 13 touchdowns without an interception in leading the Ravens to wins in their last five postseason contests.

Who will win on Saturday?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

It’s time to go on the record as the Ravens and Patriots meet for the fourth time ever in the playoffs — all have been in Foxborough — with Baltimore holding a 2-1 edge. New England leads the all-time regular-season series by a 7-1 margin despite the Ravens’ postseason success at Gillette Stadium.

Here’s what to expect as the Ravens try to hand New England another loss in the postseason …

1. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will be chased by Will Hill most of the day while catching a touchdown and posting 100 receiving yards. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees will throw the kitchen sink at New England in trying to cover the All-Pro tight end, but Hill will draw most of the responsibility with little success. The 6-foot-1, 207-pound safety did an admirable job in holding New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham to six catches for 47 yards in late November, but Gronkowski has played at a different level than anyone at his position this year and is more physical. Brady will go to him early and often to try to offset a Baltimore pass rush bearing down on him.

2. Three of the Ravens’ sacks against Brady will come from inside pressure. Four has been the magic number for the Ravens as they’ve collected at least four sacks in their last eight wins and are 0-4 when failing to reach the plateau over that stretch. Brady was sacked just 21 times this year, but his quick release was a bigger factor in that statistic than an offensive line that’s been shaky in pass protection this year. The Ravens will exploit rookie center Bryan Stork and guards Dan Connolly and Ryan Wendell with A-gap blitzing as well as the presence of Haloti Ngata, Pernell McPhee, and Timmy Jernigan in passing situations. Inside pressure will force Brady backward and give Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil time to reach him off the edges.

3. Steve Smith will have a quiet game, but Torrey Smith will catch a touchdown and fetch a key pass interference call. Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis is expected to match up against Steve Smith, which will spell trouble for the veteran wideout as Revis will match the 35-year-old’s physicality with press coverage. This will leave the 6-foot-4 Brandon Browner against Torrey Smith in a matchup that could determine the outcome of the game. The Maryland product will be challenged by Browner’s physicality, but the former Seattle defensive back is prone to penalties, drawing 15 flags in nine games in the regular season. The speedy fourth-year wideout draws pass interference calls as well as anyone and will fetch a big one inside the red zone in addition to catching a first-half touchdown.

4. Brady will pass for more yards, but Flacco will throw more touchdown passes. The Patriots will try to establish the run with their extensive collection of running backs, but they won’t find much room against the league’s fourth-ranked run defense, meaning the ball will be in their franchise quarterback’s hands all day. Brady will make amends for his 56.8 passer rating in his three previous playoff games against the Ravens, but Baltimore will clamp down inside the red zone. In contrast, the Ravens will find enough running room to keep Justin Forsett involved, and Flacco will have another efficient game like he did in Pittsburgh with 220 yards and two touchdowns to put his team in position to grab a victory in the fourth quarter.

5. Justin Tucker will kick the game-winning field goal to give the Ravens a 24-23 win. New England was the better team this season, but Baltimore has history on its side and — more importantly – the right tools to match up with the Patriots. If the Ravens are able to pressure Brady inside and out, it will make up for potential problems in the secondary and allow the Baltimore offense to keep up as it deals with an improved Patriots defense. This game could go either way, but it’s getting to the point where you just can’t pick against Flacco in the playoffs until someone finally cools him off. The Ravens won’t be scared playing in familiar Foxborough, and they’ll find a way to win there once again in January.

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Join us: WNST offering two ways to travel to New England for Ravens playoff

Posted on 03 January 2015 by WNST Trips

In what has become an almost-annual pilgrimage to visit our dreaded neighbors to the north, WNST once again presents an  opportunity to head to New England to watch the Ravens do playoff battle with the dreaded Patriots for a 4:30 p.m. game this Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015.

REGRETTABLY, OUR BOSTON OVER NIGHT TRIP IS SOLD OUT!!!!!

Our WNST Jerry’s Collision Center Purple Playoff Roadtrips to Foxborough up-and-back trip directly to the game (no hotel stay) that will depart from White Marsh at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning and leave approximately 90 minutes after the final whistle in New England.

The trip is expected to return to White Marsh at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN “BUS ONLY” TRANSPORTATION OPTION BECAUSE YOU ALREADY HAVE A TICKET TO THE GAME, please see bottom of thread to purchase that option. We’re happy to help all Baltimore Ravens fans get to the big game in Foxborough.

ONE DAY UP-AND-BACK TO FOXBOROUGH TRIP INCLUDES:

Roundtrip Gunther Motorcoach transportation

One upper deck game ticket at Gillette Stadium (all groups will be kept together!)

Snack and sandwiches from Royal Farms for the ride to be washed down with a limited supply of beer, soda and water en route to Foxborough

Plenty of DVDs, purple films and trivia for the ride to and from Foxborough

Free copies of Purple Reign 1 and 2

TRIP COST: $350 per person

Simply click on ADD TO CART below…

Mobile #:

 

IF YOU ALREADY HAVE TICKETS TO THE GAME AND JUST NEED A RIDE:

Simply click on ADD TO CART below…

TRIP COST: $175 per person

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Patriots

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 28-13 win over the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Championship Game…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Nate Solder called for holding, negating Danny Woodhead 4 yard run on 3rd & 2 (3rd quarter)

4. Stephen Gostkowski 25 yard field goal after Patriots called third timeout (2nd quarter)

3. Tom Brady pass intended for Wes Welker incomplete on 3rd & 8 from Baltimore 34 (3rd quarter)

2. Dannell Ellerbe intercepts Tom Brady pass intended for Aaron Hernandez, tipped by Pernell McPhee (4th quarter)

1. Arthur Jones recovers Stevan Ridley fumble forced by Bernard Pollard (4th quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our Ravens/Patriots “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 20 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 28-13 win over the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Championship Game to clinch a trip to Super Bowl XLVII…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Jim Caldwell

4. Pernell McPhee

3. Marshal Yanda

2. Bernard Pollard

1. Joe Flacco (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Comments (3)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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-

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.”

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Comments (0)