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Pontrello scores late winner to lift #2 Loyola past Georgetown

Posted on 19 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Pontrello Scores Late To Push Men’s Lacrosse Past Hoyas

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nikko Pontrello scored his third goal of the game with 51.4 seconds remaining in regulation, and David Manning had a caused turnover on the defensive end with less than seven seconds left to seal a 10-9 win for the No. 2 Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team at Georgetown University.

Pontrello tied the game with his second goal of the night with 7:55 left, and with a 30-second warning on, he dodged from behind the crease and rolled back toward the goal, sticking a low shot past Hoyas goalkeeper Jake Haley for the winner.

The Greyhounds (7-1 overall) overcame a night when Georgetown won 15-of-22 faceoffs and the Hoyas picked up four more ground balls, 30-26.

Georgetown (3-5) scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter to take a 9-8 lead when Bo Stafford fed a cross-crease pass to Reilly O’Connor, and O’Connor scored with 11:19 left.

O’Connor’s goal game just eight seconds after Devon Lewis created the game’s sixth tie with his second of the night.

Georgetown had another possession after O’Connor’s goal, but Joe Fletcher caused a turnover on the defensive side for the Greyhounds. Haley, however, made a save on a Pat Laconi shot in transition to get the ball back for the Hoyas.

In settled offense, Georgetown’s Peter Conley had his shot blocked by a Loyola defender, and Ryan Fournier came up with the ground ball for the Greyhounds, starting a transition run. The ball was worked to Ward on the high left side, and he found Pontrello rolling from behind the cage. Pontrello danced along the crease and shot-faked Haley for the goal at 7:55 to tied the game at 9-9.

Loyola earned possession after Pontrello’s goal via a faceoff violation by the Hoyas, but Haley made a save on a Brian Sherlock shot. After a Georgetown turnover, he came up with another save – he finished with 11 – on Jeff Chase’s attempt, getting the Hoyas another opportunity regain the lead.

Laconi trail-checked Charles McCormick to give Loyola the ball back, but after a Greyhounds’ timeout, a turnover put Georgetown back on offense.

Stafford dodged free of his defender on the right side, but Jack Runkel was there to save his shot attempt at 2:19, preserving the tie for the Greyhounds and setting up the possession that led to Pontrello’s game-winner.

Runkel posted nine saves in the win for Loyola.

After Pontrello’s go-ahead go in the final minute, Tyler Knarr won his 15th faceoff of the night, picking up his 15th ground ball, and Georgetown called a timeout with 20 seconds left.

Stafford tried to speed-dodge from behind goal-line extended, but Manning checked the ball away, and Fletcher came up with the groundball to secure the win.

Georgetown opened up a 2-0 lead in the game’s first 58 seconds thanks to a pair of faceoff wins by Knarr. Lewis scored unassisted 52 seconds into the game, and Knarr won the restart and scored six seconds later.

Runkel made a save on the Hoyas’ third shot after they gained possession again, and Laconi finished a transition run with his fifth goal of the year.

Matt Sawyer then used a Tyler Albrecht pass to score from the right side at 9:06, tying the game at 2-2. The teams traded goals evenly over the next eight-plus minutes as Ward’s stick off a Kyle Duffy ground ball and assist at 14:11 in the second quarter tied the game at 4-4.

Albrecht then got free down the left side and scored at 12:07, giving the Greyhounds their first lead of the contest.

Peter Conley, however, scored back-to-back goals for the Hoyas, and Georgetown led 6-5 at halftime. Charles McCormick had the second half’s first goal at 11:30 to make Georgetown’s lead two, but Brian Schultz bookended a Pontrello goal, and Loyola used a 3-0 run to lead 8-7 at the end of the third quarter.

Ward finished the night with five points, scoring a goal and assisting on four others. Pontrello scored all three of his goals in the second half, and both of Schultz’s came in the third quarter.

Loyola reenters Patriot League play at home on Saturday, March 22, when the Greyhounds host Lafayette College at 1 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex. The game is the first of a doubleheader in which the Loyola women host Lehigh University at 4 p.m.

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Loyola makes quick turnaround to visit Georgetown Wednesday

Posted on 18 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Georgetown Hoyas

Wednesday, March 19, 2014  |  6:00 p.m.

Washington, D.C. | Multi-Sport Field | CBS Sports Network

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland hits the road for a non-conference, midweek game on Wednesday, March 19, in the Nation’s Capital. The Greyhounds will take on Georgetown University at 6 p.m. on Multi-Sport Field.

Wednesday’s game will air live on CBS Sports Network, the second of four Loyola regular-season games that will be broadcast by the channel.

The Greyhounds played their third one-goal game of the season on Saturday, edging Army, 7-6, to move to 3-0 in the Patriot League. Loyola is now 2-1 in those one-goal games.

The one-goal win came exactly one month following the last Greyhounds’ one-goal win (Penn State). In between, Loyola won four games by an average of 10.5 goals, none by less than seven.

Loyola leads the nation in fewest turnovers per game, averaging 10.43 per game after committing eight against the Black Knights.

Kevin Ryan moved up to third nationally in shot percentage with two goals on two shots against Army. He has scored goals on 59.1 percent of his shots (13-of-22) this year.

 

Last Time Out

Jack Runkel made a season-high 19 saves, and the Greyhounds held off a late Army charge for a 7-6 Patriot League victory on Saturday at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Army took a 4-3 lead with the first goal of the third quarter, a Shea Mullins tally at 12:37, but Loyola scored four in a row to lead 7-4 on Pat Frazier’s first career goal with 8:52 left in regulation.

The Black Knights, however, got to goals in transition, the first by John Glesener and the second from Will Mazzone, to pull within a score with 2:18 remaining.

Army had possession and two shots in the final 30 seconds, but both went wide of the cage, and the Greyhounds came away with the win.

Nikko Pontrello and Kevin Ryan both scored twice for the Greyhounds, and Justin Ward had three assists. Pat Laconi scored a goal and had an assist for Loyola, as well.

Runkel’s 19 saves came against 45 total Army shots. He made five saves in the first, second and fourth quarters and four in the third.

Joe Fletcher had five ground balls to lead Loyola, while Frazier had three and a caused turnover.

 

Turn On The Television

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live, nationally on CBS Sports Network. Dave Ryan will call the play-by-play, and Evan Washburn will handle the analysis of the action.

The game is the second of four that will feature the Greyhounds on the network. Home games against Bucknell University and Johns Hopkins University, and Loyola’s March 9 win over Duke University was also televised.

 

In The Polls

With the win over Army, Loyola remained at No. 2 in the USILA Coaches, Warrior/Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine media polls. Prior to Saturday’s games, Loyola was tied for second in the coaches’ version with Johns Hopkins University.

 

Series History

Georgetown and the Greyhounds will play for the 37th time in series history on Wednesday. The Greyhounds have a 30-6 advantage in the previous 36 meetings, thanks in large part to a 20-game winning streak from 1974-2001.

The Hoyas were victorious in five of six from 2002-2007, but the Greyhounds are currently riding a six-game winning streak in the rivalry.

Last season, Loyola caused 17 Georgetown turnovers, and six of the Greyhounds’ goals in a 13-8 win came via transition or unsettled situations.

Nine scored goals for Loyola in the game, led by four from Zach Herreweyers and two by Harry Kutner. Justin Ward added a goal and four assists. Joe Fletcher had six ground balls and tied Josh Hawkins for team-high honors with three caused turnovers.

 

Since 2012

Loyola has the best winning percentage in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse since the start of the 2012 season. The Greyhounds are 35-7 during that stretch (17-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 6-1 this season) for a .833 mark.

Only Duke has won more games (37) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by nearly eight percent (37-12, .755).

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .670 mark, saving 73 out of 109 shots on goal he’s faced. In the last five games against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel has made 61 saves and allowed just 26 goals (.701).

The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.27 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .618 through five games. He has moved up to fourth in the nation in saves percentage and seventh in goals against average.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.86 goals against average and .559 saves percentage; his record between the pipes is 33-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 40 victories. Amato (as of Monday), however, Amato is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.

Runkel picked up his fourth-straight Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honor on March 17, becoming the first player in League history to win any of the weekly honors (Offensive, Defensive, Goalkeeper, Rookie) four-consecutive times.

 

On Target

Kevin Ryan scored twice against Army, and the senior midfielder needed just two shots against the Black Knights, raising his season shooting percentage to .591. He has scored goals on 13-of-22 shots this season, and his .591 shooting percentage is ranked third in the nation.

Take out an 0-of-5 performance in the season-opener at Virginia, and Ryan has found the net on 13-of-17 shots (.764) in the Greyhounds’ last six games. He has three games this year – at Holy Cross (3-of-3), at Lehigh (5-of-5) and Army (2-of-2) – in which he has scored on all of his shots.

 

Man-Up Success

Loyola converted on both of its extra-man opportunities against Army, raising its season conversion percentage to 59.1 through seven games. In 21 man-up possessions, the Greyhounds have scored 13 goals, and the .591 mark is good for fourth in the nation.

Nikko Pontrelo leads the way with five man-up goals, while Kevin Ryan has three and Matt Sawyer, two.

Seven of Loyola’s extra-man goals have been assisted by Justin Ward.

 

Five-Plus For Two

Matt Sawyer scored six goals, and Nikko Pontrello tallied five for the Greyhounds on Sunday against Duke, marking the first time in over a decade that two Loyola players have scored five or more in the same game.

The last pair to do so was Gavin Prout (six) and Tim Goettelmann (five) in a 14-9 win on March 25, 2000, at 14th-ranked Brown University.

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all seven of its games this season, and it has had four stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 12 runs of 3-0 or better. Here is a look at their four best scoring stretches:

Opponent Run Time Covered   Opponent Run Time Covered
at Holy Cross 14-0 38:58   Towson 10-0 16:38
at Virginia 9-0 14:18   Towson 7-0 18:37 

 

Tripled Up

Matt Sawyer entered the March 9 game against Duke with a single-game high of two goals, those coming in the season-opener at the University of Virginia. It took the senior from Waxhaw, N.C., just 15-minutes, 56-seconds against the Blue Devils to match that total, and 20:51 to exceed it.

Sawyer finished the game by tripling his previous high, totaling six goals on just seven shots. His lone shot that did not find the net was perhaps his hardest of the night, and it went off the far-side post.

His six goals raised his 2014 total to 10, tied for third on the team. He now has 14 goals in his career.

Sunday’s game was not the first time a member of the Sawyer family had put up six goals on Duke. Matt’s older brother, three-time All-American Mike, scored six goals and had two assists in a 13-8 win over the Blue Devils in March 2012.

 

Slowing Scorers

Duke’s Jordan Wolf and Josh Dionne came into the March 9 game tied for the team lead in goals (12 each), and the duo had a combined 235 career goals. Loyola, however, held them to just one goal each in the victory.

Against Army, Loyola faced another top scorer, John Glesener. Through six games prior to facing the Greyhounds, Glesener had scored 15 goals, but he was held to two on 22 shots by the Loyola defense.

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello had his seventh multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Saturday when he scored twice against Army. The game came less than a week after he scored five against Duke. He also tallied four at Lehigh and he set a career-high with six goals at Holy Cross. The junior attacker scored twice in the opener against Virginia, and he then recorded three versus both Penn State and Towson. His final goal against the Nittany Lions came 19 seconds into overtime and lifted Loyola to a 12-11 win. In his career, Loyola is now 8-0 in games that he scored three or more goals.

Pontrello leads the Greyhounds with 24 goals and 29 points through six games. He has already eclipsed his goal total from last year when he finished his sophomore campaign with 16.

He leads the Patriot League and is third nationally in goals per game (4.0), while he is second and seventh in points per game (4.83).

 

Record-Setting Quarterback

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 16 combined assists in the last four contests. He is third in the nation, and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.14 assists per game this year.

With four assists against Duke – the second game in he posted that total – Ward set Loyola’s career Division I record (since 1982) in total assists, eclipsing the mark of 83 set from 1989-92 by Jim Blanding. Following his three against Army, Ward now has 89 in his career. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also 15th in school Division I history in total points with 133.

Ward is in his third year as a starter on attack for the Greyhound after earning USILA All-America Honorable Mention last year after finishing tops on the team in points (62) and assists (35) and second in goals (27). His 62 points ranked tied for fifth in school single-season Division I history, and his 35 assists check in at third on that list.

 

Midfield Scoring

Entering the 2014 season, Loyola was looking to replace five of its top seven offensive midfielders from a year ago, a group that included All-American Davis Butts, as well as first middies Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan. As a group, the five contributed 47 goals, 29 assists and 76 points, right at 25 percent of the Greyhounds total in each.

This year, Loyola’s first and second midfield units have scored more than 45 percent of the team’s goals, a total of 44. Kevin Ryan scored eight goals combined against Holy Cross and Lehigh, and he is second on the team with 13 total. Matt Sawyer’s six versus Duke moved him into fourth with 10 total, and Tyler Albrecht is fifth on the squad with eight goals, while Brian Sherlock has six goals and five assists.

 

Fletch, White And Blue

Senior defender Joe Fletcher was the long current collegiate player selected as part of one of 52 players who made up the United States Men’s National Team training roster this fall, and the day before Loyola’s season-opener, he found out he is one of 30 players who made the cut for the team that will compete at the 2014 World Cup in Denver.

Against Holy Cross, Fletcher set a career-high with eight ground balls, eclipsing his previous total of seven set on three different occasions. In a pair of games against Towson and the Crusaders, he had 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers.

He earned his second Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor this year on Monday after picking up seven ground balls and causing a turnover against Duke. He also was primarily responsible for holding the Blue Devils’ All-American attacker Jordan Wolf to one goal. Fletcher was again honored on March 17 after limiting Army’s John Glesener to two goals on 22 shots.

This season, the Preseason All-American leads the Greyhounds with 30 ground balls, and he leads the squad with 11 caused turnovers. His 56 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

Short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on March 3 after matching his career-high with two goals at Lehigh.

The senior, who is a team co-captain and Preseason All-American, had a goal an assist versus Army, bringing his season totals to five goals an one assist. He now has 10 of each in his four-year career. His 10 caused turnovers this season have brought his career total to 51, fifth-most in school history.

 

Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has parlayed his opportunity into a solid start to the season. Through seven games, Schultz has scored 11 goals, third most on the team, and eight assists, second behind team-leader Justin Ward.

Entering this season, Schultz had seen most of his playing time on extra-man opportunities for the Greyhounds. As a sophomore and junior, he posted a combined three goals and five assists.

 

Tewaaraton Watch, Senior CLASS Award List Pair

Two of Loyola’s senior co-captains were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List when it was released last week. Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward were among the 50 players nationally to receive recognition.

They were also two of 20 players nationally to be named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award that seniors who have performed at a high level athletically and in the classroom and who have used their platforms as student-athletes to make positive impacts in the community.

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Maryland, Loyola hold on to top spots in weekly lacrosse rankings

Posted on 17 March 2014 by WNST Staff

#1 The University of Maryland lacrosse team played their closest game of the season this weekend, beating Villanova 12-10 Friday night to remain undefeated. They held on to the top spot in both the new weekly Inside Lacrosse media poll and the USILA Coaches’ Poll for a third straight week.

Loyola remained #2 behind the Terps in both polls after squeezing past Army 7-6 Saturday in a tough Patriot League contest. The news wasn’t as good for Johns Hopkins, who dropped in the weekly polls after suffering their first setback of the season-a 12-10 defeat at the hands of Syracuse.

Here are the new weekly polls, courtesy of NCAA.com. First the new media poll…

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Maryland (19) 6-0 399 1
2 Loyola Maryland (1) 6-1 380 2
3 Cornell 6-0 344 8
4 Duke 6-2 342 4
5 Denver 6-2 306 9
T6 North Carolina 5-2 277 5
T6 Syracuse 4-2 277 10
8 Johns Hopkins 5-1 272 3
9 Notre Dame 3-2 259 12
10 Virginia 6-2 234 6
11 Massachusetts 6-1 179 15
12 Princeton 3-2 170 16
13 Penn 3-2 134 11
14 Penn State 3-3 133 7
15 Bryant 5-2 106 20
16 Yale 3-2 92 17
17 Hofstra 4-2 79 18
18 Colgate 6-1 78 19
19 Albany 2-3 58 13
20 Lehigh 6-2 56 14

And the new Coaches’ poll…

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Maryland (12) 6-0 240 1
2 Loyola Maryland 6-1 228 T2
3 Duke 6-2 206 6
4 Cornell 6-0 191 8
5 Denver 6-2 176 9
6 Syracuse 4-2 174 10
7 North Carolina 5-2 173 4
8 Notre Dame 3-2 170 11
9 Johns Hopkins 5-1 160 T2
10 Virginia 6-2 124 7
11 Massachusetts 6-1 106 14
12 Penn State 3-3 104 5
13 Princeton 3-2 101 16
14 Penn 3-2 78 12
15 Bryant 5-2 65 18
16 Yale 3-2 60 17
17 Lehigh 6-2 48 15
18 Albany 2-3 35 13
19 Fairfield 4-2 22 19
20 Drexel 4-3 15 20

Towson is also receiving votes in the Coaches’ poll.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 17 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable MentionAuto Racing: NASCAR Auto Club 400 (Sunday 3pm from Fontana, CA live on FOX); Golf: PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 12:30pm live on Golf Channel 2pm live on NBC. All golf from Orlando), Champions Tour Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic (Friday 12:30pm Saturday & Sunday 5pm from Biloxi, MS live on Golf Channel), LPGA Tour Founders Cup (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7pm from Phoenix live on Golf Channel); MLS: DC United @ Toronto FC (Saturday 4:30pm from Toronto live on MLS Direct Kick)

10. Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil (Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Baltimore Arena); Rich Vos (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Pablo Francisco (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival (Friday & Saturday Timonium Fairgrounds); Muppets Most Wanted“, “Divergent” and “50 to 1” out in theaters (Friday) American Hustle“, “Saving Mr. Banks“, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and “Frozen” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I’ve been known to support the very important work they do at BBBBQ. In large part because they have mother effing pickle kabobs available there.

Also, this. (Language NSFW)

9. The Neighbourhood (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live); Marsha Ambrosius (Friday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Matt Schofield (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Mike Doughty (Saturday 8:30pm Rams Head on Stage); Asking Alexandria (Wednesday 6:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Switchfoot (Thursday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Drive-By Truckers (Saturday 8pm Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Bob Schneider (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere); Shamrock Fest feat. Dropkick Murphys/Carbon Leaf (Saturday 3pm RFK Stadium); Eddie Money (Friday 8:30pm The Hamilton); Foster The People “Supermodel” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

The Neighbourhood does all those songs you like.

I enjoy the work of Matt Schofield.

Forrester used to use a Mike Doughty song on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” all the time. For good reason.

I could listen to Bob Schneider sing this song ALL NIGHT.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Loyola’s Fletcher, Runkel honored again by Patriot League

Posted on 17 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Fletcher, Runkel Repeat As Patriot League Weekly Honorees

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Loyola University Maryland senior Jack Runkel won his fourth-straight Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week Award, and senior Joe Fletcher earned his third Defensive Player of the Week honor in four weeks, on Monday, the League office announced.

The pair led Loyola’s defense in an 7-6 win over the U.S. Military Academy on Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Runkel made a season-high 19 saves in goal for the second-ranked Greyhounds (6-1 overall, 3-0 Patriot League), three off his career-high, and he yielded just five goals off settled situations. He is also in the running for Inside Lacrosse’s Brine National Player of the Week.

Over Loyola’s last five games, Runkel has played to a 5.25 goals against average and made saves on 70.9 percent of the shots on goal he has faced. This year, in seven games, Runkel has allowed a 7.27 goals against average and made saves 61.8 percent of the time. His overall save percentage is fourth nationally, and his goals against average is seventh.

Fletcher was matched up against his former high school teammate John Glesener, the Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Glesener took 22 shots in the game, but most were from long-range, and he put only seven on goal. Runkel made saves on five of those shots, and Glesner finished with just two goals.

Fletcher also picked up five ground balls, all contested in traffic to help the Greyhounds to a 34-25 advantage in pickups. He leads the team with 30 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers this season.

Loyola is back in action midweek, playing at Georgetown University on Wednesday, March 19, at 6 p.m. in a game that will air live on CBS Sports Network.

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Fletcher, Runkel strong as Loyola tops Army in low scoring affair

Posted on 15 March 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland goalkeeper Jack Runkel made 19 saves on 45 U.S. Military Academy shots, and defender Joe Fletcher picked up five ground balls, as the second-ranked Greyhounds held off the Black Knights for a 7-6 Patriot League win on Saturday afternoon in front of 2,624 fans at Ridley Athletic Complex.

In addition to his ground balls, several of which came at key moments in the action, Fletcher held his Army’s leading scorer, John Glessner who entered the game with 15 goals and seven assists, to two goals on 22 shots.

Loyola (6-1 overall, 3-0 Patriot League) entered the game ranked third nationally in shooting percentage, scoring on 37.9 percent of their shots this season. The Black Knights’ defense, which was first in the nation in scoring defense by allowing just 5.33 goals in their first six games, held the Greyhounds to just 20 percent from the field (seven goals on 35 shots), its worst mark of the year.

After Loyola scored the first two goals of the game, Army (4-3, 2-1) evened the game with just eight-tenths of a second left in the first period. Glessner, a high school teammate of Fletcher’s at West Genesse High School in Syracuse, went on the run down the right alley and snuck a hard shot inside the far post to tie the game at 3-3.

A scoreless second quarter that saw Runkel make five saves and Army’s Sam Somers post three, Army took a 4-3 lead 2:23 into the third quarter when Shea Mullins scored his second of the game. Mullins rolled right-to-left 12 yards out and tallied a goal with a sidearm shot.

Later in the third quarter, the Greyhounds had a protracted offensive possession, extended by Pat Frazier and Fletcher pickups after balls rolled to or over the midfield line.

Somers made a save on a Brian Schultz shot from the left side, but the ball rebouned out of the crease and into traffic. An Army defender came up with the ball momentarily, but it was jostled away,Kevin Ryan picked up the loose ball and scored his second of the game to tie the score at 4-4 with 6:53 left in the frame.

Loyola went back in front with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter as Justin Ward fed Schultz who was rolling the crease. Schultz got topside and scored to push the Greyhounds up one.

Nearly a third of the way into the fourth quarter, Army went a man-down after an unnecessary roughness call, and the Black Knights were forced to play two short after a cross-check was flagged during the playout of the extra-man opportunity.

Ward used the two-man advantage to the Greyhounds’ benefit, shooting a hard pass from the point to Nikko Pontrello on the top left of the crease, and Pontrello shot-faked Somers to score at 10:45.

Less than two minutes later, Loyola pressed out to its largest lead of the game, 7-4, when it recorded a transition goal.

Runkel made a save on a Glessner shot, and Fletcher picked up the ground ball as it rebounded out of the crease. Defender Pat Frazier made the run into the offensive box for Loyola, and Pat Laconifound him posted up four yards in front of the goal. Frazier scored his first career goal at 8:52, giving the Greyhounds a three-goal lead.

Minutes later, Somers stopped a Schultz right-side attempt, but Zack Sirico came up with a ground ball in front of the crease from his knees. Sirico flipped an over-the shoulder shot from the ground, but Somers was there again to make the save.

Somers sent an outlet over the top, and Army’s Jimbo D’Aprile ran the ball into the offensive end. He found Glessner on the doorstep of the left side, and he finished with his second goal of the game at 4:22.

Loyola looked to run more time off the clock, but Pat Hart caused a turnover for the Black Knights. In transition, Tim Stackpole took a shot, but a Loyola defender checked his stick. The ball floated right to Will Mazzone on the close left side, and Mazzone scored at 2:18 to make it a 7-6 Loyola lead.

Army won the ensuing faceoff, but Glessner’s first attempt was high, and Runkel saved the second to give the Greyhounds possession.

Loyola successfully cleared the ball, and Ward broke out of a triple-team at the top left corner of the box. He threw a lob pass to Shultz on the opposite side of the crease, and Schultz dumped a one-time shot on goal. Somers, however, came sliding across to make a save, and Army cleared the ball with 30 seconds to play in regulation.

An initial Glessner attempt went wide left, and the Black Knights took a timeout with just over six seconds left on the clock. Glessner tried to speed-dodge Fletcher from the end line, but he could not get an angle, and his shot went wide right and out of bounds with just over a second left.

Led by the five from Fletcher, Loyola had a 34-25 advantage in ground balls, a mark that was 20-11 in the second half.

The Greyhounds scored the first two goals of the game, opening up with a Ryan extra-man goal off a Ward assist at 13:01. Laconi then struck in transition at 10:34 after causing a turnover, picking up a ground ball and running a one-man clear.

Mullins scored Army’s first at 5:54, but Pontrello posted up on his defender and scored from the left side at 2:41 to put the Greyhounds up, 3-1.

Gunnar Miller used a long-range bouncer to pull Army within a goal with 60 seconds left in the first quarter before Glesener’s first strike tied the game.

The Greyhounds are back in action quickly as they travel to Washington, D.C., for a 6 p.m. faceoff at Georgetown University on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. The game from Multi-Sport Field will air live on CBS Sports Network.

 

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Loyola plays first ever home Patriot League contest Saturday against Army

Posted on 14 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Army Black Knights

Saturday, March 15, 2014  |  1:00 p.m.

Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland plays its second-straight home game on Saturday, March 15, when it hosts the U.S. Military Academy at 1 p.m.

The game will be Loyola’s first home Patriot League contest since officially joining the conference on July 1, 2013.

The Greyhounds are third nationally in goals per game, averaging 14.83, and they are also third in scoring margin with a +7.0 mark in their five games.

Nikko Pontrello moved up to third in the nation in goals per game (4.0) after scoring five last Sunday against Duke.

Justin Ward is now third nationally in assists per game (3.17). Ward has posted two or more assists in all of Loyola’s six games thus far.

Loyola has won its first two Patriot League games – at Holy Cross and Lehigh – by a combined score of 30-11.

Three Loyola players – Matt Sawyer (offensive), Joe Fletcher (defensive), and Jack Runkel (goalkeeper) – swept the Patriot League weekly awards on Monday following the win over Duke.

Duke had a 13-10 advantage in faceoffs won last Saturday, but led by Joe Fletcher’s seven, the Greyhounds came away with a 35-34 lead in ground balls.

Last Time Out

Loyola trailed Duke, 4-3, after the first quarter, but the Greyhounds scored 10 of the next 12 goals to go on to a 14-7 victory over the Blue Devils on Sunday night in front of a national television audience and 3,912 fans at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Matt Sawyer tripled his previous career-high with six goals, and Nikko Pontrello tallied five goals for the Greyhounds. The two needed just 14 shots for their 11 goals.

Sawyer and Pontrello scored goals within 1:07 of each other early int he second quarter, and Sawyer added two more in the frame to help the Greyhounds go into the locker room with an 8-5 advantage.

Pontrello then added the first two goals of the second half, and each had scores in the first two minutes of the third quarter, as did Justin Ward.

Ward finished with a goal and four assists, while Brian Schultz posted a goal and two helpers. Jeff Chase had the other Greyhounds goal.

Jack Runkel made nine saves in goal for the Greyhounds, as the defense allowed seven or fewer goals for the fourth-straight game.

 

 

Follow The Action

Saturday’s game, and all non-televised home games, will be broadcast on the Patriot League Network. Additionally, all of Loyola’s road conference games will also be available on the free HD network.

Log on to LoyolaGreyhounds.com/pln or PatriotLeague.tv to watch the home games on your computer, web-enabled televisions and most mobile devices.

 

In The Polls

Loyola moved up in the polls following its win last weekend over then-No. 4 Duke. The Greyhounds are now tied for second in he USILA Coaches’ Poll and second outright in both the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls he Lacrosse Magazine rankings.

Army enters the game receiving votes in both the in the USILA Coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse version.

 

Series History

Saturday will be the second meeting all-time between Loyola and the U.S. Military Academy and the first 71 years.

Army won the first meeting of the two teams at the end of the 1943 season, 9-3, in Baltimore.

 

Since 2012

Loyola has the best winning percentage in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse since the start of the 2012 season. The Greyhounds are 34-7 during that stretch (17-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 5-1 this season) for a .829 mark.

Only Duke has won more games (36) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by nearly eight percent (36-12, .750).

 

Five-Plus For Two

Matt Sawyer scored six goals, and Nikko Pontrello tallied five for the Greyhounds on Sunday against Duke, marking the first time in over a decade that two Loyola players have scored five or more in the same game.

The last pair to do so was Gavin Prout (six) and Tim Goettelmann (five) in a 14-9 win on March 25, 2000, at 14th-ranked Brown University.

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all six of its games this season, and it has had four stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 11 runs of 3-0 or better. Here is a look at their four best scoring stretches:

Opponent Run Time Covered   Opponent Run Time Covered
at Holy Cross 14-0 38:58   Towson 10-0 16:38
at Virginia 9-0 14:18   Towson 7-0 18:37

 

 

Tripled Up

Matt Sawyer entered Sunday’s game against Duke with a single-game high of two goals, those coming in the season-opener at the University of Virginia. It took the senior from Waxhaw, N.C., just 15-minutes, 56-seconds against the Blue Devils to match that total, and 20:51 to exceed it.

Sawyer finished the game by tripling his previous high, totaling six goals on just seven shots. His lone shot that did not find the net was perhaps his hardest of the night, and it went off the far-side post.

His six goals raised his 2014 total to 10, tied for third on the team. He now has 14 goals in his career.

Sunday’s game was not the first time a member of the Sawyer family had put up six goals on Duke. Matt’s older brother, three-time All-American Mike, scored six goals and had two assists in a 13-8 win over the Blue Devils in March 2012.

 

Slowing Scorers

Duke’s Jordan Wolf and Josh Dionne came into Sunday’s game tied for the team lead in goals (12 each), and the duo had a combined 235 career goals. Loyola, however, held them to just one goal each in the victory.

In four career games against Loyola, prior to Sunday, Wolf had scored nine goals.

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello had his sixth multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Sunday when he scored a five goals against Duke. The game came a week after he scored four at Lehigh and two since he set a career-high with six goals at Holy Cross. The junior attacker scored twice in the opener against Virginia, and he then recorded three versus both Penn State and Towson. His final goal against the Nittany Lions came 19 seconds into overtime and lifted Loyola to a 12-11 win. In his career, Loyola is now 8-0 in games that he scored three or more goals.

Pontrello leads the Greyhounds with 24 goals and 29 points through six games. He has already eclipsed his goal total from last year when he finished his sophomore campaign with 16.

He leads the Patriot League and is third nationally in goals per game (4.0), while he is second and seventh in points per game (4.83).

 

Record-Setting Quarterback

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 13 combined assists in the last three contests. He is third in the nation, and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.17 assists per game this year.

With four assists against Duke – the second game in a row he’s posted that total – Ward set Loyola’s career Division I record (since 1982) in total assists (85), eclipsing the mark of 83 set from 1989-92 by Jim Blanding. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also 15th in school Division I history in total points with 130.

Ward is in his third year as a starter on attack for the Greyhound after earning USILA All-America Honorable Mention last year after finishing tops on the team in points (62) and assists (35) and second in goals (27). His 62 points ranked tied for fifth in school single-season Division I history, and his 35 assists check in at third on that list.

 

Midfield Scoring

Entering the 2014 season, Loyola was looking to replace five of its top seven offensive midfielders from a year ago, a group that included All-American Davis Butts, as well as first middies Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan. As a group, the five contributed 47 goals, 29 assists and 76 points, right at 25 percent of the Greyhounds total in each.

This year, Loyola’s first and second midfield units have scored more than 47 percent of the team’s goals, a total of 42. Kevin Ryan scored eight goals combined against Holy Cross and Lehigh, and he is second on the team with 11 total. Matt Sawyer’s six versus Duke moved him into a tie for third with 10 total, and Tyler Albrecht is fifth on the squad with eight goals, while Brian Sherlock has six goals and five assists.

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .643 mark, saving 54 out of 84 shots on goal he’s faced. In the last four games against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh and Duke, Runkel has made 42 saves and allowed just 19 goals (.689).

The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.51 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .582 through five games.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.91 goals against average and .551 saves percentage. His record between the pipes is 32-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 39 victories. Amato, however, is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.

 

Fletch, White And Blue

Senior defender Joe Fletcher was the long current collegiate player selected as part of one of 52 players who made up the United States Men’s National Team training roster this fall, and the day before Loyola’s season-opener, he found out he is one of 30 players who made the cut for the team that will compete at the 2014 World Cup in Denver.

Against Holy Cross, Fletcher set a career-high with eight ground balls, eclipsing his previous total of seven set on three different occasions. In a pair of games against Towson and the Crusaders, he had 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers.

He earned his second Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor this year on Monday after picking up seven ground balls and causing a turnover against Duke. He also was primarily responsible for holding the Blue Devils’ All-American attacker Jordan Wolf to one goal.

This season, the Preseason All-American is tied for Loyola’s team-lead with 25 ground balls, and he leads the squad with 11 caused turnovers. His 56 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

Short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on March 3 after matching his career-high with two goals at Lehigh.

The senior, who is a team co-captain and Preseason All-American, also scored twice against Towson, and his four goals match his total from a year ago when he scored four times and assisted on six. Laconi also is second on the team with seven caused turnovers this season.

 

Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has parlayed his opportunity into a solid start to the season. Through six games, Schultz has scored 10 goals, tied for third most on the team, and eight assists, second behind team-leader Justin Ward.

Entering this season, Schultz had seen most of his playing time on extra-man opportunities for the Greyhounds. As a sophomore and junior, he posted a combined three goals and five assists.

 

Hot Hand

Steve Vaikness, Loyola’s volunteer assistant coach lauded by many in the media as the top faceoff teacher in the nation, has pulled the right strings in the first five games with a faceoff group of Blake Burkhart, Brendan Donovan and Graham Savio.

In the Virginia game, Savio came in to win 11-of-18 restarts, and Donovan then provided wins in 4-of-7 during a critical stretch at Penn State. Burkhart shined against Towson, winning 10-of-14 as Loyola jumped out to a big lead. It was Savio again at Holy Cross, as the freshman won 14-of-18 draws.

Savio then took all of the faceoffs at Lehigh, winning a career-high 15-of-24. He battled Duke All-American Brendan Fowler on Sunday, going 10-of-21 (.476) against the 2013 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

As a unit, Loyola is winning 52.3 percent of faceoffs, up from last year’s mark of 46.5.

 

Tewaaraton Watch, Senior CLASS Award List Pair

Two of Loyola’s senior co-captains were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List when it was released last week. Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward were among the 50 players nationally to receive recognition.

They were also two of 20 players nationally to be named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award that seniors who have performed at a high level athletically and in the classroom and who have used their platforms as student-athletes to make positive impacts in the community.

 

Margin In Two

As Loyola outscored Towson and Holy Cross by a combined 28 goals, 36-8, it took a bit of time to find precedent for the last time the Greyhounds won back-to-back games by such a margin. The last time Loyola won two by 28 or more goals goes back to the Dave Cottle-coached 1996 team that beat Saint Joseph’s, 26-6, on April 10 and C.W. Post, 17-5, on April 13. That combined margin of victory was 32 goals, 43-11.

The last time Loyola scored a combined 36 goals in consecutive games was 2007 when it tallied 19 against Fairfield on April 21 and 17 versus Hobart a week later. The last time the Greyhounds yielded eight or fewer in back-to-back outings was 2001 when they beat Radford, 18-5, on April 11, and Butler, 12-3, on April 14.

 

Patriot League Honors

Loyola players have earned 10 Patriot League weekly awards over the last three weeks. Matt Sawyer (Offensive) won his first award, while Jack Runkel (Goalkeeper) won his third-straight, and Joe Fletcher (Defensive) earned his second in three weeks on Monday, March 10. Prior to Sawyer winning the offensive award, Nikko Pontrello had earned two in a row, while Pat Laconi (Defensive, March 3), Joe Fletcher (Defensive, February 24) and Brian Sherlock (Rookie, February 24) also were honored.

Romar Dennis won the initial Rookie of the Week Award this year after scoring twice in the season-opener at Virginia.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 11 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable MentionNBA-Charlotte Bobcats @ Washington Wizards (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Orlando Magic (Friday 7pm from Orlando live on Comcast SportsNet), Brooklyn Nets @ Washington Wizards (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Women’s College Basketball: CAA Tournament (Thursday-Sunday from Showplace Arena live on CAA.TV/Comcast SportsNet), Selection Monday (Monday 7pm ESPN); Golf: PGA Tour Valspar Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on NBC. All golf from Palm Harbor, FL), Champions Tour Toshiba Classic (Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7pm from Newport Beach, CA live on Golf Channel); Harlem Globetrotters (Saturday 1pm Verizon Center Saturday 7:30pm Sunday 2pm Patriot Center)

10. Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Sunday 2pm Inner Harbor); Shamrock Shindig (Sunday 11am Pierce’s Park); Need For Speed” and “Veronica Mars” out in theaters (Friday); Inside Llewyn Davis“, “Homefront” and “The Book Thief” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

Two very important things here. One, the appropriate St. Patty’s Day meal is NOT Corned Beef and Cabbage. It’s this.

Two-A reminder that after NFS star Aaron Paul (perhaps you’ve heard of him) finished his interview with us at the Super Bowl, he came back by the table to tell us it was his favorite one of the year. He personally thanked me. Because we’re best friends.

9. Shamrocks & Shenanigans feat. Mighty Mighty Bosstones (Saturday 7pm Power Plant Live); Paul Simon & Sting (Thursday 8pm Verizon Center); Uncle Kracker (Thursday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Mac McAnally (Saturday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Dr. Dog (Friday & Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Steve Earle (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere); The Moody Blues (Tuesday 8pm Strathmore); The Head and The Heart (Saturday 10:45am Rock N Roll Marathon DC); Ellie Goulding (Sunday 7pm Echostage); 311 “Stereolithic” and Aloe Blacc “Lift Your Spirit” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Mighty Mighty Bosstones were the band from Clueless. Also, you’re 44. I understand how difficult this is. Just remember I love you.

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I’m surprised Paul Simon has time to tour considering he’s spending most of his time posing for the cover of Tiger Beat.

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I’d like to see Sting in DC and I’d like to see him at WrestleMania.

)

Aloe Blacc is that guy whose song you’ve NEVER STOPPED HEARING.

)

(Continued on Page 2...)

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Maryland, Loyola, Hopkins claim top spots in weekly lacrosse polls

Posted on 10 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Area lacrosse teams continued a great start to the 2014 this weekend and have been rewarded for it by rising in the weekly polls. The University of Maryland went on the road and topped Stony Brook 11-8 to remain unbeaten, Johns Hopkins used two big runs to top UMBC 15-8 Saturday afternoon and Loyola doubled up Duke Sunday night at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Here are this week’s new rankings (courtesy of NCAA.com), starting with the Inside Lacrosse media poll.

RANK SCHOOL RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Maryland (22) 5-0 459 1
2 Loyola (Md.) (1) 5-1 432 5
3 Johns Hopkins 5-0 411 4
4 Duke 4-2 352 3
5 North Carolina 4-1 344 8
6 Virginia 6-1 338 2
7 Penn State 3-1 328 7
8 Cornell 5-0 303 15
9 Denver 4-2 281 12
10 Syracuse 3-2 274 9
11 Penn 3-1 233 13
12 Notre Dame 2-2 228 6
13 Albany 2-2 166 17
14 Lehigh 5-1 142 16
15 Massachusetts 4-1 126 10
16 Princeton 2-2 124 14
17 Yale 2-1 114 11
18 Hofstra 3-2 47 NR
19 Colgate 5-1 35 NR
20 Bryant 3-2 31 NR

Of note, Towson appeared in the “Also receiving votes” portion of the IL poll. Now here is the new USILA coaches’ poll…

RANK SCHOOL RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Maryland (13) 5-0 278 1
T2 Johns Hopkins 5-0 257 3
T2 Loyola (Md.) (1) 5-1 257 5
4 North Carolina 4-1 225 6
5 Penn State 3-1 207 7
6 Duke 4-2 206 4
7 Virginia 6-1 205 2
8 Cornell 5-0 178 15
9 Denver 4-2 168 12
10 Syracuse 3-2 161 11
11 Notre Dame 2-2 140 8
12 Penn 3-1 123 14
13 Albany 2-2 104 18
14 Massachusetts 4-1 87 9
15 Lehigh 5-1 85 16
16 Princeton 2-2 83 13
17 Yale 2-1 61 10
18 Bryant 3-2 29 NR
19 Fairfield 3-2 21 NR
20 Drexel 3-3 19 17

 

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Loyola lacrosse players sweep Patriot League weekly awards

Posted on 10 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Sawyer, Fletcher, Runkel Grab Patriot League Weekly Awards

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – For the second week in a row, three Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse players won weekly honors from the Patriot League. Matt Sawyer, Joe Fletcher and Jack Runkel won the offensive, defensive and goalkeepers of the week honors on Monday following the Greyhounds’ 14-7 win on Sunday night over then-No. 4 Duke University.

Loyola (5-1 overall) moved up to a tie for second in the USILA coaches’ poll and second outright in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse andLacrosse Magazine media rankings.

Sawyer tripled his previous career-high on Sunday night against the Blue Devils, scoring a game-best six goals for Loyola. He tallied four goals before halftime, helping the Greyhounds to an 8-4 lead at the break, and he tallied extra-man goals in both halves.

Entering the game, the Waxhaw, N.C., native entered the game with eight total goals, four last season and four in the Greyhounds’ first five this year. His previous best of two goals came in the season-opener at the University of Virginia.

Fletcher’s defensive honor is his second in three weeks. Against Duke, he picked up seven ground balls, helping the Greyhounds win the possession battle, and he caused a turnover. He had primary man marking responsibilities for the Blue Devils’ Jordan Wolf. The All-American entered the game leading Duke with 12 goals and five assists, but Fletcher held him to one goal.

Runkel earned his third-straight Goalkeeper of the Week honor, making nine saves against the Blue Devils while yielding just seven goals. Over the Greyhounds’ last four games, wins against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh and Duke, the senior from Fairfield, Conn., has directed the defense in allowing only 20 goals while he has been on the field.

Loyola steps back into Patriot League play this weekend when it hosts the U.S. Military Academy at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, at Ridley Athletic Complex.

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