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Loyola’s Fletcher, Ward named Senior CLASS Award Finalists

Posted on 02 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Fletcher, Ward Named Senior CLASS Award Finalists

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Loyola University Maryland co-captains Joe Fletcher (Syracuse, N.Y./West Genesee H.S.) and Justin Ward (Glen Burnie, Md./Old Mill H.S.) have been named two of 10 finalists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award, making Loyola the only school with a pair of finalists.

“Justin and Joe continue to show why they are two of the best lacrosse players in the game, and their being named finalists for this award is a great recognition of all they have accomplished on and off the field,” said Charley Toomey, Loyola’s head coach.

The Patriot League is represented by three of the 10 finalists Lehigh University’s Ty Souders joins Fletcher and Ward. The other finalists, who were culled from an initial list of 20 nominees, are Troy Dennis (University of Detroit), John LoCascio (Villanova University), Michael Ehrhardt (University of Maryland), Stephen O’Hara (University of Notre Dame), Rob Emery (University of Virginia) and Tom Schreiber (Princeton University).

This marks the second year in a row that Loyola has placed at least one student-athlete on the list of finalists, following Scott Ratliff’s inclusion last year.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 20 candidates announced in February. Fans can vote daily on the Senior CLASS Award website to help select the winner. Fan voting, which continues through May 12, will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Lacrosse Championships in Baltimore May 24-26.

Fletcher and Ward have continued to lead the No. 1-ranked Greyhounds on and off the field this season. Loyola is 9-1 overall, 5-0 in the Patriot League, entering Saturday’s game at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Through the first 10 games of the season, Ward is pacing the Greyhounds with 44 points. He has scored 11 goals and is second nationally with 33 assists. Earlier this season, he became Loyola’s all-time Division I leader in career assists, and last Saturday he tallied the 100th helper of his four years with the Greyhounds.

In addition to his list-leading status in career assists, he is tied for ninth in school Division I history (since 1982) in total points with 150. His 33 assists this year are already fifth-most on the school’s single-season Division I leader chart, five shy of tying Sean Heffernan’s 1994 record.

Ward is also a member of Loyola’s SAAC and serves as the group’s Director of Media. With Fletcher, he is participating in the Loyola Leadership Academy with Janssen Sports Leadership. Ward has participated in community outreach with Loyola’s York Road Initiative and is a volunteer with the homeless shelter at his family’s church, Glen Burnie United Methodist Church.

Fletcher has continued to be a leader of the Greyhounds’ defense that is ranked fourth in Division I by allowing only 7.4 goals per game. While drawing one-on-one defensive responsibilities for some of the game’s top attackers, Fletcher is second on the team and tops amongst close defenders with 44 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers.

The day before the 2014 campaign kicked off, Fletcher was named to the U.S. Men’s Lacrosse National Team 30-man roster for this summer’s Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship in Denver. He will now view for one of the 23 spots of those who will take the field for the Red, White and Blue.

Off the field, Fletcher is one of the most involved students on the Loyola campus. He is co-president of the Greyhounds’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a member of Loyola’s Green & Grey Society – a group of 14 students that serves as a liaison to the school’s president, cabinet and board of trustees – and he has volunteered his time with many service projects throughout the campus.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

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Loyola’s Runkel, Fletcher pick up weekly Patriot League honors again

Posted on 31 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Runkel, Fletcher Garner Patriot League Weekly Honors

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Loyola University Maryland seniors Jack Runkel and Joe Fletcher were named the Patriot League Goalkeeper and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively for the fifth and fourth times this season.

Runkel’s fifth weekly award matches the most weekly awards any player in the conference has earned in a single season, equaling the totals accumulated by a pair of U.S. Military Academy goalkeepers, Adam Fullerton and Tom Palesky, in 2008 and 2011, respectively. No player has won any Patriot League weekly award six times.

Fletcher’s fourth award is more than any other player in League history has earned Defensive Player of the Week honors. Nine players have previously received the honor four times.

Runkel made 12 saves on 20 shots on goal in a 10-8 win Saturday at then-No. 17 Colgate University to help the top-ranked Greyhounds move to 9-1 overall this year, 5-0 in the Patriot League. He posted four of the saves during the fourth quarter as Loyola led by no more than two.

Over Loyola’s last eight games, Runkel has a 5.93 goals against average. Overall this year, he has made saves on 60.7 percent of the shots on goal he’s faced, and he has a 7.24 goals against average.

Fletcher picked up seven ground balls and caused a turnover on Saturday against the Raiders, and he had primary marking responsibilities for Colgate’s leading scorer, Ryan Walsh. The Raiders junior attacker was held without a goal or assist, marking the first time in his 43 collegiate games that he has gone without a point.

This season, Fletcher leads Loyola’s close defensemen with 44 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers.

The Greyhounds are back in action on Saturday, April 5, when they travel to Annapolis, Md., for a 12 noon game at the U.S. Naval Academy in Patriot League play.

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Loyola looks for seventh straight Saturday against Lafayette

Posted on 21 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Game Information
Opponent Lafayette Leopards
Date Saturday, March 22, 2014
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

  • Loyola University Maryland plays its second game of the week on Saturday, March 22, when it hosts Lafayette College at 1 o’clock.
  • After winning four games by an average of 10.5 goals, and none by less than seven, the Greyhounds have won two-straight by one goal.
  • Loyola committed just seven turnovers on Wednesday night at Georgetown to reduce its nation-leading turnovers per game mark to 10.0.
  • Nikko Pontrello, who on Thursday was added to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, scored three goals against the Hoyas and now leads the NCAA in total goals with 29. He is fourth nationally in goals per game (3.625).
  • Justin Ward passed out four assists Wednesday in addition to scoring a goal to raise his season total to 26, also tops in the country.
  • Kevin Ryan is 10th nationally in shot percentage. He has scored goals on 51.9 percent of his shots (14-of-27) this year.
  • Pat Frazier picked up a career-high four ground balls on Wednesday night at Georgetown. He’s also third on the team with eight caused turnovers.

Last Time Out

  • Nikko Pontrello scored all three of his goals in the second half on Wednesday night, his final tally coming with 51.4 seconds left to lift Loyola to a 10-9 non-conference victory at Georgetown.
  • Pontrello had tied the game with 7:55 left, shot-faking from the crease after a Justin Ward pass, and with less than a minute to play in regulation, he dodged from behind the crease and rolled toward the goal, beating Jake Haley low with his shot.
  • Georgetown won the ensuing faceoff, and the Hoyas called two timeouts to set up a final shot. David Manning, however, stripped Bo Stafford of the ball with less than seven seconds left, and Joe Fletcher picked up the ground ball to secure the win for the Greyhounds.
  • Georgetown scored three-straight goals that spanned the second and third quarters to take a 7-5 advantage 3:30 into the third. Brian Schultz bookended Pontrello’s first goal to push Loyola back in front with 2:47 left in the third.
  • The Hoyas rallied to regain the lead, however, with 11:19 to go in regulation. The game finished with seven ties and five lead changes.

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.
  • Brett Hollander will call the play-by-play, and Chris Gunkel ’90 will provide the analysis.

In The Polls    

  • With last Saturday’s 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    

  • Loyola and Lafayette will play for the second time in series history, but Saturday’s game will be the first meeting since Loyola’s opening game of the 1939 season. In that contest, the Greyhounds beat the Leopards, 15-1.

Get To Ten    

  • Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 62 occasions. After defeating the Hoyas, 10-9, on Wednesday, Loyola has won 80.6 percent of those games (50-12).

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 36-7 during that stretch (17-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 7-1 this season) for a .837 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).

Chart Toppers    

  • A pair of Greyhounds attackers lead the nation through games of Wednesday, March 19, in both total goals and assists. Nikko Pontrello paces Division I with 29 goals, while Justin Ward is first with 26 assists.

Pontrello Putting Up Points    

  • Nikko Pontrello had his eighth multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Saturday when he scored three in the second half against Georgetown. Through games of Wednesday, March 19, Pontrello leads the nation in total goals with 29.
  • He scored two in the season-opener at Virginia and then had three against Penn State and Towson before scoring a career-high six goals at Holy Cross. He then tallied four at Lehigh and five against Duke.
  • Two of his goals have been game-winners in one-goal contests. Pontrello scored 19 seconds into overtime to give Loyola a 12-11 win at Penn State, and he then tallied one with 51.4 seconds left in regulation to push the Greyhounds past Georgetown, 10-9.
  • Pontrello leads the Greyhounds with 29 goals and 34 points through eight 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 fourth nationally in goals per game (3.65), while he is first and 12th in points per game (4.43).

Stopping Shots    

  • After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .646 mark, saving 82 out of 127 shots on goal he’s faced. In a six-game stretch  against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel 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 7.51 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .603 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 7.89 goals against average and .557 saves percentage; his record between the pipes is 34-6. 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.

Record-Setting Quarterback    

  • Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 20 assists in the last five contests. He leads the nation in total assists (26) and is third in the nation, and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.25 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 four at Georgetown, Ward now has 93 in his career. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also 12th in school Division I history in total points with 138.
  • 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.

On Target    

  • Kevin Ryan scored twice against Army, needing just two shots, and he added a first-quarter goal against Georgetown. Through eight games, the senior midfielder has scored on 14 of his 27 shots for a shooting percentage of .519, the 10th-best shooting percentage in the nation this year.
  • 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 has converted on exactly half of its man-up possessions this year, scoring 13 goals on 26 opportunities. Its .500 success rate is good for a tie for ninth in NCAA Division I through games of Thursday, March 20.
  • Nikko Pontrello 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 eight of its games this season, and it has had four stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 13 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.

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 32 ground balls, and he is tied for the squad lead with 12 caused turnovers. His 57 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 and a goal at Georgetown, bringing his season totals to six goals an one assist. He now has 11 goals and 10 assists in his four-year career. His 12 caused turnovers this season have brought his career total to 53, tied for fourth 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 eight games, Schultz has scored 13 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.
  • In addition to the senior duo that is on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, junior attacker Nikko Pontrello was also named to the group on March 20.

Up Next    

  • The Greyhounds play their next two games, both Patriot League tilts, on the road. They head to Hamilton, N.Y., for a Saturday, March 29, game at Colgate University before traveling to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Saturday, April 5.

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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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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 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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Red hot Loyola looks to continue streak Saturday at Lehigh

Posted on 28 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Saturday, March 1, 2014  |  12:00 p.m.

Bethlehem, Pa. | Ulrich Sports Complex

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse plays its second-straight Patriot League road game on Saturday, March 1, when it heads to Bethlehem, Pa., for a 12 noon faceoff at No. 14 Lehigh University.

The Greyhounds are coming off a week in which they outscored Towson University and College of the Holy Cross, 36-8, in two victories.

Loyola earned a win in its first-ever Patriot League game last Saturday, a 16-4 decision in Worcester, Mass., against the Crusaders.

Four Loyola players – Nikko Pontrello (offensive), Joe Fletcher (defensive), Jack Runkel (goalkeeper) and Brian Sherlock (rookie) – swept the Patriot League weekly awards on Mondayfollowing the pair of wins.

Loyola used a 40-17 advantage in ground balls on Saturday during the win at Holy Cross. The 23-groundball advantage was the largest the Greyhounds have posted in Charley Toomey’s nine years as head coach, eclipsing a margin of 20 in 2008 against St. John’s.

Nikko Pontrello scored six goals Saturday, increasing his team-lead to 15.

 

 

Last Time Out

Loyola recorded its second-straight double-digit win on February 22 when it opened its tenure in the Patriot League with a 16-4 defeat of Holy Cross.

The Crusaders took a 3-2 lead on a Clay Haarmann goal with 6:36 left in the first quarter, and neither Loyola, nor Holy Cross, scored for the remainder of the period. Nikko Pontrello tallied his second of the game 56 seconds into the second quarter, starting a 14-0 run that would carry into the fourth quarter.

Pontrello finished with a career-high six goals, including four-straight to start the third quarter, while Brian Schultz had career-bests of three goals, four assists and seven points. Kevin Ryan scored a personal-best three goals on just three shots, and Justin Ward matched his high with five assists.

Holy Cross won three of the game’s first four faceoffs, but the Greyhounds finished with a 16-8 overall advantage in restarts. Graham Savio won a career-best 14-of-18 at the ‘X’ for Loyola and picked up seven ground balls in the process.

Joe Fletcher led all players with a career-high eight ground balls, and Jack Runkel posted 12 saves in goal.

 

 

Follow The Action

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

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

 

In The Polls

Loyola moved up in the polls following their wins last week over Towson and Villanova. The Greyhounds are now seventh in the USILA Coaches’ Poll and eighth in both the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine Media Rankings.

Lehigh also moved up in the polls and is 14th in all three versions. Saturday’s game will be Loyola’s third against a ranked opponent this year (also at Virginia and at Penn State).

 

Series History

Loyola and Lehigh will meet for the eighth time on the lacrosse field when the teams take the field Saturday.

The Greyhounds, who are 7-0 all-time against the Mountain Hawks, last played Lehigh on April 15, 1998. Loyola won that game 20-2 at Curley Field in a season which the Greyhounds would reach the NCAA Semifinals.

The Greyhounds are 15-6 all-time against teams from their new conference after Saturday’s win at Holy Cross, having played Army, Bucknell, Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy in the past. Other than a series with Navy in 2010-2011, Loyola last played a Patriot League team in 1998 when it took on the Mountain Hawks.

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all four of its games this season, and it has had four stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have six 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

 

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello had his fourth multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Saturday when 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 6-0 in games that he scored three or more goals.

Pontrello leads the Greyhounds with 15 goals and 19 points through four games. He is closing in on his goal total from last year when he finished his sophomore campaign with 16.

He leads the Patriot League and is 11th nationally in goals per game (3.75), while he is second and 17th in points per game (4.75).

 

Schultz, Ryan With Career-Bests

In addition to Nikko Pontrello’s career-high six goals Saturday at Holy Cross, Brian Schultz led Loyola with seven points, also a personal-best. He set career-highs with three goals and four assists, bringing his seasonal totals to seven goals, six assists and 13 points in his first year as a starter.

Kevin Ryan also had a career-high in goals against the Crusaders, needing just three shots to score three goals. He has six goals and an assist from the midfield this year.

 

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 nearly 48 percent of the team’s goals, a total of 29. Tyler Albrecht is second on the team with eight goals, while Brian Sherlock has six goals and four assists, and Kevin Ryan had tallied six and one.

 

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 four 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.

As a unit, Loyola is winning 51.9 percent of faceoffs, up from last year’s mark of 46.5.

 

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.

 

Sweep Of Patriot League Honors

Four Loyola players swept the Patriot League weekly awards on Monday, February 24, as Nikko Pontrello (Offensive), Joe Fletcher (Defensive), Jack Runkel (Goalkeeper) and Brian Sherlock (Rookie) won the honors.

Pontrello scored 10 goals and had an assist in two games against Towson and Holy Cross, while Fletcher and Runkel led a defense that gave up just four goals in each. Fletcher had 11 ground balls, including a career-high eight at Holy Cross, and three caused turnovers; Runkel posted 20 saves and a combined 2.79 goals against average, yielding just six total goals. Sherlock continued excellent two-way midfielder play, scoring four goals, assisting on two and picking up six ground balls.

 

Stopping Shots

Jack Runkel posted 12 saves, including five in the fourth quarter, of the win against Penn State after making just three stops in the season-opener against Virginia.

The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, made five of the saves in the fourth quarter as Penn State took 13 shots.

Runkel then directed the Loyola defense to dominating performances against Towson and Holy Cross. He made four saves in the first quarter and allowed just two goals over more than 54 minutes of action, stopping a total of eight shots against the Tigers. He then had a scoreless stretch of more than 46 minutes against the Crusaders and finished with 12 saves against just three goals allowed.

 

Quarterbacking The Offense

Justin Ward returns for his third year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds and will once again serve as Loyola’s quarterback from ‘X’. Last season, Ward earned USILA All-America Honorable Mention 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.

With a career-high tying five assists at Holy Cross, Ward moved past Mike Ruland and into fourth-place in Loyola’s Division I history with 78. He is one assist back of Shane Koppens for third place. Ward is also 19th in school Division I history in total points with 121.

Ward leads the Patriot League and is 12th nationally with 2.75 assists per game.

 

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. This season, the Preseason All-American leads Loyola with 17 ground balls and eight caused turnovers. His 53 career caused turnovers are tied with Reid Acton for third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

 

Classy Seniors

Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward were 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.

It is the second year in a row that two Loyola players have been named candidates as Scott Ratliff and Davis Butts were up for the award last year. Ratliff was a finalist, as well. Loyola is the only school nationally with two candidates this year.

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

Good transition play has been a key to Loyola’s success in recent years, and the dynamic has continued this year through three games. Five of the Greyhounds’ first 10 goals Wednesday came out of unsettled situations.

Pat Laconi, a preseason All-American short-stick defensive midfielder, scored a career-best two goals against the Tigers, and he also had three caused turnovers. Ryan Fournier scored his first career goal on a transition run in the third quarter.

 

Tyler’s Time

As a freshman in 2013, Tyler Albrecht saw limited action for the Greyhounds, mostly coming off the wings on faceoffs and occasional offensive midfield shifts. His role has changed dramatically in his second season, and the Canadian midfielder is making the most of it.

Albrecht is a starter on Loyola’s first midfield with Matt Sawyer and Brian Sherlock, and he has three multi-goal games in four outings this year. Albrecht scored twice in the season-opener at Virginia, and he recorded hat tricks with three each against Penn State and Towson. He is second on the team with eight goals.

In addition to his offensive work, Albrecht has continued to be a two-way middie, playing on the wings for faceoffs and defensive shifts. He had five ground balls and two caused turnovers against Towson.

 

Starting Off Strong

Loyola needed just 12 shots to score nine goals in the first quarter of Wednesday’s game against Towson, and the Greyhounds scored on nine of their 11 possessions in the quarter.

Meanwhile, the defense limited Towson to five shots, four of which were saved by goalkeeper Jack Runkel. Loyola forced four Towson turnovers, and Blake Burkhart won 7-of-9 faceoffs in the opening frame. Six different players scored in the first quarter for Loyola.

 

On The Tube

Loyola men’s lacrosse will make a minimum of four appearances on national television this year as part of the Patriot League’s agreement with CBS Sports Network.

The Greyhounds will host Duke University on Sunday, March 9, in a match-up of the last two NCAA Champions, and CBS will then feature the Greyhounds’ Thursday, April 17, game against Bucknell University, the top two teams in the Preseason Patriot League poll. The network will also feature two long-time rivals when Loyola hosts Johns Hopkins University, on Saturday, May 3.

Additionally, the Loyola-Georgetown game on Wednesday, March 19, in Washington, D.C., was added to the CBS Sports Network slate.

Both semifinal games in the Patriot League Championships will be broadcast on Friday, April 25, and the Patriot League Championship Game will also air live on Sunday, April 27.
Up Next

Loyola returns to Ridley Athletic Complex for its next game, a step out of Patriot League play, to take on Duke University in a game that will feature the last two NCAA Champions. The 6 p.m. game on Sunday, March 9, will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

Following the game against the Blue Devils, Loyola hosts the U.S. Military Academy on Saturday, March 16, at 1 p.m.

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Loyola sweeps weekly Patriot League lacrosse honors

Posted on 24 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Men’s Lacrosse Sweeps Patriot League Weekly Awards

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – After two victories in which the Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team outscored Towson University and College of the Holy Cross, 36-8, four Greyhounds swept the Patriot League weekly awards on Monday.

Nikko Pontrello was named Offensive Player of the Week; Joe Fletcher, Defensive Player of the Week; Jack Runkel, Goalkeeper of the Week; and, Brian Sherlock, Rookie of the Week.

Pontrello tied and then reset his career-high in goals last week, matching his previous best of four on Wednesday afternoon in a 20-4 defeat of Towson. He eclipsed that mark with a six-goal effort Saturday afternoon in the Greyhounds’ first-ever Patriot League game, a 16-4 win over Holy Cross.

The junior from Marlton, N.J., tallied goals in the first and second quarter before scoring four in a row at the start of the third. Five of his six goals came during the Greyhounds’ 14-0 run that put the game away. In four games this season, Pontrello has scored 15 goals, two off his personal-best of a season ago. He is averaging 3.75 goals per game and 4.75 points per game, the 11th and 18th best marks in NCAA Division I.

Fletcher and Runkel led a Greyhounds’ defense that gave up just four goals in each of their wins and put together a total of four shutout quarters of lacrosse.

The League’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, Fletcher averaged 5.5 ground balls and 1.5 caused turnovers in the two games. After recording three and two, respectively, against Towson, Fletcher set a career-high with eight ground balls against the Crusaders.

Through Loyola’s first four games, he leads the team with 18 ground balls and is 18th in the nation with an average of 2.0 caused turnovers per game.

Runkel put together a solid week between the pipes for the Greyhounds, playing more than 107 minutes and allowing five combined goals for a goals against average of 2.79 in the victories. He stopped eight shots against the Tigers and 12 versus Holy Cross, an even 80 percent of the shots on goal he faced in the two games.

Against Holy Cross, the Fairfield, Conn., native led a defense that held the Crusaders scoreless for a stretch of more than 46 minutes. This came after the Runkel-led Greyhounds shutout Towson in two separate quarters on Wednesday. He has saved 56.5 percent of shots on goal this year and has played to a 7.80 goals against average thus far.

Sherlock is the second Greyhounds player to earn Rookie of the Week honors this year following Romar Dennis’ nod two weeks ago. Sherlock, a redshirt freshman from Long Island, scored twice in each of Loyola’s wins last week and also had a pair of assists against Towson.

A transfer who sat out the 2013 season with an injury at the Unviersity of North Carolina, Sherlock has scored six goals and assisted on four this year. He also has been a valuable two-way midfielder for the Greyhounds, starting on the first midfield line and running several shifts on the face-off wings and defensive possessions. He has totaled 10 ground balls this season, fifth on the team.

Loyola continues Patriot League action on Saturday, March 1, when it travels to Bethlehem, Pa., for a 12 noon game at Lehigh University. The game will air live on PatriotLeague.tv.

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Loyola looks to improve to 3-1 Saturday at Holy Cross

Posted on 21 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Holy Cross Crusaders

Saturday, February 22, 2014  |  1:00 p.m.

Worcester, Mass. | Holy Cross Field

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse makes its Patriot League debut on Saturday, February 22, when it travels to Worcester, Mass., for a 1 o’clock game at College of the Holy Cross.

The Greyhounds had played three-straight overtime games, dating to last season’s NCAA Tournament, but they snapped that streak in a big way Wednesday, defeating Towson, 20-4.

Wednesday was the second time in as many years that Loyola had scored 20 or more goals in a game. Last year, the Greyhounds beat UMBC, 21-9, at Ridley.

Loyola’s 16-goal margin of victory was the largest by a Greyhounds team since Loyola defeated Fairfield University, 19-2, on April 21, 2007. It was the largest margin of victory for a game at Ridley Athletic Complex, and behind the Fairfield game, it was the second largest during the nine-year tenure of Charley Toomey as Loyola’s head coach.

Eleven players scored goals for Loyola against Towson, six of them had two or more, three had goals and assists, and three others had assists.

Nikko Pontrello maintained his team-lead in points (13) with a four-goal, one-assist performance.

 

 

Last Time Out

After playing two overtime games to start the season, Loyola dispelled the notion of needing extra time for its third game, scoring nine goals in the first quarter, and 10-straight overall, in a 20-4 win over Towson University on Wednesday at RIdley Athletic Complex.

The Greyhounds took a 10-0 lead on Pat Laconi’s second-consecutive goal 1:38 into the second quarter, and after Towson got on the board at 11:41, Loyola reeled off a 7-0 run that gave it a 17-1 advantage on Nikko Pontrello’s fourth of the game with 11:50 to play in the final quarter.

The Greyhounds’ defense, led by eight Jack Runkel saves, held the Tigers scoreless for stretches of 16:38 and 30:57 in the game.

Loyola shot .750 in the first quarter, scoring on 9-of-12 shots, and .488 (20-of-41) in the game.

Blake Burkhart won 10-of-14 faceoffs for Loyola, all in the first half of the game.

When Towson did gain possession, Loyola had 16 caused turnovers, three each by Pat Laconi and Zack Sirico.

Five players had their first collegiate points in the game.

 

 

Follow The Action

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

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

 

In The Polls

Following the Greyhounds’ win at Penn State and an overtime loss at Virginia to start the year, Loyola moved up to ninth in the USILA Coaches’ Poll and 10th in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse rankings.

 

Series History

Loyola and Holy Cross will meet for the first time on the lacrosse field when the teams take the field Saturday.

The Greyhounds are 14-6 all-time against teams from their new conference, having played Army, Bucknell, Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy in the past. Other than a series with Navy in 2010-2011, Loyola last played a Patriot League team in 1998 when it took on Lehigh.

 

Starting Off Strong

Loyola needed just 12 shots to score nine goals in the first quarter of Wednesday’s game against Towson, and the Greyhounds scored on nine of their 11 possessions in the quarter.

Meanwhile, the defense limited Towson to five shots, four of which were saved by goalkeeper Jack Runkel. Loyola forced four Towson turnovers, and Blake Burkhart won 7-of-9 faceoffs in the opening frame. Six different players scored in the first quarter for Loyola.

 

Burkhart On Restarts

After going just 2-of-10 on faceoffs in the Greyhounds first two games of the season, Blake Burkhart turned in a dominating performance on Wednesday against Towson. He finished 10-of-14 at the ‘X’, winning 7-of-9 in the first quarter as Loyola jumped out to a 9-0 lead.

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello had his third multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Wednesday when he matched his career-high with four goals against Towson. The junior attacker scored twice in the opener against Virginia, and he then recorded three versus Penn State. His final goal against the Nittany Lions came 19 seconds into overtime and lifted Loyola to a 12-11 win.

Pontrello leads the Greyhounds with 13 points through three games with nine goals and four assists. He is closing in on his goal total from last year when he finished his sophomore campaign with 16.

In his career, Loyola is now 5-0 in games that he scored three or more goals.

 

Tyler’s Time

As a freshman in 2013, Tyler Albrecht saw limited action for the Greyhounds, mostly coming off the wings on faceoffs and occasional offensive midfield shifts. His role has changed dramatically in his second season, and the Canadian midfielder is making the most of it.

Albrecht is a starter on Loyola’s first midfield with Matt Sawyer and Brian Sherlock, and he has three multi-goal games in as many outings this year. Albrecht scored twice in the season-opener at Virginia, and he has recorded hat tricks with three each against Penn State and Towson. He is second on the team with eight goals, one behind Nikko Pontrello, the team leader.

In addition to his offensive work, Albrecht has continued to be a two-way middie, playing on the wings for faceoffs and defensive shifts. He had five ground balls and two caused turnovers against Towson.

 

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.

Fletcher trained with Team USA throughout the fall, playing in two training weekends, the Play For Parkinson’s event in October and the Champion Challenge last month. He was one of seven defenders to make the 30-man roster.

In three games this year, Fletcher has nine ground balls and a team-high seven caused turnovers. He now has 120 ground balls and 52 caused turnovers during his career.

 

Stopping Shots

Jack Runkel posted 12 saves, including five in the fourth quarter, of the win against Penn State after making just three stops in the season-opener against Virginia.

The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, made five of the saves in the fourth quarter as Penn State took 13 shots.

Runkel then directed the Loyola to a dominating performance against Towson. He made four saves in the first quarter and allowed just two goals over more than 54 minutes of action, stopping a total of eight shots.

 

Quarterbacking The Offense

Justin Ward returns for his third year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds and will once again serve as Loyola’s quarterback from ‘X’. Last season, Ward earned USILA All-America Honorable Mention 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.

With two assists in each of the last two games, Ward  has moved into fifth-place in Loyola’s Division I history with 73. He trails Mike Ruland in fourth place by three. Ward is now tied with his former teammate, and future Charlotte Hounds teammate, Eric Lusby for 19th in career points with 115.

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

Good transition play has been a key to Loyola’s success in recent years, and the dynamic has continued this year through three games. Five of the Greyhounds’ first 10 goals Wednesdaycame out of unsettled situations.

Pat Laconi, a preseason All-American short-stick defensive midfielder, scored a career-best two goals against the Tigers, and he also had three caused turnovers. Ryan Fournier scored his first career goal on a transition run in the third quarter.

 

Dennis Grabs Patriot League Honor

Romar Dennis was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week on Monday after scoring a pair of goals in his first collegiate game at Virginia. Dennis tallied one in the first quarter and one in the fourth that tied the game at 12-12.

 

On The Tube

Loyola men’s lacrosse will make a minimum of four appearances on national television this year as part of the Patriot League’s agreement with CBS Sports Network.

The Greyhounds will host Duke University on Sunday, March 9, in a match-up of the last two NCAA Champions, and CBS will then feature the Greyhounds’ Thursday, April 17, game against Bucknell University, the top two teams in the Preseason Patriot League poll. The network will also feature two long-time rivals when Loyola hosts Johns Hopkins University, onSaturday, May 3.

Additionally, the Loyola-Georgetown game on Wednesday, March 19, in Washington, D.C., was added to the CBS Sports Network slate.

Both semifinal games in the Patriot League Championships will be broadcast on Friday, April 25, and the Patriot League Championship Game will also air live on Sunday, April 27.

 

Preseason Prognostications

As a first-year member of the Patriot League, Loyola was picked to win the conference title in a poll of the League’s coaches and sports information contacts. The Greyhounds drew 13 of the possible 16 first-place votes (schools are not allowed to vote for themselves) and edged Bucknell for first.

Loyola and Bucknell were followed (in order) by Lehigh, Army, Colgate, Navy, Holy Cross, Lafayette and Boston U.

Joe Fletcher was named the Preseason Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, and he earned a spot with teammate Justin Ward on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team.

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