Tag Archive | "Joe Fletcher"

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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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Loyola lacrosse players Fletcher, Ward named candidates for Senior CLASS Award

Posted on 20 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Fletcher, Ward Named Candidates For Senior CLASS Award

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – For the second year in a row, two Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse seniors have been named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, an honor that recognizes seniors who excel both on and off the field.

Team co-captains Joe Fletcher (Syracuse, N.Y./West Genesee H.S.) and Justin Ward (Glen Burnie, Md./Old Mill H.S.) are two of the 20 who were tabbed as candidates. Last year, Scott Ratliff and Davis Butts earned the nods, and Ratliff was a finalist for the honor.

Loyola is the only school nationally with two players named to the list of 20. Including Fletcher and Ward, four Patriot League players are on the rolls (Bucknell University’s Todd Heritage and Lehigh University’s Ty Souders).

“We are proud to have two of our great leaders be candidates for this prestigious award,” Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “They exhibit the Jesuit ideal of being ‘Men For Others,’ and they are examples for us on and off the field.”

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. The complete list of candidates follows this release.

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.

Both Fletcher and Ward were named Preseason All-Americans by Face-Off Yearbook – Fletcher to the first team and Ward the second – and the duo has helped Loyola to a 2-1 start this season. Both have excelled in the classroom as members of Loyola’s Sellinger School of Business where Fletcher is an accounting major and Ward a finance major.

Fletcher is a two-time United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-American, earning honorable mention as a sophomore in 2012 and first team laurels last season. Earlier this month, he was named to the U.S. Men’s Lacrosse National Team 30-man roster that is preparing for the 2014 World Championships in Denver this summer. He was the only collegiate player on the 52-man training roster and is also the only current collegian on the 30-man.

Through three games this year, Fletcher has tallied nine ground balls and seven caused turnovers for the Greyhounds. On Wednesday, he had primary marking responsibility for Towson University’s preseason All-American Thomas DeNapoli. Fletcher and the Greyhounds held DeNapoli without a point, snapping his 21-game streak of at least one point.

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.

Ward earned All-America Honorable Mention as a junior last season after quarterbacking a Greyhounds’ offense that averaged nearly 12 goals per game. The attacker finished 11th in Division I in assists per game (2.19) and 19th in points per game (3.88), culminating the season with 27 goals and 35 assists for 62 points.

His 35 assists ranked third on Loyola’s single-season chart at the Division I level, and his 62 points were tied for fifth. He has scored three goals and assisted on six more through three games this season, bringing his career totals to 42 and 74 for 116 career points. He is fifth in school Division I history in career assists and 19th in points.

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.

The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Lacrosse Championships in Baltimore May 24-26.

 

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Pontrello tallies winner as Loyola tops Penn State in OT

Posted on 15 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Pontrello Scores OT Winner, Men’s Lacrosse Tops No. 9 Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Nikko Pontrello scored the game-winning goal 19 seconds into overtime, and No. 12 Loyola University Maryland edged No. 9 Penn State University, 12-11, on the road in Holuba Hall on Saturday.

Penn State (1-1 overall) tallied the final four goals of regulation to for an 11-11 tie and send the game to overtime, but Graham Savio won the faceoff for the Greyhounds (1-1) to start the extra frame, and Pontrello ended it 19 seconds in.

Pontrello, Tyler Albrecht and Jeff Chase all had three goals for Loyola, and Justin Ward dished out four assists.

Jack Runkel outdueled preseason All-American Austin Kaut in goal, finishing with 12 saves for the Greyhounds. Five of Runkel’s saves came in the fourth quarter, while Kaut finished with six total.

Pontrello’s second goal of the game came with 12:10 to go in regulation. Kaut saved Pontrello’s intitial offering, but Pontrello was there to pick up the ground ball and score, giving Loyola an 11-7 advantage.

The Nittany Lions got a pair of goals back off extra-man opportunities, as T.J. Sanders scored one at 9:48, and Erik Myers added another with 3:55 to play, closing the gap to 11-9.

Shane Sturgis, who assisted on both of the man-up goals, then tallied a transition goal off a Steven Bogert assist at 1:42, and Loyola’s lead was down to one.

Myers tied the game at 11-11, marking the fourth time the game had been knotted, as he cut to the crease and took a Kyle VanThof pass to score with 63 ticks left on the fourth-quarter clock.

Brendan Donovan came up with a faceoff win, picking up the ground ball himself, for Loyola after Myers’ goal, and the Greyhounds called timeout with 27 seconds remaining to set up a final sequence in regulation.

Ward had a shot attempt from the crease off a Pontrello pass with less than four seconds left, but it went wide, and the teams headed for extra time.

Loyola’s four-goal lead early in the fourth quarter was not indicative of the way the game’s closeness throughout, as it was tied four times. Runkel and the Greyhounds’ defense, however, did not allow the Nittany Lions to lead at any point in the game’s 61-plus minutes.

The Greyhounds went up 3-1 on a Chase extra-man goal with 17 seconds left in the first quarter, thanks to a Matt Sawyer assist, but Sturgis scored the first two goals of the second, tying the game at 3-3 with 10:51 to go before halftime.

Brian Schultz, however, put Loyola back in front with a goal at 7:41, and Albrecht followed with his second of the game at 2:56, making the halftime lead 5-3 for Loyola.

Pontrello used a Schultz feed 50 seconds into the second half, but Penn State had a three-goal run of its own to tie the game at 6-6 with goals by Sanders, Gavin Ahern and Kyle Baier. The Nittany Lion goals came in a flurry of scoring that covered just one-minute, 45 seconds with Baier’s knotting the game at 11:03 in the third.

Albrecht was on both the defensive and offensive ends of Loyola’s next goal. He doubled Penn State’s Pat Manley and caused a turnover with just over eight minutes left in the quarter. After a Loyola clear – the Greyhounds were successful on all 16 of their clear attempts Saturday – Albrecht scored his first career hat trick with a goal at 8:03 to push Loyola back up one, 7-6.

The lead would not hold for long, however, as VanThof scored for Penn State 56 seconds later.

Donovan got the faceoff out to Brian Sherlock who picked up the ground ball, and Kevin Ryan fed Chase for a goal at 6:25, just 42 seconds after VanThof tied the score.

Both teams killed off extra-man opportunities in the next few minutes of action before Chase recorded his first career hat trick with a goal at 1:43, staking the Greyhounds to a 9-7 advantage.

Loyola got the ball back on a Penn State faceoff violation, and Sherlock took a Ward pass to score with 44 seconds left in the fourth, putting the Greyhounds on top, 10-7, heading to the fourth quarter.

In addition to the three goals apiece for Pontrello, Chase and Albrecht, Shultz and Ryan each had one goal and one assist, and Matt Sawyer added an assist.

Joe Fletcher had a team-high two caused turnovers defensively, and the preseason All-American picked up three ground balls to match Savio for team-high honors in that category.

Sturgis led all players with five points, scoring three goals and assisting on two, while VanThof added two goals and two assists for the Nittany Lions.

Loyola makes its home debut at Ridley Athletic Complex on Wednesday, February 19, at 3 p.m. when it hosts Towson University. The game against the Tigers can be seen live on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.tv.

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Loyola looks for first win Saturday at Penn State

Posted on 14 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Penn State Nittany Lions

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

University Park, Pa. | Holuba Hall

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland renews a rivalry that is the third most-played in program history when it takes on Penn State University at 1 p.m. in University Park, Pa., on Saturday, February 15.

The game has been moved inside to Holuba Hall.

In the Greyhounds’ first game against No. 7 Virginia, five Greyhounds scored two goals,and five had three points. Of those players, three had their first multi-goal games, and two had their first multi-point outings.

Loyola returns five starters (attackers Nikko Pontrello and Justin Ward, defenders Joe Fletcher and Pat Frazier and goalkeeper Jack Runkel), as well as two of the top four players on the rope unit (short-stick midfielders Pat Laconi and Kyle Duffy) from last year’s team that finished with an 11-5 record.

This year’s three co-captains were all named to the Preseason All-American teams: Fletcher (1st), Ward (2nd), Laconi (HM).

Loyola, which is in its first year as a member of the Patriot League, was picked to win the conference. Fletcher and Ward were named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team.

 

 

Last Time Out

Loyola opened its 2013 season on Thursday, February 6, at the University of Virginia. The teams were tied, 4-4, after the first quarter, but the seventh-ranked Cavaliers held Loyola scoreless for the next two frames, and Virginia went into the fourth quarter with a 12-4 advantage.

The Greyhounds scored nine-straight goals in the fourth quarter to take a 13-12 lead on a Tyler Albrecht goal with 17.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

Virginia won the ensuing faceoff, and Ryan Tucker converted on a 10-plus yard shot that officials ruled crossed the goal line with one-tenth of a second remaining, forcing overtime.

Virginia then earned the win on a James Pannell goal midway through the extra period.

Five Loyola players – Tyler Albrecht, Romar Dennis, Nikko Pontrello, Matt Sawyer and Brian Schultz – all scored two goals. Another five players – Pontrello, Sawyer, Schultz, Brian Sherlock and Justin Ward – had five goals.

Of the eight Loyola players (the aforementioned and Kyle Duffy) who scored goals in the game, six of them entered with four or fewer career goals.

 

 

Follow The Action

No livestream will be available of the game, but live stats will be available on LoyolaGreyhounds.com.

 

In The Polls

Loyola opened the 2014 season ranked 12th in the USILA Coaches Poll and 16th in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings.

Penn State, which won its season opener against the University of Michigan, was slotted ninth in the coaches’ poll and seventh in the media version.

 

Series History

Loyola and Penn State will meet for the 51st time, but 2009, when the teams take the field Saturday. The Nittany Lions, who are third only to Towson (54) and Johns Hopkins (51) in games played against the Greyhounds, lead the series, 26-23-1. Loyola won the last four meetings when the teams were ECAC Lacrosse League foes.

 

New Year, New League

Loyola officially became a member of the 10-school Patriot League on July 1, 2013, less than a year after announcing it would join the conference in August 2012. The Greyhounds joined the League along with Boston University, increasing the full-time membership to 10.

The Greyhounds will compete in men’s lacrosse with Boston University, Bucknell University, Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy. American University is also a full member of the League, but the school does not sponsor men’s lacrosse.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Fresh Faces

Three Loyola players scored their first collegiate goals in the first quarter of the Greyhounds’ game at Virginia. Brian Sherlock, Tyler Albrecht and Romar Dennis all tallied the first of their careers as Loyola worked to a 4-4 tie after 15 minutes.

Of the eight players who scored for Loyola, six of them entered the game with four or fewer career goals. Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello were the only two with more than four.

In addition to Albrecht and Dennis, Jack Carrigan (defense), Ryan Fournier (rope unit) and Graham Savio (face-off) all made their Loyola and collegiate debuts.

Four players – Albrecht, David Manning (defense), Brian Schultz (attack) and Sherlock – all made their first career starts.

 

Three Garner Preseason All-America Nods

In addition to being the three Greyhounds selected by Major League Lacrosse teams in the Collegiate Entry Draft, senior co-captains Joe Fletcher, Pat Laconi and Justin Ward were named Preseason All-Americans by Face-Off Yearbook, an Inside Lacrosse publication.

Fletcher was picked to repeat as a First Team All-American, while Ward drew a Second Team nod and Laconi was tabbed as an Honorable Mention All-American.

 

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.

Ward is 22nd in school Division I history with 109 career points, two shy of tying Gavin Prout for 21st. He is seventh in career assists with 69, one away from creating a three-way tie for sixth with Kevin Beach and Tim O’Shea.

 

Running The Rope Unit

Senior short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi is back for his fourth year as a “starter” on the Greyhounds rope unit. Laconi has been one of the Greyhounds’ top two defensive midfielders since his freshman year between the lines.

Laconi has been lauded by Loyola and opposing coaches as one of the best one-on-one short-stick in the nation, finished last year second on the Greyhounds in caused turnovers with 20. He also picked up 24 ground balls and showed his offensive ability in transition, logging 10 points on four goals and six assists. Over his four years as a Greyhound, Laconi has caused 42 turnovers and picked up 59 ground balls.

 

Fletch Lives

Senior defender Joe Fletcher has been one of the top close defenders in the game since his first year as a starter in 2012, his sophomore year. That year, he earned All-Tournament honors after Loyola won the NCAA Championship, and he continued his outstanding play as a junior.

Last year, Fletcher caused 17 turnovers and picked up 64 ground balls for the Greyhounds, a season after finishing with 26 and 41.

Against Virginia, Fletcher had the first slashing penalty of his collegiate career, a span of 49 games and 37 starts. It was just the fourth penalty of his All-American career. (Thanks @D1scourse for the research)

Fletcher was the third overall selection of the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Entry Draft by the New York Lizards, and he was one of 52 players competing with the United States Men’s Lacrosse National Team for a spot on this summer’s World Cup roster.

In addition to his exploits on the field, Fletcher was an ECAC All-Academic Team honoree, and he was picked as one of 14 students campus-wide to be named to the school’s Green & Grey Society, a group of student leaders that serve as liaisons to Loyola’s president, board of trustees and administration.

 

Up Next

Loyola will open its home schedule on Wednesday, February 19, when it hosts Towson University at 3 p.m. The game will air live on the Patriot League Network.

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Loyola senior Fletcher named to Team USA

Posted on 05 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Fletcher Named To U.S. National Team For 2014 World Championships

 

BALTIMORE – On the eve of the start of his senior season, Loyola University Maryland defender learned he will be one of 30 players to comprise the U.S. Men’s Lacrosse National Team that will compete at the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Lacrosse Championships this July in Denver.

Fletcher, who with his teammates will open the 2014 season tomorrow night at the University of Virginia, was picked by Team USA Head Coach Richie Meade and his staff. The event will take place at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park from July 10-19 in the Mile High City. He is the lone player currently on the in college to be named to the team.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for a great person, leader and lacrosse player,” said Charley Toomey, Loyola’s head coach. “Joe has been the example of what we want a Loyola men’s lacrosse player to be during his time here. We are extremely proud of Fletch.”

Last month, Fletcher became the highest Loyola player ever selected in the 14-year history of the Major League Lacrosse Draft. He was the third overall pick of event by the New York Lizards.

Fletcher finished last season as one of the best defenders in the nation, earning All-America First Team honors from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA). In doing so, he became the first Loyola player to earn the recognition since Gavin Prout in 2001.

The senior defender from Syracuse, N.Y., was the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year as he finished the season with 64 ground balls, tops amongst close defenders in the conference. He also had 17 caused turnovers and was a key member of the Greyhounds’ clearing unit that led the nation and set a Division I record by successfully clearing the ball 95.5 percent of the time.

A noted student leader outside of lacrosse, Fletcher is co-president of Loyola’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and he is one of 14 students school-wide to serve on the Green & Grey society, a group of student leaders who serve as liaisons to Loyola’s president, board of trustees and administration.

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Loyola tabbed preseason favorite to win Patriot League

Posted on 29 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Fletcher Named Preseason DPOY; MLAX Picked To Win Patriot League

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Fresh off his weekend training with Team USA at the Champion Challenge in Florida, Loyola University Maryland senior co-captain Joe Fletcher (Syracuse, N.Y./West Genesee H.S.) was named the Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year by a vote of conference coaches, it was revealed on a media conference call this morning.

Fletcher joined his fellow captain, senior attacker Justin Ward, on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team.

The Greyhounds, who became members of the Patriot League on July 1, 2013, will start the year as the conference’s preseason favorite. Loyola earned 13 of a possible 16 first-place votes – teams are not allowed to vote for themselves – and garnered 123 points to sit atop the poll.

Earlier in the week, Loyola was ranked 12th in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Preseason Coaches Poll and 16th in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. Last year, Loyola finished with an 11-5 overall record and reached the NCAA Tournament.

Bucknell University checked in second in the Patriot League poll with 109 points and three first-place votes, and Lehigh University was just a point behind with 108 overall and the remaining two for the top spot.

The U.S. Military Academy was selected fourth (86), followed by Colgate University (73), the U.S. Naval Academy (56), College of the Holy Cross (42), Lafayette College (35) and first-year program and another Patriot League newcomer Boston University (16).

Fletcher and Ward were joined by 10 others on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team. Army attacker John Glesener was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and he was paired with Ward and Bucknell’s David Dickson on attack. In the midfield were Bucknell’s Thomas Filbotte, Holy Cross’ Terry McKenna and Colgate’s Jimmy Ryan. Fletcher was joined on defense by Bucknell’s Jackson Place and Lehigh Ty Souders.

Army’s Alex Daly was tabbed to the face-off specialist, and Navy long-stick midfielder Pat Kiernan was named to the defensive midfield spot. Lehigh’s Matt Poillon was selected to the goalkeeper position.

Earlier this month, Fletcher and Ward were both selected by teams in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Entry Draft. Fletcher was the third overall pick, and the top defender selected, by the New York Lizards, while Ward was picked 23rd overall by the Charlotte Hounds.

Fletcher finished last season as one of the best defenders in the nation, earning All-America First Team honors from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA). In doing so, he became the first Loyola player to earn the recognition since Gavin Prout in 2001. He is the only current collegiate player named to the U.S. National Team training roster and is vying for a spot on the squad that will compete at the 2014 World Cup in Denver.

The senior defender from Syracuse, N.Y., was the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year as he finished the season with 64 ground balls, tops amongst close defenders in the conference. He also had 17 caused turnovers and was a key member of the Greyhounds’ clearing unit that led the nation and set a Division I record by successfully clearing the ball 95.5 percent of the time. A noted student leader outside of lacrosse, Fletcher is co-president of Loyola’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and he is one of 14 students school-wide to serve on the Green & Grey society, a group of student leaders who serve as liaisons to Loyola’s president, board of trustees and administration.

Ward has been the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense for the last two seasons, and as a junior in 2013, he turned in a fantastic season that earned him USILA All-America Honorable Mention and All-ECAC honors. The attacker finished 11th in Division I in assists per game (2.19) and 19th in points per game (3.88), culminating the season with 27 goals and 35 assists for 62 points.

His 35 assists ranked third on Loyola’s single-season chart at the Division I level, and his 62 points were tied for fifth. Ward enters the season with 67 career assists, good for seventh at the school in the Division I era, and his 106 career points to date are 22nd. He had one of the most prolific games by a Loyola player in recent years last season when he became the first Greyhound since Gavin Prout in 2001 to score seven goals in a game, and the first since Tim Goettelmann in 2000 to post 10 points, when he tallied seven goals and three assists against UMBC in February.

In addition to their plaudits on the field and in the locker room, Fletcher and Ward have excelled in the classroom, too. Both were named to the ECAC All-Academic Team last year.

The Greyhounds get their 2014 regular-season schedule underway in just over a week when they take on the University of Virginia on Thursday, February 6, in Charlottesville, Va.

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Three Loyola lacrosse players selected in MLL Draft

Posted on 11 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Trio Of Team Captains Drafted By Major League Lacrosse Teams

PHILADELPHIA – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse tri-captains Joe Fletcher (3rd overall, New York Lizards), Pat Laconi (9th, Charlotte Hounds) and Justin Ward (23rd, Charlotte Hounds) were selected in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Entry Draft on Friday night at the USLacrosse Convention.

Fletcher became the highest Loyola player ever selected in the 14-year history of the MLL Draft. He was the third overall pick of event by the New York Lizards. Josh Hawkins was the previous highest Loyola draftee; he was selected fourth by the Hamilton Nationals in last year’s draft.

Laconi and Ward will be reunited with a trio of teammates with whom they won the 2012 NCAA Championship. Attacker Mike Sawyer, who was an MLL All-Star as a rookie last year, NCAA Tournament MVP Eric Lusby and fellow short-stick defensive midfielder Hawkins all play for the Hounds who reached the MLL Championship Game last year.

They bring the number of Greyhounds drafted in the last two years to eight. A quintet of players – Josh Hawkins (5th overall, Hamilton Nationals), Mike Sawyer (8th, Charlotte Hounds), Scott Ratliff (9th, Boston Cannons), Davis Butts (19th, Denver Outlaws) and Reid Acton (26th, Hamilton Nationals) – were selected in last year’s draft.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for these guys who have been big parts of our success since stepping onto campus,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “They are great people, players and leaders, and we look forward to starting practice with them on our field Monday.”

Fletcher finished last season as one of the best defenders in the nation, earning All-America First Team honors from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA). In doing so, he became the first Loyola player to earn the recognition since Gavin Prout in 2001. Earlier this year, Fletcher was the only current collegiate player named to the U.S. National Team training roster and is vying for a spot on the squad that will compete at the 2014 World Cup in Denver.

The senior defender from Syracuse, N.Y., was the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year as he finished the season with 64 ground balls, tops amongst close defenders in the conference. He also had 17 caused turnovers and was a key member of the Greyhounds’ clearing unit that led the nation and set a Division I record by successfully clearing the ball 95.5 percent of the time. A noted student leader outside of lacrosse, Fletcher is co-president of Loyola’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and he is one of 14 students school-wide to serve on the Green & Grey society, a group of student leaders who serve as liaisons to Loyola’s president, board of trustees and administration.

Ward has been the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense for the last two seasons, and as a junior in 2013, he turned in a fantastic season that earned him USILA All-America Honorable Mention and All-ECAC honors. The attacker finished 11th in Division I in assists per game (2.19) and 19th in points per game (3.88), culminating the season with 27 goals and 35 assists for 62 points.

His 35 assists ranked third on Loyola’s single-season chart at the Division I level, and his 62 points were tied for fifth. Ward enters the season with 67 career assists, good for seventh at the school in the Division I era, and his 106 career points to date are 22nd. He had one of the most prolific games by a Loyola player in recent years last season when he became the first Greyhound since Gavin Prout in 2001 to score seven goals in a game, and the first since Tim Goettelmann in 2000 to post 10 points, when he tallied seven goals and three assists against UMBC in February.

Laconi has garnered a reputation from coaches as one of the top short-stick defensive midfielders nationwide over the past three years. As a member of the Greyhounds’ rope unit, Laconi has helped Loyola establish an excellent transition game that last year led the nation and set a Division I record by clearing the ball effectively 95.5 percent of the time.

He posted career-highs of 24 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers last year, and he also showed his ability to score on the offensive end. Laconi posted four goals and six assists as a junior after logging one and three during his sophomore campaign.

In addition to their plaudits on the field and in the locker room, Fletcher, Laconi and Ward have all excelled in the classroom, too. All three were named to the ECAC All-Academic Team last year.

The Greyhounds open the season Thursday, February 6, when they travel to Charlottesville, Va., to face the University of Virginia.

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Loyola defender Fletcher only collegiate player selected to Team USA pool

Posted on 03 September 2013 by WNST Staff

Loyola’s Fletcher Lone Collegiate Player Selected To Team USA Pool

 

BALTIMORE – On the first day of his senior year at Loyola University Maryland, men’s lacrosse defender Joe Fletcher was the only current college player selected as one of 52 who will form the United States Men’s National Team training roster for next summer’s World Cup.

 

Fletcher, who was named a First Team All-American last year by the United State Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, was one of 94 players to compete last weekend at the training camp that led to the initial roster cut. He was one of seven collegiate players invited to that stage and the only one remaining on the roster.

 

The roster of 52 will train at a series of fall and winter events, culminating with Champion Challenge, a US Lacrosse event, where players will vie for 23 spots on the final world championships roster. The annual event will once again be hosted Jan. 24-26 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

 

The reigning world champion U.S. Men’s National Team will compete for a record 10th world title at the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships, hosted by US Lacrosse, on July 10-19, 2014, in Denver, Colo.

 

Fletcher is one of 10 defenders listed on the roster of 52 players. The 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year has started all 35 games Loyola has played the last two years, and he has seen action in all 48 games of his collegiate career.

 

Last season, Fletcher led all ECAC defenders in ground balls with 64 while also causing 17 turnovers in 16 games. He has been recognized as one of the top lock-down defenders in the college game over the last two seasons and also was a key member of Loyola’s clearing unit that set a collegiate record with a 95.5-percent success rate.

 

As a sophomore in 2012, Fletcher was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team and was a starter on the Greyhounds’ defense that yielded a record-low eight goals on championship weekend to Notre Dame and Maryland. He was also an USILA All-America Honorable Mention recipient, finishing the year with 41 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers.

 

Fletcher has been a standout off the lacrosse field, as well, at Loyola. He is a member of Loyola’s Green & Grey Society, a group of 14 student leaders who serve as a liaison between the student body, Loyola’s president, administration and board of trustees. He is also Co-President of Loyola’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council and is a six-time Dean’s List honoree.

 

In addition to the Champion Challenge in January, the roster will gather for two training weekends, one in October and another in December. They are also slated to play in two other events: Play for Parkinson’s in October and at the U.S. Lacrosse Convention in January.

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One current, two former Greyhounds invited to US National Team tryouts

Posted on 27 July 2013 by WNST Staff

Fletcher, Ratliff, Sawyer Invited To U.S. National Team Tryouts

 

BALTIMORE – Rising senior Joe Fletcher and two May 2013 graduates of Loyola University Maryland, Scott Ratliff and Mike Sawyer, were among the players selected to tryout for the United States Men’s Lacrosse National Team late next month.

 

The trio will compete with 95 of their peers during the August 30-September 1 trials that will be held at Goucher College in Towson, Md. Forty players will emerge from the roster cut following the weekend and begin preparation for the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships that will be held July 10-14, 2014, in Denver.

 

Fletcher is the only defender to be a current collegiate player, and he is one of just seven players with remaining college eligibility selected to compete in the camp. The native of Syracuse, N.Y., earned All-America First Team honors in May from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association after solidifying his position as one of the top lock-down defenders in the game.

 

After earning All-America Honorable Mention, ECAC All-Tournament and NCAA All-Championships recognition in 2012 while helping the Greyhounds run to the 2012 National Championship, Fletcher was second on the team and tops among close defenders with 64 ground balls in 2013. He also caused 17 turnovers and was named the ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year.

 

Ratliff and Sawyer both earned invitations to the camp after recently concluding their careers and moving on to the professional ranks of Major League Lacrosse (MLL).

 

Ratliff as a two-time All-American long-stick midfielder, earning Second Team honors as a senior and Third Team recognition during his junior season. He was the 2012 ECAC Defensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player of that season’s ECAC Championships, and the Marietta, Ga., native was named to the NCAA All-Championships Team, was the 2013 ECAC Specialist of the Year and a finalist for the nation Senior CLASS Award.

 

He led the Greyhounds with 77 ground balls and 29 caused turnovers as a senior in 2013 while setting a single-season long-pole goals scored record at Loyola with 14. In 58 career games, he tallied 30 goals and 14 assists, notching the program’s career goals and points scored records. His 217 career ground balls rank seventh in Loyola’s Division I history, and his 88 caused turnovers are second.

 

Ratliff, who is the first player to hail from the State of Georgia to be named to a Team USA tryout camp, was the ninth overall pick in the 2013 MLL Collegiate Entry Draft by the Boston Cannons where he has helped position the Cannons for a possible playoff berth this year. He has averaged 3.4 ground balls per game in seven MLL contests and scored his first professional goal on June 21 against New York.

 

Sawyer earned All-America honors three times at Loyola, becoming the first Loyola player to do so since David Metz (1999-2001). He garnered Second Team honors as a junior in 2012 when he scored 52 goals and 62 points during the Greyhounds’ NCAA title run. He was an honorable mention recipient as a sophomore in 2011 and senior in 2013.

 

The native of Waxhaw, N.C., scored 36 goals in 14 games as a senior and wrapped up his four-year Loyola career with 128, good for second on the Greyhounds Division I scoring chart. He is listed on the Team USA tryout chart as a midfielder, a position he played as a freshman in 2009 when he was the ECAC Rookie of the Year.

 

Sawyer was drafted with the eighth pick of the first round in the 2013 MLL Collegiate Entry Draft by his hometown Charlotte Hounds, and he earned an invitation to the MLL All-Star Game earlier this month at his home stadium. At that event, Sawyer set a world record in the MLL Fastest Shot Competition, registering a rip of 113 miles per hour only to follow with a blast of 114 mph. In eight professional games thus far, Sawyer has scored 10 goals for the Hounds and assisted on five more.

 

A total of 156 players submitted tryout applications, which were considered by a selection committee including current and past U.S. men’s national team coaches and players, as well as current college and professional coaches. U.S. team head coach Richie Meade will oversee the tryout process.

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