Tag Archive | "Justin Ward"

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Five Loyola lacrosse players earn USILA All-America honors

Posted on 22 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Five Loyola Men’s Lacrosse Players Earn USILA All-America Honors

BALTIMORE – Joe Fletcher became Loyola University Maryland’s first men’s lacrosse player to earn U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-America First Team honors in back-to-back years since 1998-99 on Thursday, and the senior close defender was joined on the All-America teams by four of his Greyhounds teammates.

Senior short-stick midfielder Pat Laconi, senior goalkeeper Jack Runkel and senior attacker Justin Ward all were named to the Second Team, and junior attacker Nikko Pontrello earned Honorable Mention.

Fletcher is the first player to be a repeat First Team All-American at Loyola since midfielder Mark Frye accomplished the honor in 1998 and 1999. It is also the first time in Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982) that the Greyhounds have placed four players on the first and second teams. The only other time in program history that happened was in 1981 when four were named to the First Team.

Fletcher is also one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player; with that recognition, he became just the second player in the 14-year history of the award to be named a finalist as a close defender. He leads all close defensemen nationally in ground balls (80) and ground balls per game (4.71), and he also set a career-high with 31 caused turnovers.

The All-America honors add to an already crowded shelf of awards Fletcher has earned this year. He was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year, to the Capital One Academic All-District I At Large Team and to the USILA Scholar All-America Team.

He played in all 65 games that Loyola has played the last four years, starting 53. In those contests, he picked up 191 ground balls and caused 76 turnovers, the third-most in school history and most by a Greyhounds close defenseman. Additionally, Fletcher was whistled for just five penalties and only two of the one-minute variety over his time on the field.

Laconi solidified his reputation as one of the top cover short-stick defensive midfielders and transition players this year, posting career-highs in goals (11), ground balls (31) and caused turnovers (34). The only short-stick defensive midfielder to be named to the First or Second Team this season, he 34 caused turnovers and 2.0 per game mark rank eighth nationally and tops amongst all non-pole defenders in Division I.

He also more than doubled his goal-scoring total from his first three seasons at Loyola (five) this year. An All-Patriot League First Team performer and USILA Scholar All-American, Laconi played in all 65 games for Loyola over the last four seasons and finished with 89 ground balls, 75 caused turnovers, 16 goals and 12 assists. His caused turnover total is the most by a Loyola short-stick player and fourth-most in school history.

Runkel saved his best collegiate season for his senior year, as he posted excellent performances between the pipes. The Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year is third in NCAA Division I in goals against average (7.20) and saves percentage (.611) while making a career-high 181 saves in the cage.

The first Loyola goalkeeper to earn First or Second Team All-America honors since Tim McGeeney was recognized on the Second Team in 1995, Runkel posted 10 or more saves on 10 occasions this year and had a season-high of 19 against the U.S. Military Academy. Runkel was named the Patriot League Championships Most Valuable Player after stopping 27 shots in the two games, 15 in the title game against Lehigh University. Over his four years at Loyola, three as a starter, Runkel compiled a 42-7 record as the goalkeeper of record for the Greyhounds. He had a goals against average of 7.71 and a .569 career save percentage.

Ward was a three-year starter on attack as the Greyhounds’ offensive quarterback, and he has his most statistically productive season in 2014. He shattered Loyola’s Division I single-season and career records for assists this year, passing out 53 assists to better the 1994 mark of 38 by Sean Heffernan. An Honorable Mention All-American in 2013, Ward also tied Eric Lusby’s 2012 record for points in a season, totaling 71 this year. His 3.12 assists per game this year rank second in Division I.

His career assist total finished at 120, breaking the school Division I mark by 36. He eclipsed the total of 84 that Jim Blanding recorded from 1989-92. This year, Ward was the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and USILA Scholar All-American after recording two or more assists in 16 of Loyola’s 17 games. He tallied three or more for a 12-game stretch, as well during the year.

Pontrello burst into the nation’s lacrosse consciousness with one of the top goal-scoring seasons in school history. After scoring 20 goals in his first two seasons at Loyola, he finished with 51 this year, the third-most in school single-season history. He also had 12 assists for a total of 63 points, the sixth-most in school single-season history, and his 3.0 goals per game this season rank fifth nationally.

After scoring a combined five goals in the Greyhounds’ first two games of the season at the University of Virginia and Penn State University, Pontrello combined for 19 in a four-game stretch that included five in a 14-7 win over Duke University. An All-Patriot League First Team honoree, he scored two or more goals in Loyola’s first 10 games of the year, had multiple goals in 15-of-17 outings and at least one goal in 16 contests.

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Loyola captains Fletcher, Laconi, Ward pick up scholar All-America honors

Posted on 20 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Captains Trio Earns USILA Scholar All-America Honors

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland’s three men’s lacrosse co-captains – defender Joe Fletcher, short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi and attacker Justin Ward – were today named to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Scholar All-America Team.

Loyola and Duke University were the only two NCAA Division I programs to have three or more players honored as Scholar All-Americans. The Blue Devils led the nation with three honorees.

The three seniors were all All-Patriot League First Team players and led the Greyhounds to a 15-2 record and six-week stay at No. 1 in the nation this season.

Each of the student-athletes is in the top two of a major statistical category this season, and all graduated with bachelor of business administration degrees last Saturday. Laconi tops all non-pole players nationally in caused turnovers per game, while Fletcher leads all close defenders in ground balls per game. Ward is second in the nation in assists per game.

Laconi has been one of the top cover short-stick defensive midfielders in the nation since coming to Loyola. This year, he led the team with 34 caused turnovers, and his 2.0 per game are eighth overall in Division I, tops amongst short-sticks.

He also scored a career-best 11 goals this year and finished his career with 16 goals and 12 assists. His 75 career caused turnovers rank fourth all-time at Loyola.

Ward, the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, led the Greyhounds in points for the second year in a row and during the season, he shattered Loyola’s Division I career and season records for assists. He finished his senior campaign with 18 goals and 53 assists for 71 points; his points total tied Eric Lusby’s 2012 mark for most points by a Loyola Division I player in a season.

Ward’s 53 assists in 2014 broke the previous record by 15, and his 3.12 per game rank second in Division I this year. He completed his Loyola career with 57 goals and 120 assists, shattering Loyola’s Division I career assists record by 36, and his 177 points rank sixth in school Division I history.

Fletcher is a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award and is the second defender in the honor’s 14-year history to be named one of the final five. This year, he set career-highs with 80 ground balls and 31 caused turnovers with his 4.71 ground balls per game ranking first among close defenders.

Last week, he was named to the Capital One Academic All-District I Team, and he was also honored as the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The three, who were housemates off the field, will soon begin their professional lacrosse careers. Fletcher was the No. 3 overall pick by the New York Lizards in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Entry Draft, while Laconi and Ward were selected ninth and 23rd overall, both by the Charlotte Hounds.

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Loyola sweeps weekly Patriot League lacrosse honors

Posted on 21 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Fletcher, Runkel, Ward Earn Patriot League Year-End Honors

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Three Loyola University Maryland senior men’s lacrosse players were among seven to earn All-Patriot League honors on Monday, and they also received year-end Player of the Year awards from the League’s coaches.

Joe Fletcher was named the League’s Defensive Player of the Year, Jack Runkel the Goalkeeper of the Year and Justin Ward the Offensive Player of the Year. Fletcher, Runkel and Ward were all named to the All-Patriot League First Team along with Pat Laconi, Nikko Pontrello and Brian Sherlock. Kevin Ryan earned All-Patriot League Second Team recognition.

Loyola, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the USILA coaches, Warrior/Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine media polls, completed its first season in the Patriot League by winning the regular-season title with an 8-0 record. The Greyhounds will host the Patriot League Championships at Ridley Athletic Complex this weekend, beginning with the semifinals on Friday, April 25, and culminating with the title game on Sunday, April 27. Tickets are available for purchase at www.loyolagreyhounds.com/tickets.

The players have helped Loyola to a 12-1 record thus far in 2014. The Greyhounds are the only team in Division I to be ranked in the top five nationally in goals per game (5th, 13.23) and fewest goals allowed (3rd, 7.00). They are tops in the nation in scoring margin (+6.23) and fewest turnovers per contest (10.69).

Fletcher earned his record fifth Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor earlier Monday, tying Runkel for the most by any player in a single season in League history. The 2013 USILA All-America First Team member leads NCAA Division I close defenders in ground balls (61) and ground balls per game (4.69) through 13 contests. He has also solidified his reputation as a lock-down defender having not allowed a goal in one-versus-one defense in over a month.

Last Thursday, Fletcher shut down Bucknell University’s David Dickson, holding him without a point after Dickson entered the game with at least one goal or assist in 41-straight games. Fletcher, who was the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year, also shut down Colgate University’s Ryan Walsh on March 29 after Walsh had scored in 42 consecutive, and he then held the U.S. Naval Academy’s T.J. Hanzsche without a point on April 5. Hanzsche had a point in 15 in a row.

Runkel has been a standout between the pipes for the Greyhounds, posting a 6.86 goals against average this year while making saves on 61.9 percent of shots on goal he has faced. The senior, who was named to the 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament Team along with Fletcher, led the League in save percengage (68.6) in conference games while posting the second-best goals against average in League play (5.74).

He earned five Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors, including four straight during the middle of the year, and he has won 43 games since becoming the Greyhounds’ starter early in the 2012 season.

Ward, who has two or more assists in all 13 of Loyola’s games this year, has again quarterbacked the Greyhounds’ offense, helping Loyola lead the conference and rank in the top five nationally in every major offensive statistical category. This season, Ward became Loyola’s career assist leader at the Division I level (since 1982) and had 109 entering the Patriot League Championships. With 42 assists to go with 13 goals, he also has set the school single-season assist record for Division I players.

His assist total for 2014 is tied for fourth in Patriot League single-season history, and he is second in Division I in total assists and assists per game (3.23). Along with Fletcher, Ward is a finalist for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, and they are both on the watch list for the Tewaaraton Award as the sport’s top player.

Laconi has been regarded as one of the top, if not the best, short-stick defensive midfielders in the nation. In his four years with the Greyhounds, Laconi has been a starter on the Greyhounds’ rope unit, and this year he has taken his statistical measures to a new level. He leads all non-pole players nationally in caused turnovers (27) and caused turnovers per game (2.08). He also has scored eight goals and has three assists to key the Greyhounds’ transition game.

Pontrello burst onto the nation scene in this his second season as a starter for the Greyhounds. After logging 16 goals and 19 assists while starting on attack and in the midfield last year for Loyola, Pontrello has scored two or more goals in all but one of Loyola’s 13 contests this season. Through games of Sunday, April 20, Pontrello is second in the nation in both goals (43) and goals per game (3.31).

Sherlock has made an immediate impact for Loyola in his first year after transferring from the University of North Carolina where he missed last season with an injury. The redshirt freshman has scored 14 goals and assisted on eight in the midfield for Loyola, and he also runs the wings on faceoffs and plays several shifts a game in the defensive midfield.

Ryan has led the Greyhounds’ second midfield unit throughout the year and is tied for the team lead in extra-man goals with five. He has posted 20 goals and four assists this season for Loyola, ranking third on the team in goals scored. The senior also ranks 11th in the nation in shooting percentage, converting 46.5 percent of his shots into goals.

The other major award winners in the Patriot League were Colgate goalkeeper Brandon Burke who is the Rookie of the Year (Sherlock was not eligible for the award as only players in their first year of college are eligible). The U.S. Military Academy’s Joe Alberici was named the William Lawson Coach of the Year.

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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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Ward, Pontrello lead way as Loyola tops Colgate

Posted on 29 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Ward, Pontrello Spark Offense As No. 1 Loyola Tops No. 17 Colgate

HAMILTON, N.Y. – Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello combined for five goals and nine total points, and top-ranked Loyola University Maryland defeated No. 17 Colgate University, 10-8, in Patriot League action on Saturday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium.

Ward scored two both of his goals in back-to-back fashion midway through the third quarter, and he had an assist on a 12-yard Matt Sawyer shot with 4:05 remaining that gave the Greyhounds (9-1, 5-0) a two-goal cushion.

Pontrello finished with three goals and an assist, scoring two of his in a span of two minutes, 42 seconds between the third and fourth quarters.

Loyola’s defense yielded 11 shots to the Raiders (7-3, 4-1) in the fourth quarter, but most came from 12 or more yards away. Goalkeeper Jack Runkel posted 12 saves in the victory, and the Greyhounds held Colgate’s leading scorer, Ryan Walsh, without a point for the first time in his career, a span of 42 prior games.

Pat Laconi had four ground balls and three caused turnovers, the last of each coming with less than 25 seconds to play, enabling the Greyhounds to run out the clock. Joe Fletcher had a team-best seven ground balls, and he had primary man-to-man marking responsibilities for Walsh.

The teams traded goals one-for-one in the first half with the Greyhounds never trailing, but Colgate tied the game at 4-4 heading into halftime as Kevin Boyle finished a transition opportunity for the Raiders following a Loyola turnover. He took a Brandon McCann pass and scored from just in front of the crease with 4.4 seconds left, tying the game for the fourth time.

Cameron Williams scored his second goal of the game to give Colgate its first lead 2:46 into the second half, running down the right alley for a shot.

Jeff Chase answered for Loyola, as he scored from 10 yards out after cutting left to right, knotting the game at 5-5 with 9:29 to play in the third quarter.

Chase’s goal sparked a 4-0 Loyola run that put the Greyhounds in front, 8-5. Sawyer wheeled around the crease and found Ward in front of him for a goal 43 seconds after Chase’s to put Loyola in front 6-5.

Ward then gave the Greyhounds their first multi-goal lead of the game at 6:02 following a Raiders turnover. Pontrello picked up a ground ball during a Colgate failed clear and fed it ahead to Ward who scored from close in on the left side.

Pontrello then pushed the advantage to 8-5 when he caught a Ward pass at goal-line extended left, dodged toward the crease and scored his second of the day at 2:31 in the third.

Colgate, however, got a pair of goals late in the third to make it a one-goal game once again.

Matt Clarkson scored one at 1:08, and then after a Greyhounds turnover, Tyler Rigo got his hands free on the right side for a goal with 16.4 seconds left in the third quarter, pulling the Raiders within one, 8-7.

Loyola quickly pushed its advantage back to two, however, in the fourth quarter. Graham Savio won the period’s opening faceoff to himself, ran into the box and got a shot past Colgate goalkeeper Brandon Burke, but it hit hard off the crossbar and rebounded in front of the crease.

Ryan Fournier collected the ground ball and fed Pontrello on the left side of the crease where he shot-faked and scored his third of the day 11 seconds into the final quarter of regulation.

Clarkson, however, scored quickly for Colgate, tallying his season-high third of the day 1:16 after Pontrello’s third.

The teams played to the one-goal game for nearly 10 minutes before Ward rolled from behind the cage and found Sawyer open 12 yards out up top, and Sawyer ripped a sidearm shot to put Loyola in front two, 10-8.

Colgate had the next possession after winning the faceoff, but it had no shots from inside 12 yards against the Greyhounds defense. The Raiders’ first three attempts went wide, and Runkel made a save on the fourth to gain possession again for Loyola.

At the end of the clear, Loyola drew a slashing call against Colgate, but the Greyhounds turned the ball over on the extra-man opportunity, giving the Raiders possession with 90 ticks left on the clock.

McCann sent a Raiders shot wide after a Colgate timeout, and Loyola called for a break in the action with 41 seconds remaining.

Eric Foote had the ball at the top of the box where Laconi stripped him with a check and picked up the ground ball. He cleared it to Ward and despite beind doubles in the corner, he found Brian Sherlock who ran out the clock with the ball in his stick.

In addition to Ward’s two goals and three assists and Pontrello’s three and one, Sawyer had a goal and an assist, while Chase, Sherlock, Brian Schultz and Kevin Ryan added goals.

Clarkson led Colgate with three goals, while Williams and Rigo had two apiece and McCann assisted on three first-half goals. Burke made 12 saves in goal.

Loyola continues its Patriot League road swing on Saturday, April 5, with a 12 noon game in Annapolis, Md., against the U.S. Naval Academy.

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Loyola attackman Ward picks up weekly Patriot League honor

Posted on 24 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Ward Earns Patriot League Offensive Player Of The Week Award

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Loyola University Maryland senior attacker Justin Ward was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, becoming the third different Greyhounds player to win the honor in the last four weeks.

Ward had eight assists and four goals in two games last week, helping the Greyhounds extend their record to 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the Patriot League. Earlier Monday, Loyola moved up to No. 1 nationally in the USILA coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls.

Last Wednesday at Georgetown University, Ward had a goal and assisted on four others as Loyola rallied for a 10-9 victory over the Hoyas. Three of his assists came in the second half after the Greyhounds trailed 7-5 early in the third quarter.

He then had three goals and four assists on Saturday as Loyola beat conference-foe Lafayette College, 21-4. His seven points and three goals were both highs for Ward this season.

Through games of Sunday, March 23, Ward leads NCAA Division I players in total assists with 30. He is also tied for the team and Patriot League lead in total points with 39, matching the accumulation of fellow attacker Nikko Pontrello.

The award is the fourth offensive player of the week award that the Greyhounds have earned this year, following two by Pontrello and one by Matt Sawyer. Loyola has earned a total of 14 Patriot League weekly honors this season. It is the second conference weekly award of Ward’s career; he was an ECAC Lacrosse League Offensive Player of the Week last season.

Ward and the top-ranked Greyhounds continue Patriot League play with the first of back-to-back road games on Saturday, March 29, in Hamilton, N.Y., where they will face Colgate University at 12 noon.

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Loyola perhaps set to take over top spot after crushing Lafayette

Posted on 22 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Nine Score As Men’s Lacrosse Tops Lafayette, 21-4

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland’s starting attack of Justin Ward, Nikko Pontrello and Brian Schultz all scored four goals, and six other Greyhounds tallied at least one, as No. 2-ranked Loyola beat visiting Lafayette College, 21-4, in Patriot League action Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Ward finished with a team-high eight points, added four assists to bring his nation-leading total to 30 this season. Schultz’s four were a career-high.

Brian Sherlock added a career-high with three goals and two assists, and Romar Dennis matched his previous best with two tallies. Kevin Ryan and Matt Cunningham each scored goals, while Joe Fletcher and Mike Kutzer each had their first of their careers in transition.

Led by Ward’s four assists, 15 of the Greyhounds’ 21 goals were assisted on Saturday. Sherlock had two for the third time this season, and Tyler Albrecht distributed a career-best two. Ryan, Schultz, Dennis, Cunningham, Jordan Germershausen, Matt Sawyer and Graham Savio all had one.

Loyola (8-1 overall, 4-0 Patriot League) controlled possession in the game, winning 18-of-29 faceoffs and picking up 30 more ground balls than the Leopards, 52-22.

Savio won 13-of-19 restarts he took, and Blake Burkhard was successful on 5-of-8. Savio picked up a career-high 11 ground balls, while David Manning and Ryan Fournier each had career-bests with six and five, respectively.

Schultz and Sherlock combined to get the scoring started early for the Greyhounds less than three minutes into the game as Schultz rolled the crease and took a Sherlock pass to score. Ward tallied his first after Dennis dodged to the middle and passed to Ward for a 10-yard shot at 10:14.

Just over a minute later, Schultz scored his second, ripping a 15-yard shot off a Matt Sawyer goal. Lafayette got on the board at 8:03when Sonny Round dished out one of his two assists, finding Robert Orazietti crashing to the crease for a goal.

Schultz scored his third of the game, less than halfway through the first quarter, at 7:42 when he struck from nine-yards out off a Tyler Albrecht assist.

Fletcher, a two-time All-American defender, scored his first career goal 35 seconds later when Ward hit him with a pass in front of the crease, and Fletcher dumped it in for what would be the eventual game-winner.

Loyola led 6-2 by the end of the first quarter as Brendan Dunlap scored one of his two for the Leopards (1-6, 1-4) and Pontrello responded for the Greyhounds.

Pontrello quickly made it 7-2 in Loyola’s favor. Savio won the second quarter’s opening faceoff, picked up the ground ball and ran it into the box where he hit Pontrello on the crease for his second of the day.

Dennis and Sherlock scored their first of the afternoon at 14:16 and 13:12, and Loyola was up 9-2 with 13:12 left before halftime. Sherlock would score twice more in the quarter, and Pontrello and Ward each added goals, giving Loyola a 13-2 halftime advantage.

The lead went to 17-2 Loyola after Schultz and Pontrello scored, and Ward had back-to-back strikes. Brian Bock scored for Lafayette with 4:55 left in the third quarter, but Dennis, Cunningham and Kutzer responded with Greyhounds goals.

Dunlap scored his team-high second with 1.9 ticks left before the end of the frame, making it 20-4 Loyola at the end of the frame. Ryan had the only score of the fourth quarter at 9:15, providing the final 21-4 margin.

Loyola outshot the Leopards, 56-16. Jack Runkel played less than three full quarters and made five saves, allowing two goals for Loyola. Pat McEnerney stopped two shots, and Sam Beazell played the final seven minutes of scoreless lacrosse.

The Greyhounds continue Patriot League action on Saturday, March 29, with their first of two road games. Loyola will travel to Hamilton, N.Y., to face Colgate University at 12 noon.

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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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Loyola attackman Ward named to IL Preseason Player of the Year watch list

Posted on 18 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Inside Lacrosse announced their Preseason Player of the Year watch list this week. Albany junior attackman Lyle Thompson was the choice for Preseason Player of the Year, a year after tying the all-time Division I single season scoring record.

Only one player from the area made this year’s list, Loyola senior attackman Justin Ward (Old Mill) was ranked ninth. Ward will look to become only the second men’s player from a school in the state of Maryland to ever win the Tewaaraton Trophy (Johns Hopkins’ Kyle Harrison in 2005) this year after amassing 105 points over the last two seasons.

Here is what IL had to say about Ward in their write-up…

As a freshman, Ward talked of modeling his game after Rob Pannell. Through intense physical preparation, he’s emerged as a dodging feeder with a similar combination of strength and quickness, and he’s got the leadership and eyes-up intangibles to be nearly as good.

Ward was selected 23rd overall in the 2014 MLL Draft by the Charlotte Hounds and was picked as a co-captain for the Greyhounds this season. Here is the entire Preseason Player of the Year watch list from IL.

10. Brandon Mangan, A, Sr., Yale
9. Ward
8. T.J. Sanders, A, So., Penn State
7. Matt Kavanagh, A, So., Notre Dame
6. Joey Sankey, A, Jr., North Carolina
5. Wesley Berg, A, Jr., Denver
4. Kieran McArdle, A, Sr., St. John’s
3. Thomas Schreiber, M, Sr., Princeton
2. Jordan Wolf, A, Sr., Duke
1. Lyle Thompson, A, Jr., Albany

(Honorable Mention: Jimmy Bitter, A, Jr., North Carolina; Chris LaPierre, M, Sr., Virginia; Jesse King, M, Jr., Ohio State; Mark Cockerton, A, Sr., Virginia; John Glesener, A, Jr., Army)

Loyola opens the 2014 season Thursday, February 6 at Virginia.

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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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