Posted on 03 April 2012 by Glenn Clark
Posted on 03 April 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 30 March 2012 by Glenn Clark
Posted on 27 March 2012 by WNST Staff
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Sophomore Alyssa Thomas of the Maryland women’s basketball team is one of five players named to the Associated Press All-America First Team announced Tuesday.
Thomas, the 2012 ACC Player of the Year, is joined on the First Team by Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Stanford’s Nneka Ogwumike and Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne.
Thomas is the Terrapins’ fourth AP All-American. Crystal Langhorne (2006, 2007, 2008),Kristi Toliver (2008, 2009) and Marissa Coleman (2009) all earned the honor at least once in their respective careers. Langhorne was also honored as a sophomore when she was named to the Second Team in 2006.
Thomas leads the ACC in scoring with 17.2 points per game and is among the best in the league with 8.0 rebounds per game, assists (3.2), free throw percentage (80.1) and defensive rebounds (5.5).
Thomas is just the second underclassman ever to be named ACC Player of the Year. She scored a career-high 29 points in the ACC title game to lead Maryland to its 10th league championship. She was named Tournament MVP and is only the seventh player, and first underclassman, to be named league Player of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season.
The Second Team honorees are Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford; Odyssey Sims, Baylor; Shenise Johnson, Miami; Samantha Prahalis, Ohio State; and Julie Wojta of Green Bay. Connecticut’s Tiffany Hayes, Kentucky’s A’dia Mathies, Duke’s Elizabeth Williams, Tennessee’s Shekinna Stricklen and Miami’s Riquna Williams all made the Third Team.
Behind two comebacks and a 21-4 run to end the game, Maryland rallied past Texas A&M 81-74 on Sunday in the Regional Semifinals. The Terps advanced to their fourth Elite Eight under head coach Brenda Frese.
Laurin Mincy had 21 points and for her career-high 12 rebounds for her first career double-double. Thomas added 21 points and nine rebounds for the second-seeded Terrapins. They trailed by 18 points in the first half and by 12 in the second half, but Maryland fought its way back and held the defending national champion Aggies to just one basket in the final 10 minutes.
The Terrapins had won 10 straight and 13 of 14 since Jan. 26. The Terrapins are 31-18 (.633) all-time in NCAA Tournament games. Frese owns an NCAA Tournament record of 20-7 (.741) and 19-6 (.760) at Maryland. Frese has led the Terps to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, four Elite Eights and the 2006 national championship.
Posted on 27 March 2012 by Glenn Clark
Honorable Mention: Women’s College Lacrosse-Towson @ Maryland (Tuesday 7pm from Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex live on AM1570 WNST.net); Auto Racing: NASCAR Goody’s Fast Relief 500 (Sunday 12:30pm from Martinsville, VA live on FOX), IndyCar Series Honda Grand Prix of Alabama (Sunday 2pm from Birmingham live on NBC Sports Network); High School Basketball: McDonald’s All American Games (Girls Wednesday 7pm from Chicago live on ESPNU Boys Wednesday 9:30pm from Chicago live on ESPN); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 63 (Friday 8pm from Uncasville, CT live on MTV2); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Hank Lundy vs. Dannie Williams (Friday 9pm from Mashantucket, CT live on ESPN2); Soccer: Team USA Women @ Japan (Sunday 6:30am from Sendai, Japan live on ESPN2), MLS-FC Dallas @ DC United (Friday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on NBC Sports Network); Bill Maher (Saturday 8pm France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome, Sunday 8pm Strathmore); Donnell Rawlings (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); “Goon” & “Wrath of the Titans” out in theaters (Friday); “Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)
10. Van Halen/Kool & The Gang (Wednesday 7:30pm Verizon Center), Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (Sunday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Mac Miller (Saturday 8pm Patriot Center); Blue October (Sunday 7pm Rams Head Live); Mr. Greengenes (Thursday 8pm Recher Theatre); The Bad Plus (Sunday 7:30pm Baltimore Soundstage); All Mighty Senators (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Sleigh Bells (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), The Temper Trap (Saturday 6pm 9:30 Club), Andrew WK (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Wednesday 8pm Warner Theatre); Patti LaBelle (Friday & Saturday 8pm Strathmore); Leon Redbone (Saturday 7:30pm Birchmere), Three Dog Night (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Of Monsters And Men (Monday 8pm Black Cat)
The new Van Halen is TERRIBLE (at least the song is-I haven’t listened to the record), but it doesn’t change how freaking awesome this is…
I don’t worship Bruce Springsteen. (Some of you would have to admit you do.) I DO freaking love this song though…
I have no idea what Three Dog Night even looks like at this point. I would be more than happy to sing along with this though…
Here’s another fantastic tune by a band called Of Monsters And Men. So now we’ve done that…
9. NBA: Washington Wizards @ Indiana Pacers (Thursday 7pm from Indianapolis live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Philadelphia 76ers @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors (Sunday 6pm from Toronto live on Comcast SportsNet), Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS)
Since Sonny Weems doesn’t play for the Raptors anymore, he won’t be there when the ‘Zards visit Canada. It’s a shame because if he was he could bring his creepy foot…
I get the feeling there won’t be many folks willing to click on Page 2 or Page 3 after that, but we’re going to keep going here anyway.
(Continued on Page 2…)
Posted on 26 March 2012 by Glenn Clark
You’re going to have to indulge me on this one. I have no one to yell at and no incredible statement to make about a current sporting event.
Instead, if this column was called “Your Saturday Reality Check”, I would have gotten this perfectly to the date.
Ten years ago-Sunday, March 24, 2002-the University of Maryland met the University of Connecticut in the East Region Final (or the Elite 8 if you well) of the NCAA Tournament. The game was at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.
For full disclosure, I wasn’t there. It was my freshman year at the University of Maryland, but I didn’t make the trip. I didn’t make the trip to the Georgia Dome for the Final Four either, which is one of the greatest regrets of my still very young life. I actually think our own Luke Jones was at the game, but I’m just rambling now.
You certainly remember the shots that defined the game. The Terrapins trailed the Huskies 77-74 with just under four minutes to play as Caron Butler simply wouldn’t let UConn go away quietly. Juan Dixon calmly sank a three pointer from near the top of the key to even the game back up. Then in the final minute, a previously scoreless Steve Blake altered a play call in the huddle and used a ball fake to create an open three for himself to put the Terps up 86-80, effectively the final nail in the coffin of a 90-82 victory.
What I remember was how the game felt like the most intense college basketball game I had ever witnessed. While Gary Williams likely ruined an expensive suit due to sweat that afternoon, Glenn Clark also ruined a number of t-shirts and a pair of pajama pants. This was a game where neither team ever appeared to have the upper hand. Lonny Baxter was absolutely dominant in the paint against future NBA standout Emeka Okafor, but Butler’s 32 points kept the Huskies at Maryland’s heels all afternoon.
We’re planning to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the University of Maryland’s only basketball championship throughout the week on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. I’ve admitted regularly that I openly wept at Cole Field House that early April night (the anniversary of the championship is this Sunday for those scoring at home) in College Park. I had two goals for my life from about the time I was eight years old. One was to become a professional broadcaster, the other was to attend the University of Maryland.
Being a “Terp” was in my blood. My grandmother (a journalism teacher in Baltimore County and later professor at Morgan State University) is a University of Maryland alum. While I was too young for the Bob Wade era of Maryland basketball to mean much to me, the early years of the Gary Williams era (which were not always pretty) shaped who I wanted to be when I stepped on a basketball court at Chapel Hill Elementary School or Perry Hall Middle School. I pretended to be Evers Burns. I pretended to be Kevin McLinton. I ABSOLUTELY pretended to be Walt “The Wizard” Williams, Joe Smith, Keith Booth and Sarunas Jasikevicius.
I really had no idea I’d ever witness my heroes playing in a Final Four or for a national championship. I had felt the 1999 team (lead by Steve Francis) had a legitimate chance, but Erick Barkley and St. John’s extinguished those hopes in the Sweet 16. Just weeks before Maryland’s initial Final Four run in 2001 there were calls for the head of Gary Williams after an embarrassing streak of five losses in six games (including a “rock bottom” defeat at the hands of Florida State on Valentine’s Day).
But there was something about the 2001-2002 Terps that made you believe the entire time that team was capable of finally breaking through. The heartbreak of blowing a big loss to Duke in the Final Four the year earlier seemed to fuel them to an ACC regular season championship and back to that afternoon at the Carrier Dome. The confidence of an incredible group of upperclassmen was never lacking at any point during the season.
Maryland’s run to the National Championship was unprecedented. After an opening round win over Siena, the Terps faced a modern day “Murderer’s Row” of basketball programs as they ran through Wisconsin, Kentucky, UConn and then Kansas and Indiana. Maryland faced the highest seed they could possibly face in every round as a 1 seed (16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1) as well. Yet somehow they never really seemed to be in danger of losing.
In the Final Four a huge second half lead was cut into by the Jayhawks, but it never appeared particularly nerve-racking. The Hoosiers briefly held a second half lead in the National Championship game, but a quick baseline jumper from Dixon turned the game back toward the favor of Maryland.
The only game that involved great drama was the UConn game. It was the type of drama that sees eight ties and seven lead changes in the final 13 minutes. It was the type of drama that almost could never be fairly described in words. (ESPN’s Dick Vitale described it as a “Maalox Masher” immediately after the game. He’s certainly a wordsmith if nothing else.)
It was the type of drama that made you think “whoever wins this game is winning a national championship” in the second half. At least it made me feel that way…and I was right.
To this day, this is still my absolute favorite game I’ve ever watched. More so than the Tennessee Titans/Baltimore Ravens AFC Divisional Playoff in 2001, more so than the Mike Mussina/Randy Johnson showdown at Camden Yards in Game 4 of the 1997 ALDS, even more so than the Andre Agassi/James Blake thriller at the 2005 U.S. Open. If your heart can take it, it’s worth reliving below.
I’m not sure mine can, but I’m still grateful for these memories some ten years later.
Posted on 20 March 2012 by Glenn Clark
Honorable Mention: Soccer-Cuba @ US Under-23 Men (Thursday 9pm from Nashville live on Universal Sports Network), Canada @ US Under-23 Men (Saturday 9pm from Nashville live on Universal Sports), El Salvador @ US Under-23 Men (Monday 9pm from Nashville live on Universal Sports), MLS-DC United @ Vancouver Whitecaps (Saturday 10pm from Vancouver live on Comcast SportsNet); Tennis: ATP Tour WTA Tour Sony Ericsson Open (Saturday-Monday 11am from Miami live on Tennis Channel); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Antwone Smith vs. Roberto Garcia (Friday 9pm from Pharr, TX live on ESPN2), ShoBox-Diego Magdaleno vs. Eduardo Lazcano (Friday 11pm from Tucson, AZ live on Showtime), Erik Morales vs. Danny Garcia (Saturday 10pm from Houston live on HBO), Zab Judah vs. Vernon Paris (Saturday 10pm from New York live on NBC Sports Network); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 62 (Friday 8pm from Laredo, TX live on MTV2)
10. The Head And The Heart (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Crack The Sky (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Adema (Wednesday 7pm Recher Theatre); Psychedelic Furs (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Phil Vassar (Wednesday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Gotye (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Fatboy Slim (Friday 9pm 9:30 Club), The Joy Formidable (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Fiona Apple (Wednesday 9pm Sixth & I Historic Synagogue); Kevin Eubanks (Thursday-Sunday Blues Alley); Angelique Kidjo (Saturday 8pm Lisner Auditorium); ShamrockFest feat. Dropkick Murphys, Gavin Degraw, Carbon Leaf (Saturday RFK Stadium); The Shins “Port of Morrow” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)
Here’s a truth. The Head and The Heart had one of the ABSOLUTE best songs of 2011…
Gotye is the band whose name you have NO IDEA how to pronounce but you just can’t get out of your head…
Fiona Apple once did a video in her underwear. It was awkward because 14 year old Glenn was both aroused and terribly disturbed…
I saw The Shins on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure I was into them. I’m into them.
9. Ralphie May (Friday 8pm Lisner Auditorium); Bret Ernst (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Pablo Francisco (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” & “The Muppets” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); “The Hunger Games” opens in theaters (Friday); Beer, Bourbon & BBQ (Friday & Saturday Timonium Fairgrounds)
I will be at BBBBQ Saturday morning with my “Reality Check Players” partner John Collingsworth. If you intended to do something with me at some point during the day Saturday understand…well…just be prepared for anything.
I’ll be giving away a pair of tickets to Friday night on Tuesday and Wednesday on “The Reality Check.” Not sure if Beer, Bourbon & BBQ is an event for you? I have a simple question. Does this look like something you’d enjoy?
What about this?
See you this weekend.
Posted on 12 March 2012 by WNST Staff
“As of this morning we have already seen some trends on who the public is liking to take this thing down. Florida State who won the ACC and who we opened at 40-1 have dropped down to 30-1 and are a heavy liability for us already. Syracuse at 10-1 as a #1 seed has also taken quite a bit unlike Kentucky who are clear cut favorites at 9/4 but not seeing too much action at that short price. Michigan State took quite a lot of money when they were as high as 40-1 at one point during the season but now at 17/2 I guess some bettors feel they missed the boat on that one.”
-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager
Odds to Win the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship
Kentucky (1) 9/4
Ohio State (2) 11/2
North Carolina (1) 13/2
Michigan State (1) 17/2
Missouri (2) 10/1
Kansas (2) 10/1
Syracuse (1) 10/1
Duke (2) 20/1
Marquette (3) 30/1
Florida State (3) 30/1
Baylor (3) 35/1
Wisconsin (4) 35/1
Louisville (4) 35/1
Vanderbilt (5) 35/1
Wichita State (5) 40/1
Georgetown (3) 40/1
New Mexico (5) 50/1
Indiana (4) 60/1
Florida (7) 65/1
Memphis (8) 65/1
Cincinnati (6) 75/1
Kansas State (8) 75/1
Connecticut (9) 75/1
Michigan (4) 80/1
Belmont (14) 100/1
Temple (5) 100/1
UNLV (6) 100/1
Murray State (6) 100/1
Notre Dame (7) 100/1
St. Mary’s (7) 125/1
Gonzaga (7) 125/1
West Virginia (10) 125/1
San Diego State (6) 150/1
St. Louis (9) 150/1
Alabama (9) 150/1
Creighton (8) 150/1
Texas (11) 100/1
Purdue (10) 100/1
NC State (11) 100/1
Iowa State (8) 200/1
Virginia (10) 200/1
VCU (12) 250/1
Harvard (12) 250/1
California (12) 250/1
Southern Miss (9) 250/1
Long Beach State (12) 250/1
Colorado State (11) 300/1
Colorado (11) 300/1
South Florida (12) 300/1
Montana (13) 300/1
New Mexico state (13) 300/1
Ohio (13) 300/1
Davidson (13) 300/1
BYU (14) 300/1
Iona (14) 300/1
St. Bonaventure (14) 300/1
South Dakota State (14) 300/1
Lehigh (15) 450/1
Norfolk State (15) 450/1
Detroit (15) 450/1
Mississippi Valley State (16) 500/1
Western Kentucky (16) 500/1
NC-Ashville (16) 500/1
Long Island (16) 500/1
Lamar (16) 500/1
Vermont (16) 500/1
Loyola Maryland (15) 500/1
Odds to Win the South Region
Kentucky (1) 5/7
Duke (2) 5/1
Baylor (3) 11/2
Wichita State (5) 8/1
Indiana (4) 12/1
UNLV (6) 25/1
Connecticut (9) 30/1
Notre Dame (7) 40/1
Iowa State (8) 60/1
Xavier (10) 60/1
VCU (12) 100/1
Colorado (11) 150/1
New Mexico State (13) 200/1
South Dakota State (14) 200/1
Lehigh (15) 200/1
Western Kentucky (16) 200/1
Mississippi Valley State (16) 225/1
Odds to Win the West Region
Michigan State (1) 11/5
Missouri (2) 9/4
Marquette (3) 13/2
Louisville (4) 13/2
New Mexico (5) 9/1
Florida (7) 14/1
Memphis (8) 14/1
Murray State (6) 25/1
St. Louis (9) 30/1
Virginia (10) 50/1
Long Beach State (12) 75/1
Davidson (13) 100/1
BYU (14) 100/1
Colorado State (11) 150/1
Iona (14) 150/1
Norfolk State (15) 200/1
Long Island (16) 200/1
Odds to Win the East Region
Ohio State (2) 8/5
Syracuse (1) 9/4
Vanderbilt (5) 9/1
Florida State (3) 10/1
Wisconsin (4) 10/1
Kansas State (8) 15/1
Cincinnati (6) 18/1
Gonzaga (7) 30/1
West Virginia (10) 30/1
Texas (11) 30/1
Southern Mississippi (9) 60/1
Harvard (12) 60/1
Montana (13) 100/1
St. Bonaventure (14) 150/1
Loyola Maryland (15) 200/1
NC-Ashville (16) 200/1
Odds to Win the Midwest Region
North Carolina (1) 8/5
Kansas (2) 2/1
Georgetown (3) 10/1
Michigan (4) 15/1
Temple (5) 18/1
Purdue (10) 18/1
Belmont (14) 18/1
NC State (11) 20/1
St. Mary’s (7) 25/1
San Diego State (6) 30/1
Creighton (8) 35/1
Alabama (9) 40/1
California (12) 50/1
South Florida (12) 100/1
Ohio (13) 100/1
Detroit (15) 150/1
Lamar (16) 200/1
Vermont (16) 225/1
Courtesy of Bovada (formerly Bodog), www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV.
Posted on 08 March 2012 by WNST Staff
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland women’s basketball sophomore Alyssa Thomas is one of 15 women’s finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, announced by The Los Angeles Athletic Club Wednesday. The National Ballot, consisting of these top players, will be mailed to Wooden Award voters this week, and voting begins March 12th. Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the ballot is made up of 15 student-athletes who are the final contenders for women’s college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
All players have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA, an important component of the Award insisted upon by Coach Wooden. The Wooden Award All American Teams will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. Voters have until Monday, March 19 at Noon PDT to return their ballots, allowing them to take into consideration performance during the first round of the NCAA Tournament, which makes the Wooden Award unique among college postseason awards.
The other 14 named to the list are: Elena Delle Donne, Delaware; Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame; Brittney Griner, Baylor; Tiffany Hayes, Connecticut; Shenise Johnson, Miami; A’dia Mathies, Kentucky; Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford; Nnemkadi Oguwumike, Stanford; Samantha Prahalis, Ohio State; Odyssey Sims, Baylor; Shekinna Stricklen, Tennessee; Elizabeth Williams, Duke; Riquna Williams, Miami’ Julie Wojta, Green Bay.
Upperclassmen dominate the list, but this year one freshman, Duke’s Elizabeth Williams, and three sophomores were selected: Thomas, Chiney Ogwumike and Odyssey Sims.
Thomas became just the second sophomore ever to be named ACC Player of the Year last week. Over the weekend, she led the Terrapins to the program’s 10th ACC title with a career-high 29 points in the championship game. She was named Tournament MVP. She is just the seventh player, and only underclassman, ever to be named ACC Player of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season.
The 36th annual Wooden Award Gala, will take place on Friday, April 6, 2012, and will honor winners, All Americans, and the Legends of Coaching honoree Geno Auriemma of Connecticut. The Women’s John R. Wooden Award winner will be announced at the Gala event. The Terrapins will host the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds next weekend. Games are 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on March 17 and 7 p.m. on March 19.
Posted on 02 March 2012 by WNST Staff
|Date||Friday, March 2, 2012|
|Location||Louisville, Ky. | Owsley B. Frazier Stadium|
|Series Record||Loyola leads, 2-0|
|Last Meeting||Loyola 9, Bellarmine 6 – March 5, 2011|
Loyola University Maryland heads on the road for the first time this season, starting a two-game trek with a Friday night game in Louisville, Ky., against Bellarmine University at 7 o’clock.
Friday’s game marks the start of Loyola’s eighth season in the ECAC Lacrosse League, as the game is the conference opener for both teams. The Greyhounds are 46-11 all-time in conference games.
Loyola will meet Bellarmine for the third time in series history on Friday with the Greyhounds winning the first two games.
The Greyhounds won the first meeting, 14-8, in Louisville during the 2010 season when current Loyola players Eric Lusby and Patrick Fanshaw each scored three goals.
Last season, the teams were tied 3-3 at halftime and 4-4 after the first minute of the third quarter before the Greyhounds scored five in a row to break the game open and go on to a 9-6 victory.
Mike Sawyer scored five goals in the game, and Matt Langan tallied four assists.
In The Polls
Loyola moved up to No. 11 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll, and 14th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings after its 13-6 victory over Towson. The Greyhounds are one of four ECAC teams in the polls, joining Denver (14/12), Ohio State (17/16) and Fairfield (20/RV).
Four By Two
Mike Sawyer and Sean O’Sullivan both scored four goals in the Greyhounds’ win over Towson last Saturday, becoming the first pair of Loyola players to record four or more goals in the same game since Patrick Fanshaw and Matt Langan scored five and four, respectively, on March 20, 2010, in a 17-3 win over Air Force.
O’Sullivan matched his career-high, set as a sophomore in 2010 at the U.S. Military Academy against Rutgers, and Sawyer was one off tying his career-best. O’Sullivan needed just four shots to score his four goals, two of which came on extra-man opportunities.
Ward Dishes Five
Justin Ward played the role of feeder in Loyola’s 13-6 win over Towson, finishing the game with five assists. Just one week previously, the sophomore recorded his first collegiate assist against Delaware.
Ward became the first Loyola player to record five or more assists since Shane Koppens had six in a March 10, 2009, win over Bryant.
Through the first two weeks of the season, Ward is tied for third nationally with a 3.0 assists per game mark.
Scoring In Two Straight
Loyola posted 13 goals in back-to-back games to open the season, marking the first time since April 2007 that the Greyhounds scored 13 or more in two games in a row.
The last time it happened, Loyola defeated Fairfield, 19-2, on April 21, 2007, and Hobart, 17-10, on April 28.
Through just two games, the Greyhounds rank eighth in NCAA Division I in goals per game (13.0).
Loyola was successful on all three of its extra-man opportunities in the game against the Blue Hens, scoring three man-up goals in the second quarter during its 5-0 run. The Greyhounds followed that by converting on 2-of-3 EMOs in the win over Towson.
Patrick Fanshaw, Eric Lusby and Mike Sawyer each scored EMO goals of the Greyhounds, and Fanshaw added another at the end of a Delaware non-releasable penalty just as the teams returned to even strength. Sean O’Sullivan tacked on both of the man-up goals against Towson.
Loyola is tied for third nationally with an 83.3-percent EMO success rate through the first two weeks of the young season.
The Greyhounds extra-man unit was seventh nationally with a .420 (21-of-50) conversion percentage in 2011.
Dominant At The ‘X’
Loyola used a large advantage at the face-off ‘X’ to secure the win over Towson, winning two-thirds (14-of-21) restarts against the Tigers.
J.P. Dalton won 9-of-11 face-offs in the first half and finished 13-of-18 in the game to raise his season percentage to 62.8 (27-of-43).
Dalton grabbed four ground balls, while wings Scott Ratliff and Pat Laconi each had four, as well. Dalton also finished with a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds.
Loyola won its season opener for the third-straight year, defeating Delaware 13-8 last Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex. The Greyhounds trailed, 3-0, after the first quarter, but they scored five in a row to go up 5-4 at halftime.
Lusby Makes Return
Eric Lusby returned to game action in the season-opener after missing all but two games of the 2011 season. Now a graduate student, Lusby tore his right ACL in the 2010 NCAA First Round game against Cornell. He attempted to come back last year, but he saw limited action against Navy and Towson and was shut down to rehab the injury for the remainder of the season.
Lusby burst back onto the scene against Delaware, scoring the Greyhounds’ first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity, and the 2010 All-ECAC First Team member tallied three more in the second half. The four goals were a career-high for the Severna Park, Md., native.
Lusby was third on the 2010 team in goals with 20 as a member of the team’s first midfield unit. This year, Lusby has moved back to his natural position of attack.
Sawyer Shows Same Form
Mike Sawyer picked up where he left off a year ago, tallying three goals and assisting on Eric Lusby’s first, in the win over the Blue Hens. He then tacked on four goals and an assist against Towson. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 36 assists.
The Towson game was Sawyer’s 12th career multi-goal game and the 5th multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.
Before the season, Sawyer was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Team and was named to the Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.
Ratliff Earns ECAC Honor
Scott Ratliff was honored as the ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career following the Delaware win after picking up a career-high seven ground balls against Delaware.
Ratliff keyed Loyola’s possession and defensive efforts in the final three quarters when he helped J.P. Dalton win 14-of-21 face-offs.
Ratliff also had two caused turnovers, and the long-stick midfielder scored the fifth goal of his collegiate career in the third quarter when Michael Bonitatibus made a clean save and sent a pass to Ratliff who executed a one-man clear and scored in transition.
Bonitatibus Wins First Start
Junior Michael Bonitatibus made his first collegiate start in goal for the Greyhounds against Delaware after having played less than two minutes prior to this season.
Bonitatibus, who played 65 seconds in his collegiate debut last year at Duke, made seven saves for the Greyhounds and allowed just eight goals. He also picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.
Bonitatibus became the first Loyola goalkeeper to win his starting debut in nearly 11 years. The last was Mark Bloomquist who also defeated Delaware, 8-7, on February 24, 2001.
Second Half Scoring
Loyola continued a trend from the last two years in the opener against Delaware, making adjustments at halftime to outscore their opponents in the third quarter and second half. The Greyhounds outscored the Blue Hens 5-1 in the third quarter and 8-4 after the break.
Loyola outscored its opponents 69-52 after halftime last season (including two overtime goals) despite being outscored 54-39 in the first halves of games.
The Greyhounds scored 34 third-quarter goals to their opponents’ 27. In 2010, they outscored opponents 41-24 in the third quarters of games and 76-55 overall after halftime.
Dalton At The ‘X’
After Delaware won all four face-offs in the first quarter, J.P. Dalton dominated play at the ‘X’ for the Greyhounds in the final three quarters. He finished the game by winning 14-of-25 (.560), going 14-of-21 (.667) in the last 45 minutes.
Dalton, who entered the game having won 30-of-58 restarts in his first three years at Loyola, won 5-of-7 in both the second and third quarters as Loyola gained and extended the lead.
Greyhounds Picked Second In ECAC
The Greyhounds were picked to finish second in the ECAC Lacrosse Leagues by the head coaches of their peer schools. Loyola received 54 points in the poll, trailing only Denver University which had 61.
Record At Ridley
After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds opened their third year at the stadium with a 13-8 win over then-No. 19 Delaware and a 13-6 victory against Towson. Loyola is now 10-3 all-time at Ridley.
Loyola stays on the road for its next game, a Wednesday, March 7, contest against future ECAC foe University of Michigan. The Wolverines will host the Greyhounds their first-ever varsity home game in a 7 p.m. start.
The Greyhounds then return to the friendly confines of Ridley Athletic Complex for a day of doubleheader lacrosse action on Saturday, March 10. The men will host Duke University at 12 noon with a women’s game against UMBC following at 3:30 p.m.