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Loyola faces Lehigh Sunday in Patriot League title game

Posted on 27 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Sunday, April 25, 2014  |  1:00 p.m.

Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex | CBS Sports Network


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland will host the Patriot League Championship Game at Ridley Athletic Complex, on Sunday, April 27.

The top-seeded Greyhounds will play third-seeded Lehigh University at 1 p.m.

Lehigh edged No. 2 seed the U.S. Military Academy, 12-11, and Loyola topped No. 4 seed Colgate University, 12-6, in Friday’s semifinals.

Loyola went 8-0 to win the Patriot League Regular-Season title and earn the right to host the Patriot League Championships.

The Greyhounds are looking for their second conference tournament title in three years. They also won the 2012 ECAC Lacrosse League Championship.

Joe Fletcher leads all close defenders nationally in ground balls (66) and ground balls per game (4.71).

Pat Laconi is tops among NCAA Division I non-pole players in caused turnovers (27) and caused turnovers per game (1.93).

Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello entered the week ranked second and third in assists and goals per game, respectively, in the NCAA. After the Colgate game, their averages are 3.21 and 3.14.

 

Last Time Out

Loyola used two 3-0 runs and a 4-0 run to take control of Friday’s Patriot League Semifinal against Colgate University, as the Greyhounds defeated the Raiders, 12-6.

Brian Schultz scored four goals and assisted on another, and Justin Ward matched his team-high five points with two goals and three assists.

Colgate’s Cameron Williams scored his first of two goals with 1:31 left in the third quarter to send the teams into the second frame with Loyola in front, 3-2.

Schultz, however, scored his first goal 38 seconds into the second quarter, and Nikko Pontrello added a goal at 4:21. Schultz then tallied his second of the quarter with 3:06 left in the half, and Loyola led 6-2 at halftime.

After a 38-minute lightning delay early in the third quarter, Schultz capped the 4-0 run with a goal at 5:22 left in the third.

The Raiders got two goals within 61 seconds of each other to close the third, but Ward, Ryan Fournier and Schultz scored for a 3-0 fourth-quarter run that put the game out of reach.

Joe Fletcher tied his career-high with five caused turnovers in the contest.

 

Turn On The Television

All three games in the Patriot League Championships will be broadcast live, nationally on CBS Sports Network. Dave Ryan will call the play-by-play, and Evan Washburn will handle the analysis of the action.

The game is one of six that will feature the Greyhounds on the network. The  entire Patriot League Championships, as well as game against Johns Hopkins University on May 3 will be broadcast live. Loyola’s games versus Duke University, at Georgetown University and against Bucknell University were also on the network.

 

In The Polls

With last Thursday’s win against Bucknell, Loyola remained in the No. 1 spot of both the USILA coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls for the fifth week in a row.

The Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 at some point in each of the last three seasons. This stretch is the longest Loyola has been ranked first since spending nine-straight at the top from March 15-May 10, 1999.

 

Series History

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

Prior to the teams’ regular-season meeting at Lehigh on March 1, the Greyhounds, who are 8-0 all-time against the Mountain Hawks, last played Lehigh on April 15, 1998. Loyola won that game 20-2 at Curley Field in a season which the Greyhounds would reach the NCAA Semifinals.

In the teams’ regular-season game, Kevin Ryan scored a career-high five goals, and Jack Runkel made 13 saves. The Mountain Hawks tied the score, 3-3, with two goals late in the first quarter, but Loyola outscored them 4-0 in the second as part of an 8-1 run that covered both halves.

 

All-League Awards

Three Loyola players earned individual awards on Monday when the Patriot League honors were announced. Joe Fletcher was named Defensive Player of the Year, Jack Runkel Goalkeeper of the Year and Justin Ward Offensive Player of the Year.

The trio was also named to the All-Patriot League First Team along with teammates Pat Laconi, Nikko Pontrello and Brian Sherlock. Kevin Ryan was named to the Second Team. Loyola’s seven All-League players were the most by any team this season.

 

Get To Ten

Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 67 occasions. After defeating Colgate, 12-6, on Friday, Loyola has won 82.1 percent of those games (55-12).

 

Since 2012

Loyola has the best winning percentage in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse since the start of the 2012 season. The Greyhounds are 42-7 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 13-1 this season) for a .857 mark. Loyola’s winning percentage of .928 this season is the best nationally.

Only Duke has won more games (43) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage nine percent (43-13, .767).

 

Chart Toppers

A pair of Greyhounds attackers are near the top of two offensive categories through games of Friday, April 25, in both total goals and assists. Nikko Pontrello is third in Division I with 44 goals, while Justin Ward is second with 45 assists.

The duo is the No. 2 point-scoring tandem in the country with 114 combined points (Ward, 60; Pontrello, 54). Albany’s Lyle (88) and Miles (85) have a combined 173.

 

Tops Among Close Defenders

Joe Fletcher not only leads Loyola in ground balls, total (66) and per game (4.71), this season, but more impressive than that, he paces all close defenders nationally in the categories. Fletcher is 46th overall in ground balls per game, while the 45 players who are ahead of him are either face-off specialists or long-stick midfielders who play on the wings during restarts.

 

And Short-Sticks, Too

Meanwhile, Pat Laconi leads all non-pole defenders nationally in caused turnovers and caused turnovers per game. With a career-high five against Bucknell, he has caused 27 this season while averaging 1.98 per game. He entered the Patriot League Championships eighth in the nation, and the seven players ahead of him in the rankings are all long-stick midfielders or close defenders.

 

Record-Setting Quarterback

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 45 assists in 14 games. With his third and final assist on April 12 against Boston University, Ward passed Sean Heffernan for first-place in school single-season history at the Division I level.

He is second in the nation in total assists (45), and he is also second in the country, and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.21 assists per game this year. The 45 assists are tied for second in Patriot League history, three shy of matching Bucknell’s David Dickson’s record of 48 from a year ago.

With four assists against Duke on March 9, Ward set Loyola’s career Division I record (since 1982) in total assists, eclipsing the mark of 83 set from 1989-92 by Jim Blanding. His three at Colgate gave him 100 for his career, making him the second player in program history ever to reach the century mark.

Ward now has 112 career assists. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also sixth in school Division I history in total points with 166, 14 away from tying Gewas Schindler (1996-99) for fifth place. His 60 points this season are tied for seventh in school single-season history.

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

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello was held without a goal for the first time this season on April 5 against Navy, snapping a streak of 10-straight games to start the season that Pontrello had two or more goals. He rebounded, however, with three goals and two assists versus Boston University and three goals and an assist versus Bucknell. Through games of Friday, April 25, Pontrello is third in the nation in total goals with 44.

He scored two in the season-opener at Virginia and then had three each against Penn State and Towson before scoring a career-high six goals at Holy Cross. He then tallied four at Lehigh, five against Duke, three at Georgetown, five versus Lafayette and three against Colgate, Boston University and Bucknell. He has now scored two or more in 12 of 14 games this year.

Two of his goals have been game-winners in one-goal contests. Pontrello scored 19 seconds into overtime to give Loyola a 12-11 win at Penn State, and he then tallied one with 51.4 seconds left in regulation to push the Greyhounds past Georgetown, 10-9.

Pontrello’s 44 goals this season rank fifth in school single-season history, one shy of tying Kevin Beach’s 1993 total for fourth.

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .647 mark, saving 143 out of 221 shots on goal he’s faced. In a six-game stretch  against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel made 61 saves and allowed just 26 goals (.701).

The senior goalkeeper earned a record five Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors this year and was named the conference’s Goalkeeper of the Year. He has a goals against average of 6.80 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .621 through 14 games. He is second in the nation in saves percentage and third in goals against average.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.63 goals against average and .569 saves percentage. Runkel’s record between the pipes is 40-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 43 victories. Amato, however, is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.

 

Fletch, White And Blue

Senior defender Joe Fletcher was the lone 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.

He later had seven ground balls and causing a turnover against Duke. He also was primarily responsible for holding the Blue Devils’ All-American attacker Jordan Wolf to one goal.

Versus Colgate, Fletcher was matched up against Ryan Walsh, and he held the Raiders’ leading scorer without a goal or assist for the first time in his career, a total of 42 prior games. He then marked Navy’s T.J. Hanzsche, holding him without a point for the first time in 15 games. He then snapped the 41-game point-scoring streak of Bucknell’s David Dickson on April 17, holding him without a shot.

In all, the players Fletcher has had primary marking responsibilities for have tallied 11 goals in 13 games this year (including three each by the University of Virginia’s Mark Cockerton and Penn State University’s Shane Sturgis in the season’s first two games). Four of those goals have come when Fletcher was already out of the game late in the fourth quarter.

Fletcher has been named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week five times this year, the most any player in conference history has earned the award. He leads the Greyhounds with 61 ground balls and caused turnovers (19). His 69 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

Pat Laconi has continued to show his versatility as one of the top short-stick defensive midfielders in the nation while being a player with offensive acumen. The Preseason All-American had a goal against Bucknell to bring his season total to eight goals and three assists and his career numbers to 13 and 12.

Laconi posted four ground balls, matching his career-high, and three caused turnovers at Colgate, the final of each coming with less than 25 seconds remaining to help seal the win. He caused another three turnovers a week later at Navy and then had a career-high five against Bucknell. His team-leading 27 caused turnovers are tops a this season have brought his career total to 68, fourth-most in school history.

 

Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has scored 31 goals, second-most on the team through 14 games. He had the game-winning goal 12 seconds into the second overtime at Navy and less than two weeks later posted a career-best six goals in a win over Bucknell. His four against Colgate in the Patriot League Semifinals have given him 10 in Loyola’s last two contests.

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

 

Near The Top At Both Sides

The Greyhounds entered the Championships as the only team to be in the top five of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (13.14) rank fifth, and its goals allowed (6.93) are third. As a result, Loyola leads the nation in scoring margin (+6.21).

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all 13 of its games this season, and it has had five stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 25 runs of 3-0 or better. Here is a look at their four best scoring stretches:

Opponent Run Time Covered   Opponent Run Time Covered
at Holy Cross 14-0 38:58   Lafayette 12-0 26:53
Towson 10-0 16:38   at Virginia 9-0 14:18

 

 

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

Loyola is one of three schools (along with Duke) to have three players named Tewaaraton Award nominees. Joe Fletcher, Nikko Pontrello and Justin Ward are semifinalists for the honor of college lacrosse’s top player.

 

Fletcher and Ward were also two of 20 players nationally to be named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award that seniors who have performed at a high level athletically and in the classroom and who have used their platforms as student-athletes to make positive impacts in the community. Earlier this month, they were selected as two of the award’s 10 finalists for this year.

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Navy eliminated from Patriot League Tournament by Lehigh

Posted on 22 April 2014 by WNST Staff

BETHLEHEM, Pa. —  Two-time defending Patriot League Champion Lehigh outscored Navy 4-1 in the fourth quarter to secure a 10-6 victory over the Midshipmen in the Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinals played Tuesday evening at the Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem, Pa.  The third-seeded Mountain Hawks will face Army in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament, while top-seeded Loyola will battle the No. 4 seed Colgate.

“It was another hard-fought battle for the Midshipmen,” said third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “We have had a long stretch against some really talented teams (Loyola, Army, Johns Hopkins, Lehigh) and there’s a lot of emotion that goes into those games.  I’m extremely proud of the way we came out and competed against a team that got us pretty good a month ago.  Lehigh is a talented team and well coached and at the end of the night they made a few more plays than us.

“We knew we were a better team than what showed up the last time we played here,” added Sowell.  “But I think it was a combination of it being a playoff game and the confidence we have gained over the last few weeks.  We certainly wanted to leave it all on the field tonight and I honestly couldn’t have been more proud of the effort my team gave.”

Navy opened the game with the hot hand as seniors Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) and Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) joined forces to put the Midshpmen up 1-0 six minutes into the contest thanks to a transition goal that was generated by a takeaway from rookie John Trainor (Northport, N.Y.).

Lehigh answered with just over three minutes to go in the opening quarter when Kurtis Kaunas fired in a five-yarder from the left wing.

The Mids took the lead once again when sophomore midfielder Kevin Wendel (East Islip, N.Y.) out-raced Lehigh defenseman Sam Lawrence and scored his third collegiate goal to put Navy up 2-1 with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter.

Reid Weber slipped his defender and poked in his shot three minutes into the second quarter, queing  a 4-0 run by the Mountain Hawks.  Three of the next four goals were extra-man strikes as Lehigh owned a 5-2 lead with 9:25 to go in the first half.

Navy finally stopped the Lehigh run when Jones threaded his scoop shot through multiple defenders, as well as three-time All-Patriot League goalkeeper Matt Poillon, as Navy trailed 5-3 at the half.

The Mids trimmed the lead to one four minutes into the third quarter when senior middie Austin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) found a wide-open Hul standing on the left crease for his second goal of the contest.

Lehigh pushed its lead back to two when the Mids were unable to clear the ball out of the defensive box and Matt Smith punched in his fourth goal of the year from 10 yards out.

With under 30 seconds to go in the third period, Navy set up a play that saw Jones use a roll dodge to get free of middie Alan Henderson and post his second goal of the game with just 5.6 seconds left.

Down 6-5 heading into the final period of play, the Mids were unable to get anything going on the offensive end of the field while the Mountain Hawks scored four in a row, including an empty net goal with two minutes to play, to take a 10-5 lead.

The Mids scored a final time with 1:23 left in the contest when Hull produced his 14th collegiate hat trick with an unassisted strike from five yards out.

“We were able to get to within one a few times, but we just couldn’t get that goal to pull us even.  Looking back that four-goal run they made in the second quarter was tough to come back from, but we did not give up until the clock hit zero.”

Hull and Jones paced the Mids with three points apiece as Hull became just the 14th player in program history to reach 80 career goals.  Meanwhile, Jones moved into a tie for 10th place on Navy’s all-time points list with 143 points alongside Hall of Famer James Chambers (1946-49).

John Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.), who was named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week on Monday, played a strong game between the pipes, finishing the contest with 13 saves including six in the third quarter.  Senior long pole Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.) turned in a team-best three caused turnovers, while also playing a huge role on the wings of faceoffs helping Navy freshman Brady Dove (Stevensville, Md.) win 13 of the 19 draws.  Kiernan grabbed a team-best seven ground balls and jumped from sixth to fourth on Navy’s career ground balls list with 185.  It’s the most ground balls by a Navy player since William Wallace set the record playing from 2004-07.

Dove, who was named a Second-Team All-Patriot League player, has now won 158 faceoffs this season which are the second most in school history behind record holder Chris Pieczonka who set the record with 173 in 2004 and played in five more games.  Meanwhile, he stands eighth on Navy’s career faceoff wins list.

Five different players scored goals for the Mountain Hawks, including Kaunas who produced three goals and added an assist.  Meanwhile, Poillon anchored the defense with 15 saves including four in the final quarter of play.

The Mids will close out the 2014 campaign a week from Saturday with a 1:00 pm contest against fifth-ranked Maryland.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Avondale, LA), LPGA Tour Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic (Thursday-Saturday 6:30pm Sunday 7pm from San Francisco live on Golf Channel); MLS: FC Dallas @ DC United (Saturday 7pm RFK Stadium); Auto Racing: NASCAR Toyota Owners 400 (Saturday 7pm from Richmond live on FOX); Boxing: Keith Thurman vs. Julio Diaz (Saturday 9:30pm from Carson, CA live on Showtime); High School Basketball: Capital Classic (Saturday 7:30pm T.C. Williams High School)

10. Brian Regan (Friday & Saturday Warner Theatre); Ron White (Friday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Joe Rogan (Friday 8pm France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at The Hippodrome); Bill Bellamy (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Baltimore Green Week (Tuesday-Saturday throughout Charm City); The Gathering Food Trucks Rally (Friday Downtown Towson); Maryland Bacon Festival (Saturday 12pm Rash Field); “Brick Mansions” out in theaters (Friday)

This is a heart made out of bacon. This is wonderful.

These young ladies are wearing bacon. Did I mention bacon?

9. M3 Rock Festival feat. Tesla, Kix, Extreme, Sebastian Bach (Friday & Saturday Merriweather Post Pavilion); Ludacris (Friday 8pm Patriot Center); Lacuna Coil (Wednesday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Ani DiFranco (Saturday 9pm Rams Head Live); Musiq Soulchild (Tuesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage), Kindred the Family Soul (Friday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds (Thursday 8pm 8×10 Club); Edwin McCain (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Maceo Parker (Sunday 8:30pm Rams Head on Stage), Bret Michaels (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); The Used/Taking Back Sunday (Tuesday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Alabama Shakes (Friday & Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Better Than Ezra (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Band of Skulls (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Nappy Roots (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); Johnnyswim (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere); Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival feat. Jerry Douglas/Cris Jacobs (Saturday Druid Hill Park); Toadies (Sunday 8pm Black Cat); Ben Folds (Monday 8pm Lisner Auditorium); G. Love & Special Sauce “Sugar”, Keb Mo’ “Bluesamericana” and Neon Trees “Pop Psychology” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

From the last time Sister Sparrow was in town…and killing it.

I like to imagine I’m living my life within an Alabama Shakes tune. Because they’re excellent.

Nappy Roots are still around??!??!?!? Do you have any idea how many times I hit repeat on a Nappy Roots track in my life?

I think Allen McCallum and I may be headed to the Birchmere to see Johnnyswim. Because Johnnyswim is wonderful.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Navy falls to 3-4 after being overwhelmed by Lehigh

Posted on 15 March 2014 by WNST Staff

BETHLEHEM, Pa. —  The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team (6-2, 3-1 Patriot League) scored 10 of the game’s first 11 goals and held the Mids off the scoredboard for better than 30 minutes as the Mountain Hawks earned a 13-2 victory over Navy (3-4, 2-2 PL) Saturday afternoon at Ulrich Sports Complex.

“Credit Lehigh with playing a phenomenal all-around game,” said Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “They were hitting on all cylinders in every facet of the game.  We need to regroup and get ready for Colgate next weekend.”

Lehigh took an early 2-0 lead before Navy was able to cut the lead in half when sophomore attack T.J. Hanzsche (Berwyn, Pa.) curled around the right crease and punched in his 15th goal of the season.  The goal extended his point and goal-scoring streak to a team-best 13 consecutive games.

The Mountain Hawks answered two minutes later with junior attackman Dan Taylor scoring his first of a career-best five goals and sparking what would be eight straight goals by Lehigh, including five straight to end the first half.

With a 7-1 advantage at the half, Lehigh scored the first three goals of the second half to give the Mountain Hawks a 10-1 advantage with 8:46 remaining in the third quarter.

After a 31-minute, 14-second drought, Navy turned in its second and final goal of the game on an extra-man marker by Hanzsche.  Classmate Patrick Keena (Vienna, Va.) sent his pass from the top of the box to Hanzsche on the lower right crease with 5:05 left in the third quarter as Navy closed to within eight (10-2).

Lehigh went on to score the final three goals of the game, as Navy did not score over the last 20 minutes.

Navy turned the ball over 17 times with 14 of the 17 forced by the Mountain Hawks.  Lehigh, meanwhile, had its own turnover woes with 17, 11 of which were caused by the Mids.  Junior defensive midfielder Alex Heyward (Charlotte, N.C.) posted a career-high three takeaways, while Pat Kiernan and starting defensemen Nik Mullen (Wading River, N.Y.) and Chris Fennell (Milford, N.J.) contributed two apiece.

Navy rookie faceoff specialist Brady Dove (Stevensville, Md.) won 10 of the 18 draws he took in the game and in doing so jumped from 16th to 14th on the Mids’ career faceoff wins list with 94 wins.

Six different players scored for the Mountain Hawks, including Taylor who paced the team with eight points on five goals and three assists.  Junior attackman Patrick Corbett turned in a hat trick, while sophomore attackman Reid Weber contributed four assists.

The Mids will be back in action next Saturday when they return home to play host to Colgate at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Faceoff is slated for 12:00 pm.

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Navy looks for first road win Saturday at Lehigh

Posted on 14 March 2014 by WNST Staff

2014 Navy Men’s Lacrosse Game Specifics
Game 5 Navy (3-3, 2-1 PL) at Lehigh (5-2, 2-1 PL)
Date and Faceoff March 15 at 2:00 pm ET
Location Bethlehem, Pa. | Ulrich Sports Complex (1,200)


Game Preview

• The Navy men’s lacrosse team (3-3, 2-1 Patriot League) will make its fifth trip to Bethlehem, Pa. in the last six years when the Mids make the trek Saturday to face conference foe Lehigh (5-2, 2-1 PL).  With faceoff slated for 2:00 pm at the Ulrich Sports Complex, the Mids and Mountain Hawks will meet for the 33rd time in the series history.
• The game will be streamed online for FREE via PatriotLeague.TV and NavySports.com.  Live stats will also be available at NavySports.com.
• The Mids are coming off a 14-9 loss at Towson last Tuesday where the Mids trailed 9-1 at the half.  Despite scoring four goals in each of the last two quarters, the deficit was too great for Navy to overcome as it dropped its ninth consecutive road game.
• Like Navy, Lehigh also struggled to find the back of the net in its Tuesday evening road loss at 17th-ranked Yale.  The Mountain Hawks were held scoreless in the first and third periods and mustered just 17 shots the entire contest.  Turnovers also caused havoc, as Lehigh turned the ball over 21 times, 12 of which were unforced.

Taking the Field In …
10 – Navy has lost just five games (57-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season … Navy is 11-0 under Sowell when scoring 10 or more goals (5-0 in 2012, 3-0 in 2013, 3-0 in 2014).
9 – Navy senior Tucker Hull has scored a point in each of the last 9 contests … the last time he did not score was against Lehigh on March 30, 2013.  Fellow attack T.J. Hanzscheowns Navy’s longest point and goal-scoring streak, having posted a point in 12 straight games.
8 – Navy starting attack Sam Jones has produced a combined 8 goals in the three previous games he has played against Lehigh, including 4 in last year’s contest.
7 – The Mids are ranked 7th nationally in three team categories:  faceoff winning percentage (61.3), man-down defense (79.2) and scoring defense (7.60).
6 – Freshman faceoff specialist Brady Dove, who is Navy’s all-time freshman faceoff wins leader, needs 6 wins on Saturday to take over the No. 15 spot on Navy’s career faceoff wins list.
5 – Just 5 players on the roster have produced points against Lehigh, including 4 seniors -Sam Jones (8-3=11), Erik Hoffstadt (2-0=2), Tucker Hull (1-1=2), T.J. Hanzsche (1-0=1) and Austin Heneveld (1-0=1).
4 – Hull needs 4 goals to join Navy’s all-time goals scored list with 73.  He would also join teammate Sam Jones as one of just nine active NCAA players to score 70 plus goals and register 50 assists.
3 – Jones needs just 3 points to become only the seventh player in school history to reach the 30-point milestone in each of his four seasons and the first since Nick Mirabito (2005-08).
2 – Third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell is 2 wins from earning his 100th collegiate victory.  He owns a 98-99 record in 15 years as a head coach.
1 – Navy senior long pole Pat Kiernan stands No. 1 on Navy’s career caused turnovers list with 59 over his four year career.  He leads Navy this season with 8 takeaways.

Navy vs. Lehigh – The Series
• Saturday’s contest between Navy and Lehigh marks the 33rd game in a series that began in 1910 … the Midshipmen own a commanding 28-4 series advantage.
• The Mids won the first three contests before suffering their first loss in the series, a 4-3 decision in 1913 … Navy had won 25 in a row against the Mountain Hawks until Lehigh dealt the Mids a 14-10 loss in Bethlehem in 2011.  That win has sparked a three-game winning streak by the Mountain Hawks over the Mids and none of the three games have been closer than four goals.
• Navy owns a 6-2 series advantage in games played in Bethlehem.
• Four of the last five games have been played in Bethlem and Saturday’s contest marks the second straight year.  The lone game to be played in Annapolis since 2009 was the 2012 contest in which Lehigh won, 9-4.
• Since Navy joined the league in 2004, the Mids have scored double-figure goals in six of the 12 contests … Navy has produced nine goals in three of the other six games during that stretch.
• Navy and Lehigh have met twice in the Patriot League Tournament, 2005 and 2006, with the Mids winning both.

Scouting the Mountain Hawks
• Seventh-year Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese has led the 15th-ranked Mountain Hawks to a 5-2 record this spring which features Patriot League wins over Boston U. (10-7) and Bucknell (9-3) … Lehigh has also picked up wins over Furman (13-6), Marquette (13-6) and Villanova (7-6, 3OT) … its losses have come at the hands of nationally-ranked programs Loyola (14-7) and Yale (10-2).
• A staple for Cassese’s teams over the last several years has been the strength of its defense.  That continues to be the trend this year as the Mountain Hawks entered the week ranked fourth nationally, giving up 7.00 goals per game.  That mark slid to 7.43 after 17th-ranked Yale dealt Lehigh a 10-2 loss.
• One of the keys to the success of the defense is two-time Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year Matt Poillon … Poillon boasts a 55.0 save percentage which is 16th nationally and owns a 7.30 goals-against average.  Prior to the Yale loss, Poillon stood fourth in the country with a 6.74 GAA.
• Additionally, All-Patriot League defenseman Ty Souders and sophomore defenseman Tripp Telesco have been sensational.  Telesco leads the way with 14 caused turnovers and 19 grounders, while Souders has 5 takeaways and 16 grounders.
• The starting attack trio of Reid Weber, Patrick corbett and Dan Taylor has been sensational.  Weber and Taylor boast all-around games as both scorers and feeders with Weber pacing the team with 16 points on 9 goals and 7 assists while Taylor has 14 points on 9 goals and 5 assists.  Corbett, meanwhile, is the finisher, posting 14 points on a team-best 13 goals and 1 assist.
• Senior Ryan Buttenbaum has taken over the faceoff duties this year and has been solid.  He has won 75 of the 128 draws for a 58.6 wining percentage and leads the team with 34 ground balls.  He is ranked 15th in the country in faceoff winning percentage and 35th in ground balls per game
• According to the national statistics released prior to Lehigh’s contest at Yale on Tuesday, the Mountain Hawks were ranked among the nation’s top 20 in eight statistical categories.  They are among the top 10 in four stats.
• One weakness the Mountain Hawks do have is extra-man offense where they have scored on just 20 percent (5-25) of their opportunities and are ranked 58th.

Welcome to the Club!
• On March 12, 2013, Navy attackman Tucker Hull became the 30th player in program history to join the Mids’ elite list of 100-point scorers.
• Hull moved into 19th on Navy’s all-time scoring list with his 2 goals against Towson on Tuesday night.  With 120 points, he trails 18th-place Brendan Schneck (1977-78) by just 1 point and is 5 behind 17th-place Eddie McKinnon (1999-02).
• Meanwhile, Jones joined the elite 100-point list with 2 goals and an assist against arch rival Army on April 13, 2013.
• Jones stands 16th on Navy’s all-time scoring list with 129 points and trails 15th-place Rich Wehman (1980-83) by 1 point and is 3 behind Dennis Nealon (1988-91).
• Hull and Jones are only the fourth set of classmates in program history to reach 100 points.  Brendan Schneck (121) and Mike Hannan (101) from the Class of ‘78, Mike Herger (197) and Brian Keith (134) from the Class of 1990 and Ian Dingman (188) andBilly Looney (103) from the Class of 2007 are the others.
• Hull and Jones are just the 13th and 14th players at Navy, respectively, to reach the 100-point mark as juniors.  Mike Herger (109), Ian Dingman (102) and Brendan Schneck (121) accomplished it as sophomores.
• Jones, who led the team last spring with 33 points on 21 goals and 12 assists, has reached the 30-point milestone as a freshman, sophomore and junior … he is one of only 7 players in program history to achieve that feat, joining Paul Basile, James Chambers,Ian Dingman, Mike Herger, Jeff Long and Nick Mirabito.  Those players went on to score 30-plus in their senior years, as well.  Jones currently leads the team in scoring with 27 points on 15 goals and 12 assists.
• As a sophomore, Hull produced 47 points on 23 goals and 24 assists, becoming the Mids’ first 40-point scorer since Nick Mirabito turned in 46 points on 23 goals and 23 assists in 2008 … it’s the most points scored by a Navy player since 2006 when Jon Birsner dealt out 36 assists en route to his 54-point effort.
• Hull has turned in a goal in 32 of the 44 games he has played in during his career, including hat tricks 13 times … he has dealt out assists in 27 games and has posted 28 multi-point performances.
• Among the 44 games Jones has played in, he has scored a goal in 34 contests and produced an assist in 30 … he has recorded 22 multi-goal games, including hat tricks in 14 games … additionally, he has put up multiple points in 33 contests.
• In Navy’s 2012 opener against VMI, Hull and Jones combined to score 17 points, including 11 of the 14 goals … the last Navy tandem to combine for 11 goals was Brendan Schneck and Mike Hannan, who pitched in 6 and 5 goals, respectively, to help guide the Mids to a 16-8 win over Princeton on April 8, 1978.
• Jones turned in a remarkable 9-point (5-4) effort against the Keydets in 2012 … just two years later, Jones posted a career-best 10-point performance (4-6) against the Keydets … it’s the most points scored by a Navy player since Dennis Nealon produced 12 points against Washington College  on March 20, 1991.
• Hull, meanwhile, led the Mids with six goals in the 2012 VMI game … it was the most goals by a Navy player since Taylor Harris scored six against Holy Cross on March 26, 2006.  Teammate T.J. Hanzsche scored six goals against Holy Cross this season.
• Hull is one of only three players in program history to post three 8-point games in a season (2012) – 6-2 vs. VMI, 3-5 at Lafayette and 3-5 vs. Holy Cross … joins Mike Buzzell (1978) and Dennis Nealon (1990) … no Navy player has recorded four 8-point games in a season.
• Hull and Jones are among just 12 players in school history with 60 goals and 50 assists.  Jones, meanwhile, is one of just eight active players in the NCAA with 70 goals and 50 assists.
• Hull stands among the nation’s leaders in the following career categories (prior to the Towson contest): points (25th, 118), points per game (22nd, 2.74), goals (38th, 67), goals per game (43rd, 1.56), assists (T15th, 51), assists per game (19th, 1.16).
• Jones, meanwhile, is ranked among the nation’s leaders in the following career stats (prior to the Towson contest): points (T14th, 127), points per game (15th, 2.95), goals (T24th, 77), goals per game (27th, 1.79), assists (T17th, 50), assists per game (20th, 1.16).

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 11 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

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

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

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

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

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

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

)

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

)

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

)

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

)

(Continued on Page 2...)

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Ryan, Runkel lead Loyola to convincing win at Lehigh

Posted on 01 March 2014 by WNST Staff

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Loyola University Maryland’s Kevin Ryan scored a career-high five goals, and Jack Runkel made 13 saves in goal as the seventh-ranked Greyhounds beat No. 14 Lehigh University, 14-7, on Saturday afternoon in Patriot League action at Ulrich Sports Complex.

Nikko Pontrello added four goals, all in the first half, and Ryan tallied four of his five during the second 30 minutes.

Runkel saved 13 of the Mountain Hawks’ 29 total shots in the game.

Lehigh (4-1 overall, 1-1 Patriot League) scored the game’s first goal on a rebound shot by Patrick Corbett, but Loyola (4-1, 2-0) tallied three in a row to lead 3-1 on Pontrello’s first with 6:27 left in the quarter.

The Mountain Hawks, however, tied the game at 3-3 on an Alex Eaton goal with 51 ticks left in the first quarter, and the teams headed to the second period tied.

Loyola shutout the Mountain Hawks in that frame to start to pull away, going up 7-3 at halftime. Pontrello scored three in a row, and twice on man-up possessions, to start the second quarter, and Brian Schultz added his first of two with 2:32 left in the half.

Lehigh got within three to start the third quarter when Reid Weber scored 3:21 into the period, but that was as close as it would get the remainder of the game.

The Greyhounds scored four-straight goals, all coming from their midfield.

Pat Laconi started the scoring at 8:18 when he ran free down the left alley during a Mountain Hawks substitution, and Jeff Chase found him with a pass. Chase finished with a career-high three assists in the game.

Ryan then bookended a Matt Sawyer goal at 6:12 with scores at 7:26 and 3:12. Ryan’s first in the series came when he used a Chase pass to find space and hit a sidearm shot, and he scored his second after rolling off a check near the crease before shooting inside the opposite post.

His second put Loyola ahead 11-4 entering the fourth quarter, but after killing a two-man advantage by the Greyhounds, Lehigh scored twice in a row.

Corbett tallied his second of the game, this on an extra-man opportunity, at 12:55 off a Dan Taylor assist at 12:55. Billy Oppenheimer cut the Mountain Hawks’ deficit to five, 11-6, at 6:23 by taking a Weber feed from behind and scoring his frist of the season.

Just over a minute later, Justin Ward, who was one off his career-high with four assists, used a cross-field pass to find Schultz on the crease for a goal.

Ryan added his fourth at 4:53 off a Ward helper, and after Matt Smith scored unassisted for Lehigh at 1:33, Ryan scored on an empty net with 53 ticks of the clock left.

His previous career-high of three goals came just last week at Holy Cross. His eight goals in two games match his career total entering the 2014 season.

Loyola scored its 14 goals on 34 shots, converting on 41.2 percent of its attempts. All but four of the scores were assisted.

The Greyhounds had a 27-22 advantage in groundballs, as Graham Savio had an excellent day at the face-off `X’. The freshman won 15-of-24 and picked up six ground balls.

Joe Fletcher and Pat Frazier each caused two turnovers for Loyola, while Laconi had one in addition to his career-high tying two goals.

Runkel made stops on 13 of the 20 shots on goal he faced, while Lehigh’s Matt Pollion finished with 11 saves.

The Greyhounds take just over a week off before their next game, a step out of conference play on Sunday, March 9, to host Duke University. The game, which is between the last two NCAA Champions, will start at 6 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex and will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.

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Red hot Loyola looks to continue streak Saturday at Lehigh

Posted on 28 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Lehigh Mountain Hawks

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

Bethlehem, Pa. | Ulrich Sports Complex

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Last Time Out

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Follow The Action

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

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

 

In The Polls

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

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

 

Series History

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

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

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

 

Games Of Runs

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

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

 

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello had his fourth multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Saturday when he set a career-high with six goals at Holy Cross. The junior attacker scored twice in the opener against Virginia, and he then recorded three versus both Penn State and Towson. His final goal against the Nittany Lions came 19 seconds into overtime and lifted Loyola to a 12-11 win. In his career, Loyola is now 6-0 in games that he scored three or more goals.

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

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

 

Schultz, Ryan With Career-Bests

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

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

 

Midfield Scoring

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

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

 

Hot Hand

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

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

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

 

Margin In Two

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

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

 

Sweep Of Patriot League Honors

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

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

 

Stopping Shots

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

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

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

 

Quarterbacking The Offense

Justin Ward returns for his third year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds and will once again serve as Loyola’s quarterback from ‘X’. Last season, Ward earned USILA All-America Honorable Mention after finishing tops on the team in points (62) and assists (35) and second in goals (27). His 62 points ranked tied for fifth in school single-season Division I history, and his 35 assists check in at third on that list.

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

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

 

Fletch, White And Blue

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

Against Holy Cross, Fletcher set a career-high with eight ground balls, eclipsing his previous total of seven set on three different occasions. In a pair of games against Towson and the Crusaders, he had 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers. This season, the Preseason All-American leads Loyola with 17 ground balls and eight caused turnovers. His 53 career caused turnovers are tied with Reid Acton for third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

 

Classy Seniors

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

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

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

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

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

 

Tyler’s Time

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

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

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

 

Starting Off Strong

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

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

 

On The Tube

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 25 February 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: MISL-Baltimore Blast @ Pennsylvania Roar (Sunday 4:05pm from Reading, PA live on YouTube); Women’s College Basketball: Virginia Tech @ Maryland (Sunday 2pm Comcast Center); Boxing: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Bryan Vera (Saturday 9:45pm from San Antonio live on HBO)

10. David Koechner (Saturday 9pm Black Cat); Eddie Griffin (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Thor: The Dark World“, “Gravity” and “Nebraska” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Non-Stop” out in theaters (Friday); Canton Irish Stroll (Saturday 1pm Canton Square)

I find David Koechner to be a humorous individual.

Also, I might like this t-shirt, you.

9. Eagles (Saturday 8pm Verizon Center); Robin Thicke (Thursday 8pm Patriot Center), Avett Brothers/Old Crow Medicine Show (Friday 8pm Patriot Center); Young The Giant (Tuesday 9pm Rams Head Live), ZZ Ward (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Nelly’s Echo (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Los Lobos (Friday 6:30pm & 9:30pm Rams Head on Stage); Flogging Molly (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Shaggy (Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Brett Dennen (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), St. Vincent (Saturday 8pm Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Talib Kweli (Sunday 9pm Howard Theatre); Band of Horses (Thursday 6:30pm Lincoln Theatre), Josh Ritter (Friday & Saturday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); Beck “Morning Phase” and The Fray “Helios” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I wish I could tell you I’d be in Fairfax Friday night. I fully support this tour.

Not familiar with OCMS? You probably know more about them than you think.

Couple of good shows in Charm City this week as well.

ZZ Ward is just so marvelous.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Loyola tries to build off big win Saturday at Lehigh

Posted on 08 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Saturday, February 8, 2014  |  2:00 p.m.

Bethlehem, Pa. | Stabler Arena

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

The Greyhounds start a two-game swing through the Patriot League’s Lehigh Valley schools on Saturday, February 8, when they play at 2 o’clock against Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.

Loyola moved into a three-way (with Lehigh and Bucknell University) for in the League with a 5-6 record after Wednesday night’s win.

Tyler Hubbard’s 20 points on Wednesday night were a career-high, and his six 3-pointers are tied for sixth most in school history.

Loyola had 11 steals in the game, the fifth time in Patriot League action that the Greyhounds have logged 10 or more, but the first time since having 10 at Boston University on January 20.

Last Time Out

Loyola built a five-point lead on an R.J. Williams steal and fast-break layup with 1:24 left in the second half, and the Greyhounds made 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute to secure a 62-58 win over American University on Wednesday night in Reitz Arena.

The win snapped American’s 11-game winning streak and dealt the Eagles their first Patriot League loss of the year.

Tyler Hubbard made 6-of-7 threes and scored a career-best 20 points to lead all scorers. It was the first time he’s led Loyola in scoring.

Franz Rassman was 7-of-7 from the free-throw line to score 11, and Jordan Latham had 10 and four blocked shots.

Patriot League Network

Saturday’s game against Lehigh will air live on the Patriot League Network.

The contest, and all of Loyola’s remaining, non-televised home and road games will be streamed, free of charge, in high definition and can be accessed at www.patriotleague.tv.

 

Series History Versus Lehigh

Lehigh and Loyola will meet for the 10th time on the basketball court and second time as Patriot League opponents. Loyola’s 72-68 win at home on January 8 gave the Greyhounds a 5-4 advantage in the series.

Five Loyola players scored seven or more points, led by Dylon Cormier’s 25 in the first meeting this year. Cormier sparked an 11-0 run that put Loyola up by 14 with just under 14 minutes left in the game.

The Greyhounds first played the Mountain Hawks in 1912-1913, the fifth year of varsity basketball on the Evergreen campus. Lehigh won that game, 41-19, and the Mountain Hawks were again victorious the following year. Loyola’s first win in the series came during the 1915-1916 season.

Following that game, the programs did not meet again until January 21, 1978, when Loyola scored a 79-64 win in Bethlehem, Pa.

Most recently, the teams met in the consolation game of the 1988 Lobo Classic at The Pit in Albuquerque, a game that the Mountain Hawks won, 86-72.

 

Start Of A New Era

Loyola’s January 2 game against Navy marked the start of a new era for Loyola basketball, the Greyhounds’ first game as a member of the Patriot League.

Loyola announced in August 2012 it would join the 10-school League, and it officially became a member on July 1, 2013.

The Greyhounds had been members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) since 1989-1990.

 

Academic Honors For Rassman

Last week, sophomore forward Franz Rassman was named to the Capital One Academic All-America District II Team for his excellence in the classroom.

Rassman, who has started 20-of-21 games and is averaging 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, is now eligible for Academic All-America honors along with district honorees from around the nation.

 

Cormier Has Hand Surgery

Dylon Cormier, the leading scorer in the Patriot League (21.2 points per game) fractured his left hand in a loose-ball scramble on Saturday, February 1, against the U.S. Military Academy, and he had surgery on February 5 to stabilize the break, likely ending his season.

Cormier was also second in the Patriot League in steals (2.2) and fifth in rebounds (5.8) at the time of his injury.

 

Hubbard Hits From Deep

Tyler Hubbard had one of the best 3-point shooting nights in school history on Wednesday against American, making 6-of-7 attempts on his way to a career-high 20 points.

Hubbard’s six threes are tied for sixth-most in school single-game history, and they were the most since Robert Olson and J’hared Hall both hit six in a game at Manhattan on January 7, 2011.

The sophomore out of Washington, D.C., made three in both halves with his only miss coming in the first. He also made both of his free throw attempts after being fouled with 25 seconds left. He eclipsed his previous career-high of 17 scored on 6-of-7 shooting, 4-of-5 from behind the arc, in a November 14, 2012, game against UMBC.

A week earlier, Hubbard scored his previous season-high of 13 at College of the Holy Cross when he made 4-of-6 from deep. He is now 33-of-82 (40.2 percent) from 3-point range this season and has made at least one three in 19-of-22 games.

 

Clutch Late

Four days after shooting 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from the free-throw line in a loss to Army, the Greyhounds made 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute of action to clinch the win over American. They finished the contest 17-of-22 (77.3 percent) from the charity stripe.

In the final minute, Denzel Brito hit two pairs of free throws, while Franz Rassman and Tyler Hubbard each made two. Rassman finished the game a career-best 7-of-7 from the line.

 

Winning Without Boards

Loyola posted a season-low 17 rebounds on Wednesday night against American, but the Greyhounds also had the distinction of tying the mark for the fewest rebounds in a win by a NCAA Division I team this season (according to Stats, Inc.)

Delaware and Indiana State also had 17 rebounds in wins over College of Charleston and Pepperdine, respectively, this season. Ironically, Delaware’s win with 17 boards came on the same day as Loyola victory over American.

 

Solid Performance From Latham

Jordan Latham had a very solid performance on both ends of the floor against American on Wednesday night, scoring 10 points on 4-of-6 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.

Latham was also a disruptive factor on the defensive end, blocking four shots, altering several others and grabbing a steal.

His four blocks moved him into a tie for fifth place in the Patriot League with 1.2 blocks per game. The four tied a career and season-high for Latham. He now has 83 career blocked shots, good for fourth all-time at Loyola.

The Greyhounds are 6-1 this season when Latham blocks two or more shots in a game.

 

Jones Finds Scoring Note

Jarred Jones led Loyola in scoring for the first time in his career on February 1 against Army, knocking down 7-of-10 shots from the field for 17 points.

The game was Jones second 13-plus point game in the last two weeks, but his last (January 22 at Bucknell) was his first double-digit effort since December.

The junior forward has averaged 9.8 points in the Greyhounds last five games while shooting 55.0 percent (22-of-40) from the field in those games.

Jones opened the season with three games of 13 or more points in the Greyhounds’ first four, tallying 22 in the season-opener at Binghamton, 13 at Cornell and 14 at UMBC. In the fourth game of the opening stretch, he scored seven despite being limited to just nine minutes to foul trouble.

The Harford County (Md.) product then had 13 against Catholic and 15 versus Saint Joseph’s, but that output against the Hawks was his last in double-digits until the game at Bucknell (seven games).

 

Defensive, Too

In addition to finding his scoring stroke, Jones has also upped his numbers on the defensive side of the court, blocking six shots combined in the last three games.

Against Army, Jones swatted three shots and had two steals, while he also had a pair of blocks against both Bucknell and Holy Cross.

His three against Army were one off his season- and career-high of four set in the season-opener at Binghamton. He is now seventh in the Patriot League in blocked shots per game with 1.1.

Jones is also 10th in the conference in steals per game after nabbing four against American. He averages 1.4 per game with a total of 31.

 

Gorski Garners Starting Role

Freshman post player Nick Gorski drew his first starting assignment as a collegian last Saturday against Army, and the Richmond, Va., native scored nine points in 22 minutes of action.

The start came on the heels of his first extended playing time since December. He made all three of his field goals and both of his free-throw attempts last Wednesday, finishing with career-highs of nine points and five rebounds in 18 minutes at Holy Cross.

Prior to the last four games – he also played 11 minutes and scored four points on January 25 against Colgate, and he saw 12 minutes on the court against American – Gorski had seen 10 or more minutes just twice this season. He tallied 13 minutes and scored seven points in an overtime win at Cornell, and he then played 16 minutes on December 21 against Saint Joseph’s.

His 18 points in the two games against Holy Cross and Army nearly doubled his previous output this season. He entered the Holy Cross game with 23 points through 16 contests.

 

Setting Up The Shots

R.J. Williams finished the February 1 game against Army with nine assists, one off his career-high of 10 set on January 13 against Lafayette.

Williams is fifth in the Patriot League in assists per game (4.4), and he is averaging 5.2 in the Greyhounds last five games.

Williams had 34 assists in eight non-conference games, and he entered January and Patriot League action averaging 3.8 per game. Since then, Williams has 53 assists in 11 games for an average of 4.8.

The junior from Baltimore has also increased his scoring average during Patriot League play. Overall he is averaging 8.0 points per game, 8.5 against conference opponents.

Williams also grabbed a career-high tying seven rebounds on Saturday against Army, bumping his Patriot League average to 3.2 per game.

Getting Opportunities

Loyola took 70 shots last Saturday against Army, thanks in part to 19 offensive rebounds. The 70 field goal attempts were the second-most the Greyhounds have taken this season behind only 74 they attempted in an overtime win at Cornell.

The Greyhounds’ 19 offensive rebounds were also their second-best total of the season, short by one of the 20 they grabbed at Connecticut.

Loyola, however, did not do a good job of converting the offensive rebounds into second-chance points. The Greyhounds finished with just eight points after grabbing offensive rebounds against the Black Knights.

 

Gotta Get To The Line

The Greyhounds have seen their most success this season when getting to the free-throw line consistently. They are 6-2 when attempting 25 or more free throws (wins over Binghamton, Cornell, Fairfield, UMBC, Navy and Lafayette; losses to Stony Brook and Saint Joseph’s). In the Loyola’s three other wins, Catholic, Lehigh and Colgate, it took 19, 24 and 18 free throws, respectively.

Overall, Loyola is getting to the free-throw line more than seven fewer times in losses than wins (27.7-20.3).

 

Away From The Friendly Confines

Loyola lost its ninth straight road game on January 29 at Holy Cross after winning its first three this season away from Reitz Arena.

At 3-9 on the road, the Greyhounds are shooting 38.9 percent as opposed to 45.4 percent while going 6-3 at home. Opponents are shooting 47.1 percent in their own facilities, 42.4 percent in Reitz Arena.

Loyola does shoot slightly better from 3-point range on the road, making 33.7 percent of shots from behind the arc as compared to 28.0 at home.

The Greyhounds turn the ball over at a rate of one per game more on the road (12.2-11.2), and they also force an additional turnover at home (14.9-13.4).

With these factors, the Greyhounds are averaging nearly five points less per game on the road, 65.2, to their 71.3 points per game at home.

 

Double Double-Doubles

Dylon Cormier and R.J. Williams both posted double-doubles against Lafayette, as Cormier went for 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Williams posted 12 points and a career-best 10 assists.

It was the first time since an 88-85 overtime win against Iona College on January 30, 2011, that two Loyola players completed the feat in the same game. Erik Etherly (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Justin Drummond (14 points, 10 rebounds) managed it on that day.

Williams’ 10 assists were the most by a Greyhounds’ player since Brian Rudolph dished out 10 on February 27, 2011, in the regular-season finale at Canisius College.

 

Sticky Fingers

The Greyhounds posted 11 steals against American on Wednesday night, marking the fifth time in 11 Patriot League games that they have grabbed 10 or more. Through February 7, Loyola leads the League with 8.7 steals overall, 8.9 in League action.

The 98 steals in its last 11 games have raised Loyola’s Patriot League-leading overall average to 8.7 per game. Through games of February 6, the Greyhounds are ranked 13th nationally in steals per game.

Loyola has had 11 or more steals in eight games through 22 contests.

R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is 12th nationally in steals per game (2.5), while Dylon Cormier is second (2.19) and tied for 25th.

In the January 25 game against Colgate, Cormier had two steals, moving him past Tracy Bergan and into second on the all-time steals list at Loyola. Bergan was in attendance at the game as part of the Greyhounds’ 1994 NCAA Tournament team that was honored that night. He now has 185 in his career.

With 115 in his career, Williams is 11th on the career chart.

 

Cormier’s Scoring

Dylon Cormier has been one of the top scorers in the nation this season, averaging 21.2 points per game through 21 and the time of his injury. Through games of Thursday, February 6, Cormier was 13th in the nation in points per game.

Cormier scored 20 or more points in the Greyhounds’ first five games, and he had three 30-plus point efforts during that stretch, as well.

Overall, he has 14 20-plus point games in 21 contests, and he has recorded 25 or more eight times.

On November 20 at UMBC, Cormier had a career-high 12 field goals and went 9-of-13 from the line to match his career-best with 34 points (also set on November 10 at Cornell).

No Loyola player in the school’s Division I era (since 1981-1982) had started the season with five-straight 20-point games. Andre Collins, who set the school single-season scoring record at 26.1, started the 2005-2006 season with 20 or more points in five of six games, but he scored  just 16 in the Greyhounds’ third game of the season.

Cormier was the first player in Loyola men’s basketball history to post two 30+ point games to start the season.

He was also the first Loyola player to score 30 or more in back-to-back outings since Collins went for 34, 36 and 39 in three-straight games (all on the road at VMI, Delaware and Providence) from December 29, 2005-January 3, 2006.

 

Over 1,600

In the first half of the game at Bucknell, Dylon Cormier hit the 1,600 career points mark, becoming the seventh player in school history to do so, the fifth in the program’s tenure at Division I.

At Boston University, Cormier moved into seventh-place all-time at Loyola in scoring, passing Mike Powell and his 1,580 points. At the time of his injury, Cormier now had 1,659 career points through 115 career games.

 

Die Hard Dogs

Loyola has trailed or been tied with five minutes to go in regulation in five of its 10 victories this season – Binghamton, Cornell, UMBC, Navy and American – only to come back to win.

In their Patriot League-opener, the Greyhounds were 10 points back of Navy, 47-37, when the clock hit 5:00 in the second half, but Loyola closed the half on an 15-5 run to force overtime.

At Binghamton, the Greyhounds were down five at the five-minute mark; Cornell, seven; and UMBC, six. In the game at UMBC, the Retrievers’ lead ballooned to 10 with 90 seconds left.

 

Turnover Battle

Through 22 games this season, the Greyhounds are averaging 2.55 fewer turnovers per game than their opponents, tops in the Patriot League and 35th in the nation.

 

Telling Stat

In Loyola’s 12 losses this season, the Greyhounds are shooting more than nine eight percent worse from the floor than they are in their eight victories.

Loyola has made 47.0 percent (249-of-530) shots in 10 wins versus 37.8 percent (264-of-698) in 12 losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 13.3 points less (74.8 versus 61.5) points.

As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (48.0-42.5) in the games they’ve won.

 

Start Of The Smith Era

G.G. Smith was named the 20th head coach in Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball history on April 12, 2013. Her garnered his first head coaching win on November 8, 2013, in the season-opener against Binghamton.

The 1999 graduate of the University of Georgia spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Loyola for Jimmy Patsos who took the head coaching position at Siena College in March.

Loyola amassed a 106-87 record (.549) during Smith’s six years as an assistant. The 106 wins and the .549 winning percentage are the best of any six-year stretch during Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982-1983).

As a player, Smith was a three-year starter and four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs from 1995-1999. Smith helped the Bulldogs advance to the 1996 NCAA Sweet 16 and another tournament appearance in 1997. He left Georgia as the school’s career leader in games played (129), wins in a season (24) and 3-pointers in a game (nine).

Smith is the son of current Texas Tech University Head Coach Tubby Smith. The elder Smith led the University of Kentucky to the 1998 NCAA Championship and is in his 23rd season as a head coach. G.G. Smith played for his father from 1995-1997 at Georgia.

 

Look Back At 2012-2013

Loyola finished the 2012-2013 season with a 23-12 record, marking the first time in the school’s Division I history (since 1982-1983) that the Greyhounds have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons.

The Greyhounds finished their final season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 12-6 mark, tying for second place.

After falling in the first round of the MAAC Championships, Loyola its first-ever bid tot he CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Following the Greyhounds’ 2012 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, it was the first consecutive postseason bids in school Division I history and the first since 1953 in any division of competition.

Erik Etherly and Dylon Cormier became the first set of Loyola teammates to be named to the All-MAAC First Team in the same year.

Five players – Julius Brooks, Etherly, Robert Olson, Luke Wandrusch and Anthony Winbush – graduated after the season, leaving behind combined career totals of 3,413 points, 1,930 rebounds, 575 assists and 395 steals.

 

Cormier On The Charts

Dylon Cormier entered his senior season at Loyola with a chance to climb many of the Greyhounds’ career statistical charts. Here is a look at where he stands:

Scoring
7th 1,659 points
Next Mike Krawczyk, 1,676
Field Goals Made
10th 552 field goals made
Next Gene Gwiazdowski, 565
3-Pointers Made
13th 96 3-Pt. Made
Next B.J. Davis, 104
Free Throws Made
2nd 459 free throws made
Next Jim Lacy, 613
Assists
20th 210 assists
Next Dave Wojick, 219
Steals
2nd 185 steals
Next Jason Rowe, 272

 

Into The Fold

Loyola signed three high school seniors in the early signing period to comprise its Class of 2018.

Forward Cam Gregory (Waldorf, Md./St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes) and guards Chancellor Barnard (Columbia, Md./Glenelg Country School) and Colton Bishop (Winston-Salem, N.C./Forsyth County Day School) will join the program in the fall.

For more on the trio, visit http://loyo.la/MBB-NLIs-13.

 

High Marks

The Loyola men’s basketball team scored the highest amongst squads in the State of Maryland in the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate report. The Greyhounds checked in with a 91-percent GSR, tops among the state’s nine Division I schools, for players who entered the school between 2003-2006.

 

Up Next

The Greyhounds return to the Lehigh Valley to face Lafayette College on Wednesday, February 12, at 7 p.m.

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