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Loyola gets top seed, will open NCAA Tournament against Canisius

Posted on 06 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Loyola Men’s Lacrosse Earns No. 1 Seed, Will Host Canisius In NCAA First Round

BALTIMORE – The Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team gathered as ECAC Champions on Sunday night to watch the NCAA Championship Selection Show on ESPNU, and the Greyhounds learned they will host CanisiusCollege in the First Round on Saturday, May 12, at 5 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Greyhounds, who have won a school record 14 games this year with just one loss, received the No. 1 seed in the Championships afterwinning the ECAC Championship on Friday evening with a 14-7 victory over Fairfield University.

“It’s a special day for our program,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “I am so proud of our guys. They have worked so hard day-in, day-out. Our senior leadership, and our captains have been special this year.”

Loyola and Canisius will play on ESPNU with a simulcast offered online on ESPN3. The winner of the game will take on the winner of North Carolina and Denver in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday, May 19 in Annapolis, Md., at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Canisius enters the NCAA Championships after winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Game over Siena. The Golden Griffins rallied from a 9-6 halftime deficit to beat the Saints 10-9. Canisius will bring a 6-7 record to Ridley for the First Round game.

The Greyhounds will host a game for the first time since 2000.

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Loyola women claim BIG EAST title

Posted on 05 May 2012 by WNST Staff

SYRACUSE – Marlee Paton and Kara Burke each scored three times, and Joanna Dalton tallied two twice, during a 10-1 Loyola University Maryland run that put the 12th-ranked Greyhounds in command of the BIG EAST Conference Championship Game on Saturday afternoon. Loyola defeated No. 2 Syracuse University, 13-7, to earn their second-straight BIG EAST crown and automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.

Burke finished with a career-high four goals – she had just six this season entering the game – and Paton had three, while Dalton and Annie Thomas each scored two.

Michelle Tumolo tied the game at 3-3 with 13:56 to go in the first half, but Thomas scored her 2:50 later to spark the 10-1 run.

Loyola scored four in a row to take a 7-4 lead at halftime, and although Syracuse’s Alyssa Murray scored 1:22 into the second half, the Greyhounds reeled off six in a row to lead 13-4 when Burke tallied her fourth with 8:08 left in regulation.

Kerry Stoothoff finished with 11 saves in the game. Stoothoff earned BIG EAST Championships Most Outstanding Player honors for the second year in a row. She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Burke, Dalton, Thomas, Paton, Ana Heneberry and Kellye Gallagher.

Loyola is the first team to have both their men’s and women’s teams earn automatic bids to their respective NCAA Championships this year. Both teams will find out who they will face, and when, in the Championships on Sunday.

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Loyola crushes Fairfield for ECAC crown

Posted on 05 May 2012 by WNST Staff

DENVER – Loyola University Maryland used an 8-1 run that spanned three quarters to take control of the ECAC Championship Game, and the third-ranked Greyhounds defeated No. 16 Fairfield University, 14-7, to claim the league crown at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

The Greyhounds set a school record in the process, winning their 14th game of the season. They will enter the NCAA Championships with a 14-1 record.

“I have a special group of young men who come to play everyday,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “Today, I thought they were relentless on the ground balls, and I thought they played so hard on both the offensive and defensive ends. Their will won us this game.”

Fairfield (12-4 overall) pulled within a goal when Sam Snow scored with 27 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but Loyola got a once-in-a-lifetime goal from defender Reid Acton.

Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel made a save on a Fairfield shot, and he passed the ball to Acton. Acton threw the ball nearly 75 yards, and it went over the stick of Fairfield goalkeeper Charlie Cipriano to make the score 5-3 with one second to go in the first quarter.

Justin Ward and Mike Sawyer scored in the second quarter, and Loyola only allowed one Fairfield goal to lead 7-4 at the half. The Greyhounds then scored five in a row to start the second half, outscoring Fairfield 4-0 in the third quarter and going up 12-4 when Chris Layne scored with 13:50 left in regulation.

Sawyer led all players with three goals, his 12th hat trick of the season, and Ward and Layne each had two goals. Ward also added three assists. Ten players scored for the team in all.

Loyola long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the Tournament Most Outstanding Player. He had a goal and assist, as well as seven ground balls in the title game and finished the Championships with three goals, two assists and 15 ground balls.

“Scott Ratliff gets us going between the lines, him and his running mates,” Toomey said. “They were not going to be denied today.”

Ratliff added, “It’s a great feeling (to win the tournament). It is really the first goal that we have accomplished that we set out to do at the beginning of the season. You hope to win every game, but in terms of goal, it’s win the conference, and we knocked the first goal out.”

He was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Sawyer, Ward and defenders Dylan Grimm and Joe Fletcher.

Ratliff got the scoring under way when a Fairfield clear went bad, and Ward picked up the ground ball. He raced back into the box and passed it to a crashing Ratliff who scored three minutes into the game.

Fairfield evened the score quickly when John Snellman had his shot blocked only to pick up the ground ball and score on the rebound at 10:23.

Loyola jumped right back in front as J.P. Dalton pushed the faceoff in front to himself, picked up the ground ball and scored eight seconds later.

Eric Warden tied the game for Fairfield at 3:53, but the Stags would keep it tied for only nine seconds.

The Greyhounds got possession on a false start by Fairfield on the faceoff, and Davis Butts picked up the ball, drove down the middle and threw a pass to Sawyer on the left side. Sawyer ripped a goal from 10 yards out to give Loyola a lead it would hold for the rest of the game.

Ward put the Greyhounds up two with 2:20 left in the first quarter catching a Layne pass after the midfielder used a hard dodge down the left side and found Ward on the crease. Snow would make it 4-3, but Acton would put Loyola back up two.

Loyola scored again in transition less than five minutes into the second when Ratliff picked up a ground ball off a Fairfield turnover and passed it to Ward for the goal. Sawyer then added another deep shot with 7:44 to go before the half off a Ward helper.

Snellman scored his second, and final, of the game on a bouncer from the left side with 1:58 on the first-half clock, sending the teams to the locker room with Loyola in front 7-4.

The Greyhounds, who had outscored opponents 51-20 in the third quarter this season entering the Championship Game, came out and scored four unanswered in the period.

Layne started the scoring with a goal off a dodge frommidfield, and Sawyer added one in an unsettled situation that Eric Lusby assisted.

Lusby then got one himself at 6:58, and Sean O’Sullivan scored with 4:32 on the clock. Layne tallied his second of the game 1:10 into the fourth quarter, making it 12-4 Loyola.

Nikko Pontrello would score in the fourth quarter, and Brian Schultz scored the first of his career in the final minute to bring the final to 14-7.

Loyola dominated nearly every statistic in the game, outshooting Fairfield, 43-39, and picking up 33 ground balls to the Stags’ 23. The Greyhounds also forced 19 Fairfield turnovers and committed only eight themselves.

Fletcher led all players with five caused turnovers, while Reid Acton had three ground balls and Grimm added two. Josh Hawkins had four ground balls, as well for Loyola.

The Greyhounds will find out their NCAA Championships opponent, and the date and time of the game, on Sunday, May 6, at 9 p.m. when the Selection Show airs on ESPNU.

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Loyola battles Fairfield Friday for ECAC title

Posted on 03 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent ECAC Championship Game | Fairfield Stags
Date Friday, May 4, 2012
Time 4:00 p.m. (Mountain)
Location Denver, Colo. | Peter Barton Stadium
TV | Radio ESPNU | ESPN3
Series Record Loyola leads, 12-2
Last Meeting Loyola 8, Fairfield 6 – April 7, 2012 at Fairfield

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will play Fairfield University in the ECAC Championship Game on Friday, May 4, at 4 p.m. (Mountain) time at Peter Barton Stadium in Denver, Colo.

The top-seeded Greyhounds defeated No. 4 seed University of Denver, 14-13, in overtime Wednesday night, and the No. 3 seed Stags topped Ohio State University, 8-7, in the other semifinal.

On The Tube And Web

The ECAC Championship Game will be broadcast live on ESPNU with Mark Larson and Dale Drypolcher calling the action.

The action can also be seen worldwide on ESPN3, the broadband arm of the ESPN.

Series History

Loyola and Fairfield will play for the 15th time in series history when the teams meet in the ECAC Championship Game. The Greyhounds hold a 12-2 advantage in the all-time series, but the Stags are 1-0 when they meet in the ECAC Championships.

The Greyhounds rallied from a two-goal fourth-quarter deficit to score the last four game to defeat Fairfield, 8-6, on April 7, 2012, in the regular-season meeting between the teams. The Stags took a 6-4 lead with 11:59 left in regulation on a John Snellman goal, but Davis Butts assisted a J.P. Dalton goal eight seconds later to start the 4-0 run that led to the win in Connecticut.

ECAC Championships History

Loyola is 1-1 in the brief two-year history of the ECAC Championships after defeating Denver, 14-13, in overtime on Wednesday night.

Last year, the second-seeded Greyhounds lost to Fairfield, the No. 3 seed, 11-9, in the ECAC Semifinal that was also held in Denver.

School-Record Tying Win

Loyola’s victory over Denver on Wednesday night was the team’s 13th of the season, tying the 1998 team for most in school history.

This season’s 13 wins came in 14 games, one fewer the same number it took the 1998 team. That squad finished with a 13-2 record after falling in the NCAA Semifinals.

In The Polls

Loyola’s first loss of the season last Saturday, to then-No. 10 Johns Hopkins, dropped the Greyhounds from the top spot nationally where they resided for two weeks.

The Greyhounds are now No. 3 in both the USILA coaches and Inside Lacrosse/Nike poll.

Fairfield is ranked 16th in both polls.

Back-To-Back OTs

It took Loyola 30 years of NCAA Division I play (the Greyhounds moved into the division in 1982) to play back-to-back overtime games, but now it has experienced the pleasure twice in two years.

Last year, Loyola defeated Fairfield, 7-6, in overtime on April 9, and it then won 6-5 in four extra periods at Georgetown on April 17, marking the first time it had played back-to-back overtime games since joining Division I.

The Greyhounds have now played two-straight overtime games, losing on April 28 at home to Johns Hopkins and defeating Denver on Wednesday night.

Comeback Thwarted

Loyola led Denver 13-6 early in the fourth quarter on Wednesday night, but the Pioneers reeled off seven goals in a row to tie the game at 13-13 with 3:30 to play.

J.P. Dalton won the next faceoff, however, and Loyola retained possession for the rest of regulation, getting off two shots that went wide.

In overtime, Scott Ratliff picked up the ground ball on the first faceoff of overtime, raced to goal and scored eight seconds into the extra frame to give Loyola a 14-13 win.

Denver’s 7-0 run to tie the game was the largest run the Greyhounds have allowed this season, topping 5-0 runs that Fairfield and Johns Hopkins put up.

Ratliff’s Scoring

Scott Ratliff had his second multi-goal game of the season on Wednesday night, raising his season totals to eight goals and six assists.

Ratliff is nearing the Loyola single-season for points by a long pole player. Current assistant coach Matt Dwan set the record during his senior season in 1995 when he tallied 11 goals and five assists while earning All-America honors.

Ratliff, a Tewaaraton Award semifinalist along with teammate Mike Sawyer, is second nationally this season in goals and points by a long pole, and his six assists are tops in the country. Bryant’s Mason Poli leads all long poles this year with 19 goals and 24 points.

Spreading Out The Scoring Wealth

Loyola’s first 11 goals on Wednesday night were scored by 11 different players. Eric Lusby, Phil Dobson and Scott Ratliff finished the game with two goals, and eight others had one.

All three members of the Greyhounds’ first midfield – Davis Butts, Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan – scored goals. They received four goals from the four players who make up the second midfield line – Dobson (2), Pat Byrnes and Nikko Pontrello (J.P. Dalton did not score). Extra-man attackman Kevin Ryan scored, and two of the team’s three attackmen – Mike Sawyer and Lusby (2) – recorded goals. Ratliff scored twice in transition, and short-stick defensive midfielder Josh Hawkins added one. The Greyhounds’ other attack player, Justin Ward, did not score but had a game-high three assists.

Scoring From Different Places

Kevin Ryan scored his first career goal on Wednesday night, taking a Justin Ward pass form behind the crease and one-timing a shot into the net. Ryan did not play as a freshman in 2011 but has seen action in 12 games this year from the midfield and on extra-man possessions.

Nikko Pontrello added his third goal of the season and second versus the Pioneers. He also had the game-tying goal in the third quarter of the regular-season match-up that started Loyola’s 5-1 run to close the victory.

Phil Dobson recorded his second career multi-goal game, both coming against top-flight competition. He recorded a pair earlier this season against ACC Champ Duke.

Josh Hawkins added a man-up goal after Mike Sawyer caused a turnover and Justin Ward picked up the ground ball and fed Hawkins. The goal was Hawkins’ fifth of the year, and he also had his first assist of the season on a first-quarter Scott Ratliff goal.

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

Loyola’s 12-straight to start the season tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (March 14-May 17) and 1999 (March 6-May 8).

It also matched the best start to a season, equaling the 1999 team that finished the regular-season unblemished at 12-0.

Ratliff Named ECAC Defender Of The Year

Junior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, marking the second time in four years a Greyhounds’ long pole has received the award. P.T. Ricci earned the honor in 2009, as well.

Ratliff leads the ECAC with 30 caused turnovers (2.31 per game) and is seventh nationally in that category, and he is tops on the Greyhounds with 52 ground balls (4.0 per contest).

The native of Marietta, Ga., also has scored six goals and has six assists this year, keying the Greyhounds’ transition game on many occasions. He earned ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week twice during the year and was the Defensive Player of the Week early in the season.

Ratliff is one of two Greyhounds, along with Mike Sawyer on attack, who is a semifinalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player.

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey guided the Greyhounds to a 12-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play.

The Greyhounds became the second team in USILA Coaches Poll history to start a season unranked and ascend to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The only other team was Duke in 2007 – a year after the Blue Devils had their season suspended in March – which accomplished the feat after being unranked in the first poll, moving to second in the next version and first in the third. Duke was knocked from its perch as No. 1 that season when it lost to the Greyhounds at the First Four in San Diego.

Earlier this season, Toomey won the 50th game of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 50 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .611 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

All-ECAC Honors

Five Loyola players earned All-ECAC Lacrosse League honors form the conference’s coaches on Monday. Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff earned a spot as a defender on the First Team, where he was joined by Mike Sawyer on attack and Davis Butts in the midfield.

Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and was third nationally, in goals (41) and goals per game (3.15). Butts scored 15 goals and assisted on 11 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 33 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and in the top-20 nationally with 34 goals, and he also has 10 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 25 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers entering the post season.

Ratliff, Sawyer Named Tewaaraton Semifinalists

Juniors Scott Ratliff and Mike Sawyer were named to the Tewaaraton Award semifinal list as the game’s top players, making Loyola one of five schools – joining Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Massachusetts and Virginia – to have two players make the 25-man list.

Loyola is also one of six schools to have at least one male and one female semifinalist, as sophomore Marlee Paton made the women’s list from Loyola. The winners of both awards will be selected on May 31, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

40-Goal Mark

Mike Sawyer scored four goals on April 21 at Hobart and added one each against Johns Hopkins and Denver, raising his season total to 42 through 14 games. Against Hobart, he became the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000.

In addition to being just the third Loyola player to score 40-plus this century, Sawyer is the seventh Greyhound to reach the mark since Loyola moved to NCAA Division I status in 1982.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 14 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 28 occasions this season.

Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.

At Fairfield, Loyola scored the final four goals of the game to rally from a 6-4 deficit to win 8-6. The Greyhounds then scored four in a row during the third and fourth quarters at Denver that brought them from down 8-7 to a 12-9 victory.

Versus Johns Hopkins, the Greyhounds scored four in a row, holding the Blue Jays scoreless for the last 14:13 of regulation, to tie the game at 9-9, sending it to overtime.

Loyola scored the first four goals of the ECAC Semifinal game against Denver and then tallied three-straight after the Pioneers pulled within 4-2. The Greyhounds then reeled off five in a row during the third quarter to take a 13-6 lead.

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just nine times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions. Only Denver (seven), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

Following six of the nine opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The duo has combined for 78 goals in 14 games this season, an average of 5.6 per game.

Sawyer has scored 42 goals, and his 3.0 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 36 goals and a 2.57 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 14th in the country. Loyola is one of two schools to have two players in the top 14 of goals per game nationally.

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 36 or more goals in the same season since 2000 when Tim Goettelmann set the school single-season record with 50, and Gavin Prout tallied 41. As a side note, the Goettelmann-Prout duo has gone on to highly successful professional careers. Goettelman recently retired from Major League Lacrosse as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 268 goals in 11 seasons. Prout has been an MLL Champion and has scored 314 National Lacrosse League goals to go with 625 assists as a multiple-time all-star.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 52.6-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year.

The last time Loyola finished above .500 in man-up offense was in 1997 when it converted 39-of-77 (.506).

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 51-20 in the third quarters of games and 94-52 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).

The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.

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Ratliff tallies OT winner to lift Loyola to ECAC title game

Posted on 02 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Ratliff Scores OT Winner To Lift Men’s Lacrosse To ECAC Title Game

DENVER – Scott Ratliff picked up the ground ball off the opening faceoff in overtime, raced down the right side of the middle of the box and sent a high-to-low shot past University of Denver goalkeeper Ryan Laplante to lift the third-ranked Greyhounds to a 14-13 win in the ECAC Semifinals on Wednesday night.

The No. 12/11 Pioneers (8-6 overall) staged a strong fourth-quarter rally, coming back from a 13-6 deficit to tie the game with 3:30 left in regulation, but Loyola (13-1) did not let the Pioneers have possession after that, winning both face-offs and holding onto the ball in their offensive zone.

Ratliff scored two goals, both of Loyola faceoff wins, and he had a game-high nine ground balls.

Loyola had its 8-5 halftime lead trimmed off the thirdquarter’s opening face-off when Chase Carraro grabbed the ground ball and scored himself three ticks in to the period.

The Greyhounds, however, scored the game’s next five goals to lead 13-6 when Phil Dobson took a Pat Byrnes pass and scored his second goal of the game with 13:14 left in regulation.

Denver scored seven straight from that point, capping its run when Cameron Flint found himself unmarked on the low left side and scored with 3:30 left.

Loyola’s first 11 goals were scored by 11 different players. Eric Lusby, Ratliff and Dobson each finished with two, and Justin Ward had three assists.

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Loyola Opens ECAC Tournament Wednesday at Denvere

Posted on 01 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent ECAC Semifinals | Denver Pioneers
Date Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Time 5:00 p.m. (Mountain)
Location Denver, Colo. | Peter Barton Stadium
TV | Radio Denver Webstreaming
Series Record Denver leads, 2-1
Last Meeting Loyola 12, Denver 9 – April 14, 2012 at Denver

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland makes its second trip to the Rocky Mountains this week as it travels to Denver for the ECAC Lacrosse League Championships.

The Greyhounds, who earned the top seed in the tournament with a 6-0 record in the league during the regular season, will face host Denver University, the No. 4 seed, in a semifinal game on Wednesday, May 2, at 5 p.m. (Mountain).

The winner of the Loyola-Denver game will face the winner of No. 2 Ohio State University and No. 3 Fairfield University in the ECAC Championship Game at 4 p.m. (Mountain) on Friday, May 3, in a game that will air on ESPNU.

Free Webstream Available

The ECAC semifinals will be webstreamed live, free of charge, on DenverPioneers.com.

Series History

Denver and Loyola will meet for the fourth time in series history on Wednesday with the Pioneers holding a 2-1 advantage in the first three games. Denver won regular-season games against the Greyhounds in 2010 and 2011, but the Greyhounds prevailed, 12-9, less than three weeks ago, on April 14, at Peter Barton Stadium.

Mike Sawyer scored three times, and Eric Lusby added a pair of goals, as nine Loyola players scored in that victory. Denver took its only lead of the game, 8-7, with 8:24 to play in the third quarter on an Eric Adamson goal, but Nikko Pontrello scored for Loyola less than three minutes later, sparking a 4-0 run that the Greyhounds would extend to 5-1 to close the game.

ECAC Championships History

Loyola was the No. 2 seed in the first ECAC Championships, which were also held at Denver last year. The Greyhounds lost, 11-9, to third-seeded Fairfield in the semifinal. The host Pioneers took home the title and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament last season.

In The Polls

Loyola’s first loss of the season last Saturday, to then-No. 10 Johns Hopkins, dropped the Greyhounds from the top spot nationally where they resided for two weeks.

The Greyhounds are now No. 3 in both the USILA coaches and Inside Lacrosse/Nike poll.

Denver is ranked 12th in the coaches poll, 11th in the media.

Record-Tying Win Streak

Loyola’s 12-straight to start the season tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (March 14-May 17) and 1999 (March 6-May 8).

It also matched the best start to a season, equaling the 1999 team that finished the regular-season unblemished at 12-0.

Ratliff Named ECAC Defender Of The Year

Junior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, marking the second time in four years a Greyhounds’ long pole has received the award. P.T. Ricci earned the honor in 2009, as well.

Ratliff leads the ECAC with 30 caused turnovers (2.31 per game) and is seventh nationally in that category, and he is tops on the Greyhounds with 52 ground balls (4.0 per contest).

The native of Marietta, Ga., also has scored six goals and has six assists this year, keying the Greyhounds’ transition game on many occasions. He earned ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week twice during the year and was the Defensive Player of the Week early in the season.

Ratliff is one of two Greyhounds, along with Mike Sawyer on attack, who is a semifinalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player.

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey guided the Greyhounds to a 12-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play.

The Greyhounds became the second team in USILA Coaches Poll history to start a season unranked and ascend to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The only other team was Duke in 2007 – a year after the Blue Devils had their season suspended in March – which accomplished the feat after being unranked in the first poll, moving to second in the next version and first in the third. Duke was knocked from its perch as No. 1 that season when it lost to the Greyhounds at the First Four in San Diego.

Earlier this season, Toomey won the 50th game of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 50 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .611 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

All-ECAC Honors

Five Loyola players earned All-ECAC Lacrosse League honors form the conference’s coaches on Monday. Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff earned a spot as a defender on the First Team, where he was joined by Mike Sawyer on attack and Davis Butts in the midfield.

Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and was third nationally, in goals (41) and goals per game (3.15). Butts scored 15 goals and assisted on 11 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 33 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and in the top-20 nationally with 34 goals, and he also has 10 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 25 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers entering the post season.

Comeback Falls Short

The Greyhounds trailed Johns Hopkins 9-5 when Rob Guida scored with 14:13 to play in regulation, but Loyola held the Blue Jays scoreless for the remainder of the fourth quarter and scored four-straight goals to send the game to overtime.

With less than 10 seconds to play, Justin Ward dodged around the crease, and he whipped a shot past Blue Jays goalkeeper Pierce Bassett with 5.4 ticks left to tie the game at 9-9.

The Greyhounds won the face-off to start overtime and were able to get off two shots. Chris Layne had an attempt go wide left, and Eric Lusby’s shot hit the left post, after which Johns Hopkins picked up the ground ball.

Johns Hopkins’ first shot went wide left, and then with less than 10 seconds in overtime, Loyola’s Josh Hawkins trail-checked a John Ranagan shot from the right side, but the ball floated right to the stick of Zach Palmer, just below goal-line-extended on the right side. Palmer flicked a pass to Guida on the crease, and he one-timed a shot into the net with 2.3 seconds left in the period for the win.

Packed House

Loyola recorded its second sellout crowd in the three-year history of Ridley Athletic Complex last Saturday when it hosted Johns Hopkins. Six-thousand people filled the stands on the school’s first official Homecoming event.

Close Calls Against Championships Competition

Loyola defeated the numbers, two, three and four seeds by one (8-7, Ohio State), two (8-6, Fairfield) and three (12-9, Denver) goals this season.

Overall this year, Loyola has outscored opponents by an average of 4.84 goals per game, the third-best scoring margin mark in the nation.

Business Trip

Before taking on Johns Hopkins on April 28, the Greyhounds last played at Ridley Athletic Complex on March 31 before embarking on a three-game ECAC Lacrosse League road trip that took Loyola over 2,200 miles for games against Fairfield, Denver and Hobart.

Loyola defeated the trio of teams to clinch the ECAC regular-season title.

Regular-Season Sweep

Loyola finished its ECAC Lacrosse League regular-season schedule with a 6-0 record to win its first outright conference title since 2008.

The Greyhounds’ undefeated league record is the second in the history of the program – Loyola was an independent at the NCAA Division I level from 1982-2001 and again from 2003-2005. The Greyhounds won the 2002 Colonial Athletic Conference crown with a 5-0 mark.

Ratliff, Sawyer Named Tewaaraton Semifinalists

Juniors Scott Ratliff and Mike Sawyer were named to the Tewaaraton Award semifinal list as the game’s top players, making Loyola one of five schools – joining Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Massachusetts and Virginia – to have two players make the 25-man list.

Loyola is also one of six schools to have at least one male and one female semifinalist, as sophomore Marlee Paton made the women’s list from Loyola. The winners of both awards will be selected on May 31, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

40-Goal Mark

Mike Sawyer scored four goals on April 21 at Hobart and added another versus Johns Hopkins, raising his season total to 41 through 13 games. Against Hobart, he became the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000.

In addition to being just the third Loyola player to score 40-plus this century, Sawyer is the seventh Greyhound to reach the mark since Loyola moved to NCAA Division I status in 1982.

Defense Standing Tall

The Greyhounds’ defense is ranked seventh in NCAA Division I, and tops in the ECAC, with a 7.31 goals allowed per game mark. It took 13 games for an opponent to reach double-figures in goals against Loyola when Johns Hopkins reached 10 with an overtime goal. The Greyhounds had been one of just two teams in the nation (Notre Dame) to limit opponents to nine or fewer.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first 13 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 25 occasions this season.

Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.

At Fairfield, Loyola scored the final four goals of the game to rally from a 6-4 deficit to win 8-6. The Greyhounds then scored four in a row during the third and fourth quarters at Denver that brought them from down 8-7 to a 12-9 victory.

Versus Johns Hopkins, the Greyhounds scored four in a row, holding the Blue Jays scoreless for the last 14:13 of regulation, to tie the game at 9-9, sending it to overtime.

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just eight times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions. Only Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

Following six of the eight opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The duo has combined for 75 goals in 13 games this season, an average of 5.8 per game.

Sawyer has scored 41 goals, and his 3.15 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 34 goals and a 2.62 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 14th in the country. Loyola is one of two schools to have two players in the top 14 of goals per game nationally.

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 32 or more goals in the same season since 2000 when Tim Goettelmann set the school single-season record with 50, and Gavin Prout tallied 41. As a side note, the Goettelmann-Prout duo has gone on to highly successful professional careers. Goettelman recently retired from Major League Lacrosse as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 268 goals in 11 seasons. Prout has been an MLL Champion and has scored 314 National Lacrosse League goals to go with 625 assists as a multiple-time all-star.

Runkel Moving Up Stats Charts

Entering the final game of the 2012 regular-season, sophomore goalkeeper Jack Runkel has risen to eighth in the nation with a 7.52 goals against average. In 11 games, nine starts, Runkel has made saves on 55.9-percent of shots on goal he’s faced, the No. 17 mark in the country.

While Runkel has picked up three weekly conference awards this year, much of the credit can also go to the defensive unit as a whole. Opponents have taken 330 total shots while Runkel has been in goal this year, but just 179 have been on goal.

Runkel made a career-high 14 saves against Johns Hopkins.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 51.4-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year.

The last time Loyola finished above .500 in man-up offense was in 1997 when it converted 39-of-77 (.506).

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 47-19 in the third quarters of games and 88-44 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).

The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds have gone 6-1 at home this year. Loyola is now 14-4 all-time at Ridley.

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Lusby, Sawyer, Etherly Honored at Loyola Awards Banquet

Posted on 01 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland graduate student Eric Lusby and senior Ana Heneberry were the 2012 recipients of the John R. Mohler and Ernest Lagna Awards, respectively, as the top male and female senior student-athletes who excel in athletics, scholarship and character.

These awards, and many others, were presented on Monday evening at the 2012 Loyola Athletic Awards Banquet held in McGuire Hall on the Evergreen Campus.

Heneberry, a four-year lacrosse letterwinner, will graduate from Loyola as one of the most decorated and accomplished student-athletes in Greyhound women’s lacrosse history. The Preseason BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, Heneberry helped the team to its first BIG EAST conference title in 2011 and has led this year’s version to a No. 2 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. An All-BIG EAST selection as a sophomore and a junior, she also earned third-team All-America honors following last season.

Lusby returned from an injury that cost him his senior season, but came back to captain the Greyhounds as a graduate student. He has led the Greyhounds to their most successful season in more than 10 years, scoring 34 goals and notching 10 assists thus far. He was a Tewaaraton Award nominee for the nation’s top player, and his leadership, hard work and dedication helped Loyola win the ECAC regular-season title and reach as high as No. 1 in the nation.

Several other awards were handed out to Loyola senior student-athletes, beginning with the Unsung Hero Awards.

The Men’s Unsung Hero Award went to men’s basketball senior Shane Walker. Head coach Jimmy Patsos often describes Walker as a coach among student-athletes, and his skill, willingness to accept his role and desire to win were critical for his team. Walker was the fifth-leading scorer, averaging 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds, while helping the team to its most successful season in Division I history. Walker led the Greyhounds to a 24-9 overall record, a MAAC tournament title and the team’s first NCAA appearance since 1994.

Women’s lacrosse senior Kerry Stoothoff earned the award on the women’s side after being one of the most steady and consistent performers during her four years at Loyola. Stoothoff brought a team-first attitude that has permeated her peers and helped lead the Greyhounds to the NCAA Tournament in 2011. She will leave Loyola as one of the top goalies in program history, having earned All-BIG EAST honors on multiple occasions and was named MVP of the BIG EAST Championship in 2011.

Men’s Leadership Award winner J.P. Dalton of the men’s lacrosse team was elected a team captain by his peers, and he took that responsibility and has helped mold the team in his image as hard-working and dedicated to winning. Dalton is a vocal leader on the field, but also inspires with his actions. He stepped into a major role as the main faceoff midfielder this season, winning 55.2-percent of faceoffs for the Greyhounds. Head coach Charley Toomey said that his work ethic is a model for all current and future Greyhounds.

Rachel Janasek of the women’s tennis team won the Women’s Leadership Award, instilling her passion for winning into the team. Janasek set several records at Loyola, including becoming the winningest No. 1 singles player in Greyhound history. She pursued excellence, and achieved it, in her sport as well as in the classroom.

The Men’s Medal of Merit went to lacrosse’s Dylan Grimm, who has been a multiple-year starter and also has been an All-Academic honoree for two seasons from the ECAC. He has helped the Greyhounds to a historic season and has displayed toughness and skill at his position.

Kellye Gallagher of the women’s lacrosse team earned the Women’s Medal of Merit, becoming the second-straight women’s lacrosse player to earn the distinction. Owning a GPA of just over 3.5, she helped the Greyhounds to the 2011 BIG EAST title and an appearance in the NCAA quarterfinal round. She was an all-conference first team selection in 2011 and also was named the team’s MVP this season.

Kevin Farrell was the recipient of the student service award. He was a key contributor to the men’s basketball program over his four years at Loyola as the team’s student-manager. He will graduate with a degree in business management, but as men’s basketball head coach Jimmy Patsos said, he “minored in basketball.” His efforts and organizational skills helped the Loyola men’s basketball team to its best season in school Division I history.

Women’s track & field athlete Brittany Gruber was presented with the Diane Geppi-Aikens Inspiration Award. Gruber recovered from a tragic accident in high school and has been an inspiration to the women’s track and field team in her time at Loyola. Her spirits are always up, motivating others to improve themselves and looking at all challenges in life as an opportunity.

The men’s rowing team and Head Coach Al Ramirez was tabbed for having the highest cumulative grade point average among the Greyhounds’ 18 teams.

In addition to the departmental awards, the following student athletes received awards from their respective teams:

Team Most Valuable Most Dedicated
Men’s Basketball Erik Etherly Shane Walker
Men’s Cross Country Matt Hassett DJ Puleo
Men’s Golf Jay Mulieri Andrew McGill
Men’s Lacrosse Mike Sawyer Pat Byrnes
Men’s Rowing Joe Wawrzynski Christopher Golon
Men’s Soccer Wade McHugh Kevin Curran
Men’s Swimming & Diving Brennan Morris Benjamin Duva
Men’s Tennis Kevin Zingler Keyan Sanai
Women’s Basketball Miriam McKenzie Julie Smith
Women’s Cross Country Gabrielle Cocco Stephanie Gibney
Women’s Lacrosse Kellye Gallagher Ana Heneberry
Women’s Rowing Catriona Miller Julianne Roccuzzo
Women’s Soccer Nichole Schiro Joie McLaughlin
Women’s Swimming & Diving Caitlin Cronin Mary Henkels
Women’s Tennis Rachel Janasek Judy Lite
Women’s Indoor Track & Field Samantha Westley Brittany Gruber
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Jackie D’Antonio Emily Doucette
Women’s Volleyball Jac Bullock Elena Frac
Cheerleading Bridget Ehmann Brianna Jedlicka

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Loyola LSM Ratliff, Coach Toomey pick up top ECAC honors

Posted on 30 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Ratliff Earns Top ECAC Defensive Honor; Toomey Coach of the Year

CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year, and he was joined by four of his teammates on the All-ECAC teams, the league office announced Monday.

Greyhounds Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year after leading Loyola to a perfect 6-0 record in the conference regular-season, a 12-1 overall record and a national No. 1 ranking for two weeks. It is the third time in seven years Toomey has been tabbed the league’s top coach.

Ratliff was one of three Greyhounds named to the All-ECAC First Team, joining Mike Sawyer on attack and Davis Butts in the midfield. Ratliff was named to the team as a defender. Eric Lusby and Joe Fletcher were named to the All-ECAC Second Team on attack and defense, respectively.

Ratliff led the ECAC and is seventh in the nation in caused turnovers per game, finishing the regular-season with 30 total, an average of 2.31 per game. He also tops the Greyhounds with 52 ground balls, 4.0 per game, and has been a key part of the Loyola defense that is seventh in the nation in scoring defense per game. Ratliff was twice named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week, and he also earned an ECAC Defensive Player of the Week nod.

Butts led the Greyhounds’ first midfield in scoring, checking in with 15 goals, third-best on the team, and 11 assists, second-most for Loyola. He was also a frequent contributor on the wing for faceoffs and as a defensive midfielder, logging 33 ground balls. Butts contributed eight multi-point games and set career-highs with four goals at Bellarmine and four assists versus Air Force.

Sawyer led the ECAC in total goals (41) and goals per game (3.15) during the regular-season. Through 13 games, he is ranked third in the nation in goals per game, and along with Ratliff, he was named a semifinalist for the Tewaaraton Award, given yearly to the nation’s top player. He logged hat tricks in nine of the Greyhounds’ 13 games and had multi-goal efforts 11 times. Sawyer’s 41 goals are the most by a Loyola player since the 2001 season

Fletcher, in his first year as a starter, has been noted as one of the top lock-down defenders in the nation, earning Midseason All-America Second Team honors from Inside Lacrosse. He has caused 14 turnovers and picked up 25 ground balls on the team that is ranked seventh in the nation in scoring defense.

The Greyhounds earned the top seed in this week’s ECAC Championships that will be played at Peter Barton Stadium on the campus of Denver University. Loyola will play the fourth-seeded, and host, Pioneers, at 5 p.m. (Mountain) on Wednesday, May 2. The winner of the game will play the winner of No. 2 Ohio State University and No. 3 Fairfield University in the Championship Game on Friday at 4 p.m. (Mountain).

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Loyola Suffers First Loss As Hopkins Wins OT Thriller

Posted on 28 April 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, MD – Sophomore Rob Guida provided the emotional spark the Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team needed when he opened the scoring with an unassisted goal less than three minutes into Saturday’s showdown at top-ranked Loyola. Guida did himself one better with 2.3 seconds remaining in overtime when he quick-sticked home a pass to the crease from junior Zach Palmer to lift the 10th-ranked Blue Jays to a 10-9 win before a capacity crowd of 6,000 at Loyola’s Ridley Athletic Complex.

In a game that saw the Blue Jays lead 9-5 with less than 13 minutes remaining in regulation, Guida netted his game-winner after Loyola hit the post with its second shot in overtime and the Blue Jays failed on an extra-man opportunity. With the clock winding down, Hopkins midfielder John Ranagan worked to an ally dodge, but was trail-checked nicely and the ball flew out to Palmer along the goal line. There, he threaded a pass to the crease, where Guida caught it for the briefest time and slipped a quick shot between the legs of Loyola goalie Jack Runkel. The goal completed Guida’s first career hat trick and improved Hopkins’ record to 19-9 all-time in overtime games under head coach Dave Pietramala.

A late goal in overtime didn’t look like it would be necessary for the Blue Jays after Guida’s extra-man goal early in the fourth quarter gave JHU a 9-5 lead. To that point, the ‘Hounds hadn’t been closer than three since the first quarter and the Blue Jays appeared to be in control.

It look less than two minutes for Davis Butts to answer Guida’s tally and less than a minute after that before a Sean O’Sullivan strike made it 9-7 with more than 11 minutes remaining.

The 9-7 lead held for the Blue Jays (10-3) for more than eight minutes as Runkel and his counterpart, JHU goalie Pierce Bassett, traded saves. Still, the Greyhounds made it a one-goal game with 54 seconds remaining when Justin Ward found Pat Laconi alone in the high slot and Laconi picked the near post for his first goal of the season.

Loyola (12-1), which had its 12-game winning streak snapped, won the ensuing faceoff and worked the ball to Ward behind the goal. Hopkins senior Gavin Crisafulli bodied up with Ward along the goal line and appeared to be in solid position, but Ward worked topside just slightly and rifled home the equalizer to force the extra period.

Loyola maintained possession for more than 90 seconds in overtime and Eric Lusby rang the far post with the ‘Hounds second shot, but Guida came up with the ensuing ground ball and drew a flag for a hold while trying to clear. Hopkins maintained possession after the penalty expired and Palmer threaded his pass to a tightly-marked Guida a short time later to seal Hopkins’ 13th straight win over the Greyhounds.

After back-to-back losses the Blue Jays were looking for something positive early in the game and Guida, Mark Goodrich and Lee Coppersmith provided just that with first quarter goals that gave JHU a 3-0 lead at the end of the opening quarter. It marked the 15th time Hopkins has held an opponent scoreless in a quarter this season and the first time all year that Loyola failed to score in the opening quarter of a game.

The Blue Jays pushed the lead to 5-0 when Coppersmith and Wells Stanwick scored in the opening 2:03 of the second period, but Loyola got goals by Butts, Lusby and Chris Layne in the final 11:15 of the period with only a Palmer strike in that time for JHU to account for a 6-3 score at the half.

The teams traded third-quarter goals to make it 8-5 entering the final period and Gudia’s extra-man goal 47 seconds into the fourth quarter gave JHU the 9-5 lead. Butts ignited Loyola’s 4-0 run a short time later when he scored on an ally dodge and Ward capped the spree in the final seconds with his only goal of the game. That set the stage for the overtime period, which went nearly the full four minutes before Palmer and Guida put an end to the dramatics and lifted Hopkins to its 47th all-time win in the 50-game series with Loyola.

Guida, who had scored previously scored a career-high two goals in a game six times in his career, led the Blue Jays with his three goals, while Palmer added two goals and two assists. Coppersmith and Goodrich added two-goal efforts for the Blue Jays, who held advantages in shots (40-28) and ground balls (34-30). Bassett posted nine saves in goal and freshman Michael Pellegrino added a game-high seven ground balls for the Blue Jays, who picked up their second win of the season against a team ranked number one and have now won 7-of-11 against teams ranked number one under Pietramala.

Loyola got two goals from Lusby and Butts, one goal and two assists from Layne and the one goal and one assist from Ward, while Runkel was solid in goal with 14 saves on the day. J.P. Dalton took all 23 faceoffs in the game for Loyola and won 14 of them, although the Blue Jays won 7-of-11 in the second half.

Johns Hopkins will return to action next Saturday, when the Blue Jays welcome Army to Homewood Field for JHU’s annual Homecoming game. Loyola has a quick turnaround as the Greyhounds will play at Denver in the ECAC Semifinals on Wednesday.

#10 Johns Hopkins (10-3) 3-3-2-1-1/10
#1 Loyola (12-1) 0-3-2-4-0/9

GoalsJ: Guida-3, Palmer-2, Coppersmith-2, Goodrich-2, Stanwick. L: Lusby-2, Butts-2, Layne, Ward, Sawyer, O’Sullivan, Laconi. AssistsJ: Boland-2, Palmer-2, Burkhart. L: Layne-2, Ratliff, Ward. SavesJ: Bassett-9. L: Runkel-14, Bonitatibus-0. Shots: J-40. L-28. EMOJ: 2-for-4. L: 0-for-1. Attendance: 6,000.

 

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Loyola Hosts Hopkins Saturday In One Of Biggest Games In School History

Posted on 27 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent Johns Hopkins Blue Jays
Date Saturday, April 28, 2012
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex
TV | Radio Hounds Unleashed
Series Record Johns Hopkins leads, 46-3
Last Meeting Johns Hopkins 8, Loyola 7 – April 30, 2011 at Hopkins

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland wraps up the 2012 regular-season with a Saturday, April 28, game against Charles Street foe Johns Hopkins University. The Greyhounds and Blue Jays will face-off at 1 o’clock at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Sellout Crowd

Tickets to Saturday’s game have been sold out. It will be the second sellout crowd in the three-year history of the crowd, following the inaugural game on March 13, 2010, between Loyola and Duke. A severe storm, however, prevented many fans from attending that game, however, no tickets remained.

It is the largest presale of tickets in history to a Loyola athletics’ event.

Free Webstream Available

As with all Loyola men’s lacrosse games this year, a free webstream will be available of the game on Hounds Unleashed, the video arm of LoyolaGreyhounds.com.

Series History

The Greyhounds and Blue Jays will be meeting for the 50th time in series history on Saturday when they take the field. Johns Hopkins holds a 46-3 advantage in the all-time series and is currently on a 12-game winning streak.

Loyola’s last win against the Blue Jays came on March 12, 1999, when the Greyhounds took a 14-5 decision on the road.

Last year, Loyola outshot Johns Hopkins, 16-4, in the second half, but the Greyhounds could not overcome an 8-4 deficit, and the Blue Jays came away with an 8-7 win.

When the teams play for the 50th time, Johns Hopkins will tie Penn State for the opponent Loyola has played second-most in school history. Towson is the Greyhounds’ most-played opponent at 54 meetings.

In The Polls

The Greyhounds are ranked No. 1 in both the USILA Coaches and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Polls entering the game.

Johns Hopkins checks in at No. 10 in the coaches version and 11th in the media rankings.

The last time either team was ranked No. 1 when this game was played came on May 7, 2005, in a 12-6 Hopkins win on Homewood Field. It will be the first time the Blue Jays have faced Loyola with the Greyhounds in the top spot. Their win in 1999 over Johns Hopkins vaulted Loyola into first, a slot it would hold for nine weeks through the end of the regular-season.

Top Spot

Loyola is ranked No. 1 in the nation (in the USILA poll) for the first time since May 10, 1999, when the Greyhounds completed a 12-0 regular-season. Loyola was ranked first in the final nine polls of that season, and it was No. 1 for two weeks during the 1994 season (April 12 and 19) and one week in 1992 (March 31).

The Greyhounds are just the second team since the USILA poll was introduced in 1973 to go from being unranked to No. 1 in the same season. The other team to accomplish the feat was the 2007 Duke team that went from being unranked in the first poll of the year to No. 2 in the second and first in the third.

Loyola has also been first in the two version of the RPI released thus far by the NCAA.

Record-Tying Win Streak

Loyola’s 12-straight wins this season have tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (March 14-May 17) and 1999 (March 6-May 8).

It also matches the best start to a season, equaling the 1999 team that finished the regular-season unblemished at 12-0.

Business Trip

The Greyhounds last played at Ridley Athletic Complex on March 31 before embarking on a three-game ECAC Lacrosse League road trip that took Loyola over 2,200 miles for games against Fairfield, Denver and Hobart.

Loyola defeated the trio of teams to clinch the ECAC regular-season title.

Regular-Season Sweep

Loyola finished its ECAC Lacrosse League regular-season schedule with a 6-0 record to win its first outright conference title since 2008.

The Greyhounds’ undefeated league record is the second in the history of the program – Loyola was an independent at the NCAA Division I level from 1982-2001 and again from 2003-2005. The Greyhounds won the 2002 Colonial Athletic Conference crown with a 5-0 mark.

Loyola enters the May 2-4 ECAC Championships in Denver as the No. 1 seed. The Greyhounds will take on the host Pioneers at 5 p.m. (MDT) on Wednesday, May 2, and the winner of that game plays the winner of Fairfield-Ohio State on Friday, May 4, at 4 p.m., in a game that will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Fast Start

Playing as the nation’s No. 1 team for the first time in almost 13 years, the Greyhounds showed no let down against Hobart last Saturday, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game.

The Greyhounds ended the first quarter ahead 7-1, getting goals from six different players and two from Mike Sawyer.

Ratliff, Sawyer Named Tewaaraton Semifinalists

Juniors Scott Ratliff and Mike Sawyer were named to the Tewaaraton Award semifinal list as the game’s top players, making Loyola one of five schools – joining Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Massachusetts and Virginia – to have two players make the 25-man list.

Loyola is also one of six schools to have at least one male and one female semifinalist, as sophomore Marlee Paton made the women’s list from Loyola. The winners of both awards will be selected on May 31, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

40-Goal Mark

Mike Sawyer scored four goals on Saturday at Hobart, raising his season total to 40 through 12 games, becoming the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000.

In addition to being just the third Loyola player to score 40-plus this century, Sawyer is the seventh Greyhound to reach the mark since Loyola moved to NCAA Division I status in 1982.

Defense Standing Tall

The Greyhounds’ defense is ranked sixth in NCAA Division I, and tops in the ECAC, with a 7.08 goals allowed per game mark, as they have not allowed more than nine goals in a single game this season. The Greyhounds are one of two teams (Notre Dame is the other) who have allowed fewer than 10 in each outing this season.

Road Warriors

Loyola has used second-half comebacks to win its first two games of its ECAC road trip, scoring the last four gaols of the  game to beat then-No. 14 Fairfield, 8-6, on April 7, before using a 5-1 run to close the game in a 12-9 win at then-No. 8 Denver.

The Fairfield game was the first time this season Loyola had trailed in the fourth quarter, and the 4-4 tie going into the final stanza was the first time it had not led outright entering the frame.

The Greyhounds held Fairfield scoreless for the final 11 minutes, 59 seconds of action, and they then kept Denver off the board for 22:32 in the third and fourth quarters while they scored four unanswered.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first 12 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 24 occasions this season.

Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.

Loyola then used a 6-0 run to break a 5-5 tie early in the third quarter with Georgetown on the way to a 11-6 victory.

The Greyhounds then scored seven in a row on the back end of a 10-1 run last Saturday at UMBC, and after falling behind 3-2 in the second quarter against Ohio State, the Greyhounds strung together four in a row to go ahead 6-3 by the end of the third quarter.

At Fairfield, Loyola scored the final four goals of the game to rally from a 6-4 deficit to win 8-6. The Greyhounds then scored four in a row during the third and fourth quarters at Denver that brought them from down 8-7 to a 12-9 victory.

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just seven times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions. Only Fairfield (five) and Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

Following six of the seven opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

Taking Care Of The Ball

Loyola committed a season-low seven turnovers in the win at Denver, and the Greyhounds have been one of the best in the nation this season at taking care of the ball.

The Greyhounds lead the ECAC this year with the fewest turnovers per game, averaging 13.33, more than 1.5 fewer than Ohio State which is second with 15.08. Loyola is eighth nationally in the stat category.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The Tewaaraton Award nominees have combined for 72 goals in 12 games this season, an average of 6.6 per game.

Sawyer has scored 40 goals, and his 3.33 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 32 goals and a 2.67 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 13th in the country. Loyola is the only school to have two players in the top 14 of goals per game nationally.

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 32 or more goals in the same season since 2000 when Tim Goettelmann set the school single-season record with 50, and Gavin Prout tallied 41. As a side note, the Goettelmann-Prout duo has gone on to highly successful professional careers. Goettelman recently retired from Major League Lacrosse as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 268 goals in 11 seasons.Prout has been an MLL Champion and has scored 314 National Lacrosse League goals to go with 625 assists as a multiple-time all-star.

Balanced Attack

Ten Loyola players scored against Hobart, marking the second game in a row, and third time this season, that nine or more have tallied goals in a game. The 10 goals matched the Greyhounds’ best for the season that came in a win over Air Force.

This season, four Greyhounds – Mike Sawyer (40), Eric Lusby (32), Sean O’Sullivan (13) and Davis Butts (13) – have 10 or more goals, and five others have 10-plus points.

Defense Digs In Again

Loyola’s defensive unit held Denver to more than three goals fewer than its season average. The Pioneers came into the game averaging nearly 12.7 goals per game, but the Greyhounds limited them to just nine.

Denver’s Mark Matthews sported a 39-game goal scoring streak coming into the game, but Loyola held him to just a single assist, snapping what had been the nation’s second-longest streak.

Ratliff Earns Third Award Of Season

Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week on Monday after scoring a goal, assisting on two, causing four turnovers and winning two ground balls against Hobart.

The award is the third of the season for Ratliff who was named ECAC Defensive Player of the Week after the season-opener and Co-Specialist of the Week on March 19.

Loyola players have won six of this year’s 10 ECAC Defensive Player of the Week awards and four of the last five. In addition to Ratliff’s opening honor, goalkeeper Jack Runkel earned the award on March 12.

Runkel again won the award on March 26, starting a four-week stretch in which he and defender Reid Acton have alternated garnering the honor.

Acton was named the April 18 recipient after he drew primary marking responsibilities on Denver’s Mark Matthews, holding the All-American without a goal for the first time in 40 games.

Runkel Moving Up Stats Charts

Entering the final game of the 2012 regular-season, sophomore goalkeeper Jack Runkel has risen to eighth in the nation with a 7.29 goals against average. In 11 games, nine starts, Runkel has made saves on 55.5-percent of shots on goal he’s faced, the No. 17 mark in the country.

While Runkel has picked up three weekly conference awards this year, much of the credit can also go to the defensive unit as a whole. Opponents have taken 290 total shots while Runkel has been in goal this year, but just 155 have been on goal.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 52.9-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year.

The last time Loyola finished above .500 in man-up offense was in 1997 when it converted 39-of-77 (.506).

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 45-17 in the third quarters of games and 82-40 overall this year in the second half.

The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds have opened their third year at the stadium with six wins at home. Loyola is now 14-3 all-time at Ridley.

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