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Loyola tries to continue win streak Thursday against Bucknell

Posted on 16 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Bucknell Bison

Thursday, April 17, 2014  |  7:00 p.m.

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


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland plays its second-straight home game on Thursday, April 17, when it closes its Patriot League regular-season schedule at 7 o’clock against Bucknell University.

The Greyhounds are 5-0 this season, and 23-7 all-time at Ridley Athletic Complex.

With its 15-6 win last Saturday against Boston University, the Greyhounds earned at least a share of the Patriot League Regular-Season title and secured the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Championships and will host the event on April 25 and 27.

Justin Ward became the program’s single-season assist leader at the Division I level. He has 39 through 12 games this season, tying for seventh-most in Patriot League single-season history.

Joe Fletcher leads all close defenders nationally in ground balls per game with 51 total and 4.6 per game.

Pat Laconi is the top non-pole player nationally in caused turnovers (22) and caused turnovers per game (1.83) through games of April 13.

Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello are both second nationally in assists (3.25) and goals per game (3.33), respectively.

 

Last Time Out

Nikko Pontrello and Kevin Ryan each had three-goal games, and Loyola clinched its first-ever Patriot League Regular-Season title last Saturday with a 15-6 victory over Boston University at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Greyhounds led 4-1 at halftime, but Boston University got within two 1:04 into the second half before Loyola went on a 4-0 run that broke the game open.

Graham Savio won 17-of-25 faceoffs and had six ground balls in the game, as Loyola controlled the possession battle, picking up 47 ground balls to the Terriers’ 23.

Savio had a slim 4-of-7 advantage in the first half, but he then won 5-of-9 in the third quarter and 8-of-9 in the fourth.

In addition to his three goals, Pontrello had a five-point night with two assists, while Ryan had an assist, too. Brian Schultz scored twice and assisted on one, and Justin Ward recorded three assists against Boston University.

Five Greyhounds had five or more groundballs in the game, led by Savio’s six. Ward, Joe Fletcher, Ryan Fournier and Pat Laconi each picked up five.

 

Turn On The Television

Thursday’s game 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 at least five that will feature the Greyhounds on the network. The  entire Patriot League Championships, as well as game against Johns Hopkins University on May 3will be broadcast life. Loyola’s games versus Duke University and at Georgetown University were also on the network.

 

In The Polls

With Saturday’s win against Boston University, Loyola remained in the No. 1 spot of both the USILA coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls for the fourth week in a row.

The Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 at some point in each of the last three seasons, most recently in the first polls of the 2012 season. This stretch is the longest the Greyhounds have been ranked first since spending nine-straight at the top from March 15-May 10, 1999.

 

Series History

Loyola will play Bucknell for the fourth time in series history but the first since April 2, 1983 when the Greyhounds defeated the Bison, 15-8. Loyola is 3-0 all-time in the series that was played in 1981, 1982 and 1983; a fourth game was scheduled for the 1984 season, but it was postponed due to weather and not rescheduled.

 

Get To Ten

Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 64 occasions. After defeating Boston University, 15-8, on Saturday, Loyola has won 81.5 percent of those games (53-12).

 

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 40-7 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 11-1 this season) for a .851 mark. Loyola’s winning percentage of .917 this season is the best nationally.

Only Duke has won more games (42) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by more than seven percent (42-12, .778).

 

Chart Toppers

A pair of Greyhounds attackers are near the top of two offensive categories through games of Monday, April 14, in both total goals and assists. Nikko Pontrello is second in Division I with 40 goals, while Justin Ward is second with 39 assists.

The duo is the No. 2 point-scoring tandem in the country with 99 combined points (Ward, 51; Pontrello, 48). Albany’s Lyle (73) and Miles (67) have a combined 140.

 

Tops Among Close Defenders

Joe Fletcher is second on Loyola in ground balls, total (54) and per game (4.50), 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. He has caused 22 this season while averaging 1.83 per game. He is 13th in the nation, and the 12 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 39 assists in 12 games. With his third and final assist last Saturday 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 (39), and he is also second in the country and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.25 assists per game this year.

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 record 100.

Ward now has 106 career assists. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also seventh in school Division I history in total points with 157, one away from tying John Carroll (1984-87) for sixth place.

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 last Saturday versus Boston University. Through games of Monday, April 14, Pontrello is second in the nation in total goals with 40.

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 and Boston University.

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 leads the Greyhound and the Patriot League with 40 goals and is second behind Justin Ward for the team- and League-lead with 48 points through 12 games.

He leads the Patriot League and is second nationally in goals per game (3.33), while he is second and 14th in points per game (4.00).

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .638 mark, saving 118 out of 185 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, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.02 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .608 through 12 games. He is third in the nation in both saves percentage and  goals against average.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.73 goals against average and .562 saves percentage; he is fifth in Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982) with 419 career saves. Runkel’s record between the pipes is 38-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 42 victories. Amato (as of Monday), however, Amato is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.

Runkel picked up his fourth-straight Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honor on March 17, becoming the first player in League history to win any of the weekly honors (Offensive, Defensive, Goalkeeper or Rookie) four-consecutive times. His honor on March 31 made him the first player in League history to earn five in a 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.

Against Holy Cross, Fletcher set a career-high with eight ground balls, eclipsing his previous total of seven set on five different occasions. In a pair of games against Towson and the Crusaders, he had 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers.

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.

Fletcher has been named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week four times this year, the most any player in conference history has earned the award. He is second on the Greyhounds with 54 ground balls and caused turnovers (18). His 63 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

As good of a match-up defender as Fletcher is, he is as good off the ground. He leads all close defenders nationally with 54 ground balls and 4.50 per game.

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

Short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on March 3 after matching his career-high with two goals at Lehigh.

The senior, who is a team co-captain and Preseason All-American, had a goal an assist versus Army, a goal at Georgetown and an assist versus Navy,  and one of each versus Boston University bringing his season totals to seven goals and three assists. He now has 12 goals and 12 assists in his four-year career.

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. His team-leading 22 caused turnovers this season have brought his career total to 63, fourth-most in school history.

 

Taking Care Of The Ball

Loyola continues to lead the nation in fewest turnovers per game, averaging 10.42 through 12 contests. The Greyhounds have committed 1.33 fewer turnovers per game than the second-place team in the nation, Towson, a team that committed 18 turnovers earlier this year against Loyola.

The Greyhounds also lead the nation in clearing percentage at .940.

 

Near The Top At Both Sides

The Greyhounds is the only team to be in the top five of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (13.25) rank fifth, and its goals allowed (7.17) are fourth. As a result, Loyola leads the nation in scoring margin (+6.08).

While it is fourth nationally in scoring defense, Loyola is just third in the Patriot League in the category. Army (1st, 5.70) and Lehigh (2nd, 6.50) both rank ahead of the Greyhounds nationally.

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all 12 of its games this season, and it has had five stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 21 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

 

 

Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has scored 21 goals, second-most on the team through 12 games. He also had the game-winning goal 12 seconds into the second overtime at Navy.

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.

 

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

Two of Loyola’s senior co-captains were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List when it was released in February. Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward were among the 50 players nationally to receive recognition in February. Additionally, junior attacker Nikko Pontrello was added to the Watch List on March 20.

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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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 15 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: MLS-DC United @ Columbus Crew (Saturday 7:30pm from Columbus live on MLS Direct Kick); Tennis: ATP Tour Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (Tuesday-Friday 6am Saturday 7:30am Sunday 9am from Monte-Carlo live on Tennis Channel)

10. PEEPShow (Tuesday-Monday Carroll Arts Center); Spring Football Festival (Saturday 12pm McHenry Row); The Gathering: Food Trucks Rally (Friday Baltimore Museum of Industry); Baltimore Green Week (Saturday-Monday throughout Charm City); “Transcendence” out in theaters (Friday); Philomena“, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty“, “The Nut Job” and “Ride Along” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

Here’s your annual reminder that there’s only one thing that matters on Easter (despite the fact that Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and Staburst Jelly Beans are the vastly superior Easter candies)…

Yes, it’s Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict and it’s more important than anything else.

9. Pat Green (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Live), Alter Bridge (Monday 8pm Rams Head Live); Eric Hutchinson/Saints of Valory (Wednesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage), Charm City Devils (Saturday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Keller Williams (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); French Montana (Thursday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime (Saturday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Cloud Nothings (Wednesday 8pm Black Cat), Andrew WK (Saturday 9pm Black Cat); Stephen Marley (Thursday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); Local H (Saturday 6:30pm DC9); NEEDTOBREATHE “Rivers In The Wasteland”, Nas “Illmatic XX” and Sevendust “Time Travelers & Bonfires” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I enjoy the work of Eric Hutchinson, friends.

I also enjoy the work of Saints of Valory.

I’m not particularly witty this evening. I’m just going to say “Charm City Devils” and we can move forward.

And here’s a tune from the new NEEDTOBREATHE record. Let’s all move forward from here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n1oH9q4vgc

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Loyola remains #1, Maryland falls in weekly lacrosse rankings

Posted on 14 April 2014 by WNST Staff

The greatest rivalry in the history of college lacrosse lead to a major shift in the sport’s weekly polls Monday.

Johns Hopkins raced past previous #3 ranked Maryland Saturday, posting an 11-6 victory over the Terps at Homewood Field. Hopkins moved up in the rankings thanks to the win while the Terrapins slid in both polls. Loyola remained #1 in both polls after crushing Boston University 15-6 Saturday for their 11th straight win and the Patriot League regular season title. Towson fell out of the polls after dropping an 8-1 decision to Penn State Saturday night.

Here are the new weekly lacrosse polls (courtesy of NCAA.com), staring with the Inside Lacrosse media poll…

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Loyola Maryland (15) 11-1 414 1
2 Duke (6) 11-2 405 2
3 Denver 10-2 367 5
4 Syracuse 8-3 357 7
5 Johns Hopkins 7-3 318 8
6 North Carolina 9-3 313 4
7 Maryland 9-2 312 3
8 Notre Dame 6-4 268 9
9 Penn 6-3 240 11
10 Virginia 8-5 215 10
11 Hofstra 9-3 205 14
12 Cornell 9-3 199 6
13 Yale 7-3 196 13
14 Princeton 7-4 129 17
15 Bryant 10-3 114 15
16 Army 8-3 91 18
17 Fairfield 9-3 76 12
18 Drexel 8-4 50 NR
19 Lehigh 10-4 42 T19
20 Massachusetts 7-4 27 16

Dropped out: No. T19 Towson.

And here is the new USILA Coaches’ poll…

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Loyola Maryland (11) 11-1 258 1
2 Duke (2) 11-2 248 2
3 Denver 10-2 224 5
4 Syracuse 8-3 221 7
5 Maryland 9-2 199 3
6 Johns Hopkins 7-3 196 9
7 North Carolina 9-3 193 4
8 Notre Dame 6-4 168 10
9 Virginia 8-5 155 8
10 Penn 6-3 135 T11
11 Yale 7-3 114 13
T12 Hofstra 9-3 107 16
T12 Cornell 9-3 107 6
14 Princeton 7-4 86 15
15 Fairfield 9-3 46 T11
16 Army 8-3 45 NR
17 Lehigh 10-4 42 20
T18 Drexel 8-4 40 NR
T18 Bryant 10-3 40 T17
20 Harvard 7-5 30 T17

Dropped out: No. 14 Massachusetts, No. 19 Towson.

Also receiving votes: Massachusetts, Albany, Air Force, Towson, Villanova, Penn State.

And with Selection Sunday now just weeks away, here is a look at the official NCAA lacrosse RPI rankings.

RANK SCHOOL CONFERENCE RECORD ROAD NEUTRAL HOME NON-DI
1 Syracuse Atlantic Coast 8-3 2-2 1-0 5-1 0-0
2 Duke Atlantic Coast 11-2 3-2 0-0 8-0 0-0
3 Penn Ivy 6-3 2-2 0-0 4-1 0-0
4 Johns Hopkins Division I Independents 7-3 2-1 0-0 5-2 0-0
5 Denver Big East 10-2 3-2 1-0 6-0 0-0
6 Maryland Atlantic Coast 9-2 3-2 0-0 6-0 0-0
7 Loyola Maryland Patriot 11-1 6-1 0-0 5-0 0-0
8 North Carolina Atlantic Coast 9-3 3-2 0-0 6-1 0-0
9 Cornell Ivy 9-3 5-1 0-0 4-2 0-0
10 Hofstra Colonial 9-3 1-2 0-0 8-1 0-0
11 Yale Ivy 7-3 4-2 0-0 3-1 0-0
12 Virginia Atlantic Coast 8-5 3-4 0-0 5-1 0-0
13 Notre Dame Atlantic Coast 6-4 4-1 0-1 2-2 0-0
14 Princeton Ivy 7-4 2-2 0-0 5-2 0-0
15 Drexel Colonial 8-4 4-2 0-0 4-2 0-0
16 Fairfield ECAC 9-3 4-2 0-0 5-1 0-0
17 Massachusetts Colonial 7-4 3-2 1-0 3-2 0-0
18 Towson Colonial 8-4 2-3 0-0 6-1 0-0
19 Albany (NY) America East 6-5 3-2 0-0 3-3 0-0
20 Villanova Big East 5-6 3-3 0-0 2-3 0-0
21 Penn St. Colonial 5-6 3-2 0-0 2-4 0-0
22 Harvard Ivy 7-5 2-5 0-0 5-0 0-0
23 Colgate Patriot 8-4 3-2 0-0 5-2 0-0
24 Air Force ECAC 8-3 2-1 1-1 5-1 0-0
25 Bryant Northeast 10-3 5-2 1-0 4-1 0-0
26 Lehigh Patriot 10-4 3-3 1-0 6-1 0-0
27 St. John’s (NY) Big East 6-6 2-4 0-1 4-1 0-0
28 Ohio St. ECAC 5-6 1-3 0-1 4-2 0-0
29 Brown Ivy 6-5 2-3 1-0 3-2 0-0
30 Siena Metro Atlantic 7-4 4-3 0-0 3-1 0-0
31 Binghamton America East 5-6 4-1 0-0 1-5 0-0
32 Army Patriot 8-3 3-1 1-0 4-2 0-0
33 Bellarmine ECAC 6-4 3-2 0-0 3-2 0-0
34 Saint Joseph’s Northeast 9-3 5-2 0-0 4-1 0-0
35 Bucknell Patriot 7-6 1-5 0-0 6-1 0-0
36 Michigan ECAC 4-9 3-5 0-0 1-4 0-0
37 High Point Atlantic Sun 8-4 3-3 0-0 5-1 0-0
38 Delaware Colonial 6-7 2-3 0-0 4-4 0-0
39 Canisius Metro Atlantic 6-5 3-3 1-0 2-2 0-0
40 UMBC America East 6-5 1-4 0-0 5-1 0-0
41 Marquette Big East 5-8 4-5 0-0 1-3 0-0
42 Rutgers Big East 7-6 3-4 0-0 4-2 0-0
43 Stony Brook America East 5-8 0-4 0-0 5-4 0-0
44 Georgetown Big East 4-8 1-4 0-1 3-3 0-0
45 Marist Metro Atlantic 3-8 1-4 0-1 2-3 0-0
46 Robert Morris Northeast 5-7 3-5 0-0 2-2 0-0
47 Jacksonville Atlantic Sun 3-7 0-4 0-0 3-3 0-0
48 Hobart Northeast 4-7 3-3 0-1 1-3 0-0
49 Navy Patriot 4-7 1-4 0-0 3-3 0-0
50 Hartford America East 5-8 3-3 0-0 2-5 0-0
51 Holy Cross Patriot 3-10 2-6 0-0 1-4 0-0
52 Detroit Metro Atlantic 5-6 3-1 0-0 2-5 0-0
53 Quinnipiac Metro Atlantic 5-5 4-3 0-0 1-2 0-0
54 Dartmouth Ivy 1-8 0-6 1-0 0-2 0-0
55 Mercer Atlantic Sun 6-5 3-5 0-0 3-0 0-0
56 Providence Big East 3-10 3-5 0-0 0-5 0-0
57 Furman Atlantic Sun 1-10 1-3 0-1 0-6 0-0
58 Richmond Atlantic Sun 3-9 1-4 0-1 2-4 0-0
59 Sacred Heart Northeast 4-7 3-2 0-1 1-4 0-0
60 Manhattan Metro Atlantic 4-9 2-6 0-0 2-3 0-0
61 Boston U. Patriot 1-11 1-4 0-0 0-7 0-0
62 Mt. St. Mary’s Northeast 0-13 0-8 0-0 0-5 0-0
63 Vermont America East 5-6 3-4 0-0 2-2 0-0
64 Lafayette Patriot 2-10 1-6 0-0 1-4 0-0
65 VMI Atlantic Sun 1-11 0-6 0-0 1-5 0-0
66 Monmouth Metro Atlantic 0-11 0-7 0-0 0-4 0-0
67 Wagner Northeast 2-8 1-1 0-0 1-7 0-0

 

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Loyola FO specialist Savio named Patriot League Rookie of the Week

Posted on 14 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Savio Named Patriot League Rookie Of The Week

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Following the a career-high performance on Saturday afternoon, Loyola University Maryland freshman faceoff specialist Graham Savio was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week.

Savio helped the top-ranked Greyhounds (11-1 overall, 7-0 Patriot League) control the possession game Saturday against Boston University in a 15-6 victory that clinched the Patriot League Regular-Season title and earned Loyola the right to host the 2014 Patriot League Championships, April 25-27, at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The freshman from Greenwich, Conn., won 17-of-25 restarts and picked up six ground balls. He did so against the Terriers’ Sam Talkow who entered the game second in the League in faceoff percentage.

Savio’s 17 faceoff wins and six ground balls were both career-highs. This season, Savio has won 55.6 percent of faceoffs he’s taken (110-of-198), and he leads the Greyhounds with 55 ground balls.

He is the third Loyola player to win Rookie of the Week honors this season, joining midfielders Romar Dennis (February 10) and Brian Sherlock (February 24). Overall, the Greyhounds have won 17 weekly honors from the conference this season.

Loyola wraps up its Patriot League regular-season schedule on Thursday, April 17, at 7 p.m. when it hosts Bucknell University. The game will air live on CBS Sports Network.

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Loyola beats Boston U, claims Patriot League regular season title

Posted on 13 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Men’s Lacrosse Clinches Patriot League Title With Win Over Terriers

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland clinched the 2014 Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Regular-Season Championship on Saturday with a 15-6 victory over visiting Boston University Saturday afternoon at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The top-ranked Greyhounds, who are in their first season in the conference, will host the Patriot League Championships as the top seed. The semifinals will take place Friday, April 25, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., with the winners meeting Sunday, April 27, at1 p.m. in the title game. All three contests will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.

Tickets for the Championships will go on sale Monday at 9 a.m. on LoyolaGreyhounds.com/tickets.

Graham Savio won 17-of-25 faceoffs, picking up six ground balls, for Loyola (11-1 overall, 7-0 Patriot League), while Kevin Ryan and Nikko Pontrello each scored three goals for the Greyhounds. Pontrello also added two assists, while Brian Schultz had two goals and an assist, and Justin Ward passed out three helpers.

With his third assist of the game, Ward set the program’s single-season Division I record with 39, breaking the mark of Sean Heffernan (38, 1994).

Boston University scored the game’s first goal as Alex Paroda scored his first of the year in transition, but Loyola scored four-straight, capped by a Jeff Chase goal out of a two-man game with Kevin Ryan on the left side, 4:27 before halftime.

Chase’s goal, however, was Loyola’s only of the second quarter, sending the teams to the locker room with the Greyhounds in front, 4-1.

The Terriers (1-10, 1-6) made it a two-goal game 1:04 into the second half when Craig Zebrowski got free down the right side for a goal. It broke a scoreless stretch of 30 minutes, 8 seconds for Boston University.

Loyola, however, opened the game back up with a 4-0 run starting when Pontrello fed a crashing Ryan at 11:22. Brian Sherlock then used a sharp split-dodge to get free of his defender and score 57 seconds later, and Romar Dennis face-dodged on the left side, pulled up and ripped a 12-yard shot to make it 7-2 Greyhounds.

Pontrello had his second assist of the quarter at 8:08 when he fed Brian Schultz for a goal from the left side at 8:08. Boston University scored two in a row to get back within four, 8-4, as Chad Bell and Samm Davis tallied goals at 6:30 and 5:48.

With 1:34 left in the third, however, Ward picked up a ground ball near the crease and used a skip pass in an unsettled situation to find Tyler Albrecht on the weak side for a goal.

The Terriers had a possession early in the fourth quarter, but Pat Laconi stripped Cal Dreath of the ball, picked up the grounder, ran a clear and dumped a pass to a trailing Ryan Fournier for a goal at 13:26, pushing the lead to 10-4.

Dearth, however, was involved in the next two goals for the Terriers, feeding Sam Tenney at 12:15 for a man-up score before tallying one of his own at 7:12.

The Greyhounds, however, scored the game’s final five goals, the first two by Schultz and Pontrello coming in the 27 seconds after Dearth’s tally.

Dennis, Laconi and Matt Sawyer each finished with a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds. Savio’s 17 faceoff wins, the majority of which came off the Terriers’ Sam Taklow who was second in the Patriot League with a .596 success rate entering the game, were a career-high.

Loyola also had a significant advantage in ground balls, picking up 47 to Boston University’s 23, led by Savio’s six. Ward, Laconi, Fournier and Jack Runkel each had five, while Pontrello had four.

Joe Fletcher picked up three ground balls and had three caused turnovers, while Laconi caused two turnovers. Runkel posted 10 saves in goal for Loyola, and Pat McEnerney made one in the final 4:16.

Loyola closed Patriot League regular-season action Thursday, April 17, when it hosts Bucknell University in a 7 p.m. game that will also be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

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#1 Loyola looks to extend win streak Saturday against Boston U

Posted on 11 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Boston U. Terriers

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

Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland opens a three-game regular-season homestand on Saturday, April 12, when it hosts Boston University at 1 p.m.

The Greyhounds are 4-0 this season, and 22-7, all-time at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Loyola has clinched one of the top two seeds in the April 25-27 Patriot League Championships and thus secured a by to the semifinals. The Greyhounds can clinch the Patriot League regular-season title, and earn the No. 1 seed and hosting rights for the semifinal and championship games, with a win over Boston University or Bucknell University (April 17) or a loss by the U.S. Military Academy to the U.S. Naval Academy (Saturday) or Colgate University (April 18).

The Greyhounds have not allowed an extra-man goal in the last three games, holding opponents scoreless on four man-up possessions during the stretch. Boston University, meanwhile leads the Patriot League with 19 extra-man goals this year.

Joe Fletcher leads all close defenders nationally in ground balls per game with 51 total and 4.6 per game.

 

Last Time Out

Brian Sherlock picked up the ground ball off a Graham Savio faceoff win to start the second overtime period, sent a pass to Justin Ward low in the offensive box, and Ward passed cross-crease to Brian Schultz who scored the game-winner last Saturday in a 7-6 win at the U.S. Naval Academy.

The Greyhounds took their first lead of the game at the end of a 3-0 third-quarter run when Ward scored with 2:53 left in the stanza.

The Midshipmen, however, evened the score at 6-6 Gabe Voumard’s second of the game 5:28 into the final period of regulation, and the game ended up in overtime.

Jack Runkel made nine saves for Loyola, the last coming midway through the first overtime on a behind-the-head shot by Tucker Hull from the doorstep.  The Midshipmen had another shot go off the pipe in the opening overtime.

Ward led all players with four points, scoring a goal and assisting on three, while Sherlock posted a team-best two goals.

Joe Fletcher had seven ground balls, and Pat Laconi caused three turnovers and had a transition assist.

Follow The Action

Saturday’s game, and all non-televised Patriot League games, will be broadcast on the Patriot League Network. Brent Harris of Comcast SportsNet and NBC Sports Network will call the play-by-play action

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

 

In The Polls

With Saturday’s win at Navy, Loyola remained in the No. 1 spot of both the USILA coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls for the third week in a row.

The Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 at some point in each of the last three seasons, most recently in the first polls of the 2012 season. This stretch is the longest the Greyhounds have been ranked first since spending nine-straight at the top from March 15-May 10, 1999.

 

Series History

Loyola will play Boston University, a first-year program, for the first time when the teams take the field Saturday. The Terriers are also in their first year as a member of the Patriot League. They joined the conference in June 2012, and Loyola accepted its membership less than two months later.

 

Get To Ten

Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 64 occasions. After defeating Colgate, 10-8, on March 29, Loyola has won 81.3 percent of those games (52-12).

 

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 39-7 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 10-1 this season) for a .848 mark. Loyola’s winning percentage of .909 this season is the best nationally.

Only Duke has won more games (41) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by more than seven percent (41-12, .774).

 

Chart Toppers

A pair of Greyhounds attackers are at or near the top of two offensive categories through games of Tuesday, April 8, in both total goals and assists. Nikko Pontrello is second in Division I with 37 goals, while Justin Ward is second with 36 assists.

The duo is the No. 2 point-scoring tandem in the country with 91 combined points (Ward, 48; Pontrello, 43). Albany’s Lyle (65) and Miles (60) have a combined 125.

 

Tops Among Close Defenders

Joe Fletcher leads Loyola in ground balls, total (51) and per game (4.64), this season, but more impressive than that, he paces all close defenders nationally in the categories. Fletcher is 42nd overall in ground balls per game, while the 41 players who are ahead of him are either face-off specialists or long-stick midfielders who play on the wings during restarts.

 

Record-Setting Quarterback

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 30 assists in the last eight contests and 36 overall. He is second in the nation in total assists (36), and he is also third in the country and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.27 assists per game this year. His 36 assists are already third-most in school Division I single-season history, one off Brian Duffy’s No. 2 total of 37 in 1995 and two shy of tying Sean Heffernan’s single-season record from 1994.

With four assists against Duke, 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 record 100. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also ninth in school Division I history in total points with 153, one away from tying former teammate Mike Sawyer, who was on the receiving end of many of his assists, for eighth.

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 Saturday against Navy, snapping a streak of 10-straight games to start the season that Pontrello had two or more goals. Through games of Tuesday, April 8, Pontrello is second in the nation in total goals with 37.

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

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 leads the Greyhounds with 37 goals and is second behind Justin Ward for the team-lead with 43 points through 11 games.

He leads the Patriot League and is second nationally in goals per game (3.70), while he is second and 11th in points per game (4.30).

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .639 mark, saving 108 out of 170 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, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.07 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .607 through 11 games. He is fourth in the nation in both saves percentage and  goals against average.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.75 goals against average and .561 saves percentage; he is fifth in Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982) with 400 career saves. Runkel’s record between the pipes is 36-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 42 victories. Amato (as of Monday), however, Amato is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.

Runkel picked up his fourth-straight Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honor on March 17, becoming the first player in League history to win any of the weekly honors (Offensive, Defensive, Goalkeeper or Rookie) four-consecutive times. His honor on March 31 made him the first player in League history to earn five in a 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.

Against Holy Cross, Fletcher set a career-high with eight ground balls, eclipsing his previous total of seven set on five different occasions. In a pair of games against Towson and the Crusaders, he had 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers.

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.

Fletcher has been named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week four times this year, the most any player in conference history has earned the award. He is second on the Greyhounds with 44 ground balls and caused turnovers (14). His 59 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

As good of a match-up defender as Fletcher is, he is as good off the ground. He leads all close defenders nationally with 51 ground balls and 4.64 per game.

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

Short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on March 3 after matching his career-high with two goals at Lehigh.

The senior, who is a team co-captain and Preseason All-American, had a goal an assist versus Army, a goal at Georgetown and an assist versus Navy, bringing his season totals to six goals an two assists. He now has 11 goals and 11 assists in his four-year career.

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. His team-leading 20 caused turnovers this season have brought his career total to 62, third most in school history.

 

Taking Care Of The Ball

Loyola continues to lead the nation in fewest turnovers per game, averaging 10.27 through 1 contests. The Greyhounds have committed 1.37 fewer turnovers per game than the second-place team in the nation, Marquette.

 

Near The Top At Both Sides

The Greyhounds is the only team to be in the top five of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (13.09) rank fifth, and its goals allowed (7.27) are fourth.

While it is fourth nationally in scoring defense, Loyola is just third in the Patriot League in the category. Army (1st, 5.70) and Lehigh (2nd, 6.50) both rank ahead of the Greyhounds nationally.

 

Man-Up Success

Loyola has converted on just under half of its man-up possessions this year, scoring 15 goals on 32 opportunities. Its .469 success rate is good for 11th in NCAA Division I through games of Monday, April 7.

Nikko Pontrello leads the way with five man-up goals, while Kevin Ryan has four and Matt Sawyer and Brian Schultz each have two.

Nine of Loyola’s extra-man goals have been assisted by Justin Ward.

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all 11 of its games this season, and it has had five stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 18 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

 

 

Five-Plus For Two

Matt Sawyer scored six goals, and Nikko Pontrello tallied five for the Greyhounds on March 9 against Duke, marking the first time in over a decade that two Loyola players have scored five or more in the same game.

The last pair to do so was Gavin Prout (six) and Tim Goettelmann (five) in a 14-9 win on March 25, 2000, at 14th-ranked Brown University.

 

Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has scored 19 goals, second-most on the team through 11 games. He also had the game-winning goal 12 seconds into the second overtime at Navy.

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.

 

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

Two of Loyola’s senior co-captains were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List when it was released in February. Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward were among the 50 players nationally to receive recognition.

They 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.

In addition to the senior duo that is on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, junior attacker Nikko Pontrello was also named to the group on March 20.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable MentionMixed Martial Arts: UFC Fight Night-Roy Nelson vs. Minotauro Nogueira (Friday 2pm from Abu Dhabi live on UFC Fight Pass); Auto Racing: NASCAR Southern 500 (Saturday 6:30pm from Darlington, SC live on FOX); Tennis: ATP Tour U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships (Thursday 7pm Friday 2pm Saturday 3pm from Houston live on Tennis Channel)

10. Katt Williams (Friday 8pm Baltimore Arena); Lewis Black (Thursday-Saturday Warner Theatre); Mick Foley (Tuesday 8pm Baltimore Comedy Factory), Guy Torry (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Privateer Festival (Friday-Sunday Fells Point); The Gathering: Food Trucks Rally (Friday 5pm War Memorial Plaza); Bay Bridge Boat Show (Friday-Sunday Bay Bridge Marina); Decanter Wine Festival (Saturday & Sunday Pimlico Race Course); Draft Day“, “Oculus” and “Rio 2” out in theaters (Friday); The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug“, “August: Osage County“, “Grudge Match” and “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a trailer that has made me want to see a movie LESS than Draft Day. But since Monday was the 25th anniversary of a REALLY good movie about a Cleveland sports franchise, let’s just remember that.

9. Avicii (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Aaron Lewis (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live); Phil Vassar (Friday 6:30pm Rams Head Center Stage); Carolina Chocolate Drops (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club); Ashley Monroe (Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere); Emmylou Harris (Friday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); Rick Ross (Friday 9pm Echostage); Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Saturday 8:30pm The Hamilton); Southern Soul Assembly feat. Marc Broussard/JJ Grey/Anders Osborne/Luther Dickinson (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre)

You know what drives me nuts? I hate the idea of Avicii but I actually like some of his tunes.

I love Carolina Chocolate Drops. I also love Charm City Devils. I feel like if someone started a band called Cool Colorado Demons, I’d probably like them too. It’s a CCD thing.

I could use much more Dirty Dozen Brass Band in my life.

Marc Broussard is a totally unfair type of talented.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Loyola remains #1, Towson enters both new major lacrosse polls

Posted on 07 April 2014 by WNST Staff

The #1 ranked Loyola Greyhounds survived a major Patriot League scare Saturday, topping Navy 7-6 in 2OT and holding on to their spot atop the rankings. Elsewhere in local lacrosse action this weekend, Johns Hopkins shook off a three game losing streak by beating Albany 13-8 Friday night at Homewood Field and Towson scored their biggest win of the season by going on the road and outlasting previous #11 UMass 6-5.

Maryland was idle this weekend after throttling Robert Morris 19-6 Wednesday night. This has set the stage for a major top ten showdown between the Terps and Blue Jays this coming Saturday afternoon.

Here is a look at both of the new weekly lacrosse polls (courtesy of NCAA.com). We’ll start with the new Inside Lacrosse media poll.

RANK SCHOOL RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Loyola (Md.) (16) 10-1 432 1
2 Duke (2) 10-2 414 3
3 Maryland (4) 9-1 401 4
4 North Carolina 9-2 375 5
5 Denver 9-2 347 6
6 Cornell 9-1 337 2
7 Syracuse 6-3 308 7
8 Johns Hopkins 6-3 273 10
9 Notre Dame 4-4 252 8
10 Virginia 8-4 244 9
11 Penn 5-3 215 13
12 Fairfield 9-2 195 15
13 Yale 6-3 184 14
14 Hofstra 7-3 131 T16
15 Bryant 9-3 111 11
16 Massachusetts 7-3 97 12
17 Princeton 5-4 69 19
18 Army 7-3 54 20
T19 Towson 8-3 42 NR
T19 Lehigh 9-3 42 NR

And now the new weekly USILA coaches’ poll.

RANK SCHOOL RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Loyola (Md.) (12) 10-1 278 1
2 Duke (1) 10-2 258 3
3 Maryland (1) 9-1 250 4
4 North Carolina 9-2 243 5
5 Denver 9-2 223 6
6 Cornell 9-1 209 2
7 Syracuse 6-3 184 T8
8 Virginia 8-4 168 T8
9 Johns Hopkins 6-3 166 10
10 Notre Dame 4-4 163 7
T11 Fairfield 9-2 119 13
T11 Penn 5-3 119 15
13 Yale 6-3 112 14
14 Massachusetts 7-3 73 11
15 Princeton 5-4 72 17
16 Hofstra 7-3 48 20
T17 Harvard 6-4 46 NR
T17 Bryant 9-3 46 12
19 Towson 8-3 42 NR
20 Lehigh 9-3 32 NR

 

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Schultz scores 2OT winner as Loyola survives Navy upset bid

Posted on 05 April 2014 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Brian Sherlock picked up the ground ball off the second overtime’s opening faceoff, raced into the box and fedJustin Ward on the low left side, and Ward found Brian Schultz across the crease to score the game-winner for top-ranked Loyola University Maryland in a 7-6 win over the U.S. Naval Academy on Saturday afternoon in Patriot League action.

Ward’s assist on the goal 12 seconds into the second overtime was his third of the game, capping a day in which he led all players with four points. Sherlock had a Loyola-high two goals.

A late third-quarter goal by Ward gave the Greyhounds (10-1 overall, 6-0 Patriot League) their first advantage of the game. He came around a Pat Laconi screen and launched an 11-yard shot that pushed Loyola in front, 6-5, with 2:53 to go in the quarter.

Navy (4-6, 3-4), however, scored the fourth quarter’s lone goal, a Gabe Voumard bouncer with 9:32 on the clock. The Midshipmen also went man-up after Voumard was hit late and Loyola was assessed a one-minute penalty.

The Greyhounds, however, killed the penalty – Navy did not score on three extra-man possession in the game – and got the ball back after a Midshipmen penalty.

Navy blocked a Nikko Pontrello shot on the ensuing possession, but Pontrello caused a penalty on the Midshipmen clear to get possession back for the Greyhounds. Against a Navy zone, Loyola took seven shots, but none found the net.

John Conners made three of his 14 saves in the series, one hit a post and three others went wide of the cage.

Conners saved a Zack Sirico attempt with less than two minutes to go, giving Navy possession and an attempt for a final shot. Following a Midshipmen timeout, however, Navy gave the ball back to the Greyhounds after a 30-second violation. Loyola did not get a shot off, and the game headed to overtime.

Navy won the faceoff to start extra time and settled into its offensive end. A T.J. Hanzsche shot went high 1:11 into the period, but the Midshipmen backed up the shot to retain possession.

Off the restart, Navy worked the ball to Sam Jones on the mid-right side, and he found a cutting Tucker Hull on the doorstep with a pass. Hull whipped a behind-the-head shot that hit the elbow of Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel before hitting hard off the far post and away from harm.

Loyola cleared the ball after Joe Fletcher picked up one of his seven ground balls, but Conners was there again to save a Pontrello shot. Navy cleared, and Patrick Kenna had a shot go wide, giving possession back to Loyola, but a turnover late thwarted a Greyhounds’ scoring chance.

To start the second overtime, Graham Savio flipped the ball toward Sherlock who collected it and beat everyone form midfield into the box before finding Ward.

Loyola led for just eight-minutes, 23 seconds of regulation, and Navy led 3-1 after the first quarter on goals by Hull, Voumard and Jones. Sherlock scored one of his two on a 13-yard sidearm rip off a Ward assist 1:33 into the first, but it was the Greyhounds’ only goal of the stanza.

Tyler Albrecht got Loyola within a goal at 11:33 in the second, scoring off a left-alley dodge, but Pat Durkin tallied a Navy goal less than a minute later.

Loyola made it 4-3, a score the teams would take to the locker room, when Ryan Fournier caused a turnover on the defensive end and then scored from Pat Laconi’s assist on the offensive side at 6:50.

Hull tallied the second half’s first goal, running from behind the cage to score low with 11:32 on the third-quarter clock, but Romar Dennis dodged past a player and fed Sherlock for a bounce-shot goal at 8:43, pulling Loyola back within one.

The Greyhounds then tied the game for the first time since early in the first quarter when Kevin Ryan scored an extra-man goal off a Ward pass with 4:02 on the clock. Ward would then give Loyola the lead 1:09 later.

Despite Navy winning 10-of-17 faceoffs, Loyola had a 29-24 advantage in ground balls, and the Greyhounds committed three fewer turnovers, 14-11. Runkel posted eight saves in goal for the Greyhounds.

Laconi caused three turnovers, and Fletcher had seven ground balls and a caused turnover. He also held Hanzsche without a point for the first time in 15 games. It is the second week in a row Flethcer had primary marking responsibilities on a player who had a long point streak snapped. Colgate’s Ryan Walsh had scored in 42-straight prior to last weekend.

The Greyhounds return to Ridley Athletic Complex for the first time in three weeks for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday, April 12, against Boston University.

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#1 Loyola faces Navy for first time as conference foe Saturday

Posted on 04 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Navy Midshipmen

Saturday, April 5, 2014  |  12:00 p.m.

Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland plays the second of two-straight Patriot League road games on Saturday, April 5, when it travels to nearby Annapolis, Md., for a 12 noon game versus the U.S. Naval Academy.

The Greyhounds’ current nine-game winning streak is tied for the nation’s longest with Cornell. The Big Red are 9-0 this season.

Two Loyola players – Joe Fletcher and Jack Runkel – won Patriot League weekly honors on Monday, bringing the Greyhounds’ total to 16 out of a possible 28 awards this year.

On Monday, Runkel became the first player to win five Goalkeeper of the Week awards in a single year, and Fletcher is the first to earn four or more Defensive Player of the Week laurels.

Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello combined for nine points and were on the scoring or assisting end of 7-of-10 Loyola goals Saturday at Colgate.

Pontrello continues to lead the nation in total goals scored with 37 this season. Ward is second in total assists with 33. Pontrello is second in goals per game (3.7), and Ward is third in assists per game (3.3).

 

Last Time Out

Jeff Chase tied Saturday’s game at then-No. 17 Colgate University with 12-yard shot 5:31 into the third quarter, starting a 4-0 Loyola run that led to a 10-8 Patriot League victory over the Raiders.

After Chase’s goal, Justin Ward scored back-to-back goals, and Nikko Pontrello added one of his three to put Loyola in front, 8-5, with 2:31 left in the period.

Colgate got two goals, however, before the end of the frame to trail by just one entering regulation’s final 15 minutes.

Graham Savio won the fourth quarter’s opening faceoff and ran into the box only to see his shot clang off the crossbar. Ryan Fournier secured a high ground ball and fed Pontrello on the crease, however, for a goal 11 seconds into the quarter.

Matt Clarkson responded with a goal at 13:33 for Colgate, but Ward fed Matt Sawyer for a 13-yard shot with 4:05 left on the clock to put Loyola up two.

The Raiders got off four shots on the following possession, but none were from inside 12 yards, and Jack Runkel made a save on the only one on goal.

Runkel finished with 12 saves, while Pat Laconi caused three turnovers.

Follow The Action

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

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

 

In The Polls

With Saturday’s win at then-No. 17 Colgate, Loyola remained in the No. 1 spot of both the USILA coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls.

The Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 at some point in each of the last three seasons, most recently in the first polls of the 2012 season.

 

Series History

Loyola and Navy will meet for just the ninth time in series history despite being located less than 26 miles from each other as the crow flies. The teams have met only two times during the regular-season since 1943. Navy leads the all-time series, 5-3, but Loyola has won each of the last three games.

The Greyhounds and Midshipmen played a two-game series to open the 2010 and 2011 seasons with Loyola coming away victorious in both. The Greyhounds had only the slightest margins in each game, winning 8-7 in 2010 and 9-8 a year later.

Navy led the February 19, 2011, meeting by five, 7-2, with 5:53 to play in the second quarter, but Loyola held the Midshipmen scoreless for more than 28 minutes to rally for the win. Patrick Fanshaw tied the game at 7-7 with three seconds left in the third quarter, and he then scored the game-winner with 1:08 left in regulation.

 

Get To Ten

Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 64 occasions. After defeating Colgate, 10-8, on Saturday, Loyola has won 81.3 percent of those games (52-12).

 

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 38-7 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 9-1 this season) for a .844 mark.

Only Duke has won more games (40) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by more than eight percent (40-12, .769).

 

Chart Toppers

A pair of Greyhounds attackers are at or near the top of two offensive categories through games of Monday, March 31, in both total goals and assists. Nikko Pontrello paces Division I with 37 goals, while Justin Ward is second with 33 assists.

The duo is the No. 2 point-scoring tandem in the country with 87 combined points (Ward, 44; Pontrello, 43). Albany’s Lyle (48) and Miles (44) have a combined 105.

 

Schedule Says

Loyola has jumped out to a 9-1 start this season and the nation’s number one ranking while playing one of the best schedules in Division I. Loyola’s first 10 opponents are 54-35 overall as of March 30, and their combined winning percentage of .607 is the fifth-best opponent winning percentage in the nation. Only the opponent winning percentages of Yale (.768), Syracuse (.734), Penn (.732) and Albany (.615) are better.

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello had his 10th multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Saturday when he scored three against Colgate. Through games of Monday, March 31, Pontrello leads the nation in total goals with 37.

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 and five versus Lafayette.

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 leads the Greyhounds with 37 goals and is second behind Justin Ward for the team-lead with 43 points through 10 games.

He leads the Patriot League and is second nationally in goals per game (3.70), while he is second and 11th in points per game (4.30).

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .643 mark, saving 99 out of 156 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, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.24 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .607 through nine games. He is fourth in the nation in both saves percentage and  goals against average.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.81 goals against average and .560 saves percentage; he is fifth in Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982) with 400 career saves. Runkel’s record between the pipes is 36-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 42 victories. Amato (as of Monday), however, Amato is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.

Runkel picked up his fourth-straight Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honor on March 17, becoming the first player in League history to win any of the weekly honors (Offensive, Defensive, Goalkeeper or Rookie) four-consecutive times. His honor on March 31 made him the first player in League history to earn five in a season.

 

Record-Setting Quarterback

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 27 assists in the last seven contests. He is second in the nation in total assists (33), and he is also third in the country and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.30 assists per game this year. His 33 assists are already fifth-most in school Division I single-season history, five shy of tying Sean Heffernan’s single-season record from 1994.

With four assists against Duke, 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. Following his three at Colgate, Ward now has 100 in his career. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also tied for ninth in school Division I history in total points with 150.

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.

 

Taking Care Of The Ball

Loyola continues to lead the nation in fewest turnovers per game, averaging 10.2 through 10 contests. The Greyhounds have committed 1.6 fewer turnovers per game than the second-place team in the nation, North Carolina.

 

Near The Top At Both Sides

The Greyhounds are also one of just two teams to be in the top five of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (14.11) rank fourth, and its goals allowed (7.33) are tied for fifth.

North Carolina is the other team in the top five for both, matching the Greyhounds in goals allowed while it is second in goals per game (14.78).

While it is tied for fifth nationally in scoring defense, Loyola is just fourth in the Patriot League in the category. Army (1st, 5.50), Lehigh (2nd, 6.67) and Colgate (4th, 7.11) all rank ahead of the Greyhounds nationally. In conference games, however, Loyola and Army are tied at 5.25 per contest.

 

Man-Up Success

Loyola has converted on just under half of its man-up possessions this year, scoring 14 goals on 30 opportunities. Its .467 success rate is good for 12th in NCAA Division I through games of Monday, March 31.

Nikko Pontrello leads the way with five man-up goals, while Kevin Ryan has three and Matt Sawyer and Brian Schultz each have two.

Eight of Loyola’s extra-man goals have been assisted by Justin Ward.

 

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.

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.

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.

Fletcher has been named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week four times this year, the most any player in conference history has earned the award. He is second on the Greyhounds with 44 ground balls and caused turnovers (14). His 59 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

Short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on March 3 after matching his career-high with two goals at Lehigh.

The senior, who is a team co-captain and Preseason All-American, had a goal an assist versus Army and a goal at Georgetown, bringing his season totals to six goals an one assist. He now has 11 goals and 10 assists in his four-year career.

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. His team-leading 17 caused turnovers this season have brought his career total to 59, fourth most in school history.

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all 10 of its games this season, and it has had five stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 17 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

 

 

Five-Plus For Two

Matt Sawyer scored six goals, and Nikko Pontrello tallied five for the Greyhounds on March 9 against Duke, marking the first time in over a decade that two Loyola players have scored five or more in the same game.

The last pair to do so was Gavin Prout (six) and Tim Goettelmann (five) in a 14-9 win on March 25, 2000, at 14th-ranked Brown University.

 

Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has parlayed his opportunity into a solid start to the season. Through 10 games, Schultz has scored 18 goals, second most on the team, and assisted on nine, second behind team-leader Justin Ward.

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.

 

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

Two of Loyola’s senior co-captains were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List when it was released in February. Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward were among the 50 players nationally to receive recognition.

They 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.

In addition to the senior duo that is on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, junior attacker Nikko Pontrello was also named to the group on March 20.

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