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

Posted on 20 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Captains Trio Earns USILA Scholar All-America Honors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Loyola defenseman Fletcher picks up Academic All-District honor

Posted on 15 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Fletcher Earns Capital One Academic All-District Honors

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland senior defender Joe Fletcher (Syracuse, N.Y./West Genesse H.S.) added another honor to his resume on Thursday when he was named to the Capital One Academic All-District II At-Large Team.

The 13 members of the All-District II team were voted on by members of CoSIDA, the College Sports Information Director of America, and were culled from nominees in the men’s sports of fencing, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball, water polo and wrestling. District II is comprised of NCAA Division I schools in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The top defender in the nation this year, Fletcher has excelled on the field and in the classroom. He entered his senior year with a 3.81 grade point average and will graduate on Saturday with a bachelor of business administration in accounting. He will start a full-time job this summer with Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Last week, Fletcher was named one of five finalists for the prestigious Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top lacrosse player. In the process, he became just the second close defender to be tabbed a finalist in the honor’s 14-year history.

Fletcher is a member of the 30-man United States Men’s Lacrosse National Team from which the roster for the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships will be chosen. He was the only collegiate player on that list, and he was the lone current collegian in the 52-man training pool.

This season, he was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year, to the All-Patriot League First Team, the Patriot League All-Tournament Team and as a finalist for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award. Before the season started, he was the No. 3 overall pick of the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Entry Draft, and he will soon begin play for the New York Lizards.

Fletcher leads all close defensemen nationally in ground balls (80) and ground balls per game (4.71) while causing 31 turnovers. During the year, he was a five-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week, something that had never been done by a player in conference history.

Last month, Fletcher received Loyola’s John R. Mohler Award as the athletic department’s top male senior student-athlete. He is also a member of Loyola’s Green & Grey Society, a group of 14 student leaders who meet regularly and serve as liaisons to the University’s president, administration and board of trustees. Fletcher served as the co-president of Loyola’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, as well, in 2013-2014.

Over the course of his career, Fletcher collected 191 ground balls and caused 76 turnovers. He is a two-time USILA All-American (first team in 2013, honorable mention in 2012), the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year and three-time all-conference honoree.

Fletcher will now be on the ballot for Capital One Academic All-America honors.

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Loyola can’t handle Thompsons, Albany in season closing defeat

Posted on 11 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Great Danes Deal Men’s Lacrosse 13-6 Defeat In NCAA First Round

BALTIMORE – The University at Albany jumped out to a 5-1 lead midway through the second quarter, and top-ranked and third-seeded Loyola University Maryland could not climb back to closer than two, and the Great Danes snapped the Greyhounds’ 15-game winning streak with a 13-6 victory to advance to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals on Saturday.

Albany’s Lyle Thompson became the NCAA’s all-time leader in single-season points, passing UMBC’s Steve Marohl with a goal 13:55 into the game. He finished with three goals and five assists, while his brother, Miles, tallied five goals and two assists.

After Lyle Thompson scored on the game’s first possession, Loyola had a good look at the cage, but Justin Ward hit the post at 10:55. The Great Danes came up with the ground ball, and the teams traded turnovers before Miles Thompson score dhis 75th goal of the year at 8:31.

Less than a minute after that, Loyola’s Romar Dennis hit the crossbar twice with hard shots, but Pat Laconi broke through with a transition goal for the Greyhounds at 2:49.

Loyola (15-2 overall) got the ball back on the restart, but the Greyhounds committed one of their 16 turnovers and Jon Newhouse tallied a transition goal for the Great Danes (12-5) to make it 3-1.

Miles Thompson scored twice more off Lyle Thompson assists at 12:14 and 6:51 in the second quarter before Dennis dodges at the top left, switch hands and stuck a high shot for a goal at 6:25.

The Greyhounds got the ensuing faceoff, and Nikko Pontrello took the ball behind, rolled the crease and scored low to pull Loyola within a pair, 5-3, 13 ticks after Dennis’ goal.

That was, however, as close as Loyola would get for the remainder of the game as Miles Thompson scored at 2:30, and Lyle Thompson added one with just over seven seconds left in the first half to put Albany up 7-3 at the break.

The Great Danes scored the first two goals of the second half to lead 9-3 before Laconi scored his second of the game, matching his career-high.

Ward tallied the first of his two goals with barely two seconds left in the third quarter, cutting the Albany lead to four entering the final period.

Three-straight goal from the Great Danes, however, sealed their first-round win. They had two 3-0 runs and a 4-0 stretch in the game marking the first time since February that a team has posted three-straight or better on the Greyhounds more than once in a game.

Loyola won the ground-ball battle, 39-35, on the strength of Graham Savio’s 15 faceoff wins and eight ground balls, but its 16 turnovers led to eight of Albany’s 13 goals.

The Great Danes will meet the winner of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard University in next Saturday’s quarterfinals.

Loyola’s season finished with a 15-2 record. The Greyhounds had won 15-straight games since falling in overtime on February 6 to the University of Virginia in the season-opener.

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Loyola opens NCAA Tournament Saturday against Albany

Posted on 10 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Albany Great Danes

Saturday, May 10, 2014  |  12:00 p.m.

Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex | ESPNU


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland will host its sixth-straight home game on Saturday, May 10, when the University at Albany visits Ridley Athletic Complex for a 12 p.m. game in the NCAA First Round.

The Greyhounds are making their first appearance in as many years in the NCAA Championships.

Saturday’s game will mark Loyola’s 22nd appearance in the NCAA Championships, 20th at the NCAA Division I level (since 1982).

The game will be the second NCAA men’s lacrosse contest to be played at RIdley Athletic Complex in the facility’s five-year history.

Joe Fletcher leads all close defenders nationally in ground balls (76) and ground balls per game (4.75).

Pat Laconi is tops among NCAA Division I non-pole players in caused turnovers (32) and caused turnovers per game (2.0).

Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello entered the week ranked second and fourth in assists and goals per game, respectively, in the NCAA at 3.31 and 3.13.

Jack Runkel is second in goals against avg. (6.91), third in saves percentage (.620).


Last Time Out

Johns Hopkins scored three times in the first four minutes, two seconds of last Saturday’s game, but Loyola outscored the Blue Jays, 13-5, over the course of the next 45-plus minutes.

Back-to-back Brian Schultz goals early in the fourth quarter put Loyola in front by five, and the Greyhounds ended up with a 13-10 victory in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Rob Guida bookended a Brandon Benn transition goal with two in the first five minuted, but Brian Sherlock put the Greyhounds on the board at 10:34, and Matt Sawyer scored on extra-man 21 ticks of the clock later.

Jeff Chase scored the first of his two second-quarter goals to put Loyola in front for the first time at 8:49, and after two ties thereafter, Brian Sherlock scored his second of the day to put the Greyhounds on top for good.

Graham Savio won 17-of-26 faceoffs, picked up a career-best 12 ground balls and scored his first career goal, four seconds after Sherlock’s second.

Nikko Pontrello and Sherlock each scored three, and Justin Ward had four assists.

Pat Laconi caused four turnovers.

 

Turn On The Television

The Greyhounds will make their seventh appearance of the season on national television when they take the field on Saturday. It will be the first on the ESPN family of networks.

Joe Beninati will call the play-by-play, while Paul Carcaterra handles analysis duties.

 

In The Polls

After its win over Johns Hopkins, Loyola remained in the No. 1 spot of both the USILA coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls for the seventh week in a row.

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

 

NCAA Championships History

Loyola is making its 22nd all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 20th in Division I history (since 1982). The Greyhounds are 12-20 all-time in the tournament, 12-18 at the Division I level.

Last year, the Greyhounds played in the NCAA First Round at No. 8 seed Duke University in a game that was touted by many to be the best in collegiate lacrosse of 2013. The Blue Devils rallied to send the game to overtime, and Case Mathias scored the game-winner in the second extra frame for a 12-11 Duke win that helped send the Blue Devils on to the national title.

The Greyhounds won the first NCAA Division I Championship, in any sport, in 2012, when they defeated Maryland, 9-3, on Memorial Day. The win completed an 18-1 season for the Greyhounds in which they tied the NCAA Division I record for wins in a season, matching the 18-2 Duke team from 2008. Loyola entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and defeated Canisius, Denver and Notre Dame en route to the title game.

 

Series History

The Greyhounds and Great Danes will meet for the second time when they step onto the field Saturday, both coming in NCAA First Round action. Albany hosted Loyola on May 13, 2007, and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals with a 19-10 win.

Dan Kallaugher won 27-of-33 faceoffs for Loyola and picked up 19 ground balls. His 27 wins are tied for seventh-most in NCAA single-game history and second-most in an NCAA Tournament game.

Andrew Spack, Paul Richards and Shane Koppens all scored twice in the game for Loyola, but Merrick Thomson tallied five for the Great Danes.

 

Streaking On Campus

Loyola’s 15-game winning streak – the Greyhounds have not lost since falling in overtime on February 6 in the season-opener at the University of Virginia – is the longest in school history.

Previously, Greyhounds teams in 2012 and 1998 held the longest winning streak in program history with 12-straight wins. Loyola’s 15-1 start is also tied for the best in school history through 16 games, matching that of the 2012 squad.

 

Alum Coaches

Led by Loyola’s staff with Head Coach Charley Toomey ’91, Assistant Coach Matt Dwan ’95 and Director of Operations P.T. Ricci ’09, there are eight Loyola alums on coaching staffs of teams in the NCAA Division I Championships.

The list includes: Richmond assistants Steve Layne ’10 and Paul Richards ’07, Air Force’s Bill Wilson ’94, Notre Dame volunteer assistant Kevin Anderson ’93 and Virginia volunteer assistant Tim McDermott MBA ’07.

 

All-League Awards

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

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

 

Tournament Honors

Jack Runkel was then named the Patriot League Championships Most Valuable Player, and he was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Joe Fletcher, Justin Ward and Brian Schultz.

Runkel made 15 saves in the title game against Lehigh after posting 12 in the semifinal versus Colgate. Fletcher finished with 11 ground balls and eight caused turnovers, five of the latter tying her career-high in the Colgate game. Ward distributed seven assists and scored three goals, and Schultz tallied six goals and assisted on three.

 

Get To Ten

Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 69 occasions. After defeating Johns Hopkins, 13-10, on Saturday, Loyola has won 82.6 percent of those games (57-12).

 

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 44-7 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 15-1 this season) for a .863 mark. Loyola’s winning percentage of .933 this season is the best nationally.

Duke and Loyola have both won 44 games during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by nearly nine percent (44-13, .772).

 

Chart Toppers

A pair of Greyhounds attackers are near the top of two offensive categories through the end of the regular-season in both total goals and assists. Nikko Pontrello is third in Division I with 50 goals, while Justin Ward is second with 53 assists.

The duo is the No. 2 point-scoring tandem in the country with 131 combined points (Ward, 69; Pontrello, 62). Albany’s Lyle (114) and Miles (108) have a combined 222.

Goalkeeper Jack Runkel is also near the top of statistical rankings for his position. He is second in goals against average (6.91) and saves percentage (.620).

 

Tops Among Close Defenders

Joe Fletcher not only leads Loyola in ground balls, total (76) and per game (4.75), 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 tops all non-pole defenders nationally in caused turnovers and caused turnovers per game. With four against Johns Hopkins, he has caused 32 this season while averaging 2.0 per game. He enters the Albany game eighth in the nation, and the seven players ahead of him in the rankings are all long-stick midfielders or close defenders.

 

Record-Setting Quarterback

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 53 assists in 16 games. In the Patriot League Championship Game against Lehigh, Ward became the conference’s single-season assist leader, passing Bucknell University’s David Dickson who had 48 in 2013.

With his third and final assist on April 12 against Boston University, Ward passed Sean Heffernan for first-place in school single-season history at the Division I level.

He is second in the nation in total assists (53), and he is also second in the country, and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.31 assists per game this year. The 45 assists are tied for second in Patriot League history, three shy of matching Bucknell’s David Dickson’s record of 48 from a year ago.

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

Ward now has 120 career assists. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also sixth in school Division I history in total points with 170, five away from tying Gewas Schindler (1996-99) for fifth place. His 69 points this season are tied for third in school single-season history, two away from matching Eric Lusby’s 2012 school-record total.

Of his 53 assists this year, 31 have gone to his fellow attack players. More than half of Brian Schultz’s 36 goals (19-of-36) have come off Ward assists, continuing a trend from when the pair were club teammates with the Maryland Roughriders. Nikko Pontrello has tallied 12 of his team-high 50 from Ward helpers, and Ward has also assisted on 11 of the Greyhounds’ 23 extra-man goals this year.

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

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

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

As of the end of the regular-season, Pontrello is third nationally with 50 goals after recording three each in the Patriot League Championship Game against Lehigh and against Johns Hopkins.

Pontrello is the fourth player in school single-season history to score 50 or more goals in a year, joining Eric Lusby (54, 2012), Mike Sawyer (52, 2012) and Tim Goettelmann (50, 2000).

He scored two in the season-opener at Virginia and then had three each against Penn State and Towson before scoring a career-high six goals at Holy Cross. He then tallied four at Lehigh, five against Duke, three at Georgetown, five versus Lafayette and three against Colgate, Boston University, Bucknell and Lehigh in the Patriot League title game. He has now scored two or more in 14 of 16 games this year.

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

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .642 mark, saving 167 out of 260 shots on goal he’s faced. In a six-game stretch  against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel made 61 saves and allowed just 26 goals (.701).

The senior goalkeeper earned a record five Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors this year and was named the conference’s Goalkeeper of the Year. He has a goals against average of 6.91 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .620 through 16 games. He is second in the nation in goals against average and third in saves percentage.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.63 goals against average and .573 saves percentage. Runkel’s record between the pipes is 42-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 46 victories. Amato, however, is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.

 

Fletch, White And Blue

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

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

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

In all, the players Fletcher has had primary marking responsibilities for have tallied 16 goals in 16 games this year (including three each by the University of Virginia’s Mark Cockerton and Penn State University’s Shane Sturgis in the season’s first two games). Six of those goals have come when Fletcher was already out of the game late in the fourth quarter.

Fletcher has been named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week five times this year, the most any player in conference history has earned the award. He is second on the team in ground balls (76) and caused turnovers (28). His 73 career caused turnovers are tied for third all-time with fellow captain Pat Laconi at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

Pat Laconi has continued to show his versatility as one of the top short-stick defensive midfielders in the nation while being a player with offensive acumen. The Preseason All-American had a goal in settled offense against Johns Hopkins to bring his season total to nine goals and three assists and his career numbers to 14 and 12.

Laconi caused a career-high five turnovers against Bucknell and four versus Johns Hopkins. His team-leading 32 caused turnovers are tops on the team this season have brought his career total to 69, tied for third-most in school history.

 

Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has scored 36 goals, second-most on the team through 16 games, and his 14 assists are also second. He had the game-winning goal 12 seconds into the second overtime at Navy and less than two weeks later posted a career-best six goals in a win over Bucknell.

With a career-high six goals against Bucknell on April 17, four versus Colgate in the Patriot League Semifinal, a pair in the title game versus Lehigh and three versus Johns Hopkins, Schultz scored 15 goals, to go with four assists, in Loyola’s last four games.

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

 

Near The Top At Both Sides

The Greyhounds entered the final of the regular-season as the only team to be in the top five of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (13.31) rank fifth, and its goals allowed (7.13) are second. As a result, Loyola leads the nation in scoring margin (+6.19).

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all 16 of its games this season, and it has had six stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 31 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

 

On the flip side, Loyola’s opponents have made runs of 3-0 or better just seven times this year. Virginia and Penn State did it twice each in the first two games of the year, Army and Georgetown did it in back-to-back games in March and Johns Hopkins did it to open last Saturday’s game.

 

Quarter Or More Scoreless

Loyola has held opponents scoreless for 15 or more minutes on 18 occasions this season (chart on left). Six times, the Greyhounds have posted shutout streaks of better than 30 minutes of clock time.

The longest Loyola has held a team without a goal this season is 47 minutes, 13 seconds, in the February 22 game at Holy Cross.

The Greyhounds have played just two games this year – at Penn State and at Colgate – in which they have not held opponents scoreless for 15 or more minutes at a time.

Opponents have held Loyola without a goal for stretches of 15 or more minutes three (at Virginia, at Georgetown, at Navy). Only Virginia did so for more than 17 minutes. The Cavaliers went on an 8-0 run over 31:23, holding the Greyhounds scoreless in the second and third quarters before Loyola reeled off nine-straight in the fourth.

 

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

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

Fletcher and Ward are also two of 10 players nationally to be named finalists for the Senior CLASS Award that honors seniors who have performed at a high level athletically and in the classroom.

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Loyola defender Fletcher named Tewaaraton Award finalist

Posted on 08 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Fletcher Named Tewaaraton Finalist, Second Defender To Earn Honor

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse senior Joe Fletcher (Syracuse, N.Y./West Genesse H.S.) was named one of five finalists for the 2014 Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top lacrosse player, and in doing so, he became the second close defender in the awards history to be in the final five.

Fletcher joins the Princeton University’s Tom Schreiber, the University at Albany’s Lyle and Miles Thompson, and Duke University’s Jordan Wolf as those in contention for the award that will be presented on May 29, 2014, at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian in the Nation’s Capital.

He is the second close defender to be named a finalist in the 14-year history of the award, joining the University of Virginia’s Ken Clausen who was so honored in 2010. Fletcher is also the second Loyola player to be named a finalist, joining Mike Sawyer who was one of five in 2012.

Fletcher is a member of the 30-man United States Men’s Lacrosse National Team from which the roster for the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships will be chosen. He was the only collegiate player on that list, and he was the lone current collegian in the 52-man training pool.

This season, he has been named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year, to the All-Patriot League First Team, the Patriot League All-Tournament Team and as a finalist for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award.

Fletcher leads all close defensemen nationally in ground balls (76) and ground balls per game (4.25) while causing 28 turnovers. During the year, he was a five-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the week, and through 16 games, the players who he has had primary marking responsibilities for have combined for 16 goals.

A standout in the classroom, as well, he entered his senior season with a 3.812 grade point average and will graduate this month with a bachelor of business administration in accounting degree. Last month, Fletcher received Loyola’s John R. Mohler Award as the athletic department’s top male senior student-athelte.

He is also a member of Loyola’s Green & Grey Society, a group of 14 student leaders who meet regularly and serve as liaisons to the University’s president, administration and board of trustees. Fletcher served as the co-president of Loyola’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, as well, in 2013-2014.

Over the course of his career, Fletcher has collected 187 ground balls and caused 73 turnovers. He is a two-time USILA All-American (first team in 2013, honorable mention in 2012), the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year and three-time all-conference honoree.

Fletcher and the Greyhounds will open play in the NCAA Championships on Saturday, May 10, when they face two other Tewaaraton finalists, Lyle and Miles Thompson of Albany. The game will start at 12 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex and will air live on ESPNU. Tickets can be purchased at www.loyolagreyhounds.com/tickets.

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Loyola midfielder Laconi honored again by Patriot League

Posted on 05 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Laconi Earns Final Patriot League Defensive Weekly Honor

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Loyola University Maryland senior short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor on Monday, picking up his second award of the season in the year’s final week.

Laconi, who was named to the All-Patriot League First Team, had four caused turnovers and four ground balls on Saturday in the top-ranked Greyhounds’ 13-10 victory over then-No. 6 Johns Hopkins University.

He also scored a goal in settled offense, taking his defender behind the crease and rolling topside for his ninth score of the season.

Laconi finished the game one off his career-high for caused turnovers set on April 17 against Bucknell University. Through the end of the regular-season, Laconi leads all non-pole players nationally in caused turnovers (32) and caused turnovers per game (2.0).

The Greyhounds open play in the NCAA Championships on Saturday, May 10, when they will host the University of Albany in the first round. Game time is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex. Tickets are on-sale now atwww.loyolagreyhounds.com/tickets.

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Maryland gets top seed; Hopkins, Loyola, Towson women also prepare for Tournament

Posted on 05 May 2014 by WNST Staff

INDIANAPOLIS - Maryland captured the top overall seed in the 2014 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship, announced late Sunday night.

The Terps (19-1) won the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title for a sixth-straight season when they trumped No. 2 Syracuse 13-7 in the championship game.

Maryland will battle the winner of the Canisius/Penn first round game. That contest will be held Friday, May 9 at 4 p.m. at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex with the second round game Sunday at noon. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors.

Following second-round action, four quarterfinal games will be played Saturday, May 17 or Sunday, May 18 on the campuses of competing institutions. The winners of the four quarterfinal games will advance to the semifinals and final hosted by Towson May 23 and 25 at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The semifinal games will be shown live on ESPN3 at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 23. The championship game will air live on ESPNU at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, May 25.

The Terps lead the nation with 30 NCAA appearances and are also tops in wins (54), championship game appearances (17) and NCAA titles (10). Maryland is making its 25th consecutive appearance in the championship (1990-2014). Other teams with consecutive appearance streaks of seven or more years include Virginia (19, 1996-2014), Duke (17, 1998-2014), Northwestern (11, 2004-2014), North Carolina (10, 2005-2014) and Penn (8, 2007-2014).

Automatic Qualifiers
America East – Stony Brook
ALC – Florida
ACC- Maryland
Atlantic Sun – Jacksonville
A-10 – UMass
Big East – Louisville
Big South – High Point
CAA – Towson
Ivy League – Penn
MAAC – Canisius
MPSF – Denver
NEC – Bryant
Patriot League – Loyola (MD)

At-Large Bids
Boston College
Duke
Georgetown
Johns Hopkins
North Carolina
Northwestern
Notre Dame
Ohio State
Penn State
Princeton
Stanford
Syracuse
Virginia

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Loyola, Maryland, Hopkins headed to NCAA Tournament

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Loyola, Maryland, Hopkins headed to NCAA Tournament

Posted on 05 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Men’s Lacrosse To Host Albany Saturday As No. 3 Seed

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland will be the No. 3 seed for the 2014 NCAA Championships and host the University of Albany in a first round game on Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 12 noon at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Tickets for the game will be $12 for adults, $7 for youth 14 and under and $5 for groups of 20 or more. They will go on sale Monday morning at www.LoyolaGreyhounds.com/tickets and Ticketmaster.com.

The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

Loyola (15-1 overall) has been ranked first in the national coaches and media polls for the last six weeks, won the Patriot League Championship last weekend and a day ago closed the regular-season with a 13-10 victory over Johns Hopkins University in front of a sellout crowd at Ridley.

Albany enters the NCAA Championships as the America East Conference Champions after defeating UMBC, 20-11, yesterday. The Great Danes, who are ranked 18th in both polls, finished the America East with a 5-0 record and are 11-5 overall.

More information about the game will follow this week.

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Loyola tops Johns Hopkins to wrap regular season with 15 straight wins

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Loyola tops Johns Hopkins to wrap regular season with 15 straight wins

Posted on 03 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Possession Game Helps Men’s Lacrosse Down Johns Hopkins, 13-10

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse had a 19-ground ball advantage and won 17-of-26 faceoffs, and the top-ranked Greyhounds closed their regular-season with a 13-10 win over No. 6 Johns Hopkins University in front of a sell-out crowd of 6,000 at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Graham Savio matched his career-high with 17 faceoff wins, and he set a new best with 12 ground balls against a Blue Jays unit that was ranked eighth nationally with a 60.1 percent success rate this season on restarts.

Savio won two of the first three faceoffs in the game, but Johns Hopkins (10-4 overall) jumped out to a 3-0 lead 4:02 in as Rob Guida scored twice off the run and Brandon Benn added a transition goal.

Twenty-four seconds after Guida’s second goal made it 3-0, Brian Sherlock scored on a high bouncer from 10-plus yards, and he drew a flag for a Blue Jays late hit, giving Loyola (15-1) another possession, this one a man up.

Early in the one-minute man-advantage, Justin Ward reversed the ball to Matt Sawyer, and Saywer scored from the top left for the game’s fifth goal in 4:47 of play.

Guida responded for the Blue Jays, this time rolling the crease for his third goal of the game at 8:19, a score that would be the last of the first quarter for either team. The hat trick was the second of the senior’s career, both coming against the Greyhounds after he accomplished the feat in 2012.

Nikko Pontrello broke a stretch of more than nine minutes without a goal by either team when he stepped back off a check after getting topside on the left to score at 13:34 in the second quarter. Pat Laconi then tied the game for Loyola at 10:49, taking a short-stick defender behind the crease and rolling to the goal for this ninth of the year.

Jeff Chase put the Greyhounds in front for the first time with a right-to-left sweep at 8:49, but Connor Reed got one back for the Blue Jays at 6:57, knotting the score at 6-6. It was Chase again on the run at 6:26, as he got to the middle and scored his second on a high-to-low shot.

Benn scored his second at 4:40 off a Reed assist to tie the game for the third time, but Loyola used a fortuitous roll to take the lead back at 3:47.

Sherlock took a Ward pass and shot from the right side, but Johns Hopkins goalkeeper Eric Schneider got a stick on it only to see it sneak past him. The ball took one bounce over the goal line before back-spinning out like a golf shot, but it put Loyola in front for what would be the rest of the game.

Just four seconds of game clock later, Savio won a faceoff cleanly, drove into the middle of the box and scored the first goal of his collegiate career to push Loyola up two, 8-6. The goals by Sherlock and Savio tied an NCAA Division I record for fastest goals by players on the same team, matching the four-second differential that Virginia Military Institute’s Russell East and Stephen Robarge produced in a March 31, 2012, game against Marist College.

Loyola took the 8-6 advantage into the locker room at halftime, and it extended that lead in the first four minutes of the third quarter.

Ward shot a pass through traffic to Brian Schultz on the low right side, and Schultz beat Schneider five-hole for his first of the game at13:21. More than two minutes later, on an extra-man opportunity, Sawyer used an extra pass to find Pontrello on the low left side, and Pontrello buried his second of the afternoon to give Loyola a four-goal cushion, 10-6.

The Blue Jays, however, quickly tighetened up the score, as Ryan Brown scored two-straight. The first came on extra-man off a Guida assist, and his second from Wells Stanwick at 9:35 made it 10-8 Greyhounds.

Loyola controlled possession over the next five minutes, but the Greyhounds couldn’t get another goal until Pontrello registered his third with a spin and nearly no look shot from the right side at 4:55.

Schultz then tallied back-to-back goals at 11:39 and 10:19 in the fourth quarter, and Loyola led 13-8. Brown scored another extra-man goal at 7:04, and Holden Cattoni notched an unassisted goal at 2:30, but the Blue Jays could not draw closer than three.

Pontrello, Schultz, Guida and Brown each finished with three goals for their respective teams, and Sherlock and Chase each scored twice for Loyola. Ward recorded a game-high four assists, and he moved into second-place in school single-season points at the Division I level with 69. He is now two behind his former teammate Eric Lusby who had 71 points in 2012.

With three goals, Pontrello became he fourth player in school Division I history to score 50 goals in a season, joining Lusby (54, 2012), Mike Sawyer (52, 2012) and Tim Goettelmann (50, 2000).

In addition to Savio’s 12, Ward had five ground balls, and Laconi, Pontrello, Sherlock, Joe Fletcher, Pat Frazier, and Jason Crane each had four. Laconi also finished with four caused turnovers, one off his career-high.

The Greyhounds did, however, commit a season-high 21 turnovers.

The Greyhounds will find out their NCAA Championships opponent, date and location tomorrow night during the Selection Show at 9 p.m.on ESPNU.

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Loyola finishes regular season Saturday against Johns Hopkins

Posted on 02 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Johns Hopkins Blue Jays

Saturday, May 3, 2014  |  12:00 p.m.

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


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland will host its fifth-straight home game of the year on Saturday, May 3, when Johns Hopkins University makes the short trip to Ridley for a 12 noon faceoff.

The Greyhounds have already secured a spot in the 2014 NCAA Championships after winning last weekend’s Patriot League Championships. Loyola will be making its third appearance in as many years in the tournament.

The Greyhounds continue to lead the nation in fewest turnovers per game, averaging just 11.07 a contest through 15. They average nearly a half-turnover less per game than the second-place team, Denver (11.50).

Joe Fletcher leads all close defenders nationally in ground balls (72) and ground balls per game (4.8).

Pat Laconi is tops among NCAA Division I non-pole players in caused turnovers (27) and caused turnovers per game (1.87).

Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello entered the week ranked second and third in assists and goals per game, respectively, in the NCAA at 3.27 and 3.13.

Jack Runkel is second in saves percentage (.631) and goals against avg. (6.69).

 

Last Time Out

Loyola won its first-ever Patriot League Championship last Sunday when it defeated Lehigh University, 16-7, to earn the conference’s automatic bid to the league in the Greyhounds first year as a member.

The Mountain Hawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the game’s first 71 seconds, but Loyola held them scoreless until there were less than three minutes to play in the second quarter, going on a 6-0 run.

Matt Sawyer scored two of his game-high four goals during that run, and Nikko Pontrello added two of his three, as well. Pontrello added two assists for five points.

Lehigh got back within three early in the third quarter, but a 4-0 Loyola run put the Greyhounds up seven.

Justin Ward tallied a goal and four assists, while Brian Schultz added two goals and two assists, Brian Sherlock had two goals and an assist, and Kevin Ryan scored twice.

Jack Runkel was named the Championships’ Most Valuable Player after making 27 saves, 15 in the title game.

Joe Fletcher, Ward and Schultz joined Runkel on the All-Tournament team.

 

Turn On The Television

The Greyhounds will make their sixth appearance of the season on CBS Sports Network for the Johns Hopkins’ game. Dave Ryan will call the play-by-play, and Evan Washburn will handle the analysis of the action.

The  entire Patriot League Championships, as well as Loyola’s games versus Duke University, at Georgetown University and against Bucknell University were also on the network.

 

In The Polls

After winning the Patriot League Championship, Loyola remained in the No. 1 spot of both the USILA coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls for the sixth week in a row.

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

 

Series History

The Greyhounds and Blue Jays will be meeting for the 52nd time in series history on Saturday when they take the field. Johns Hopkins holds a 47-4 advantage, but Loyola snapped a 13-game Blue Jays’ winning streak in the series with an 8-4 win last year at Homewood Field on April 27, 2013.

Johns Hopkins is Loyola’s second most-played opponent behind only Towson (55).

In last year’s game, the teams traded goals in the first minute of the second half with Sean O’Sullivan scoring for the Greyhounds and Mike Poppleton responding for the Blue Jays to make it 5-4 Loyola with 14:19 left in the third quarter. Poppleton’s goal, however, was the last Johns Hopkins would score in the game.

Jack Runkel made six of his 10 saves in the last 29:19 of the second half, and Mike Sawyer, Davis Butts and Kevin Ryan scored during that stretch for Loyola to provide the final margin.

Prior to last year’s game, the last seven games had been won by Johns Hopkins by a combined 13 goals, four of them by just one.

 

Streaking On Campus

Loyola’s 14-game winning streak – the Greyhounds have not lost since falling in overtime on February 6 in the season-opener at the University of Virginia – is the longest in school history.

Previously, Greyhounds teams in 2012 and 1998 held the longest winning streak in program history with 12-straight wins. The 2012 streak was snapped on April 28 when Johns Hopkins edged Loyola, 10-9 in overtime, handing the Greyhounds their only loss that year.

Loyola’s 14-1 start is also tied for the best in school history through 15 games, matching that of the 2012 squad.

 

All-League Awards

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

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

 

Tournament Honors

Jack Runkel was then named the Patriot League Championships Most Valuable Player, and he was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Joe Fletcher, Justin Ward and Brian Schultz.

Runkel made 15 saves in the title game against Lehigh after posting 12 in the semifinal versus Colgate. Fletcher finished with 11 ground balls and eight caused turnovers, five of the latter tying her career-high in the Colgate game. Ward distributed seven assists and scored three goals, and Schultz tallied six goals and assisted on three.

 

Get To Ten

Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 68 occasions. After defeating Lehigh, 16-7, on Sunday, Loyola has won 82.4 percent of those games (56-12).

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 43-7 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 13-1 this season) for a .857 mark. Loyola’s winning percentage of .933 this season is the best nationally.

Duke and Loyola have both won 43 games during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by nearly nine percent (43-13, .768).

 

Chart Toppers

A pair of Greyhounds attackers are near the top of two offensive categories through games of Sunday, April 27, in both total goals and assists. Nikko Pontrello is tied for second in Division I with 47 goals, while Justin Ward is second with 49 assists.

The duo is the No. 2 point-scoring tandem in the country with 124 combined points (Ward, 65; Pontrello, 59). Albany’s Lyle (98) and Miles (90) have a combined 188.

Goalkeeper Jack Runkel is also near the top of statistical rankings for his position. He is second in goals against average (6.69) and saves percentage (.631).

 

Tops Among Close Defenders

Joe Fletcher not only leads Loyola in ground balls, total (72) and per game (4.80), this season, but more impressive than that, he paces all close defenders nationally in the categories. Fletcher is 47th overall in ground balls per game, while the 46 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 tops all non-pole defenders nationally in caused turnovers and caused turnovers per game. With a career-high five against Bucknell, he has caused 28 this season while averaging 1.87 per game. He enters the Johns Hopkins game ninth in the nation, and the eight 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 49 assists in 15 games. In the Patriot League Championship Game against Lehigh, Ward became the conference’s single-season assist leader, passing Bucknell University’s David Dickson who had 48 in 2013.

With his third and final assist on April 12 against Boston University, Ward passed Sean Heffernan for first-place in school single-season history at the Division I level.

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

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

Ward now has 116 career assists. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also sixth in school Division I history in total points with 166, nine away from tying Gewas Schindler (1996-99) for fifth place. His 65 points this season are tied for third in school single-season history, six away from matching Eric Lusby’s 2012 school-record total.

Of his 49 assists this year, 29 have gone to his fellow attack players. More than half of Brian Schultz’s 33 goals (17-of-33) have come off Ward assists, continuing a trend from when the pair were club teammates with the Maryland Roughriders. Nikko Pontrello has tallied 12 of his team-high 47 from Ward helpers, and Ward has also assisted on 10 of the Greyhounds’ 21 extra-man goals this year.

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

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

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

Through games of Wednesday, April 30, Pontrello is tied for second nationally with 47 goals after recording three in the Patriot League Championship Game against Lehigh.

He scored two in the season-opener at Virginia and then had three each against Penn State and Towson before scoring a career-high six goals at Holy Cross. He then tallied four at Lehigh, five against Duke, three at Georgetown, five versus Lafayette and three against Colgate, Boston University, Bucknell and Lehigh in the Patriot League title game. He has now scored two or more in 13 of 15 games this year.

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

Pontrello’s 47 goals this season rank fourth in school single-season history, three shy of tying Tim Goettelmann’s 200 total for third. His 59 points are tied for Mike Ruland (1988) for ninth.

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .656 mark, saving 158 out of 241 shots on goal he’s faced. In a six-game stretch  against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel made 61 saves and allowed just 26 goals (.701).

The senior goalkeeper earned a record five Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors this year and was named the conference’s Goalkeeper of the Year. He has a goals against average of 6.69 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .631 through 15 games. He is second in the nation in both saves percentage goals against average.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.58 goals against average and .573 saves percentage. Runkel’s record between the pipes is 41-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 45 victories. Amato, however, is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.

 

Fletch, White And Blue

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

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

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

In all, the players Fletcher has had primary marking responsibilities for have tallied 16 goals in 15 games this year (including three each by the University of Virginia’s Mark Cockerton and Penn State University’s Shane Sturgis in the season’s first two games). Six of those goals have come when Fletcher was already out of the game late in the fourth quarter.

Fletcher has been named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week five times this year, the most any player in conference history has earned the award. He leads the Greyhounds with 72 ground balls and is second in caused turnovers (27). His 72 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

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

Laconi posted four ground balls, matching his career-high, and three caused turnovers at Colgate, the final of each coming with less than 25 seconds remaining to help seal the win. He caused another three turnovers a week later at Navy and then had a career-high five against Bucknell. His team-leading 28 caused turnovers are tops a this season have brought his career total to 69, fourth-most in school history.

 

Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has scored 33 goals, second-most on the team through 15 games, and his 14 assists are also second. He had the game-winning goal 12 seconds into the second overtime at Navy and less than two weeks later posted a career-best six goals in a win over Bucknell.

With a career-high six goals against Bucknell on April 17, four versus Colgate in the Patriot League Semifinal and a pair in the title game, Schultz has scored 12 goals, to go with four assists, in Loyola’s last three games.

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

 

Near The Top At Both Sides

The Greyhounds entered the final of the regular-season as the only team to be in the top six of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (13.33) rank sixth, and its goals allowed (6.93) are second. As a result, Loyola leads the nation in scoring margin (+6.40).

 

Taking Care Of The Ball

Loyola enters the Johns Hopkins game leading the nation in fewest turnovers per game. The Greyhounds have committed 117 miscues in 15 games, an average of 11.07 per contest.

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all 15 of its games this season, and it has had six stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 28 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

 

On the flip side, Loyola’s opponents have made runs of 3-0 or better just six times this year. Virginia and Penn State did it twice each in the first two games of the year, and Army and Georgetown did it in back-to-back games in March.

 

Quarter Or More Scoreless

Loyola has held opponents scoreless for 15 or more minutes on 16 occasions this season (chart on left). Six times, the Greyhounds have posted shutout streaks of better than 30 minutes of clock time.

The longest Loyola has held a team without a goal this season is 47 minutes, 13 seconds, in the February 22 game at Holy Cross.

The Greyhounds have played just two games this year – at Penn State and at Colgate – in which they have not held opponents scoreless for 15 or more minutes at a time.

Opponents have held Loyola without a goal for stretches of 15 or more minutes three this year (at Virginia, at Georgetown, at Navy). Only Virginia did so for more than 17 minutes. The Cavaliers went on an 8-0 run over 31:23, holding the Greyhounds scoreless in the second and third quarters before Loyola reeled off nine-straight in the fourth.

 

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

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

 

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

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