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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.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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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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Hopkins gets final chance to make statement Saturday at Loyola

Posted on 02 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Television: CBS Sports Network

The Game: Johns Hopkins (10-3) makes the short trip up University Parkway to Cold Spring Lane and the Ridley Athletic Complex to take on top-ranked Loyola (14-1) in the regular season finale for both teams. Faceoff is set for noon with a live national television audience on CBS Sports Network.

A Look Back: Johns Hopkins ran its winning streak to five games with a 13-7 victory at home against Villanova last Wednesday night.
Loyola ran its winning streak to 14 games with a pair of victories over the weekend in the Patriot League Tournament, including a dominating 16-7 victory over Lehigh in the championship game.

Series History: Johns Hopkins and Loyola are meeting for the 52nd time in a series that dates to 20-1 Johns Hopkins victory in 1939. The Greyhounds topped the Blue Jays 8-4 last season at Homewood Field to snap a 13-game Johns Hopkins winning streak in the series.

These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Loyola with an all-time record of 943-306-15 (.753). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.

Poll Position: Johns Hopkins is ranked sixth in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and sixth in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. Loyola is ranked first in both the coaches and media polls this week.

Tournament Talk: The bracket for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Tournament will be announced on Sunday, May 4 at 9 pm on ESPNU. The 18-team field will consist of 10 automatic qualifiers (league champions) and eight at-large berths.

The following conference champions shall receive an automatic bid to the championship: America East Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Atlantic Sun Conference, Big East Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Eastern, College Athletic Conference, The Ivy League, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Northeast Conference and the Patriot League.

The four lowest-ranked automatic qualifying teams as determined by the committee, regardless of conference RPI, will compete in two play-in games to determine the final two AQ spots in the championship bracket.

The tournament will begin with the two play-in games on Wednesday, May 7 with eight first-round games taking place on the campus of the eight highest seeded teams on Saturday and Sunday, May 10&11.

Closing on Mr. Scott: Dave Pietramala picked up his 157th victory as the head coach at Johns Hopkins with the 13-7 victory against Villanova and he continues to close in on the record for most career coaching victories at Homewood. Only Bob Scott, who won 158 games as the head coach at JHU from 1955-74, has won or coached (214) more games than Pietramala at Johns Hopkins.

Career Win Number 180: In addition to his 157-53 (.748) mark as the head coach at JHU, Dave Pietramala also posted a 23-17 record in three seasons as the head coach at Cornell and now boasts an overall record of 180-70 (.720). Pietramala’s 180 wins rank 10th among active Division I coaches.

Career Game Number 250: Last week’s game against Villanova was the 250th for Dave Pietramala as a head coach at the collegiate level.

New Blue: The Johns Hopkins lineup features six new starters after a large senior class departed Homewood last spring. The six are spread throughout the lineup and include Eric Schneider (G), Rob Enright (D), John Kelly (D), Holden Cattoni(M), Connor Reed (M) and Ryan Brown (A). Brown did start four games at midfield last season, but made the move to his natural attack position this season, and Enright had five career starts through his first two seasons.

New Blue II: In addition to the six new starters in the lineup, the overall Blue Jay roster is also vastly different than a year ago. Gone are 11 seniors who exhausted their eligibility and in their place are 17 freshmen.

Youth Will be Served: Johns Hopkins is fielding one of the youngest rosters in the nation this season as 17 of the team’s 49 players are freshmen and 29 are either freshmen or sophomores. Only nine of the 49 are seniors and two of those nine - Eric Schneider and Phil Castronova - have an extra year of eligibility and are planning to return for the 2015 season.

For Starters: Entering the 2014 season, the entire 49-man Johns Hopkins roster counted a total of 132 combined career starts to its credit. Of those 132, Rob Guida (38), Jack Reilly (30), Brandon Benn (29) and Wells Stanwick (17) accounted 114, or 86.7%. No other returning player had started more than five games for the Blue Jays. By contrast, last year’s 11-man senior class graduated with a combined 321 starts with six of those 11 players earning 45 or more starts during their careers.

An Offensive Group: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Loyola averaging 12.15 goals per game and the Blue Jays have scored at least 10 goals in all but two games this season. Entering the game against Greyhounds, JHU ranks 10th in the nation in scoring offense, eighth in assists per game (7.54) and 10th in points per game (19.69).

Sharing the Ball: An effective part of the Blue Jay offense this season has been the ability to move the ball and that has shown up in the percentage of the team’s goals that have been assisted thus far. Through 13 games, 98 of JHU’s 158 goals have been assisted, or 62.0%. Only three times since 2003 has Johns Hopkins finished a season with more than 60% of its goals being assisted. The 2003 team assisted on 67.4% of its goals, while the 2004 (64.3%) and 2009 (62.4%) teams also eclipsed the 60% mark.

Extra, Extra: Johns Hopkins converted on a pair of extra-man opportunities against Villanova and is now 25-of-48 (.521) for the year. The Blue Jays rank fifth in the nation in extra-man offense heading into the Loyola game. Brandon Benn (7 EMO goals), Holden Cattoni (6), Ryan Brown (5) and Wells Stanwick (5) have combined to score 23 of JHU’s 25 EMO goals this season.

Kennedy, Faceoff Unit Shine: Behind the efforts of junior Drew Kennedy, Johns Hopkins ranks eighth in the nation in faceoff winning percentage entering this week’s game against Loyola. On the year, the Blue Jays have won 185-of-308 (.601) as a team.
For his part, Kennedy has been a workhorse as he is 160-of-259 (.618) through 13 games and also has a team-high 114 ground balls thus far. He ranks among the national leaders in faceoff winning percentage (10th) and ground balls per game (8th / 8.77).

Holding Them Down: The Blue Jays have held the opposition scoreless for long stretches at key points this season. The 13 teams Johns Hopkins has played thus far have 19 scoreless droughts of 11 minutes or longer and 13 of 15 minutes or longer. JHU held Maryland scoreless for stretches of 20:11 to open the game and 18:52 immediately after the Terps scored their first goal and then held Mount St. Mary’s off the board for 44:56 to open the game.

More Holding: Johns Hopkins has held each of its 13 opponents under its season scoring average thus far. Recently, the Blue Jays held Albany to just eight goals (just over half of what the Great Danes entered the game averaging) and Maryland to just six goals (less than half the Terps’ average entering the game). In all, JHU has held 10 of its 13 opponents to nine goals or less.

A Final Holding: During its current five-game winning streak, the Johns Hopkins defense has allowed a total of just 10 first-half goals.

Schneider Rolling: A key part of the recent surge by the Blue Jay defense has been the play of senior goalie Eric Schneider, who has gotten hot as the weather has gotten better. In the five-game unbeaten streak, Schneider has played 285 of the team’s 300 minutes and boasts a 5.68 GAA and a .654 save percentage over that time. With his recent performances, which include a 17-save performance at Navy, Schneider now has a 7.78 GAA and .573 save percentage on the year. He ranks sixth in the nation in GAA and ninth in save percentage and is one of just six goalies in the nation ranked in the top 10 in both categories.

Attack Driven: Johns Hopkins’ starting attack unit of senior Brandon Benn, junior Wells Stanwick and sophomore Ryan Brown is being counted on to lead the way offensively for the Blue Jays this season and the trio has been up to the task thus far. They have combined for at least three goals and seven points in all 13 games this season, with 11 goals against UMBC and nine goals against both Towson and Princeton. The trio has a pair of 16-point games to its credit (Towosn, UMBC) and a 14-point effort as well (Princeton). The three started the first 10 games together before Brown sat out the game at Mount St. Mary’s.

Welcome to the Club: Senior Brandon Benn became the 17th player in school history to reach the 100-goal mark with his four-goal effort at Navy. Benn is now tied for 12th with Mike Morrill (1985-88) on JHU’s career goal-scoring list with 102.

Another Welcome: Brandon Benn’s four goals against Navy pushed his total for the season past 30 goals (he now has 33). This marks the third consecutive season he has scored 30+ goals, making him the first Johns Hopkins player since Terry Riordan (1992-95) to score 30 or more goals in three straight seasons. Riordan scored more than 30 goals in each of his four seasons (only player in school history to do that).

In Overtime: With the 11-10 loss at Virginia, Johns Hopkins is now 20-11 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala; this includes the 10-9 triple overtime victory against Ohio State in the season opener. The Blue Jays have won four of their last six overtime games dating back to late in the 2011 season.

State Rivalries: Johns Hopkins improved its record to 66-8 (.892) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played against teams from the state of Maryland with the 6-5 victory at Navy. Below is a breakdown of JHU’s record against teams from Maryland under Pietramala.

Loyola (12-1)
Maryland (10-5)
Mount St. Mary’s (6-0)
Navy (13-2)
Towson (15-0)
UMBC (10-0)

Poll Position: The Blue Jays are ranked sixth in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll. The Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications Office uses the USILA Poll to represent JHU’s official ranking at the time of a game. Prior to falling out of the top 20 of the USILA Poll on April 26 and May 3, 2010 (JHU was receiving votes in both polls), the Blue Jays had been ranked in the top 20 in 367 consecutive polls dating back to the first poll in 1973.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 28 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: MLS-DC United @ Portland Timbers (Saturday 10pm from Portland live on Comcast SportsNet); MLL: Long Island Lizards @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium); Tennis: ATP Tour Mutua Madrid Open (Tuesday-Sunday from Madrid live on Tennis Channel)

10. Bill Bellamy (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Towsontown Spring Festival (Saturday & Sunday Downtown Towson); Ocean City Springfest (Thursday-Sunday Ocean City Inlet); Kevin Nealon (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); Kinetic Sculpture Race (Saturday American Visionary Art Museum); The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “Walk of Shame” out in theaters (Friday); Legend of Hercules” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

Kevin Nealon is such an underrated part of the greatness of the Chris Farley Chippendale’s sketch.

I could use some more Emma Stone in my life.

9. Against Me! (Friday 9pm Rams Head Live), All Time Low (Sunday 8pm Rams Head Live), Pop Evil (Sunday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Rob Zombie (Monday 8pm Rams Head Live); Sevendust (Friday 9:30pm Baltimore Soundstage); Ledisi (Sunday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Kerfuffle feat. 311/SOJA/KONGOS/Cage The Elephant/J. Roddy Walston & The Business (Saturday 1:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Ben Kweller (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Ozomatli (Monday 8pm Rams Head Center Stage); Iggy Azalea (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Black Label Society (Monday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring); CHVRCHES (Tuesday & Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Future Islands (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Aimee Mann & Ted Leo (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Nickel Creek (Saturday 8pm Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Dave Grohl (Monday 8pm 9:30 Club); Three Dog Night (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere), Pat McGee Band (Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere); David Gray (Tuesday 6:30pm Lincoln Theatre); Saliva (Saturday 9pm Fish Head Cantina); Ray LaMontagne “Supernova”Old 97′s “Most Messed Up”Damon Albarn “Everyday Robots”Chris Robinson “Phosphorescent Harvest” and Johnnyswim “Diamonds” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Support our boys in All Time Low. They’re good boys.

Sometimes I forget how much I freaking love some Against Me tunes.

Would it be awkward for me to leave Kerfuffle hours early after J. Roddy???

Ozomatli is a damn fine way to celebrate Cinco.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Loyola faces Lehigh Sunday in Patriot League title game

Posted on 27 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Sunday, April 25, 2014  |  1:00 p.m.

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


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Last Time Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Turn On The Television

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

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

 

In The Polls

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

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

 

Series History

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

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

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

 

All-League Awards

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

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

 

Get To Ten

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

 

Since 2012

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

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

 

Chart Toppers

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

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

 

Tops Among Close Defenders

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

 

And Short-Sticks, Too

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

 

Record-Setting Quarterback

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

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

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

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

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

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

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

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

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

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

 

Stopping Shots

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

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

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

 

Fletch, White And Blue

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

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

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

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

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

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

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

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

 

Schultz Stepping Up

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

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

 

Near The Top At Both Sides

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

 

Games Of Runs

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

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

 

 

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

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

 

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

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Loyola rolls past Colgate, advances to Patriot League title game

Posted on 25 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Runs Push MLAX Past Colgate Into Patriot League Title Game

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland used a pair of 3-0 runs, wrapped around a 4-0 stretch, to defeat Colgate University, 12-6, in the Patriot League Semifinals at Ridley Athletic Complex on Friday night. The top-ranked and seeded Greyhounds will play the winner of the U.S. Military Academy and Lehigh University in the title game on Sunday, April 27, at 1 p.m.

Loyola (13-1 overall) scored three-straight in the first quarter, four in a row during the second and three consecutive during the fourth. Colgate (9-6) scored back-to-back goals just once int eh game, late in the third quarter to pull within three.

Ryan Walsh scored one of his team-high three goals with 1:03 left in the third, and Cameron ripped a 12-yard shot from the top off a Kevin Adams assist from behind with less than three seconds left, cutting the Greyhounds’ advantage to 7-4.

Loyola, however, scored two goals 14 seconds apart less than two minutes into the fourth quarter to stretch out its lead.

Justin Ward dodged from goal-line extended on the right side of the crease, got topside and took an overhand shot that found the net for his second goal of the day at 13:31. He finished with five points on two goals and a team-high three assists.

The Raiders came up with the ensuing faceoff, but Ryan Fournier stripped Alex Kinnealey of the ball, and Brian Sherlock picked it up off the ground. Sherlock fed Fournier at the top of the box, and the long-stick midfielder scored on a low shot 14 seconds after Ward’s tally to put Loyola up 9-4.

Brian Schultz extended the Greyhounds’ advantage to six with a man-up goal off Jeff Chase’s assist at 11:59, and Loyola lead six.

Matt Clarkson momentarily brought the Raiders back within five, making a long split-dodge run to the top of the box for a goal at 7:43, but Loyola got the next possession, and after a timeout, Colgate set up a ride with goalkeeper Brandon Burke out of the cage.

Schultz fed Sherlock in front for a goal at 6:40, and Loyola scored its 12th of the night at 4:57 when Pontrello assisted on Kevin Ryan’s second.

Walsh put Colgate on the board 2:48 in, scoring with the 30-second timer on, but Ward responded with Loyola’s first 58 ticks of the clock after Walsh’s.

Ryan then took a Ward pass, shot-faked and scored at 4:23, and Chase added one off Ward’s second assist at 2:41, pushing Loyola in front, 3-1. Williams got free on the left side, though, and Colgate was within one heading into the second quarter after his goal at 1:31.

In the second quarter’s first 30 seconds, Joe Fletcher caused a turnover, and Brian Schultz backed off his man to open space and score his first of the game. Pontrello then picked up a ground ball backing up a wide Loyola shot, and he backed down his man to score with 4:21 left in the second, making it 5-2 Greyhounds.

Schultz added his second of the game at 3:06, also an unassisted tally, and the teams went into the locker room at halftime with the Greyhounds in front, 6-2.

After a lightning delay of 38 minutes less than five minutes into the second half, Schultz logged his third on an extra-man opportunity, taking a cross-crease pass from Ward to make the Greyhounds’ advantage five, 7-2, with 5:22 left before Colgate would score twice to tighten the game, 7-4.

Schultz’s four goals give him 10 in the Greyhounds’ last two games and 31 this season. Entering the season, he had scored three goals in his first three seasons.

Fletcher also tied his career-high with five caused turnovers, and he picked up five ground balls.

Ward’s three assists pushed his second total to 45, extending his school Division I single-season record and moving him into a three-way tie for second in Patriot League single-season history.

After the game, Fletcher, Pontrello and Ward were all named Tewaaraton Award nominees. They are three of 28 semifinalists for the award. Loyola joins Duke University as the only schools nationally with three nominees.

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