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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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Loyola battles Colgate in Patriot League semis Friday

Posted on 24 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Colgate Raiders

Friday, April 25, 2014  |  4:30 p.m.

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


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland will host the Patriot League Championships at Ridley Athletic Complex, beginning with the semifinals on Friday, April 25.

The top-seeded Greyhounds will play fourth-seeded Colgate University in the first semifinal at 4:30 p.m. The game will be followed by a semifinal between the U.S. Military Academy, the No. 2 seed and No. 3 Lehigh University at 7:30 p.m.

Colgate beat No. 5 seed Bucknell University, 10-9, in double-overtime on Tuesday, and Lehigh topped the No. 6 seed U.S. Naval Academy, 10-6.

Semifinal winners will meet in the title game at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 27.

Loyola went 8-0 to win the Patriot League Regular-Season title.

Joe Fletcher leads all close defenders nationally in ground balls (61) and ground balls per game (4.69). In 13 games, the players Fletcher has been responsible for marking have scored 11 goals (several when Fletcher has been out of the game late in regulation).

Pat Laconi is tops among NCAA Division I non-pole players in caused turnovers (27) and caused turnovers per game (2.08).

 

Last Time Out

Brian Schultz scored a career-high six goals and matched his best with seven points last Thursday as the top-ranked Greyhounds defeated Bucknell University, 13-5.

Schultz logged his third career hat trick and an assist in the game’s first 25 minutes, and he added three more goals in the second half.

Nikko Pontrello added three goals and an assist, while Justin Ward scored once and assisted on three.

The teams played more than half of the first quarter without a goal, but Schultz took a Ward feed and scored at 7:27. Ryan Joseph responded with a goal fro the Bison, but Schultz fed Matt Sawyer for an in-close goal at 4:47, starting a 7-0 Loyola run.

The Greyhounds held Bucknell without a goal for 37 minutes, 17 seconds, taking an 8-1 lead into the fourth quarter.

Loyola out-groundballed the Bison, 39-31, with Joe Fletcher leading the way with seven. Graham Savio picked up five while winning 13-of-20 faceoffs, and Kyle Duffy had four.

Pat Laconi caused a career-high five turnovers, while Jason Crane and Schultz each caused two.

 

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 at least five that will feature the Greyhounds on the network. The  entire Patriot League Championships, as well as game against Johns Hopkins University on May 3will be broadcast 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 Colgate met for the first time earlier this year in Hamilton, N.Y., a game that was a 10-8 decision in the Greyhounds’ favor. The Raiders led 5-4 with 12:14 left in the third quarter before Loyola went on a 4-0 run that gave them an 8-5 advantage after goals by Jeff Chase, Justin Ward (two) and Nikko Pontrello.

Colgate pulled back within one on a Matt Clarkson strike with 13:33 left, but Matt Sawyer used a Ward feed to score from 10 yards out with 4:05 for the final margin.

Ward had a game-high five points with two goals and three assists, while Pontrello chipped in three goals and an assist. Clarkson scored three goals for Colgate.

 

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 66 occasions. After defeating Bucknell, 13-5, on Thursday, Loyola has won 81.8 percent of those games (54-12).

 

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 41-7 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 12-1 this season) for a .854 mark. Loyola’s winning percentage of .923 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 by more than seven percent (43-12, .782).

 

Chart Toppers

A pair of Greyhounds attackers are near the top of two offensive categories through games of Monday, April 21, in both total goals and assists. Nikko Pontrello is second in Division I with 43 goals, while Justin Ward is second with 42 assists.

The duo is the No. 2 point-scoring tandem in the country with 107 combined points (Ward, 55; Pontrello, 52). Albany’s Lyle (80) and Miles (77) have a combined 157.

 

Tops Among Close Defenders

Joe Fletcher not only leads Loyola in ground balls, total (61) and per game (4.69), 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 2.08 per game. He is 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 43 assists in 13 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 (42), and he is also second in the country and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.23 assists per game this year. The 42 assists are tied for fourth in Patriot League history, six 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 109 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 161, 19 away from tying Gewas Schindler (1996-99) for fifth place.

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

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello was held without a goal for the first time this season on April 5 against Navy, snapping a streak of 10-straight games to start the season that Pontrello had two or more goals. He rebounded, however, with three goals and two assists versus Boston University and three goals and an assist versus Bucknell. Through games of Monday, April 21, Pontrello is third in the nation in total goals with 43.

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.

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.

He leads the Patriot League and is second nationally in goals per game (3.31), while he is third and 17th in points per game (4.00).

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .647 mark, saving 132 out of 204 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 has earned a record five Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors this year and has a goals against average of 6.86 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .619 through 13 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 7.67 goals against average and .567 saves percentage. Runkel’s record between the pipes is 39-6. 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 64 career caused turnovers are fourth all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci, 88 of Scott Ratliff and Pat Laconi’s 68.

 

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, third-most in school history.

 

Taking Care Of The Ball

Loyola continues to lead the nation in fewest turnovers per game, averaging 10.69 through 13 contests. The Greyhounds have committed 0.98 fewer turnovers per game than the second-place team in the nation, Princeton.

 

Near The Top At Both Sides

The Greyhounds is the only team to be in the top five of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (13.23) rank fifth, and its goals allowed (7.00) are third. As a result, Loyola leads the nation in scoring margin (+6.23).

 

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 22 runs of 3-0 or better. Here is a look at their four best scoring stretches:

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

 

 

Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has scored 27 goals, second-most on the team through 13 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.

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

 

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

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

 

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

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Loyola’s defender Fletcher named Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Posted on 23 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Fletcher Earns Patriot League MLAX’s Top Academic Honor

 

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Two days after being named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, Loyola University Maryland senior defender Joe Fletcher was named the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year for his work on the field and in the classroom.

 

He was also one of 12 players named to the Patriot League All-Academic Team along with senior classmates Kyle Duffy and Justin Ward.

 

Fletcher brought a 3.812 grade point average into his senior season, and his performance on the field has been just as strong. He leads all close defensemen nationally in ground balls (61) and ground balls per game (4.69), and his matchups have scored just 11 combined goals in 13 games this year.

 

He will graduate next month with a bachelor of business administration in accounting degree before moving on to a full-time job with PricewaterhouseCoopers this summer.

 

On the field, Fletcher has helped the Greyhounds’ defense rank third in the nation in goals allowed per game (7.0). He has 19 caused turnovers, and his 64 during his career rank fourth in school history.

 

Fletcher earned his record fifth Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor earlier this, tying Loyola senior goalkeeper Jack Runkel for the most by any player in a single season in League history. The 2013 USILA All-America First Team member has also solidified his reputation as a lock-down defender having not allowed a goal in one-versus-one defense in over a month.

 

Last Thursday, Fletcher shut down Bucknell University’s David Dickson, holding him without a point after Dickson entered the game with at least one goal or assist in 41-straight games. Fletcher, who was the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year, too, also shut down Colgate University’s Ryan Walsh on March 29 after Walsh had scored in 42 consecutive, and he then held the U.S. Naval Academy’s T.J. Hanzsche without a point on April 5. Hanzsche had a point in 15 in a row.

 

Fletcher is also a finalist for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award and is on the Tewaaraton Award Watch along with Ward. He is the co-president of Loyola’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and member of Loyola’s Green & Grey Society, a group of 14 students who serve as liaisons to Loyola’s president, administration and board of trustees.

 

Duffy has been a key member of Loyola’s rope unit as a short-stick defensive midfielder since coming to the Evergreen campus. He has a 3.617 grade point average, and with Fletcher he is a member of Loyola’s Sellinger Scholars program in the business school. Duffy will begin work for Deutsche Bank in London and New York City this summer.

 

He will graduate with a bachelor of business administration in finance with a minor in mathematics. On the field, he has 23 ground balls this season while scoring a goal and assisting on two in transition.

 

Ward was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year on Monday and with Fletcher is a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and is on the Tewaaraton Award watch list. Ward leads the Patriot League and is second nationally in assists (42) and assists per game (3.23). His assist total is tops all-time in Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982), and it ranks fourth in Patriot League single-season history.

 

Earlier this season, Ward became the first player in school Division I history, and the second overall, to record 100 career assists; he has 109 career helpers entering the Patriot League Championships. In the classroom, Ward has a 3.216 grade point average and will graduate with a bachelor of business administration in finance next month.

 

Duffy, Fletcher and Ward will lead the top-ranked Greyhounds onto the field at Ridley Athletic Complex this weekend as they host the Patriot League Championships. Loyola will play fourth-seeded Colgate University at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 25, in a game televised live by CBS Sports Network.

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New York prospect Walker signs NLI with Loyola

Posted on 23 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Andre Walker Of NYC’s Christ The King Signs NLI With Men’s Hoops

BALTIMORE – Less than a month after leading Christ the King High School to the its second-straight New York State Federation Tournament of Champions title, Andre Walker signed a national letter of intent to play men’s basketball at Loyola University Maryland.

Walker, who scored a game-high 25 points and earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors, joins Chancellor Barnard (Columbia, Md./Glenelg Country School), Colton Bishop (Winston-Salem, N.C./Forsyth Country Day School) and Cam Gregory (Waldorf, Md./St. Stephens and St. Agnes School) to form the Greyhounds’ Class of 2018.

“We are excited about Andre joining our program,” said Loyola Head Coach G.G. Smith. “He comes from an outstanding high school program with a great winning tradition, and he as a huge part of their winning the last two state Federation titles. Andre will be a factor for us at both guard spots, and he complements what we think is an excellent Class of 2018.”

The 6-foot guard scored 13 of his points in the third quarter and went 7-of-10 overall from the field, 3-of-3 from 3-point range and 8-of-9 from the free-throw line against Long Island Lutheran High School.

As a senior for the Royals, Walker earned Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) All-League honors while helping Christ the King win back-to-back state crowns in addition to CHSAA Division AA titles.

The Westbury, N.Y., native came to Christ the King prior to his junior year in 2012-2013 after spending his first two seasons at St. Anthony’s High School on Long Island where he was a two-year starter for the Friars. Walker also played two years of football for St. Anthony’s.

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Loyola still tops, no change for Maryland or Hopkins in weekly lacrosse polls

Posted on 22 April 2014 by WNST Staff

There was very little movement atop this week’s new major college lacrosse polls.

Locally, Loyola claimed their 12th straight win this past Thursday night with a 13-5 thrashing of Bucknell. Johns Hopkins held off Navy in a defensive battle Friday night in Annapolis, claiming a 6-5 victory. Maryland wrapped up the ACC regular season title  by topping Notre Dame 12-8 in South Bend.

Here is a look at the new weekly college lacrosse polls (courtesy of NCAA.com), starting with the Inside Lacrosse media poll…

RANK SCHOOL RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Loyola (Md.) (15) 12-1 433 1
2 Duke (7) 12-2 425 2
3 Denver 11-2 391 3
4 Syracuse 9-3 370 4
5 Johns Hopkins 9-3 339 5
6 North Carolina 10-3 333 6
7 Maryland 10-2 324 7
8 Penn 7-3 264 9
9 Notre Dame 6-5 243 8
10 Virginia 9-5 242 10
11 Hofstra 10-3 232 11
12 Cornell 10-3 212 12
13 Yale 8-3 191 13
14 Army 9-3 119 16
15 Bryant 11-3 117 15
16 Drexel 9-4 98 18
17 Fairfield 10-3 89 17
18 Lehigh 11-4 63 19
19 Harvard 8-5 62 NR
20 Princeton 7-5 33 14

And the new USILA Coaches’ Poll…

RANK SCHOOL RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS
1 Loyola (Md.) (11) 12-1 239 1
2 Duke (1) 12-2 229 2
3 Denver 11-2 213 3
4 Syracuse 9-3 200 4
5 Maryland 10-2 194 5
6 North Carolina 10-3 176 7
7 Johns Hopkins 9-3 169 6
8 Virginia 9-5 145 9
9 Notre Dame 6-5 142 8
10 Penn 7-3 130 10
11 Cornell 10-3 115 T12
12 Hofstra 10-3 106 T12
13 Yale 8-3 104 11
14 Fairfield 10-3 63 15
15 Army 9-3 56 16
T16 Harvard 8-5 55 20
T16 Drexel 9-4 55 T18
18 Lehigh 11-4 40 17
19 Princeton 7-5 33 14
20 Bryant 11-3 29 T18

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Loyola sweeps weekly Patriot League lacrosse honors

Posted on 21 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Fletcher, Runkel, Ward Earn Patriot League Year-End Honors

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Three Loyola University Maryland senior men’s lacrosse players were among seven to earn All-Patriot League honors on Monday, and they also received year-end Player of the Year awards from the League’s coaches.

Joe Fletcher was named the League’s Defensive Player of the Year, Jack Runkel the Goalkeeper of the Year and Justin Ward the Offensive Player of the Year. Fletcher, Runkel and Ward were all named to the All-Patriot League First Team along with Pat Laconi, Nikko Pontrello and Brian Sherlock. Kevin Ryan earned All-Patriot League Second Team recognition.

Loyola, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the USILA coaches, Warrior/Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine media polls, completed its first season in the Patriot League by winning the regular-season title with an 8-0 record. The Greyhounds will host the Patriot League Championships at Ridley Athletic Complex this weekend, beginning with the semifinals on Friday, April 25, and culminating with the title game on Sunday, April 27. Tickets are available for purchase at www.loyolagreyhounds.com/tickets.

The players have helped Loyola to a 12-1 record thus far in 2014. The Greyhounds are the only team in Division I to be ranked in the top five nationally in goals per game (5th, 13.23) and fewest goals allowed (3rd, 7.00). They are tops in the nation in scoring margin (+6.23) and fewest turnovers per contest (10.69).

Fletcher earned his record fifth Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor earlier Monday, tying Runkel for the most by any player in a single season in League history. The 2013 USILA All-America First Team member leads NCAA Division I close defenders in ground balls (61) and ground balls per game (4.69) through 13 contests. He has also solidified his reputation as a lock-down defender having not allowed a goal in one-versus-one defense in over a month.

Last Thursday, Fletcher shut down Bucknell University’s David Dickson, holding him without a point after Dickson entered the game with at least one goal or assist in 41-straight games. Fletcher, who was the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year, also shut down Colgate University’s Ryan Walsh on March 29 after Walsh had scored in 42 consecutive, and he then held the U.S. Naval Academy’s T.J. Hanzsche without a point on April 5. Hanzsche had a point in 15 in a row.

Runkel has been a standout between the pipes for the Greyhounds, posting a 6.86 goals against average this year while making saves on 61.9 percent of shots on goal he has faced. The senior, who was named to the 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament Team along with Fletcher, led the League in save percengage (68.6) in conference games while posting the second-best goals against average in League play (5.74).

He earned five Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors, including four straight during the middle of the year, and he has won 43 games since becoming the Greyhounds’ starter early in the 2012 season.

Ward, who has two or more assists in all 13 of Loyola’s games this year, has again quarterbacked the Greyhounds’ offense, helping Loyola lead the conference and rank in the top five nationally in every major offensive statistical category. This season, Ward became Loyola’s career assist leader at the Division I level (since 1982) and had 109 entering the Patriot League Championships. With 42 assists to go with 13 goals, he also has set the school single-season assist record for Division I players.

His assist total for 2014 is tied for fourth in Patriot League single-season history, and he is second in Division I in total assists and assists per game (3.23). Along with Fletcher, Ward is a finalist for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, and they are both on the watch list for the Tewaaraton Award as the sport’s top player.

Laconi has been regarded as one of the top, if not the best, short-stick defensive midfielders in the nation. In his four years with the Greyhounds, Laconi has been a starter on the Greyhounds’ rope unit, and this year he has taken his statistical measures to a new level. He leads all non-pole players nationally in caused turnovers (27) and caused turnovers per game (2.08). He also has scored eight goals and has three assists to key the Greyhounds’ transition game.

Pontrello burst onto the nation scene in this his second season as a starter for the Greyhounds. After logging 16 goals and 19 assists while starting on attack and in the midfield last year for Loyola, Pontrello has scored two or more goals in all but one of Loyola’s 13 contests this season. Through games of Sunday, April 20, Pontrello is second in the nation in both goals (43) and goals per game (3.31).

Sherlock has made an immediate impact for Loyola in his first year after transferring from the University of North Carolina where he missed last season with an injury. The redshirt freshman has scored 14 goals and assisted on eight in the midfield for Loyola, and he also runs the wings on faceoffs and plays several shifts a game in the defensive midfield.

Ryan has led the Greyhounds’ second midfield unit throughout the year and is tied for the team lead in extra-man goals with five. He has posted 20 goals and four assists this season for Loyola, ranking third on the team in goals scored. The senior also ranks 11th in the nation in shooting percentage, converting 46.5 percent of his shots into goals.

The other major award winners in the Patriot League were Colgate goalkeeper Brandon Burke who is the Rookie of the Year (Sherlock was not eligible for the award as only players in their first year of college are eligible). The U.S. Military Academy’s Joe Alberici was named the William Lawson Coach of the Year.

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