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Former Loyola star Fletcher named Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of Year

Posted on 09 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Fletcher Named Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete Of Year

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse All-American Joe Fletcher was named the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an award voted on by conference member schools that honors the top performer in the classroom and competition.

The award is presented annually to one male and one female Patriot League student-athlete. Those who are named Scholar-Athletes of the Year in their respective sports – as Fletcher was in men’s lacrosse – are eligible for the honor. Boston University outdoor track and field standout Allison Barwise received this year’s female award.

“Joe is the definition of a true student-athlete, and we are so proud of him for this honor and the many other he has received throughout his distinguished career,” said Jim Paquette, Loyola’s assistant vice president and director of athletics. “Joe was a leader in every facet of his life at Loyola – in the classroom, locker room, community and on the field – and he will be the same in the business world as he starts his career.”

Fletcher, who received the William C. Schmeisser Award as the nation’s top defender, was a two-time First Team All-American by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. He also earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honors this season and was the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The defender wrapped up his tenure at Loyola last month by graduating with a bachelor of business administration in accounting degree, posting a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in his final semester to finish with a 3.835 mark in his college classwork. This summer, he started his full-time job as a risk analyst with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In May, Fletcher was named one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player, in the process becoming just the second close defender in the award’s 14-year history to be a finalist. Last month, he was the first Greyhounds men’s lacrosse player in program history to earn Capital One Academic All-America® presented by CoSIDA honors when he was named to the At-Large second team.

On the field, he was a three-time USILA All-American, earning honorable mention in 2012 in addition to first team laurels each of the last two seasons, the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year, a USILA Scholar All-American and a finalist for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award.

He was the consensus top defender throughout the season and was equally good as a lockdown cover defender and groundball player. He led all NCAA Division I players in ground balls per game (4.71) and total ground balls (80). He also caused a career-high 31 turnovers. In 17 games this season, the players Fletcher had primary marking responsibilities for scored just 19 goals, several coming when he was already out of the game late in contests.

Fletcher was also a member of the 30-man U.S. Men’s Lacrosse National Team that trained for the Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships that will take place next week in Denver. He was the lone collegian to be a member of the 52-man training squad and the 30-man team.

Prior to the start of the 2014 season, Fletcher was the third overall draft pick in the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Entry Draft – the highest a Loyola player had ever been selected – by the New York Lizards. In seven games with the Lizards, Fletcher has 18 ground balls, and he was selected as the MLL Warrior Defensive Player of the Week after his first game.

In April, Fletcher received Loyola’s John R. Mohler Award as the athletic department’s top male senior student-athlete. He was 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.

He earned five Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors throughout the year, something that had never been done in conference history.

Over the course of his career, Fletcher collected 191 ground balls and caused 76 turnovers. His caused turnover total is third-most all-time at Loyola and the most by a close defender.

This is the third-straight year, and fourth time in five years, a men’s lacrosse student-athlete has won the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor. The U.S. Military Academy’s Brendan Buckley earned the award in 2012 and 2013, and fellow cadet Andrew Masisano was honored in 2010. Prior to 2010, a men’s lacrosse player had never won the honor.

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Navy announces 2014-2015 basketball schedule

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Navy announces 2014-2015 basketball schedule

Posted on 19 June 2014 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Head coach Ed DeChellis has announced the Navy men’s basketball program’s 2014-15 schedule. The Mids will play 18 Patriot League conference games and 12 non-conference games. Navy will play 15 games at Alumni Hall.

Navy will open the 2014-15 season by hosting the inaugural ‘Veterans Classic at the Naval Academy’ onFriday, November 14. Tennessee will face VCU at Alumni Hall at 6:30 PM and Navy will host Michigan State at 9:00 PM. Both games will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.

Michigan State (29-9, 12-6 Big Ten) won the Big Ten Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight before falling to eventual national champion UConn. This will just be the second time that Navy has hosted a Big Ten team and the first since hosting Ohio State in 1932. Navy defeated Michigan State in overtime on Nov. 29, 1986, 91-90 in the only other meeting in series history. Then-senior David Robinson had 43 points and 16 rebounds.

Navy will begin competition in the four-game Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament on Sunday, November 16by playing a campus site game at Notre Dame. Notre Dame (15-17, 6-12 ACC) struggled in its first season in the ACC last year and had its first season with a losing record since 1999.

Navy will play a second campus site game at Providence on Thursday, November 20 before playing two games at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Providence (23-12, 10-8 BIG EAST) won the BIG EAST Tournament Championship last year before falling to sixth-seeded North Carolina in the NCAA Second Round.

Navy will meet Northeastern in the Springfield Bracket of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday, November 22 at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Navy will then face either Manhattan or Binghamton in the championship or consolation game of the Springfield Bracket on Sunday, November 23.

Northeastern (11-21, 7-9 CAA) is led by 2014 CAA Defensive Player of the Year and all-league second-team honoree Scott Eatherton (15.9 ppg). Eatherton ranked fourth in the NCAA with his 19 double-doubles and was 10th in the country with 10.2 rebounds per game last year.

Manhattan (25-8, 15-5 MAAC) won the MAAC Tournament Championship last season before falling to fourth-seeded Louisville in the NCAA Second Round. Navy has defeated Binghamton (7-23, 4-12 America East) in each of the last two seasons.

Navy will open a three-game homestand by hosting Division III member Penn State Harrisburg on Wednesday, November 26 in Alumni Hall. This will be Navy’s first game against Penn State Harrisburg (8-17, 5-11 Capital Athletic Conference).

The Mids will welcome Saint Francis U on Saturday, November 29. Saint Francis U (10-21, 7-9 Northeast) edged Navy, 60-57, in an early-season matchup last year on Veterans Day. Navy’s rising junior Will Kelly had 12 points and 10 rebounds against the Red Flash.

Navy closes the three-game homestand by hosting Penn on Wednesday, December 3. Navy and Penn (8-20, 5-9 Ivy League) will meet for the 82nd time in series history and only Army (120 games) has faced Navy more than Penn.

The Mids will play at The Citadel on Saturday, December 6. Navy posted a 79-74 win over the Bulldogs (7-26, 2-14 SoCon) in Annapolis last season.

After playing one military college in The Citadel, Navy will renew the series with another as VMI travels to Alumni Hall for a game onTuesday, December 9. VMI (22-13) led the nation in scoring in its last season in the Big South. The Keydets will play in the SoCon in 2014-15.

Navy will close its non-conference slate with a pair of games against in-state opponents. Navy will play at Maryland Eastern Shore onSaturday, December 13 and following a break for final exams, Navy will host Towson on Monday, December 22.

Maryland Eastern Shore (6-24, 4-12 MEAC) will be under the direction of first-year head coach Bobby Collins. Collins was the head coach at Division II Winston-Salem State for the past eight years. Navy defeated UMES last season, 67-59.

After its impressive turnaround of going 1-31 in 2012 to 18-13 in 2013, Towson (25-11, 13-3 CAA) took another step forward last year with its 25 wins and run to the postseason CollegeInsider.com Tournament Quarterfinals.

Navy will open its 24th season of Patriot League play at home against Loyola on Wednesday, January 31. Navy will play at Loyola in its regular season finale on Saturday, February 28. Loyola (11-19, 6-12 PL) tied for seventh place in its first season in the Patriot League in 2014. In two very close games last year, Loyola defeated Navy in overtime, 63-57, in Baltimore and also escaped Annapolis with a two-point win (67-65).

Navy will play at Lafayette on Saturday, January 3 and the Leopards will travel to Annapolis for a game on Saturday, January 31. Lafayette (11-20, 6-12 PL) and Navy split the 2014 season series. Navy won in Annapolis, 79-71, and Lafayette earned the win in Easton. The Leopards played the majority of their conference games without all-league player Seth Hinrichs (16.4 ppg), who will return for his senior season.

Navy will host Boston University on Wednesday, January 7 and the game in Boston will be played on Wednesday, February 4. Boston (24-11, 15-3 PL) won the Patriot League Regular Season Championship in its first season in the league. The Terriers played in the NIT after falling to American in the conference tournament championship.

The Mids will play at Army on Saturday, January 10 this season and the Army-Navy Star Game will be contested in Annapolis onSaturday, February 7. Navy defeated Army (15-16, 10-8 PL) in the 2014 Star Game at West Point, 79-57, to extend its Star Series lead to 54-37. Worth Smith had 23 points and eight rebounds and Navy’s 22-point margin of victory was its largest in the Star Series since 1999.

Navy will play at Bucknell on Wednesday, January 14 and the Bison will make the return trip to Annapolis on Wednesday, February 11. The Mids snapped an eight-game losing streak to Bucknell (16-14, 11-7 PL) last season with a 62-61 win over the visiting Bison in Alumni Hall. Navy built a 16-point second-half lead and held off a furious Bucknell rally.

Colgate will travel to Annapolis for a contest on Saturday, January 17 and the Mids will make their annual trek to Hamilton, N.Y. onSaturday, February 14. Although Colgate (13-18, 6-12 PL) and Navy split during the regular season as each team won on its home court, it was the Raiders who eliminated Navy in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament with a 57-51 win in Hamilton.

Navy will play at Lehigh on Wednesday, January 21. The Mountain Hawks will play at Navy on Wednesday, February 18. Navy and Lehigh (14-18, 7-11 PL) had two very hard-fought games last season but Lehigh was able to come out with two wins. Lehigh edged Navy in overtime, 68-66, in Annapolis and then won in Bethlehem, 72-65.

Navy and Holy Cross will first meet in Worcester, Mass. on Saturday, January 24 before facing each other in Annapolis on Saturday, February 21. Holy Cross (20-14, 12-6 PL) posted its first 20-win season since 2007 and advanced to the league semifinals as the No. 3 seed. Holy Cross swept the season series with Navy.

Navy will host defending Patriot League Champion American on Wednesday, January 28. The Mids will play at American onWednesday, February 28. American (20-13, 13-5 PL) won its first Patriot League Tournament Championship since 2009 before falling to Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. American swept the season series with Navy.

The 2015 Patriot League Tournament begins on Monday, March 2 with two first-round games. The league quarterfinals will be playedWednesday, March 4 and the semifinals are Saturday, March 7. The Patriot League Championship is Wednesday, March 11. All 10 teams will qualify for the tournament and all games will be played at campus sites.

 

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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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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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Navy eliminated from Patriot League Tournament by Lehigh

Posted on 22 April 2014 by WNST Staff

BETHLEHEM, Pa. —  Two-time defending Patriot League Champion Lehigh outscored Navy 4-1 in the fourth quarter to secure a 10-6 victory over the Midshipmen in the Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinals played Tuesday evening at the Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem, Pa.  The third-seeded Mountain Hawks will face Army in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament, while top-seeded Loyola will battle the No. 4 seed Colgate.

“It was another hard-fought battle for the Midshipmen,” said third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “We have had a long stretch against some really talented teams (Loyola, Army, Johns Hopkins, Lehigh) and there’s a lot of emotion that goes into those games.  I’m extremely proud of the way we came out and competed against a team that got us pretty good a month ago.  Lehigh is a talented team and well coached and at the end of the night they made a few more plays than us.

“We knew we were a better team than what showed up the last time we played here,” added Sowell.  “But I think it was a combination of it being a playoff game and the confidence we have gained over the last few weeks.  We certainly wanted to leave it all on the field tonight and I honestly couldn’t have been more proud of the effort my team gave.”

Navy opened the game with the hot hand as seniors Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) and Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) joined forces to put the Midshpmen up 1-0 six minutes into the contest thanks to a transition goal that was generated by a takeaway from rookie John Trainor (Northport, N.Y.).

Lehigh answered with just over three minutes to go in the opening quarter when Kurtis Kaunas fired in a five-yarder from the left wing.

The Mids took the lead once again when sophomore midfielder Kevin Wendel (East Islip, N.Y.) out-raced Lehigh defenseman Sam Lawrence and scored his third collegiate goal to put Navy up 2-1 with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter.

Reid Weber slipped his defender and poked in his shot three minutes into the second quarter, queing  a 4-0 run by the Mountain Hawks.  Three of the next four goals were extra-man strikes as Lehigh owned a 5-2 lead with 9:25 to go in the first half.

Navy finally stopped the Lehigh run when Jones threaded his scoop shot through multiple defenders, as well as three-time All-Patriot League goalkeeper Matt Poillon, as Navy trailed 5-3 at the half.

The Mids trimmed the lead to one four minutes into the third quarter when senior middie Austin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) found a wide-open Hul standing on the left crease for his second goal of the contest.

Lehigh pushed its lead back to two when the Mids were unable to clear the ball out of the defensive box and Matt Smith punched in his fourth goal of the year from 10 yards out.

With under 30 seconds to go in the third period, Navy set up a play that saw Jones use a roll dodge to get free of middie Alan Henderson and post his second goal of the game with just 5.6 seconds left.

Down 6-5 heading into the final period of play, the Mids were unable to get anything going on the offensive end of the field while the Mountain Hawks scored four in a row, including an empty net goal with two minutes to play, to take a 10-5 lead.

The Mids scored a final time with 1:23 left in the contest when Hull produced his 14th collegiate hat trick with an unassisted strike from five yards out.

“We were able to get to within one a few times, but we just couldn’t get that goal to pull us even.  Looking back that four-goal run they made in the second quarter was tough to come back from, but we did not give up until the clock hit zero.”

Hull and Jones paced the Mids with three points apiece as Hull became just the 14th player in program history to reach 80 career goals.  Meanwhile, Jones moved into a tie for 10th place on Navy’s all-time points list with 143 points alongside Hall of Famer James Chambers (1946-49).

John Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.), who was named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week on Monday, played a strong game between the pipes, finishing the contest with 13 saves including six in the third quarter.  Senior long pole Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.) turned in a team-best three caused turnovers, while also playing a huge role on the wings of faceoffs helping Navy freshman Brady Dove (Stevensville, Md.) win 13 of the 19 draws.  Kiernan grabbed a team-best seven ground balls and jumped from sixth to fourth on Navy’s career ground balls list with 185.  It’s the most ground balls by a Navy player since William Wallace set the record playing from 2004-07.

Dove, who was named a Second-Team All-Patriot League player, has now won 158 faceoffs this season which are the second most in school history behind record holder Chris Pieczonka who set the record with 173 in 2004 and played in five more games.  Meanwhile, he stands eighth on Navy’s career faceoff wins list.

Five different players scored goals for the Mountain Hawks, including Kaunas who produced three goals and added an assist.  Meanwhile, Poillon anchored the defense with 15 saves including four in the final quarter of play.

The Mids will close out the 2014 campaign a week from Saturday with a 1:00 pm contest against fifth-ranked Maryland.

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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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