Tag Archive | "Patriot League"

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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.

Comments (0)

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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…)

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Loyola to play in first Patriot League semifinal Friday

Posted on 20 April 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland will host the Patriot League Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Championships this week after winning both sports’ regular-season titles with 8-0 records.

Ridley Athletic Complex will serve as the backdrop for both Championships, starting with the women’s semifinals on Thursday, April 24. The top-seeded Greyhounds will host Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross or Lehigh University at 5 p.m. in the opening semifinal, while No. 2 seed U.S. Naval Academy will play Boston University, Colgate or Holy Cross at 7:30 p.m.

The semifinal winners will meet in the Championship Game at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 26.

Loyola’s men, which are ranked No. 1 in the nation, open their championship play on Friday, April 25, by hosting the first semifinal at 5 p.m. The Greyhounds will play Bucknell University, Colgate or Navy.

The U.S. Military Academy is the Championships’ No. 2 seed and will play in the second semifinal, starting Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Black Knights will face Bucknell, Colgate or Lehigh.

The Men’s Championship Game will be contested at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, and all three men’s games will air live on CBS Sports Network.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Schultz scores six goals to lift Loyola past Bucknell

Posted on 18 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Schultz Scores Career-High Six As Men’s Lacrosse Beats Bucknell, 13-5

BALTIMORE – Brian Schultz scored a career-high six goals on just 10 shots, helping No. 1-ranked Loyola University Maryland defeat Bucknell University, 13-6, in the teams’ final Patriot League regular-season game of the year.

Schultz, who had a previous best of four goals earlier this season against Lafayette College, recorded a hat trick in the game’s first 25-plus minutes, helping Loyola take a 5-1 halftime lead.

He tallied another in the third, the final goal of a 7-0 Greyhounds run, and two in the fourth quarter.

The Loyola run, its 22nd of the season of 3-0 or better, started when slick passing led to a Matt Sawyer goal on the doorstep with 4:47left in the first quarter. Brian Sherlock sent a high-to-low pass from the top to Schultz on the right side. Schultz didn’t let the ball settle in his stick and immediate fed Sawyer on the crease for a goal that put Loyola up, 2-1.

Loyola’s defense played as big of a role in the run as its offense, as Bucknell missed on 20-straight shots and was shutout for a period of 37 minutes, 17 seconds.

Jack Runkel made 14 saves in goal for the Greyhounds (12-1 overall, 8-0 Patriot League), and Loyola forced 18 Bucknell (7-7, 4-4) turnovers. The Greyhounds caused 13 of the turnovers, led by a career-high five by Pat Laconi. Schultz and Jason Crane each had two for Loyola. Joe Fletcher led all players in the game with seven ground balls.

Fletcher also held the player he was defending, Bucknell’s David Dickson, without a point, snapping a streak of 41 games with at least one. It is the third time in four weeks that Fletcher has held an opponent without a point after he entered the game with a streak of 15 or more games (Colgate’s Ryan Walsh, 42; Navy’s T.J. Hanzsche, 15).

Schultz put Loyola on the board after more than seven minutes of scoreless lacrosse to start the game. Justin Ward, who had a goal and three assists, used a skip pass to find Schultz on the low right side, and Schultz finished with a nine-yard rip for a goal at 7:27.

Ryan Joseph, however, tied the game for Bucknell with a goal off Tom Black’s assist at 65 seconds later, but Sawyer’s goal at 4:47would put Loyola in front for good.

Nikko Pontrello fed Schultz from behind as Schultz was cutting to the middle of the field, and Schultz scored his second with 9:45 left in the first, and after a transition run, Kyle Duffy shot a cross-box pass from high-to-low to Pontrello who quickly shot low to score at 8:06.

Schultz completed his hat trick off another Ward assist at 4:54, sending Loyola into the locker room ahead by four.

Pontrello and Ward scored unassisted at 13:11 and 5:57 in the third quarter, and Tyler Albrecht fed Schultz for a goal from the right side at 5:22 to push Loyola’s lead to 8-1.

Peter Burke scored 55 seconds into the fourth quarter, snapping Bucknell’s scoreless drought, but Loyola responded with two quick goals.

Ward saw Sherlock make a diagonal cut, threw him a pass, and Sherlock used a right-handed sidearm shot to score at 13:07. Schultz was then the recipient of a Kevin Ryan pass for his fifth of the night with 11:00 left in regulation.

Two-straight goals by the Bison’s Sean Doyle, both unassisted tallies, pulled Bucknell within six with 7:56 left, but Schultz fired in his sixth at 7:28, rolling from behind and beating his defender to the crease.

Thomas Filbotte added a Bucknell goal at 3:34, but Laconi scored off Fletcher’s first career assist, and Pontrello used another dodge from behind to tally the game’s final goal.

Graham Savio had another efficient day at the faceoff ‘X’ for Loyola, winning 13-of-20 and picking up five ground balls. Loyola also used a 39-31 advantage in ground balls to control the possession game.

In addition to Fletcher’s game-high seven, Kyle Duffy had four ground balls, and Runkel, Crane and Fournier each had three.

The Greyhounds will have more than a week off to prepare for their next game, a Patriot League Championships semifinal on Friday, April 25. Loyola will host the Patriot League semifinals and championship game at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Greyhounds will play Bucknell, Colgate University or the U.S. Naval Academy in a 4:30 p.m. semifinal that will be aired live on CBS Sports Network. Tickets for the championship weekend are available at http://loyo.la/PLmlax14.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Loyola tries to continue win streak Thursday against Bucknell

Posted on 16 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Bucknell Bison

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

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


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Last Time Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Turn On The Television

Thursday’s game will be broadcast live, nationally on CBS Sports Network. Dave Ryan will call the play-by-play, and Evan Washburn will handle the analysis of the action.

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

 

In The Polls

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

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

 

Series History

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

 

Get To Ten

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

 

Since 2012

Loyola has the best winning percentage in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse since the start of the 2012 season. The Greyhounds are 40-7 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 11-1 this season) for a .851 mark. Loyola’s winning percentage of .917 this season is the best nationally.

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

 

Chart Toppers

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

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

 

Tops Among Close Defenders

Joe Fletcher is second on Loyola in ground balls, total (54) and per game (4.50), this season, but more impressive than that, he paces all close defenders nationally in the categories. Fletcher is 46th overall in ground balls per game, while the 45 players who are ahead of him are either face-off specialists or long-stick midfielders who play on the wings during restarts.

 

And Short-Sticks, Too

Meanwhile, Pat Laconi leads all non-pole defenders nationally in caused turnovers and caused turnovers per game. He has caused 22 this season while averaging 1.83 per game. He is 13th in the nation, and the 12 players ahead of him in the rankings are all long-stick midfielders or close defenders.

 

Record-Setting Quarterback

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 39 assists in 12 games. With his third and final assist last Saturday against Boston University, Ward passed Sean Heffernan for first-place in school single-season history at the Division I level.

He is second in the nation in total assists (39), and he is also second in the country and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.25 assists per game this year.

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

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

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

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello was held without a goal for the first time this season on April 5 against Navy, snapping a streak of 10-straight games to start the season that Pontrello had two or more goals. He rebounded, however, with three goals and two assists last Saturday versus Boston University. Through games of Monday, April 14, Pontrello is second in the nation in total goals with 40.

He scored two in the season-opener at Virginia and then had three each against Penn State and Towson before scoring a career-high six goals at Holy Cross. He then tallied four at Lehigh, five against Duke, three at Georgetown, five versus Lafayette and three against Colgate and Boston University.

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

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

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

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .638 mark, saving 118 out of 185 shots on goal he’s faced. In a six-game stretch  against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel made 61 saves and allowed just 26 goals (.701).

The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.02 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .608 through 12 games. He is third in the nation in both saves percentage and  goals against average.

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

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

 

Fletch, White And Blue

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

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

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

Versus Colgate, Fletcher was matched up against Ryan Walsh, and he held the Raiders’ leading scorer without a goal or assist for the first time in his career, a total of 42 prior games. He then marked Navy’s T.J. Hanzsche, holding him without a point for the first time in 15 games.

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

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

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

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

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

Laconi posted four ground balls, matching his career-high, and three caused turnovers at Colgate, the final of each coming with less than 25 seconds remaining to help seal the win. He caused another three turnovers a week later at Navy. His team-leading 22 caused turnovers this season have brought his career total to 63, fourth-most in school history.

 

Taking Care Of The Ball

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

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

 

Near The Top At Both Sides

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

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

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all 12 of its games this season, and it has had five stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 21 runs of 3-0 or better. Here is a look at their four best scoring stretches:

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

 

 

Schultz Stepping Up

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

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

 

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

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

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

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Loyola FO specialist Savio named Patriot League Rookie of the Week

Posted on 14 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Savio Named Patriot League Rookie Of The Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Loyola beats Boston U, claims Patriot League regular season title

Posted on 13 April 2014 by WNST Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Navy doubled up by Army in annual rivalry battle

Posted on 13 April 2014 by WNST Staff

WEST POINT, N.Y. —  Navy senior attackman Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) and junior middie Gabe Voumard (Cape May, N.J.) scored two goals each but it would not be enough as the high-powered Army offense (8-3, 6-1 Patriot League) outmuscled the Mids and scored a 14-7 victory over the Navy men’s lacrosse team (4-7, 3-5 PL) Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.

“I have to take my hat off to Army.  They played an all-around great game,” said third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “They were hot early on in the game and while we were able to cut into the lead a number of times, we could never get back to within one.  They took our punch, if you will, and were able to counter almost every time.”

Army wasted little time in making a statement in the game, scoring its first goal just six seconds into the contest.  In a mirror image of last year’s contest, sophomore faceoff specialist Alex Daly won the draw and fed All-American attackman John Glesener who fired in his shot from 10 yards out on the left wing.

Navy, though, answered just 51 seconds later when Jones ducked under his defender and sent his diving shot from the left crease past Army keeper Bobby Sincero.  Sincero was inserted into the starting grid after an injury sidelined Sam Somers.  Somers has been the cornerstone of Army’s defense this season and stands No. 1 in the country in goals-against average and No. 2 in save percentage.

Jones’ goal, however, would be the last for the Mids until late in the second quarter as Army put together a 5-0 run that featured five different scorers.

After nearly a 28-minute scoring drought, Navy punched in a goal with 1:14 left in the half when Jones found classmateAustin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) who split a pair of defenders and sent an eight-yarder past Sincero.

Just nine seconds later, however, Army midfielder Michael Larrabee answered to again put the Black Knights up by five.

Navy, though, would get the final say in the half as co-captain Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.) intercepted an Army pass and ran the length of the field to find Jones for the transition goal and trim Army’s lead to four (7-3) at the break.

The Mids, who were outshot 21-8 in the opening half, scored two of the first three goals to start the second half with senior Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) and Gabe Voumard (Cape May, N.J.) sticking shots.

Army again put together a 3-0 run with three goals scored by three different players to gain its largest lead of the game at six (11-5) with 3:13 to play in the third.

Navy long pole Ben Sampson (Doylestown, Pa.) picked up the loose ball on the ensuing faceoff and drilled his first goal of the season and second of his career to get Navy within five (11-6) with 3:01 to play in the third.

The Mids, however, could get no closer than five, as Army scored three of the game’s final four goals to deal Navy its sixth straight loss in the series.

“I think we started to loosen up a bit to start the second half, but they were able to counter.  When they went on their little run, it really made it tough for us to gain any momentum.”

Nine different players scored goals for the Black Knights, including starting attackmen Connor Cook (3), John Glesener (3) and Will Mazzone (2) who combined to score eight goals.  Cook played a hand in six of Army’s 14 goals, as he added a team-best three assists.

Sincero played a fine game in what was just his fifth appearance in between the pipes this season, making eight saves.

Meanwhile, Daly won 14 of the 25 draws for the Black Knights and picked up six ground balls.

“I know Army was without Sam Somers, who is an outstanding goalkeeper, but they have an awfully good defense in front of whomever is in goal,” added Sowell.  “They also have a great faceoff guy who was able stir up some transition plays for them and lead to some goals.  They are just a good all-around team.

“That said, I’m certainly proud of my guys and how hard they played.  Today’s game got away from us, but we will continue to work hard and prepare for the games ahead of us.”

Both Jones and Voumard paced the Mids with three points on two goals and an assist, while Kiernan turned in three caused turnovers and four ground balls.

While Army secured a bye in the Patriot League Tournament due to start Tuesday, April 22, the Mids also claimed one of the six playoff spots thanks to wins by Bucknell over Lafayette and Colgate over Holy Cross this weekend.

The Mids will be back in action next Friday when they play host to nationally-ranked Johns Hopkins in what will be the final home game for Navy’s 13 seniors.  Faceoff is slated for 7:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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

Posted on 04 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Navy Midshipmen

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

Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Last Time Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow The Action

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

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

 

In The Polls

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

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

 

Series History

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

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

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

 

Get To Ten

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

 

Since 2012

Loyola has the best winning percentage in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse since the start of the 2012 season. The Greyhounds are 38-7 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 9-1 this season) for a .844 mark.

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

 

Chart Toppers

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

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

 

Schedule Says

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

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

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

He scored two in the season-opener at Virginia and then had three each against Penn State and Towson before scoring a career-high six goals at Holy Cross. He then tallied four at Lehigh, five against Duke, three at Georgetown and five versus Lafayette.

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

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

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

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .643 mark, saving 99 out of 156 shots on goal he’s faced. In a six-game stretch  against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel made 61 saves and allowed just 26 goals (.701).

The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.24 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .607 through nine games. He is fourth in the nation in both saves percentage and  goals against average.

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

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

 

Record-Setting Quarterback

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

With four assists against Duke, Ward set Loyola’s career Division I record (since 1982) in total assists, eclipsing the mark of 83 set from 1989-92 by Jim Blanding. Following his three at Colgate, Ward now has 100 in his career. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also tied for ninth in school Division I history in total points with 150.

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

 

Taking Care Of The Ball

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

 

Near The Top At Both Sides

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

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

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

 

Man-Up Success

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

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

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

 

Fletch, White And Blue

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

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

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

Versus Colgate, Fletcher was matched up against Ryan Walsh, and he held the Raiders’ leading scorer without a goal or assist for the first time in his career, a total of 42 prior games.

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

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

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

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

Laconi posted four ground balls, matching his career-high, and three caused turnovers at Colgate, the final of each coming with less than 25 seconds remaining to help seal the win. His team-leading 17 caused turnovers this season have brought his career total to 59, fourth most in school history.

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all 10 of its games this season, and it has had five stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 17 runs of 3-0 or better. Here is a look at their four best scoring stretches:

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

 

 

Five-Plus For Two

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

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

 

Schultz Stepping Up

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

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

 

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

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

They were also two of 20 players nationally to be named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award that seniors who have performed at a high level athletically and in the classroom and who have used their platforms as student-athletes to make positive impacts in the community.

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

Comments (0)