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Loyola improves to 6-2 with win over Georgetown

Posted on 20 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Defense Keys Offense In 13-8 Men’s Lacrosse Win Over Georgetown


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Loyola University Maryland caused 17 Georgetown University turnovers, and six of the Greyhounds’ goals came as a direct result of transition or unsettled situations in a 13-8 victory over the Hoyas on Wednesday night at Multi-Sport Field.

The Hoyas (3-4 overall) scored the game’s first goal with a 12-yard shot by Charles McCormick, but the Georgetown lead would be short lived.

Three minutes after McCormick’s goal at 13;07, Loyola (6-2) tallied its first goal, triggered by a Jack Runkel save. Pat Laconi ran the clear and sent a pass to Scott Ratliff who dodged a defender and scored from seven yards to tie the game at 1-1.

Chris Layne gave the Greyhounds the lead, which they would hold for the rest of the game, dodging down the left alley to score at 9:26.

Ratliff and Layne’s goals were the first two of an 8-0 Loyola run that would stretch into the second half, as the Greyhounds held Georgetown scoreless for a stretch of more than 32 minutes.

Another Runkel save led to the next Loyola goal. The Loyola goalkeeper sent an over-the-top pass to Ratliff who sent it behind the cage to Nikko Pontrello. Pontrello then found Phil Dobson for a nine-yard stepdown shot, and Loyola was up, 3-1, with 6:01 to play in the first quarter.

Zach Herreweyers scored the first of his four goals midway through the second quarter, stepping back after spinning past a defender for a shot off a Pontrello pass, and Harry Kutner tallied an extra-man goal at 4:30 following a Justin Ward skip pass at 4:30.

Laconi caused a turnover less than a minute later, and Ratliff came up with the ball before switching fields with a pass to Laconi who cleared it into the box. He played give-and-go with Ward, and Laconi scored Loyola’s sixth goal at 3:46.

With just over 30 seconds to play before halftime, Reid Acton caused a turnover, and a quick clear led to a Josh Hawkins goal off a Laconi assist 5.7 seconds before the break.

Loyola extended its lead to 8-1 2:02 into the third quarter when Herreweyers ran past his defender down the right alley and scored on a short jump shot.

Georgetown finally stopped the run with back-to-back goals by Travis Comeau and Reilly O’Connor at 11:00 and 10:16.

Herreweyers tallied his third of the game 16 seconds after O’Connor’s score by rolling off a check and firing an in-close sidearm shot.

Matt Sawyer then added to the lead, making the Loyola advantage 10-3, with an extra-man goal at 8:41 with a shot from within a yard after Ward fed a pass from the top.

O’Connor scored his second of the game at 7:37, slipping a shot inside the near post, but Kutner scored his second of the game at 5:20 by beating his defender down the right alley to make it 11-4 Greyhounds.

Just 10 seconds later, Loyola went up by eight when Ratliff won the ensuing faceoff. Hawkins grabbed the ground ball and got the ball to Ward. He fed Herreweyers who used a multiple shot-fake to score his career-high fourth goal.

Georgetown scored two in a row before Ward tallied the Greyhounds’ final goal after a Ratliff caused turnover and a Hawkins clear and assist.

Hawkins, Laconi and Fletcher each had three of the Greyhounds’ 17 caused turnovers, while Ratliff and Acton each tallied two.

Fletcher led Loyola with six ground balls; Hawkins and Ratliff both posted four.

Ward finished with a goal and four assists to lead the Greyhounds with five points, while Pontrello had a goal and two assists. Herreweyers tallied four goals, and Kutner had two, while Hawkins and Laconi each had a goal and an assist in transition.

Loyola steps back in to ECAC Lacrosse League action on Saturday, March 23, for its next game, a 3 p.m. game at the Unviersity of Michigan.

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Second half surge leads Loyola past Air Force

Posted on 16 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Second-Half Surge Leads Men’s Lacrosse Over Air Force In Mile High Classic

DENVER – Loyola University Maryland scored five of the second half’s first six goals, and the Greyhounds raced pushed out to a six-goal lead late in the third quarter as they defeated the United States Air Force Academy, 13-7, on Saturday afternoon in the Whitman’s Sampler Mile High Classic on Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Loyola (5-2 overall, 2-0 ECAC) led 4-2 after the end of the first quarter when Zach Herreweyers scored his first collegiate goal with 12.3 on the clock off a Justin Ward assist, but the teams managed just one goal each in the second 15 minutes, and the Greyhounds were up 5-3 at the break.

Nikko Pontrello, who led all players with a career-best four goals, scored his second of the game 2:37 into the third quarter after Davis Butts rolled off a check near midfield got free to the top of the box and slid a pass to Pontrello on the crease.

Air Force (4-4, 1-1) responded just over four minutes later as Kyle Cassidy scored on an eight-yard shot at 8:07.

Just nine seconds later, however, Pontrello scored again, igniting a 4-0 Greyhounds’ run. Harry Kutner picked up the ground ball off a Blake Burkhart faceoff win, sent a pass to Ward who slipped it again to Pontrello near the crease.

The Greyhounds picked up their next goal in transition that started when Jack Runkel made a save on a one-versus-one attempt by a Falcons’ midfielder. Reid Acton picked up the ground ball and sent an outlet pass to Pat Laconi who ran into the box. He shot a pass to Scott Ratliff who whipped a 12-yard shot into the goal at 7:27.

Ratliff was in on the next goal, as well when he caused a turnover on a Falcons clear, ran it into the Loyola zone and fed a past to Herreweyers. The freshman spun around an Air Force defender and scored at 6:10.

Loyola tacked on another goal with 90 ticks left in the quarter as Sean O’Sullivan on a Ward assist from up top of the box.

Loyola’s starting attack of Pontrello, Ward and Herreweyers combined for nine goals and seven assists, three of those goals coming during the 4-0 run. Ward, who was named the game’s most valuable player, scored two goals and tied his career-high with five assists. Pontrello set his career-high with four goals to go with two assists, and Herreweyers scored his first three collegiate goals.

Less than a minute after O’Sullivan’s extra-man goal, Air Force ended the Loyola run and started one of its own. Tommy McKee hit a seven-yard shot off an Erik Smith feed with 32 seconds left on the third-quarter clock, and the Falcons got another goal 55 seconds into the fourth quarter when Christopher Allen rolled off a check and shot high-to-high from over 10 yards out.

Mike Crampton, who also scored the game’s first goal for Air Force, completed the 3-0 Falcons run with a score on an Allen assist at 6:33, cutting Loyola’s lead back to three, 10-7.

Herreweyers, however, responded to complete his hat trick at 4:35, scoring on the doorstep of the crease when Chris Layne dodged hard to the center of the box and sent a pass down low.

Ward and Pontrello then tacked on goals in the final 3:36 to seal the Greyhounds’ victory.

Loyola had another big run early in the game after Crampton scored tehg ame’s first goal at 11:48. Phil Dobson scored 22 seconds later with a step-down shot from 10 yards, the first of three-straight Loyola goals.

Ward hit Pontrello with a pass on the right side of the crease, and he scored at 10:30. Ward then dodged hard to the left from behind the crease and scored with a sidearm shot.

Loyola benefited from a solid possession game, as the Greyhounds won 15-of-24 faceoffs. Burkhart was successful on 14-of-22 restarts.

The Greyhounds also controlled a significant advantage in ground balls, 36-22, led by Ratliff’s five. Ratliff also caused three turnovers, while Laconi had a pair.

Runkel made nine saves in goal for the Greyhounds, seven in the second half.

Loyola is back in action with its final midweek game of the regular-season. The Greyhounds travel down I-95 on Wednesday, March 20, for a 7 p.m. game at Georgetown University.

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Runkel strong as Loyola tops Bellarmine in ECAC opener

Posted on 02 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Runkel Saves 11 In 8-6 Win Over Bellarmine To Open ECAC Play


BALTIMORE – Jack Runkel made a kick save on a low, hard shot by Bellarmine University’s Brogan Hill just 71 seconds into play Saturday afternoon, sparking the Loyola University Maryland defense, and the junior goalkeeper finished with a season-high 11 saves as the Greyhounds defeated the Knights, 8-6, to open ECAC Lacrosse League action at Ridley Athletic Complex.

“We challenged our locker room before the game to give (Runkel) his first shot from 12 yards out to get him started,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “That’s not how it played out, and they had a guy that ran down the middle, and he made a great kick save that really got us going.”

The save on Hill’s shot caromed near midfield where fourth-ranked Loyola (4-1 overall, 1-0 ECAC) picked it up, but the teams traded turnovers before Loyola cleared it to a settled offensive set off a Scott Ratliff caused turnover.

After a Mike Sawyer shot went wide, Chris Layne redodged from the right side and put a high-to-high shot past Bellarmine’s Dillon Ward to get the Greyhounds on the scoreboard at 11:23.

Neither team was able to score for nearly eight minutes until the Knights (3-1, 1-1) broke through on a man-up possession. Cameron Gardner skipped a pass to Lance Robinson on the low right side, and Robinson bounced in a shot at 3:34 to tie the game at 1-1.

Early in the second quarter, Loyola scored twice in a 22-second span to post a two-goal lead. Nikko Pontrello tallied the first when he cut to the top of the crease where Justin Ward hit him with a pass that Pontrello one-timed past Ward at 13:09.

Ward then scored 22 ticks of the clock later, rolling from X to the right side where he hit a fading jump shot to push the Greyhounds’ advantage to 3-1.

Bellarmine got one back in transition off a Dillon Ward save later in the half. Dillon Ward stopped a Pat Laconi shot, and Bellarmine quickly cleared it to its offensive end. Michael Ward ripped a 10-yard shot off a Karsen Leung assist with 3:10 to go before halftime, making it a one-goal game.

Following that goal, however, Sawyer scored for Loyola at 1:46, rolling back toward the near post after a Bellarmine double came near the middle.

The Greyhounds went  on extra-man immediately there after when Bellarmine was whistled for its third faceoff violation of the half, but Dillon Ward made a save on a Kevin Ryan shot, and the Knights cleared it successfully.

Runkel, however, picked off a Michael Ward pass from behind, and the Greyhounds called timeout in their offensive zone with just over 14 seconds to play before halftime.

Layne started the play on the far right side and sent a pass to Davis Butts at the top of the box. Butts reversed it to Sean O’Sullivan on the left, and O’Sullivan ripped a seven-yard goal to put Loyola in front, 5-2 at halftime.

The Greyhounds continued their run at the start of the third quarter, as Pontrello skipped a pass across the defense on the left side, and he scored from three yards out on a high-to-low shot with 11:37 on the clock in the third quarter.

Loyola took possession again with a faceoff win, and Sawyer scored his third during the 4-0 run, fending off a defender who was on his hands to put Loyola in front, 7-2, with 11:17 left in the third quarter.

Bellarmine, however, reeled off three in a row while holding Loyola scoreless for 20-minutes, 40-seconds.

Will Cary bookended a Michael Ward extra-man goal, and Cary’s second with 8:23 to play in regulation pulled the Knights within two, 7-5.

Justin Ward would snap the scoreless drought for Loyola rolling the crease on the left side and flipping a hard, nearly no-look shot past Dillon Ward for a goal with 5:54 left in regulation.

The Greyhounds then held off Bellarmine, allowing just one more goal by Michael Ward with 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Loyola outshot the Knights, 46-25, but Dillon Ward made 16 saves for Bellarmine.

Butts helped Loyola to a slim, 26-25, advantage in ground balls, leading the team with five. Joe Fletcher had four, and Pat Frazier and Runkel each had three.

The game concluded a stretch of five games in 15 days for the Greyhounds. Loyola will be back in action on Friday, March 8, when it travels to Durham, N.C., for a 7 o’clock game at Duke University.

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Loyola opens ECAC play Saturday against Bellarmine

Posted on 01 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Opponent Bellarmine Knights
Date Saturday, March 2, 2013
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex
TV | Radio Hounds Unleashed
Series Record Loyola leads, 3-0
Last Meeting Loyola 11, Bellarmine 8 – March 3, 2012, in Louisville

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland plays its fifth game in 15 days to start the 2013 season, and third-straight at home, on Saturday, March 2, when it hosts Bellarmine University at 1 o’clock at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The game will be the ECAC Lacrosse League opener for the Greyhounds.


Series History

Loyola will meet Bellarmine for the fourth time in series history on Saturday with the Greyhounds winning the first three games.

The Greyhounds won the first meeting, 14-8, in Louisville during the 2010 season when current Loyola players Eric Lusby and Patrick Fanshaw each scored three goals. In 2011, the teams were tied 3-3 at halftime and 4-4 after the first minute of the third quarter before the Greyhounds scored five in a row to break the game open and go on to a 9-6 victory. Mike Sawyer scored five goals in the game, and Matt Langan tallied four assists.

Last season, Loyola trailed 4-2 at halftime when J.P. Dalton won 7-of-8 faceoffs during the third quarter and the Greyhounds went up 7-5 late in the third quarter. Bellarmine got back within a goal with 58 seconds to go in the third quarter, but Loyola scored four in a row to lead 11-6 with 5:41 remaining in regulation.

Eric Lusby scored a game-high five goals, and Davis Butts added a career-best four, for the Greyhounds, while Dalton won 15-of-23 at the ‘X’ and picked up eight ground balls.


In The Polls

Loyola sits at No. 4 in both the USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls.

Entering the season, It was the first time in the polls’ existences that the Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 to start the year.

Bellarmine is receiving votes in the media poll.


Last Time Out

In a driving rain and winds that gusted to 40 miles per hour on Tuesday night, Loyola was down 4-3 to UMBC after one quarter, and the Retrievers took a 5-4 lead with 12:58 to play before halftime before the Greyhounds scored three in a row and eventually went ahead 8-6 at the break.

The teams traded goals in the first three minutes of the third quarter before the Greyhounds broke the game open with a 10-0 run that stretched into the fourth quarter.

Justin Ward scored three of his career-high seven goals during that run, and he also finished with three assists for 10 points.

Nikko Pontrello added three goals and three assists, both career highs, while Mike Sawyer tallied three goals, and Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan each had two out of the midfield.

Loyola owned a 49-30 advantage in ground balls with Scott Ratliff picking up a game-high eight. Joe Fletcher had seven, and Brendan Donovan won 19-of-31 faceoffs for Loyola.


Ward’s Big Night

The foul weather did not slow Justin Ward on Tuesday against UMBC, as the junior finished with seven goals and three assists for 10 points. His goal and point outputs were career-highs.

He became the first player to score at least seven goals in a game since Gavin Prout tallied eight in a 19-11 win at Hobart on April 28, 2001.

Ward’s 10-point effort was the first 10-point game for a Greyhound since Tim Goettelmann tallied the same amount in a 19-9 win on March 25, 2000, against Fairfield. In that game, Goettelmann scored four goals and had six assists. Later that season, he would score seven goals on May 16 in the NCAA First Round against Notre Dame.

Ward’s seven goals brought his 2013 total to a team-high 12, matching the number he put up in 19 games last season. He is also tops on the team with nine assists and 21 points through four games.

His seven goals are tied with Ohio State’s Logan Schuss and Army’s Garrett Thul for the most in a game this season, and his 10 points tie Schuss for game-high honors, as well.

With 41 career assists, Ward is now tied for 20th in Loyola’s Division I history with Mark Frye and Brian Kroneberger.


Pontrello Puts Up Points, Too

Somewhat lost in Justin Ward’s 10-point night against UMBC were the career-high numbers put up by fellow attacker Nikko Pontrello. The sophomore finished with career-bests in goals (3), assists (3) and points (6).

It was his first career multi-goal game, and his assists exceeded his previous best of two.

Pontrello now has two multi-point games this season after scoring a goal and assisting on two at Towson on February 20. In four games, he has five goals, and his six assists are second-most on the team.


Another Sawyer Hat Trick

Mike Sawyer had another three-goal game for Loyola against UMBC, meaning that the Greyhounds’ three starting attackers combined for 13 goals and seven assists versus the Retrievers.

The hat trick was the second of the season for Sawyer who also turned the feat at Towson. He now has 19 in his career at Loyola and is now third among active players with career hat tricks, trailing only Colgate’s Peter Baum (29) and Army’s Garrett Thul (25).


Eighth To 100

With his goal at 9:25 in the third quarter on Tuesday night, Mike Sawyer became the eighth player in Loyola men’s lacrosse history to score 100 in his career, the seventh in the program’s Division I history.

Sawyer joins a list that includes Gary Hanley (151), Pat Lamon (133), Gewas Schindler (120), Tim O’Shea (115), Kevin Beach (114), John Carroll (112) and Chris Colbeck (108).



Loyola scored 21 goals on Tuesday night against UMBC, marking the first time since April 26, 2000, that the Greyhounds had recorded 20 or more in a game. That day, they went on the road and beat Villanova, 21-7.

The game at Villanova was just 11 days after Loyola beat Massachusetts, 21-10, at home. Prior to those two games, the last 20-point outing was on April 15, 1998, against Lehigh.


Layne Keeps Tallying Points

Chris Layne had his fourth multi-point game in as many contests this season, recording two goals and an assist for the Greyhounds against UMBC after tallying the same amount three days prior against Maryland. Through four game this year, Layne has seven goals and five assists.

Last season, he had a total of five multi-point games while finishing with 11 goals and 14 assists. With his two goals against Delaware, Maryland and UMBC, Layne has more than doubled his multi-goal games during his time at Loyola to five. He also had one as a sophomore in 2010 for North Carolina.

At Delaware in the season-opener, Layne tallied the first and last goals of the game for the Greyhounds, the initial coming at 12:17 in the first quarter, and the second with 4.4 seconds left in the fourth. He also assisted on a Scott Ratliff transition goal just over five minutes into the third quarter.


Spreading The Scoring

Nine Loyola players scored goals at Towson with seven recording two or more points, and nine was also the number of scorers versus Maryland and UMBC, and seven had two or more points against the Retrievers.

Against Towson, Mike Sawyer and Justin Ward led the way with four points, Chris Layne and Kevin Ryan tallied three, while Nikko Pontrello, Sean O’Sullivan and Brian Schultz each recorded two.

The seven multi-point scorers were a step-up from the four (Layne, Sawyer, Ward and Davis Butts) who had two or more at Delaware.

Last season, Loyola had just two games with seven players scoring two or more points (Michigan, Air Force).


Off The Ground And Running

Loyola posted a 19-ground ball margin against UMBC, picking up 49, while the Retrievers had 30. Scott Ratliff led the way with a season-high eight, and Joe Fletcher matched his career-best with seven.

Four of the Greyhounds goals versus UMBC were as a direct result of unsettled transition.

Nineteen players had at least one ground ball for the Greyhounds in the game.


Two At The ‘X’

Loyola has had two primary faceoff men in their four games this season. Brendan Donovan started the season at Delaware and then took all but two of the 33 restarts against UMBC. He won 19-of-31 against the Retrievers where his 19 wins were the most by a Loyola player since Dan Kallaugher went 27-of-33 in the NCAA First Round at Albany on May 13, 2007.

In the Greyhounds’ other two games, Blake Burkhart took the majority of the restarts, winning 17-of-28, a career-high, at Towson, and 14-of-25 against Maryland.


Acton Active On Defense

Reid Acton tied his career-high on against Delaware with five caused turnovers to lead all players. He also picked up five ground balls, one shy of Scott Ratliff’s team-best six. He was part of a unit that held Delaware’s starting attack to just three goals in the game. Acton also caused five turnovers last season against Ohio State.


A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola senior does a lot, as he led the team last year in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7). His 37 caused turnovers were second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.

A Tewaaraton Award semifinalist, Ratliff was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Championships after scoring three goals, one a game-winner, and recording two assists and 16 ground balls.

Ratliff, who was also an USILA All-America Third Team member, an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.

He has scored a goal in three of the Greyhounds’ four goals this year, at Delaware and versus Maryland and UMBC to bring his career totals to 18 goals and 10 assists. He is currently second among active long-poles in scoring behind Bryant’s Mason Poli who has 32 goals and 10 assists.

With his game-opening goal against Canisius in the NCAA First Round, he set the Loyola single-season record for long-pole scoring, surpassing the record of 16 points set by current assistant coach Matt Dwan his senior season in 1995 when he tallied 11 goals and five assists and earned All-America honors.


Helmet Stickers

Loyola players are wearing three stickers on their helmets this season to remember those who have passed away. The stickers are in memory of Adam Pomper, a member of the 2012 team who passed away on June 12, 2012, Mandy O’Sullivan, mother of current players Sean and Ryan O’Sullivan who died in March 2012 from pancreatic cancer, and the 26 victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting in December 2012 where Loyola put on a youth lacrosse clinic in January.


Well-Represented In MLL Draft

Five members of the Loyola men’s lacrosse team were selected in the top 26 of the January 11 Major League Lacrosse draft. The Greyhounds tied Virginia for the most draft picks in the selection process.

Josh Hawkins and Mike Sawyer were both taken in the first round, going fifth and eighth overall to the Hamilton Nationals and Charlotte Hounds, respectively.

Scott Ratliff was the first pick of the second round, going ninth to the Boston Cannons, and Davis Butts was taken early in the third round, 19th overall to the Denver Outlaws.

Joining Hawkins in Hamilton will be Reid Acton, the team’s fourth round pick, 26th overall.

Sawyer will be joined in Charlotte by former teammate Eric Lusby who was the top waiver pick after the NCAA season ended in early June. After missing the majority of the MLL season with an injury, the NCAA Championships Most Outstanding Player made his MLL debut on July 28 at Long Island and scored a goal. He then tallied three goals  in an August 11 win over Rochester.


Newtown Youth Clinic

Fourteen members of the Loyola men’s lacrosse team took time from their holiday vacation to travel to Newtown, Conn., for a clinic with the Newtown Lacrosse Association.

Led by freshman Jason Crane, the Greyhounds worked with more than 100 elementary and junior-high school-age players, many of whom attended Sandy Hook Elementary School where the shooting that killed 26 took place in December.


Preseason Accolades

Six Loyola players were named to the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America teams: defender Joe Fletcher and short-stick midfielder Josh Hawkins (first team); attackman Mike Sawyer and long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff (second); midfielder Davis Butts (third); and, defender Reid Acton (honorable mention).

All six earned All-America honors last season with Sawyer earned Second Team honors and Ratliff was named to the Third Team. Acton, Butts, Fletcher and Acton earned Honorable Mention along with graduate student Eric Lusby.

In his first year as a starter, Fletcher was named to the NCAA and ECAC Championships All-Tournament Teams and earned a reputation as one of the top defenders in the nation. In 19 games as a sophomore, Fletcher caused 26 turnovers, second most on the team, and had 41 ground balls.

Hawkins has continued to be one of the top defensive midfielders in the nation and garnered considerable respect nationally for his play during the NCAA Championships. He earned NCAA All-Tournament honors and helped the Greyhounds limit Notre Dame and Maryland to a combined eight goals on Championships weekend. In addition to his six goals and two assists in 15 games last year, Hawkins was second on the team with 63 ground balls.

Sawyer was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player last season when he scored 52 goals and assisted on 10 more and was named the team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. During the regular-season, he led the ECAC in goals and goals per game while earning All-ECAC First Team honors. He became the second player to score 50 or more goals in a season and was joined by a third on last year’s team.

Ratliff continued to be one of the top long-stick midfielders in the nation and set a Loyola scoring record for the position last year. He finished with 12 goals and seven assists, exceeding current Loyola Assistant Coach Matt Dwan’s previous record for a long-stick midfielder set in 1995. In addition to his scoring, he tallied 88 ground balls and 37 caused turnovers while earning ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, ECAC Championships Most Valuable Player, NCAA All-Tournament Team and team co-defenisve player of the year honors.

Butts was a first-line midfielder for the Greyhounds for the second year in a row. He excelled as a dodger and finisher and ranked fourth on the team in points (35) and third in goals scored (21). A versatile player, Butts also saw plenty of action on the wings of faceoffs and in the defensive midfield where he picked up 40 ground balls.

Acton will enter 2013 having started on the Greyhounds’ defense each of the last three years. He finished the 2012 season with 44 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers, while helping Loyola record a 7.21 goals allowed per game average, the fifth-best mark in Division I. The Greyhounds set a pair of defensive records during Championship Weekend, holding Notre Dame and Maryland to a combined eight goals in the two games and allowing the Terrapins just three in the title match.


Toomey Receives Morris Touchstone Award

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career, and in December, he received the coaches association’s Morris Touchstone Award as the national coach of the year.

The Greyhounds became the second team in USILA Coaches Poll history to start a season unranked and ascend to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The only other team was Duke in 2007 – a year after the Blue Devils had their season suspended in March – which accomplished the feat after being unranked in the first poll, moving to second in the next version and first in the third. Duke was knocked from its perch as No. 1 that season when it lost to the Greyhounds at the First Four in San Diego.

The win over Canisius in the First Round was the 60th victory of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 60 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .640 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.


Big Runs

Last season, runs of three-plus goals were critical in the Greyhounds success, as they had runs of 3-0 or better in all 19 games. In all, Loyola scored three or more in a row on 37 occasions last year.

The Greyhounds have opened the 2013 season in similar fashion as they scored three-straight in the second quarter to take a 4-2 lead against Delaware after trailing, 2-1. They then had two runs of 3-0 or better at Towson.

Against UMBC, Loyola had a 3-0 first-half run before putting together a 10-0 stretch in the third and fourth quarters.

The game against Maryland marked the first time since May 5, 2011, against Fairfield that the Greyhounds did not put up a run of 3-0 or better.


Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds outscored opponents 66-22 in the third quarters of games, and 123-63 overall in the second half (including overtime), last season. The second-half scoring continued a trend from 2011 when Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56.

This year, Loyola is outscoring opponents 20-8 in the third quarter and 31-18 overall after halftime.


Up Next

The Greyhounds have their longest stretch of time without a game so far this season, a six-day break, before traveling to Durham, N.C., to face Duke at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 8.

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Ward tallies 10 points as Loyola crushes UMBC

Posted on 26 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Ward’s 7 Goals, 10 Points Lead Men’s Lacrosse Over UMBC


BALTIMORE – Justin Ward did not let driving rain and wind gusts of 40 miles per hour both his game on Tuesday night as the junior scored seven goals and had three assists in Loyola University Maryland’s 21-9 victory over visiting UMBC at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Ward’s seven goals are the most by a Loyola player since Tim Goettelmann tallied that number against the University of Notre Dame in an NCAA First Round game that the Greyhounds lost, 15-13, on May 15, 2000.

He scored four in the third quarter, leading a 10-0 Loyola run that helped the Greyhounds (3-1 overall) extend an 8-6 halftime advantage to what would be a 12-goal margin of victory.

UMBC (1-2) led 4-3 after the first period, and although Ward tied the game at 5-5 with a goal 55 seconds into the second, Conor Finch gave the Retrievers a 5-4 lead 2:02 into the frame with an unassisted goal.

Ward responded quickly for Loyola, scoring an unassisted tally 33 seconds later, and Loyola took the lead for good at 9:56 when Nikko Pontrello fed Pat Laconi in transition for a goal.

Pontrello recorded career-highs in goals (3), assists (3) and points (3) in the game, as well, while Laconi scored a goal and had an assist. He also caused a career-high four turnovers and picked up three ground balls.

Only 45 seconds after Laconi’s goal, Pontrello was on the scoring end of a Ward pass to push the Loyola advantage to 7-5.

Pat Young scored unassisted for UMBC, and the Retrievers were back within one, 7-6, with 4:12 to play in the half. Chris Layne used a Davis Butts pass and scored form 10 yards out with 3:32 on the clock, providing the 8-6 halftime score.

Ward rolled form ‘X’ to score 1:16 into the second half, pushing the Loyola lead to 9-6, at that time its largest of the game. UMBC, however, rallied to cut its deficit back to two 1:03 later on a Dave Brown goal.

Sean O’Sullivan scored from the left side at 10:57, igniting a 10-0 Loyola run that would stretch into the fourth quarter.

Pontrello tallied an unassisted goal at 9:33, and eight seconds later Mike Sawyer took a Butts pass after Butts picked up the ground ball on a Brendan Donovan faceoff win. Sawyer scored to make the lead 12-7.

A Butts bounce shot from 12 yards out made it 13-7 Loyola at 7:51, and then Ward reeled off three in a row, the final coming at 2:47 with the Greyhounds facing a 30-second warning.

Layne registered his third multi-goal game of the year with 36 ticks left in the quarter with the Greyhounds a man down, and Harry Kutner tallied his first goal as a Greyhound on an extra-man opportunity 30 seconds into the fourth.

Pontrello added his third of the game at 12:57 to complete the 10-0 run.

Pat Young broke through for UMBC at 11:06, and Sawyer and Scott Ratliff tacked on late goals for the Greyhounds.

The 21 goals are the most by a Loyola team since the Greyhounds defeated Villanova University, 21-7, on the road on April 26, 2000.

Donovan won 19-of-31 faceoffs for Loyola, and the Greyhounds were successful on 20-of-33 in total.

Ratliff scooped up eight ground balls, and Joe Fletcher had seven, helping Loyola to a 49-30 advantage off the ground. Ratliff also set a career-high with five caused turnovers.

Seven Loyola players had multi-point games: Ward (7g, 3a), Pontrello (3g, 3a), Sawyer (3g, 1a), Layne (2g, 1a), Butts (1g, 2a) and Laconi (1g, 1a).

Jack Runkel made seven saves in goal for Loyola, and Jimmy Joe Granito played the final 8:22, tallying two saves.

Loyola continues its busy start to the season with its fifth game in 15 days when it hosts Bellarmine University at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 2.

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Sawyer scores four to help Loyola past Towson

Posted on 20 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Sawyer Scores Four In Chilly Men’s Lacrosse Win Over Towson

TOWSON, Md. – Mike Sawyer scored four goals and seven Loyola University Maryland players tallied two or more points as the Greyhounds defeated host Towson, 14-9, on a Wednesday night when the wind chill hovered below 15 degrees.

Justin Ward had a four-point night with a goal and three assists, while Kevin Ryan (two goals, one assist) and Chris Layne (one goal, two assists) each had three. Sean O’Sullivan (two goals), Brian Schultz and Nikko Pontrello (one goal, one assist each) tallied two points apiece.

Loyola (2-0 overall) built a 4-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game as four players scored goals.

“Anytime Loyola and Towosn play, you are going to have a physical game, and that is exactly what it was,” Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “I was pleased with our energy tonight, and I thought that we came out with intensity.”

Sawyer opened the scoring by taking a Ward pass from behind and depositing a goal from just outside the crease on the right side, 2:59 into the game. Davis Butts used an 11-yard sidearm shot off a Layne assist just over 2:30 later to tack on the second goal, and O’Sullivan finished a Pontrello feed from 10 yards out at 6:42.

On the Greyhounds’ first extra-man opportunity of the night, Ryan picked up a loose ball in front of the cage and scored at 5:03 to put the Greyhounds ahead, 4-0.

After a Thomas DeNapoli goal with 1:09 left in the first quarter, Loyola tallied the first two of the second period. Sawyer redodged and got past his defender to score at 13:32, and Ryan recorded the first two-goal game of his career with another extra-man tally on a cut down the middle, this off a Schultz assist, at 9:39.

Towson (0-3), however, scored the next three goals, and Greg Cuccinello’s goal with 6:41 to play before halftime closed the Tigers’ deficit to 6-4.

The Greyhounds responded with a pair of goals, the first coming from Sawyer off a Ward assist. Sawyer shot from an extremely tight angle on the left side after Ward shot a pass from behind. O’Sullivan then notched his second of the game with 1:14 to go before halftime to push Loyola’s lead to 8-4 at the break.

Loyola scored the first two of the second half as Patrick Fanshaw dodged from right-to-left from the top middle and scored at 12:13, and Sawyer ducked out from in front of the crease, caught a Ryan pass and scored with 8:47 on the clock. His fourth of the game gave the Greyhounds a six-goal lead, 10-4.

Towson rallied again as Cuccinello and Andrew Hodgson wrapped a pair of goals around a Pontrello score, and then Hodgson and DeNapoli scored to open the fourth quarter.

DeNapoli’s shot from nine yards out on the left side with 9:40 remaining in regulation closed the gap to 11-8.

Loyola earned an extra-man opportunity, however, on a Towson illegal body check, and Ward fed a cross-crease pass to Schultz on the right doorstep, and Schultz’s goal pushed the lead back to four.

Towson again closed it to three on DeNapoli’s fourth of the game at 4:22, but two Loyola goals with an empty net, one by Ward on a man-up and the other by Layne, provided the final five-goal difference.

After winning just 7-of-21 faceoffs in the season opener at the University of Delaware, Blake Burkhart made his season debut at the ‘X’ and won 17-of-28. He also led all players with eight ground balls.

Scott Ratliff and Joe Fletcher each had four ground balls, and all but one Loyola starter had at least one off the ground. Loyola picked up a total of 39 to Towson’s 24.

Jack Runkel made 10 saves in goal for Loyola.

The Greyhounds play their home opener on Saturday, February 23, at 1:30 p.m. against the University of Maryland in a rematch of the 2012 NCAA Championship Game that Loyola won, 9-3. The game will be broadcast live nationally on NBC Sports Network.

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Loyola lax shows strong in exhibition against National Team

Posted on 27 January 2013 by WNST Staff

Loyola Shows Strong Effort In Exhibition Against Team USA


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team put up a good fight against the US National Team Sunday afternoon, but the Greyhounds came up short in a 17-13 contest with the reigning FIL World Championships at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney.

Junior Justin Ward paced Loyola with four points on one goal and three assists, while four Greyhounds – seniors Davis Butts, Phil Dobson and Mike Sawyer, in addition to sophomore Nikko Pontrello – tallied two goals in the exhibition game. Graduate student Harry Kutner dished out three assists, while junior Sean O’Sullivan had one goal and two assists and junior Brian Schultz had one goal and one assist. Senior Josh Hawkins and junior Kevin Ryan each tacked on one goal and senior Chris Layne rounded out the scoring with one assist.

For the US National Team, Chazz Wooeson and Sam Bradman each had three goals, while Matt Gibson tacked on two.

Matt Danowski found the back of the net first for the Red, White and Blue at the 14:01 mark, but the Greyhounds took advantage of two man-up situations to take their first lead at 9:42. Ward bounced a pass from O’Sullivan past goalie John Galloway at 12:27 before Schultz stuck a shot in the top corner from Kutner.

Ben Hunt then evened the score at 8:47.

Sawyer backed up a wide shot around the six-minute mark and sent a quick restart around the back of the goal to Pontrello, who found Ward for the score at 5:44. The Greyhounds held their lead until Kevin Leveille scored with 8.6 seconds remaining in the first quarter to knot the score at 3-3.

The USA scored another three unanswered goals to stretch its lead to 6-3 at the 7:30 mark of the second quarter, but Butts fired two-straight goals to bring Loyola within one with 4:54 to play in the half. Layne set up the first goal flipping a pass to Butts at the top of the box, who ripped a high shot past Scott Rodgers.

Butts tacked on a second goal 34 seconds later, assisted by O’Sullivan.

A third-straight goal from the Greyhounds at 2:39 evened the score for a fourth time when Dobson scored off a pass from Ward.

The US closed out the half with two goals in the final two minutes though, taking an 8-6 advantage into the break.

Pontrello started second-half scoring by slipping his second goal of the afternoon into the back of the net and then after six minutes of scoreless play, Dobson knotted the score at eight, scoring on a pass from Kutner.

A quick goal from Bradman sparked a three-goal run from the United States that O’Sullivan snapped as time expired in the third quarter, cutting Loyola’s deficit to two, at 11-9.

The US team tested freshman Jimmy Joe Granito when he entered the game in the fourth quarter, tallying two goals, but Granito was able to settle in as the Greyhounds rattled off three-unanswered to pull within one, 13-12, at the 11:35 mark. Sawyer notched his first in the run before Hawkins dodged defenders, split a double team and stuck a shot into the back of the net. Ryan capped the streak with a goal from Schultz.

The run didn’t quiet the national team though, as they slipped two goals passed senior Michael Bonitatibus to take a 15-12 advantage.

Sawyer’s second goal of the day pulled Loyola within two with 7:42 to play, but that would be as close as the Greyhounds would get as the USA closed out the game with two goals to bring the final tally to 17-13.

In goal, junior Jack Runkel led the way with nine saves, while Granito stopped four shots and Bonitatibus turned back one.

Loyola will open its 2013 season on Saturday, Feb. 16 when it travels to Delaware.

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