Ratliff, Fletcher Earn ECAC Specialist, Defensive Players Of Year
CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland senior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff and junior defender Joe Fletcher were both named to the All-ECAC Lacrosse League First Team, and they were respectively named the conference’s Specialist of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday by the league’s coaches.
Senior Mike Sawyer and junior Justin Ward were named to the All-ECAC Second Team as attackers, as were seniors Reid Acton and Davis Butts on defense and in the midfield, respectively.
Freshmen Zach Herreweyers, an attacker, and Justin Verratti, a defender, were named to the All-Rookie Team.
Ratliff, who was a unanimous selection as the Specialist of the Year after earned Defensive Player of the Year honors last year, leads the ECAC in ground balls (64), ground balls per game (4.78), caused turnovers (29) and caused turnovers per game (2.1).
He has also excelled in transition and offensively for the Greyhounds. This season, he has already set the school single-season for scoring by a long-pole player with 13 goals, topping the 12 he scored last season. He also had four assists, and earlier this year, he became the first player in the modern history of lacrosse to score four goals in a game with a long-stick.
Fletcher picked up Defensive Player of the Year honors while helping anchor the Greyhounds defense that is seventh in NCAA Division I, allowing 7.86 goals per game. He has routinely marked the opposing team’s top scorer, including last week when he held Johns Hopkins’ Wells Stanwick, who entered the game averaging 4.0 points per game, to just one point on an assist.
The second-year starter leads ECAC defenders players in ground balls with 54, and he has also caused 17 turnovers.
Sawyer became a three-time All-ECAC honoree with his second team honors. The senior has scored 11 goals in the Greyhounds’ last three games, tallying four goals and two assists against both Denver and at Hobart and three goals in last Saturday’s win over Johns Hopkins. He is second on the team this season with 30 goals and 36 points. He is second in Loyola’s Division I era in career goals (122).
Ward has led the team in scoring throughout the season and enters the ECAC Championships with 26 goals and a team-high 28 assists and 54 total points. He is third in the ECAC in total points, and his 7-goal, 10-point performance earlier this season against UMBC was the first of its kind at Loyola since 2001. With 60 career assists, he is tied for seventh in school Division I history, and his 98 points are 23rd.
Butts has consistently drawn the long-pole defender on Loyola’s first midfield unit this year, but he earned All-ECAC honors for the second time in as many years. He has scored seven goals and assisted on nine this year, and his 31 ground balls are third on the team.
Acton is another repeat All-ECAC honoree for the Greyhounds. A tough interior defender for the Greyhounds, he has caused 15 turnovers and picked up 20 ground balls while marking some of the conference’s best offensive players.
Herreweyers has led ECAC freshmen in goals per game (2.0) this season while scoring 16 in eight games. He has four hat tricks this season and scored at least one goal in every game he played but one (Duke, which he played only in the fourth quarter).
Verratti was a key part of Loyola’s man-down defense this year, helping the Greyhounds kill penalties at an 85-percent success rate.
The Greyhounds open play in the third-annual ECAC Championships tonight in the semifinals against The Ohio State University. Play will commence at 8 p.m. from Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y., and the game will be televised on Fox Sports Networks, Fox College Sports and FUEL TV.