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Streaking Towson Hopes to Hand UMass First Defeat Saturday on WNST

Posted on 06 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Opening Face-Off Riding a five-game winning streak, the 19th-ranked Towson men’s lacrosse team travels to second-ranked and undefeated UMass on Saturday. The Tigers (7-3, 2-0 CAA) will be seeking their third consecutive road win, while the Minutemen (9-0, 2-0 CAA) will look to remain unblemished at home in six games. The battle of CAA heavyweights is set for 1 p.m. and all the action can be heard live on WNST-AM 1570 with Spiro Morekas and Hunter Lochte calling the action.

Updating the Tigers
The Tigers have won back-to-back games with thrilling fourth quarter comebacks. Just four days after erasing a 9-3 fourth quarter deficit and winning in double overtime at Hofstra, Towson scored the final four goals of the game to upend UMBC, 12-11, Wednesday night at Johnny Unitas ® Stadium. Junior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage was a rock in the cage for the Tigers on Wednesday, registering a career-high 17 saves. Wascavage has made 86 saves this season while boasting a 9.15 goals-against-average and a .544 save percentage. Five Tigers have scored at least 10 goals this season, led by Sean Maguire’s 17. Sophomore Thomas DeNapoli, who has 10 points in his last two games, leads the Tigers with 25 points on 15 goals and a team-high 10 assists this season. Junior Matt Hughes (13), senior Matt Lamon (12) and senior Carl Iacona (10) have also scored double-digit goals this year.

Scouting the Minutemen
UMass is ranked No. 2 in both the Nike/InsideLacrosse Media Poll and the USILA Coaches Poll. The Minutemen are also receiving first place votes in each poll – 5 of 20 in the media poll and 2 of 10 in the coaches poll. At 9-0, the Minutemen are joined by just Loyola as the only remaining unbeaten teams in the country. UMass ranks fifth nationally in scoring offense (12.8 goals per game) and third nationally in defense (6.6 goals allowed per game). CAA and NEILA Player of the Week Will Manny is the nation’s fifth-leading scorer with 3.22 goals per game. He also ranks second nationally with 5.3 points per game and 8th nationally with 2.1 assists per game. Goalie Tim McCormack ranks second nationally in save percentage (.633) and third in goals-against average (6.35).

Towson-UMass Series History
Saturday’s game will be just the fifth all-time meeting between Towson and UMass. The two programs met in 1963, but then did not play again until 2010. The squads will be playing for the fourth time since 2010 when they battle on Saturday. The all-time series is tied 2-2 and this will be just the second matchup in Amherst. Towson won the only meeting at Garber Field, 10-9, on April 10, 2010. The Minutemen were victorious last season, 9-8, in overtime at Johnny Unitas ® Stadium.

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Loyola Looks to Stay Perfect Saturday at Fairfield

Posted on 06 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent Fairfield Stags
Date Saturday, April 7, 2012
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Fairfield, Conn. | Lessing Field
TV | Radio Hounds Unleashed
Series Record Loyola leads, 11-2
Last Meeting Fairfield 10, Loyola 9 – May 5, 2011 at Denver/ECAC Semi.

Game Data

The Greyhounds embark on a three-game roadtrip that will take them from Connecticut to Colorado in ECAC Lacrosse League action when they play at 1 o’clock on Saturday, April 7, at Fairfield University.

Series History

Loyola and the Stags will meet for the 14th time when they face-off on Lessing Field Saturday. The Greyhounds hold an 11-2 lead in the all-time series, but the teams split two meetings last year with Loyola winning, 7-6, in overtime during the regular-season, but Fairfield picking up a 10-9 decision in the ECAC Semifinals in Denver.

In The Polls

Loyola checked in at No. 4 for the second week in a row in the USILA Coaches’ Poll this week, and the Greyhounds moved up one spot in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings to No. 4. The coaches’ poll mark is Loyola’s highest ranking since it checked in at third in the April 1, 2002, poll with a 7-0 record after downing Towson, 15-7.

Fairfield, meanwhile, is ranked 14th in both the USILA and Inside Lacrosse polls.

Close Call

Loyola’s 8-7 victory last Saturday against Ohio State marked the first time this year that the Greyhounds have played a game decided by less than three goals. Previously, Loyola’s closest victory was 11-8 on March 3 at Bellarmine, and no other game was within five goals.

Ten Or More Streak Snapped

The Greyhounds had scored at least 11 goals in each of their first eight games of the 2012 season, marking the longest stretch of games with 10 or more goals they have put together since March 24-May 12, 2001. Ohio State, however, held Loyola to just eight goals when the teams met last Saturday.

New Feeling

Loyola was outshot for the first time this season on Saturday against Ohio State, as the Buckeyes tallied 33 shots to the Greyhounds’ 27.

Ohio State, however, managed to put just 15 shots on goal, and goalkeeper Jack Runkel made saves on eight.

Loyola, meanwhile, had 20 shots on goal, a season-best 74-percent of its overall shots.

Previously, Loyola had outshot opponents by a minimum of nine in the first eight games of the year.

Acton Draws Recognition

Junior defender Reid Acton was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after recording five ground balls and a career-best five caused turnovers last Saturday against Ohio State.

Acton’s primary marking responsibility against the Buckeyes was leading scorer Logan Schuss who entered the game averaging 3+ goals and 4+ points per game. Acton limited him to two goals and an assist, and his final goal came with just nine seconds left and Loyola leading by three.

Near The Top Of The Rankings

While Loyola had its season-low total of eight goals on Saturday against Ohio State, the Greyhounds’ defense played nearly to its season average by allowing just seven goals.

As of this Monday, Loyola is ranked sixth in NCAA Division I with an average of 7.11 goals allowed per game. The Greyhounds slipped to ninth (from a tie for fifth last week) in scoring offense, as they are now averaging 12.44 goals per game through nine contests.

Loyola is second nationally in scoring margin (+5.33), just behind Massachusetts (+6.22).

Sharing The Rock

No Loyola player has more than 6 assists (Justin Ward) through nine games, but nine players have at least four assists, and 14 have two or more. In addition to Ward’s 6, Sean O’Sullivan has nine, Davis Butts and Eric Lusby have eight, Mike Sawyer has seven, Chris Layne checks in with six, and Nikko Pontrello has five and J.P. Dalton and Pat Byrnes have four each.

With 78 assists this season, the Greyhounds lead Division I with 8.78 per game.

Ward Distributes

Justin Ward posted three assists in the win over Ohio State, two off his career-high of five set earlier this season against Towson. He now leads the team with 16 assists and is third with 20 points.

Ward also tallied a big goal for the Greyhounds, coming around screens by Mike Sawyer and Sean O’Sullivan to rip a seven-yard shot that put Loyola ahead 7-5 late.

More Than Last Year

This year’s team has already eclipsed last year’s total of 62 assists in just eight games. The Greyhounds’ 112 goals this season are already more than the 110 the 2011 team put up in 13 games a year ago.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first nine games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 18 occasions this season.

Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.

Loyola then used a 6-0 run to break a 5-5 tie early in the third quarter with Georgetown on the way to a 11-6 victory.

The Greyhounds then scored seven in a row on the back end of a 10-1 run last Saturday at UMBC.

After falling behind 3-2 in the second quarter against Ohio State, the Greyhounds strung together four in a row to go ahead 6-3 by the end of the third quarter.

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just four times this year, the most recent coming when Ohio State tallied three unanswered in the second quarter last Saturday to go up 3-2. Only one team (Air Force) has scored four in a row.

Every time an opponent has logged those runs, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.

Lusby, Ratliff Join Tewaaraton Watch List

On Wednesday, Loyola’s Eric Lusby and Scott Ratliff were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, joining fellow Greyhound Mike Sawyer who was named to the group before the season.

Lusby is second on the team with 27 goals and 35 points, while Ratliff paces the team in caused turnovers with 17, and his 39 ground balls are tied for the team lead.

Second-Half Success

Loyola continued a trend of strong second-half play this season by outscoring Ohio State, 3-0, in the third quarter.

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 37-10 in the third quarters of games and 63-29 overall this year in the second half.

The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.

Lusby Matches Career-High

Eric Lusby scored three times during Loyola’s second half run and finished the Georgetown game with five goals, matching his career-high set on March 3 at Bellarmine. He followed that with his fifth hat trick of the season, scoring three at UMBC.

Lusby has scored at least one goal in each of Loyola’s eight games this season. The graduate student returned to game action in the season-opener after missing all but two games of the 2011 season. Now a graduate student, Lusby tore his right ACL in the 2010 NCAA First Round game against Cornell. He attempted to come back last year, but he saw limited action against Navy and Towson and was shut down to rehab the injury for the remainder of the season.

Lusby burst back onto the scene against Delaware, scoring the Greyhounds’ first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity, and the 2010 All-ECAC First Team member tallied three more in the second half.

Lusby reset his career-high at Bellarmine, tallying five goals in the victory to go with one assist, and added two more at Michigan.

Through Loyola’s first eight games, Lusby is second on the team with 27 goals and 35 points.

Sawyer, Runkel Honored Again

For the second time this season, Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel earned ECAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors on the same day, as the pair was honored on Monday following the Greyhounds’ wins over Georgetown and UMBC.

Sawyer scored three goals against the Hoyas, and he then scored four-straight Loyola goals and finished with five at UMBC. Sawyer also matched his career-best with two assists against the Retrievers.

Runkel paced the Loyola defense in the two games, playing to a 5.50 goals against average. He made a career-best 13 saves in the win over UMBC.

Toomey Wins 50th

Head coach Charley Toomey earned his 50th-career win Wednesday, March 7, as Loyola beat Michigan, 15-8.

Toomey, who is in his seventh season, has led Loyola to eight-plus wins in each of the last three seasons and has had the Greyhounds finish .500 or better in all seven seasons since coming to the Evergreen campus.

Sawyer Shows Same Form

Mike Sawyer has picked up where he left off a year ago, leading the team with 29 goals and 36 points through the first eight games. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 38 points.

Sawyer tied a then-career-high with five goals in the team’s, 15-8, win at Michigan, before scoring a new personal-best six goals against Duke.

After scoring five goals against UMBC, he now has 16 career multi-goal games and the 19 multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.

Before the season, Sawyer was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Team and was named to the Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention. He also was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List.

Dominant At The ‘X’

In his first year as the Greyhounds’ primary face-off man, senior J.P. Dalton has continued Loyola’s tradition of excellence at the ‘X’.

Through eight games, Dalton ranks eighth nationally in face-off percentage, winning restarts at a .620 clip (124-of-200). As a unit, the Greyhounds entered the week fourth-best in the nation at .612.

Dalton is tied for the team lead with 39 ground balls with one of his primary wings, Scott Ratliff. Josh Hawkins, who returned from injury to make his season-debut on March 10 against Duke, has 24 in five games, and Pat Laconi has 15. Davis Butts has also seen time on the wing and has 23 ground balls this season.

Ratliff Honored For Second Time

Loyola long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week on Monday after turning in impressive numbers in last Saturday’s win over Air Force. Ratliff scored twice and had an assist while picking up seven ground balls against the Falcons.

Earlier this season, Ratliff earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week laurels after the Greyhounds’ opener against Delaware.

Ratliff is currently sixth among active long poles in career scoring. He has seven goals and five assists for 12 points. This year, he has three goals and two assists, as well as a team-leading 32 ground balls.

Sawyer, Runkel Earn ECAC Honors

Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel were honored as ECAC Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week on March 12 following wins at Michigan and against Duke.

Sawyer scored 11 goals and had 14 points, setting career highs in both categories. He scored five goals and had six points in Michigan’s first-ever home game, before breaking those personal records with six goals and eight points in a win over Duke. He also picked up a career-high six ground balls, finishing the week with nine ground balls.

Runkel made the first two starts of his collegiate career, posting an 8.00 goals-against average and .515 save percentage to help the Greyhounds in two wins. Playing less than three minutes between the pipes as a freshman last season, he started the Michigan game and held the Wolverines to eight goals, while making five saves. He then made a career-high 12 saves against a Duke team that has played in the last five Final Fours.

Bonitatibus, Runkel Both Win First Starts

Junior Michael Bonitatibus made his first collegiate start in goal for the Greyhounds against Delaware after having played less than two minutes prior to this season.

Bonitatibus, who played 65 seconds in his collegiate debut last year at Duke, made seven saves for the Greyhounds and allowed just eight goals. He also picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Bonitatibus became the first Loyola goalkeeper to win his starting debut in nearly 11 years. The last was Mark Bloomquist who also defeated Delaware, 8-7, on February 24, 2001.

Jack Runkel made his first career start against Michigan and also won his initial outing as a starter. He tallied five saves against the Wolverines, and he then posted a career-high 12 against Duke.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds have opened their third year at the stadium with six wins at home. Loyola is now 14-3 all-time at Ridley.

What’s Next

Loyola continues its stretch of road games with a 7 o’clock (Mountain) game at Denver on Saturday, April 14.

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Hopkins Hopes to Bounce Back Thursday Night Against Albany

Posted on 04 April 2012 by WNST Staff

The Game: Third-ranked Johns Hopkins (8-1) returns home to host Albany (1-7) in a rare Thursday night game for the Blue Jays.

Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins had its 15-game regular season winning streak snapped as the Blue Jays fell to North Carolina, 13-9, in the Big City Classic on Sunday. Albany picked up its first win of the season last Saturday with a 12-11 victory over Binghamton.

Series History: Johns Hopkins and Albany are meeting for the 11th time in a series that dates to a 10-4 Johns Hopkins victory in 2002. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 9-1 and all 11 games (including this season’s matchup) have been played at Homewood Field.

These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Albany with an all-time record of 920-295-15 (.754). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.

Career Win Number 150: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up career win number 150 with the 12-6 victory vs. Towson in the season opener. He now sports an all-time record of 157-59 (.726), including a 134-42 (.761) record at Johns Hopkins. He ranks second all-time in school history in career coaching victories as only Hall of Fame coach Bob Scott (158 wins from 1955-74) has more victories than Pietramala while patrolling the sidelines at Homewood.

About the Start: Although Johns Hopkins had its eight-game season-opening winning streak snapped with the loss to North Carolina on Sunday, good things could be in store for the Blue Jays down the road. Since 1977 the Blue Jays have opened a season with eight straight wins seven times (including this season). JHU has won the national championship three times in the previous six years, made two other trips to the title game and advanced to the NCAA semifinals the other year.

Program Ties: Albany is coached by Scott Marr, a 1991 Johns Hopkins graduate. Marr was a member of the Blue Jays’ 1987 NCAA Championship team and played at JHU with current Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala and current JHU associate head coach Bill Dwan.

Marching Orders: Johns Hopkins closed out the March portion of its 2012 schedule at Virginia on March 24. The Blue Jays posted their first perfect record in the month of March (5-0) since 2005, when they also won all five of their games played in the month. Since 1972, JHU has posted a perfect record in the month of March 15 times (not including this season). In six of those years the Blue Jays went on to win the national championship and in seven other instances JHU finished as national runner-up.

April Reign: Flipping the calendar to April has usually been a good sign for the Blue Jays, who are 48-8 (.857) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April. JHU is 27-3 at home, 19-3 on the road and 2-2 on a neutral field in April under Pietramala’s guidance.

Streaking – Part 1: In case you didn’t notice, Johns Hopkins is 16-2 in its last 18 games, 21-4 since the start of the 2011 season and 23-6 in its last 29 games.

Streaking – Part 2: Johns Hopkins is 109-30 (.784) in its last 139 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 126-38 (.768) overall since the start of the 2002 season.

13-Win Seasons: With a 13-3 record last season, Johns Hopkins reached the 13-win mark for the fifth time under head coach Dave Pietramala and the 12th time in school history.

Home Cookin’: Johns Hopkins ran its home winning streak to 11 games with the 11-7 win over sixth-ranked Syracuse on March 17. The streak is the second-longest under head coach Dave Pietramala, who picked up his 75th career victory at Homewood Field with the win earlier this season against Delaware. Hopkins sports a gaudy 78-12 (.867) record in home games during his career at JHU.
JHU won a school and national-record 37 straight home games from 2001-06 under Pietramala’s guidance and the current 11-game home winning streak is the fourth home streak of seven wins or more since he arrived.

More Home Cookin’: In addition to boasting the second-longest home winning streak of the Dave Pietramala era, Johns Hopkins’ current 11-game winning streak at Homewood Field is also the second longest active home winning streak in the nation. Only Cornell, which has won 12 straight at Schoellkopf Field, has a longer current streak in the home whites than Johns Hopkins. Johns Hopkins’ win at Virginia on March 24 snapped UVA’s 14-game home winning streak, which had stood as the longest in the nation.

Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins has employed virtually the same first and second midfield units throughout the first nine games and those units have proven to be steady in terms of production. JHU’s first unit of Rob Guida (11), John Ranagan (8) and John Greeley (6) has combined for 25 goals, while the second unit of Lee Coppersmith (10), Mark Goodrich (5) and Greg Edmonds (2) has 17 goals to its credit. The major difference between the two groups has been with assists. The unit of Guida, Ranagan and Greeley has combined for 16 assists. Edmonds’ assist against North Carolina was the first assist of the season from the trio on the second midfield.

Jumping Right In: Junior John Kaestner had played in 12 career games and hadn’t so much as taken a shot before getting the starting nod at Princeton with freshman Wells Stanwick out. No worries, all Kaestner did was stick the first two goals of his career during a 4-1 fourth-quarter run that fueled JHU’s 10-8 win. He came back with one goal and one assist in the win vs. Manhattan and duplicated that effort in the win over UMBC.

Bassett Now 21-4 in Last 25 Starts: Junior goalie Pierce Bassett picked up his 24th career victory in goal with the 11-10 win at Virginia as he posted nine saves in the overtime victory. Including the loss to UNC he is 21-4 in his last 25 starts dating back to the start of the 2011 season and counts a 24-8 career record to his credit. Through nine games Bassett currently ranks fifth in the nation in goals against average (6.82) and 14th in save percentage (.565).
Bassett concluded his first full season as the starter for the Blue Jays last season and posted a 7.07 goals against average and a .570 save percentage. He finished fifth in the nation in GAA and 10th in save percentage. Bassett’s 7.07 goals against average is the second best by a JHU goalie since 1993 (Jesse Schwartman’s 6.68 GAA in 2005 is the best since records became available in ‘93).

Boland Returns: Senior attackman Chris Boland returned to the lineup against North Carolina after missing seven consecutive games with an injury he suffered 35 minutes into the season opener against Towson. Boland scored twice and dished out a pair of assists to push his season totals to six goals and two assists in just two games. Boland’s two-goal, two-assist showing vs. North Carolina pushed his career totals to 72 goals and 40 assists for 112 points. It was also his 26th career multi-point game and 17th game with four points or more.

Poll Position: The Blue Jays check in at number three in both the USILA Coaches Poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll this week. The Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications Office uses the USILA Poll to represent JHU’s official ranking at the time of a game. Prior to falling out of the top 20 of the USILA Poll on April 26 and May 3, 2010 (JHU was receiving votes in both polls), the Blue Jays had been ranked in the top 20 in 367 consecutive polls dating back to the first poll in 1973.

More Poll Position: Including this week’s USILA Poll, there have been 391 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 389 of those 391 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 368 of the 391 and the top five in 294 of those 391. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.

State Rivalries: Without question the Blue Jays play one of the most difficult schedules in the nation and a big part of the schedule are the in-state rivalries the Blue Jays have. Including wins this season vs. Towson and UMBC, JHU is 55-4 (.932) against teams from Maryland under head coach Dave Pietramala.

Offensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU offense:
• JHU has scored at least one goal in 34 of 36 quarters this season and two or more in 29 of the 36 quarters.
• For all the talk about JHU being a slow down team, the Blue Jays are averaging 36.1 shots per game. That number compares favorably to JHU’s averages in 2005 (38.1) and 2007 (36.3) – the most recent years in which Johns Hopkins won the national championship.
• Johns Hopkins ranks 20th in the nation in scoring offense (10.33), 14th in extra-man offense (.455) and ninth in scoring margin (+3.66).

Defensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU defense:
• Hopkins held Towson to just 18 shots and Manhattan to just 14. Hopkins is surrending an average of just 29.9 shots per game.
• Johns Hopkins has held each of its nine opponents scoreless for a stretch of at least 14:52 – eight of the nine have gone scoreless for 19:30 or longer.
• JHU has held the opposition scoreless in 12 of 36 quarters this season (33.3%).
• The Blue Jays rank fourth in the nation in scoring defense (6.67), 22nd in man-down defense (.677) and ninth in scoring margin (+3.66) this season.

Now That’s a Drought: The Johns Hopkins defense did not allow an even-strength goal for an amazing stretch of 116:37 from late in the win at Princeton through early in the fourth quarter of the win over UMBC. The Retrievers did score a pair of extra-man goals in the first half, but the first six-on-six goal they scored came 34 seconds into the fourth quarter.

About the Shutout: Shutouts in college lacrosse are rare, but JHU notched one with the 11-0 victory over Manhattan on March 6. Prior to that, the Blue Jays had last posted a shutout on March 26, 1988, when they knocked off Princeton, 9-0. The shutout vs. Manhattan was the 61st in school history with 57 of those 61 shutouts coming prior to 1950.

Noting JHU in the NCAA Tournament: Johns Hopkins made its 40th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season. By comparison, the next six longest active streaks of qualifying for the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament add up to exactly 40 consecutive appearances (Maryland-9, Cornell-8, Virginia-7, Notre Dame-6, Duke-5, North Carolina-5).

First to 900: Johns Hopkins’ 10-6 win at Towson in the 2011 season opener not only got the season off on the right foot for the Blue Jays, but also made history. The win was the 900th all-time in school history, making Johns Hopkins the first program to record 900 all-time wins. JHU now has 920 all-time wins.

That’s 625 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 920-295-15 (.754) … that’s 625 games over .500. To put this in perspective: JHU has played an average of just over 15 games per season under head coach Dave Pietramala. Using a 15-game season as a reference, if the Blue Jays posted a 5-10 record for 125 straight seasons, they would still be five games over .500.

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Another Week, Another Big Game For Hopkins Sunday Against UNC

Posted on 01 April 2012 by WNST Staff

The Game: Top-ranked Johns Hopkins (8-0) heads to New Jersey for the second time this season as the Blue Jays travel to Met Life Stadium to take on 11th-ranked North Carolina (7-3) in the third game of the Konica Minolta Big City Classic.

Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins improved to 8-0 with an 11-10 overtime victory at then top-ranked Virginia. North Carolina made it two straight in the win column with an 11-10 victory at home against Maryland last Saturday.

Series History: Johns Hopkins and North Carolina are meeting for the 41st time in a series that dates to a 16-9 Johns Hopkins victory in the 1977 NCAA Quarterfinals. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 24-16 and grabbed a 10-9 win over the Tar Heels in the Big City Classic last season. A complete series history can be found at the back of this week’s note packet.

These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against North Carolina with an all-time record of 920-294-15 (.755). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.

Game Number 175: Last week’s game at Virginia was the 175th for Dave Pietramala as the head coach at Johns Hopkins. He sports a 134-41 (.766) record since taking over in 2001.

Career Win Number 150: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up career win number 150 with the 12-6 victory vs. Towson in the season opener. He now sports an all-time record of 157-58 (.730), including a 134-41 (.766) record at Johns Hopkins. He ranks second all-time in school history in career coaching victories as only Hall of Fame coach Bob Scott (158 wins from 1955-74) has more victories than Pietramala while patrolling the sidelines at Homewood.

About the 8-0 Start: Johns Hopkins is 8-0 for the first time since 2005 and just the second time under head coach Dave Pietramala. Prior to opening at 8-0 in 2005, JHU hadn’t opened a season with eight straight wins since 1995. Since 1977 the Blue Jays have opened a season with eightstraight wins seven times (including this season). JHU has won the national championship three times in those six years, made two other trips to the title game and advanced to the NCAA semifinals the other year.

Program Ties: UNC Assistant Coach Brian Holman played lacrosse at JHU from 1980-83 and was a member of the 1980 NCAA Championship team … he was JHU’s starting goalie for his final three seasons and helped Hopkins to three straight national runner-up finishes • UNC junior attackman Davey Emala is the son of Dave Emala, who played football and baseball at JHU and is a member of Hopkins’ Athletic Hall of Fame • UNC sophomore midfielder William Scroggs’ father, Willie, played lacrosse and football at JHU and served as an assistant coach for both sports prior to become the Tar Heels’ men’s lacrosse coach … Willie Scroggs was a member of three (1967 1968, 1969) USILA Championship teams at Johns Hopkins.

Marching Orders: Johns Hopkins closed out the March portion of its 2012 schedule last weekend at Virginia. The Blue Jays posted their first perfect record in the month of March (5-0) since 2005, when they also won all five of their games played in the month. Since 1972, JHU has posted a perfect record in the month of March 15 times (not including this season). In six of those years the Blue Jays went on to win the national championship and in seven other instances JHU finished as national runner-up.

April Reign: Flipping the calendar to April has usually been a good sign for the Blue Jays, who are 48-7 (.873) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April. JHU is 27-3 at home, 19-3 on the road and 2-1 on a neutral field in April under Pietramala’s guidance.

Streaking – Part 1: In case you didn’t notice, Johns Hopkins is 16-1 in its last 17 games, 21-3 since the start of the 2011 season and 23-5 in its last 28 games.

Streaking – Part 2: Johns Hopkins is 109-29 (.790) in its last 138 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 126-37 (.773) overall since the start of the 2002 season.

13-Win Seasons: With a 13-3 record last season, Johns Hopkins reached the 13-win mark for the fifth time under head coach Dave Pietramala and the 12th time in school history.

Home Cookin’: Johns Hopkins ran its home winning streak to 11 games with the 11-7 win over sixth-ranked Syracuse on March 17. The streak is the second-longest under head coach Dave Pietramala, who picked up his 75th career victory at Homewood Field with the win earlier this season against Delaware. Hopkins sports a gaudy 78-12 (.867) record in home games during his career at JHU.
JHU won a school and national-record 37 straight home games from 2001-06 under Pietramala’s guidance and the current 11-game home winning streak is the fourth home streak of seven wins or more since he arrived.

More Home Cookin’: In addition to boasting the second-longest home winning streak of the Dave Pietramala era, Johns Hopkins’ current 11-game winning streak at Homewood Field is also the second longest active home winning streak in the nation. Only Cornell, which has won 12 straight at Schoellkopf Field, has a longer current streak in the home whites than Johns Hopkins. Johns Hopkins’ win at Virginia last Saturday snapped UVA’s 14-game home winning streak, which had stood as the longest in the nation.

Fifteen Straight: Johns Hopkins ran its regular season winning streak to 15 games with the 11-10 overtime win at Virginia. This is the longest regular season winning streak for JHU since a 19-game run that bridged the 2004 and 2006 seasons. Hopkins’ last loss during the regular season … a 5-4 double-overtime setback at Syracuse last season.

Fifteen Straight – Historically: Not only is the current 15-game regualr season winning streak the second longest under Dave Pietramala, it’s also the sixth longest in school history during the NCAA Tournament era (1971 – Present).

Striking the First Blow: Johns Hopkins scored on its first shot of the game seven times in 2011 and has already turned the trick three times this season. JHU has scored on its first shot of the game three times and its second shot of the game three times already this season. Johns Hopkins has failed to score on one of its first two shots twice this season – against Manhattan and Virginia. In both of those games, the Blue Jays scored on their fourth shot.

Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins has employed virtually the same first and second midfield units throughout the first eight games and those units have proven to be steady in terms of production. JHU’s first unit of Rob Guida (9), John Ranagan (8) and John Greeley (6) has combined for 23 goals, while the second unit of Lee Coppersmith(9), Mark Goodrich (5) and Greg Edmonds (1) has 15 goals to its credit. The major difference between the two groups has been with assists. The unit of Guida, Ranagan and Greeley has combined for 15 assists. The next assist for the second unit will be its first of the year.

Jumping Right In: Junior John Kaestner had played in 12 career games and hadn’t so much as taken a shot before getting the starting nod at Princeton with freshman Wells Stanwick out. No worries, all Kaestner did was stick the first two goals of his career during a 4-1 fourth-quarter run that fueled JHU’s 10-8 win. He came back with one goal and one assist in the win vs. Manhattan and duplicated that effort in the win over UMBC.

Bassett Now 21-3 in Last 24 Starts: Sophomore goalie Pierce Bassett picked up his 24th career victory in goal with the 11-10 win at Virginia as he posted nine saves to improve to 24-7 in his 31 career starts. He is 21-3 in his last 24 starts dating back to the start of the 2011 season.
Through eight games Bassett currently ranks third in the nation in goals against average (6.03) and eighth in save percentage (.584).
Bassett concluded his first full season as the starter for the Blue Jays last season and posted a 7.07 goals against average and a .570 save percentage. He finished fifth in the nation in GAA and 10th in save percentage. Bassett’s 7.07 goals against average is the second best by a JHU goalie since 1993 (Schwartman’s 6.68 GAA in 2005 is the best since records became available in ‘93).

Poppleton, Kennedy Fuel Success at the X: Freshman Drew Kennedy did a solid job on faceoffs in the season-opener vs. Towson as he won 9-of-14 in the absence of junior Mike Poppleton. Poppleton returned against Delaware and has been solid in seven games since as he ranks ninth in the nation in FO win percentage (.621 • 72-of-116). He won 15-of-18 against Siena, 11-of-21 at Princeton, 10-of-12 vs. Manhattan and 12-of-18 against Syracuse. Kennedy was also solid in the win at #1 Virginia as he won 8-of-14 with four GBs and is now 19-of-34 (.559) on the year. As a team, JHU is 91-of-159 (.572) on faceoffs this season and ranks 12th in the nation in FO winning percentage.

Poll Position: The Blue Jays check in at number one in both the USILA Coaches Poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll this week. The Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications Office uses the USILA Poll to represent JHU’s official ranking at the time of a game. Prior to falling out of the top 20 of the USILA Poll on April 26 and May 3, 2010 (JHU was receiving votes in both polls), the Blue Jays had been ranked in the top 20 in 367 consecutive polls dating back to the first poll in 1973.

More Poll Position: Including this week’s USILA Poll, there have been 390 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 388 of those 390 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 367 of the 390 and the top five in 293 of those 390. This week’s number one ranking is the 104th for JHU since the poll debuted in 1973.

State Rivalries: Without question the Blue Jays play one of the most difficult schedules in the nation and a big part of the schedule are the in-state rivalries the Blue Jays have. Including wins this season vs. Towson and UMBC, JHU is 55-4 (.932) against teams from Maryland under head coach Dave Pietramala.

Offensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU offense:
• JHU has scored at least one goal in 31 of 32 quarters this season and two or more in 26 of the 32 quarters.
• For all the talk about JHU being a slow down team, the Blue Jays are averaging 36.4 shots per game. That number compares favorably to JHU’s averages in 2005 (38.1) and 2007 (36.3) – the most recent years in which Johns Hopkins won the national championship.
• Johns Hopkins ranks 24th in the nation in scoring offense (10.5), 16th in extra-man offense (.429) and fifth in scoring margin (+4.63).

Defensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU defense:
• Hopkins held Towson to just 18 shots and Manhattan to just 14. Hopkins is surrending an average of just 27.5 shots per game.
• Johns Hopkins has held each of its eight opponents scoreless for a stretch of at least 14:52 – seven of the eight have gone scoreless for 19:30 or longer.
• JHU has held the opposition scoreless in 11 of 32 quarters this season (34.4%).
• The Blue Jays rank second in the nation in scoring defense (5.88), 10th in man-down defense (.741) and fifth in scoring margin (+4.63) this season.

Now That’s a Drought: The Johns Hopkins defense did not allow an even-strength goal for an amazing stretch of 116:37 from late in the win at Princeton through early in the fourth quarter of the win over UMBC. The Retrievers did score a pair of extra-man goals in the first half, but the first six-on-six goal they scored came 34 seconds into the fourth quarter.

About the Shutout: Shutouts in college lacrosse are rare, but JHU notched one with the 11-0 victory over Manhattan. Prior to that, the Blue Jays had last posted a shutout on March 26, 1988, when they knocked off Princeton, 9-0. The shutout vs. Manhattan was the 61st in school history with 57 of those 61 shutouts coming prior to 1950.

Noting JHU in the NCAA Tournament: Johns Hopkins made its 40th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season. By comparison, the next six longest active streaks of qualifying for the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament add up to exactly 40 consecutive appearances (Maryland-9, Cornell-8, Virginia-7, Notre Dame-6, Duke-5, North Carolina-5).

First to 900: Johns Hopkins’ 10-6 win at Towson in the 2011 season opener not only got the season off on the right foot for the Blue Jays, but also made history. The win was the 900th all-time in school history, making Johns Hopkins the first program to record 900 all-time wins. JHU now has 920 all-time wins.

That’s 625 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 920-294-15 (.754) … that’s 625 games over .500. To put this in perspective: JHU has played an average of just over 15 games per season under head coach Dave Pietramala. Using a 15-game season as a reference, if the Blue Jays posted a 5-10 record for 125 straight seasons, they would still be six games over .500.

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Loyola Looks to Stay Perfect Saturday Against Ohio State

Posted on 31 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent Ohio State Buckeyes
Date Saturday, March 31, 2012
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex
TV | Radio Hounds Unleashed
Series Record Loyola leads, 5-0
Last Meeting Loyola 12, Ohio State 9 – April 2, 2011 at Ohio State

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland returns to Ridley Athletic Complex to start a stretch of four-straight ECAC Lacrosse League games. The Greyhounds take on Ohio State University at 1 o’clock on Saturday, March 31.

Series History

Loyola and the Buckeyes will be meeting for the sixth time in series history and third time as ECAC opponents. The Greyhounds have won all five prior meetings, although the last two have come by just five combined goals.

The Greyhounds led last year’s contest 9-4 when Patrick Fanshaw scored a man-up goal in transition off a Josh Hawkins assist with 5:17 to go in the third quarter, but Ohio State scored five of the next six goals to pull within a score, 10-9, on Tyler Fredericks’ tally with 3:57 left in regulation.

Mike Sawyer and Chris Palmer, however, scored after that for Loyola, and the Greyhounds held off the Buckeyes for an 11-9 victory in Columbus. Chris Palmer finished with five goals, and Matt Langan had three goals and two assists. Hawkins scored a goal and had two assists, all coming in transition.

In The Polls

Loyola moved up to No. 4 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll this week, its highest ranking since the Greyhounds checked in at third in the April 1, 2002, poll with a 7-0 record after downing Towson, 15-7. The Greyhounds held steady at No. 5 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings.

Ohio State is receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse poll.

Ten Or More

The Greyhounds have scored at least 11 goals in each of their first eight games of the 2012 season, marking the longest stretch of games with 10 or more goals they have put together since March 24-May 12, 2001. The Greyhounds went 7-2 during that 2001 stretch where they averaged 14 goals per game. That team was coached by Dave Cottle who will be the color analyst on Loyola’s broadcast Saturday.

The last time Loyola opened the season with seven or more games with 10-plus goals was the 1995 season when they reeled off 14 or more before scoring five in an NCAA game.

The Only Ones

Loyola is the only team to score 10 or more goals in every game of this season throughout all of NCAA Division I.

As of Monday, the Greyhounds were tied for fifth in Division I with a 13 goals per game average.

Topping Out

Loyola’s success on offense this year has been well complemented by the Greyhounds’ defense. In addition to offense being tied for fifth in Division I in goals per game, Loyola’s defense is fifth with 7.13 goals allowed per contest.

The Greyhounds lead Division I through Monday in scoring margin, outscoring opponents by an average of 5.88 goals per game, 0.59 more than second-place Cornell.

Sharing The Rock

No Loyola player has more than 13 assists (Justin Ward) through eight games, but nine players have at least four assists, and 12 have two or more. In addition to Ward’s 13, Davis Butts, Eric Lusby and Sean O’Sullivan have eight assists, Mike Sawyer has seven, Chris Layne and Nikko Pontrello have five and J.P. Dalton and Pat Byrnes have four each.

With 72 assists this season, the Greyhounds lead Division I with 9.0 per game.

Eleven of Loyola’s 13 goals last Saturday night at UMBC came with assists.

Already Outpacing Last Year

This year’s team has already eclipsed last year’s total of 62 assists in just eight games. Also, with 104 goals, the 2012 Greyhounds are six short of matching the total put up last year.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first eight games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 17 occasions this season.

Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.

Loyola then used a 6-0 run to break a 5-5 tie early in the third quarter with Georgetown on the way to a 11-6 victory.

The Greyhounds then scored seven in a row on the back end of a 10-1 run last Saturday at UMBC.

Second-Half Success

Loyola continued a trend of strong second-half play this season by outscoring UMBC, 6-1, after halftime after not allowing the Retrievers a goal until 11:25 was left on the fourth-quarter clock.

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 34-10 in the third quarters of games and 58-25 overall this year in the second half.

The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.

Lusby Matches Career-High

Eric Lusby scored three times during Loyola’s second half run and finished the Georgetown game with five goals, matching his career-high set on March 3 at Bellarmine. He followed that with his fifth hat trick of the season, scoring three at UMBC.

Lusby has scored at least one goal in each of Loyola’s eight games this season. The graduate student returned to game action in the season-opener after missing all but two games of the 2011 season. Now a graduate student, Lusby tore his right ACL in the 2010 NCAA First Round game against Cornell. He attempted to come back last year, but he saw limited action against Navy and Towson and was shut down to rehab the injury for the remainder of the season.

Lusby burst back onto the scene against Delaware, scoring the Greyhounds’ first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity, and the 2010 All-ECAC First Team member tallied three more in the second half.

Lusby reset his career-high at Bellarmine, tallying five goals in the victory to go with one assist, and added two more at Michigan.

Through Loyola’s first eight games, Lusby is second on the team with 24 goals and 36 points.

Sawyer, Runkel Honored Again

For the second time this season, Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel earned ECAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors on the same day, as the pair was honored on Monday following the Greyhounds’ wins over Georgetown and UMBC.

Sawyer scored three goals against the Hoyas, and he then scored four-straight Loyola goals and finished with five at UMBC. Sawyer also matched his career-best with two assists against the Retrievers.

Runkel paced the Loyola defense in the two games, playing to a 5.50 goals against average. He made a career-best 13 saves in the win over UMBC.

Shot Advantage

Loyola has outshot its opponents in every game this season by a minimum of nine. The game against Duke (37-28) is the only time this season a Greyhounds’ opponent has been within 10 shots of Loyola.

In all, the Greyhounds have taken 358 shots while holding opponents to 202.

Second Midfield Scoring

All three members of Loyola’s second midfield unit scored at least one goal against Air Force, and the unit combined for three goals and two assists. Pat Byrnes led the way with a goal and a career-best two assists. J.P. Dalton and Phil Dobson each added goals of their own.

This season, all three members of the second line have five goals, while Byrnes and Dalton each have four assists. Dobson recorded the first two assists of his collegiate career last Saturday against UMBC. The unit has already scored more goals than it did last year when it had 10 goals and two assists during the season.

Toomey Wins 50th

Head coach Charley Toomey earned his 50th-career win Wednesday, March 7, as Loyola beat Michigan, 15-8.

Toomey, who is in his seventh season, has led Loyola to eight-plus wins in each of the last three seasons and has had the Greyhounds finish .500 or better in all seven seasons since coming to the Evergreen campus.

Sawyer Shows Same Form

Mike Sawyer has picked up where he left off a year ago, leading the team with 29 goals and 36 points through the first eight games. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 36 points.

Sawyer tied a then-career-high with five goals in the team’s, 15-8, win at Michigan, before scoring a new personal-best six goals against Duke.

After scoring five goals against UMBC, he now has 16 career multi-goal games and the 19 multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.

Before the season, Sawyer was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Team and was named to the Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.

Dominant At The ‘X’

In his first year as the Greyhounds’ primary face-off man, senior J.P. Dalton has continued Loyola’s tradition of excellence at the ‘X’.

Through eight games, Dalton ranks eighth nationally in face-off percentage, winning restarts at a .619 clip (112-of-181). As a unit, the Greyhounds entered the week third-best in the nation at .611.

Dalton is second on the team with 34 ground balls, while one of his primary wings, Scott Ratliff leads the team with 37. Josh Hawkins, who returned from injury to make his season-debut on March 10 against Duke, has 19 in four games, and Pat Laconi has 13. Davis Butts has also seen time on the wing and has 20 ground balls this season.

Ward Dishes Five

Justin Ward played the role of feeder in Loyola’s 13-6 win over Towson, finishing the game with five assists. Just one week previously, the sophomore recorded his first collegiate assist against Delaware.

Ward became the first Loyola player to record five or more assists since Shane Koppens had six in a March 10, 2009, win over Bryant.

Scoring In Two Straight

Loyola posted 13 goals in back-to-back games to open the season, marking the first time since April 2007 that the Greyhounds scored 13 or more in two games in a row.

The last time it happened, Loyola defeated Fairfield, 19-2, on April 21, 2007, and Hobart, 17-10, on April 28.

Through just two games, the Greyhounds rank eighth in NCAA Division I in goals per game (13.0).

Ratliff Honored For Second Time

Loyola long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week on Monday after turning in impressive numbers in last Saturday’s win over Air Force. Ratliff scored twice and had an assist while picking up seven ground balls against the Falcons.

Earlier this season, Ratliff earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week laurels after the Greyhounds’ opener against Delaware.

Ratliff is currently sixth among active long poles in career scoring. He has seven goals and five assists for 12 points. This year, he has three goals and two assists, as well as a team-leading 32 ground balls.

Sawyer, Runkel Earns ECAC Honors

Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel were honored as ECAC Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week on March 12 following wins at Michigan and against Duke.

Sawyer scored 11 goals and had 14 points, setting career highs in both categories. He scored five goals and had six points in Michigan’s first-ever home game, before breaking those personal records with six goals and eight points in a win over Duke. He also picked up a career-high six ground balls, finishing the week with nine ground balls.

Runkel made the first two starts of his collegiate career, posting an 8.00 goals-against average and .515 save percentage to help the Greyhounds in two wins. Playing less than three minutes between the pipes as a freshman last season, he started the Michigan game and held the Wolverines to eight goals, while making five saves. He then made a career-high 12 saves against a Duke team that has played in the last five Final Fours.

Bonitatibus, Runkel Both Win First Starts

Junior Michael Bonitatibus made his first collegiate start in goal for the Greyhounds against Delaware after having played less than two minutes prior to this season.

Bonitatibus, who played 65 seconds in his collegiate debut last year at Duke, made seven saves for the Greyhounds and allowed just eight goals. He also picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Bonitatibus became the first Loyola goalkeeper to win his starting debut in nearly 11 years. The last was Mark Bloomquist who also defeated Delaware, 8-7, on February 24, 2001.

Jack Runkel made his first career start against Michigan and also won his initial outing as a starter. He tallied five saves against the Wolverines, and he then posted a career-high 12 against Duke.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds have opened their third year at the stadium with five wins at home. Loyola is now 13-3 all-time at Ridley.

What’s Next

The Greyhounds head on the road for their next three games, all contests at ECAC Lacrosse League opponents, starting with an April 7 date at Fairfield University.

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Stevenson D Holecheck Honored By CAC, Mustangs Move Up in National Rankings

Posted on 26 March 2012 by WNST Staff

YORK, Pa. – Stevenson men’s lacrosse junior Kyle Holecheck (Reisterstown, Md./Loyola Blakefield) was named CAC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Mustangs to a pair of victories last week, including a 9-5 win over No. 2 Tufts at Mustang
Stadium.

Holecheck totaled 13 ground balls and six caused turnovers in wins over Tufts and Mary Washington, who was receiving votes in today’s USILA Division III Coaches’ Poll.

Holocheck is the first Mustang to be honored by the CAC since Kyle Moffitt was named Offensive Player of the Week on Apr. 18, 2011. The last time a Stevenson defender was honored with the conference’s top weekly honor was back on Mar. 21, 2011 when Evan Douglass was named Defensive Player of the Week.

The Mustangs, who are currently ranked 15th in Division III in scoring defense, allowed just 11 goals in two games last week, including five against Tufts who entered the week ranked ninth in scoring offense. Holecheck totaled eight ground balls and six caused turnovers against the Jumbos.

Stevenson allowed just six goals in a 13-6 victory over Mary Washington and is 88-2 all time when allowing six goals or less while
winning 55 out of the last 56. The Mustangs have allowed six goals or less in eight out of nine games this season.

Stevenson puts its 14-game CAC winning streak on the line on Wednesday when it travels to Dover, Delaware for a 4:00 p.m., contest with Wesley at Miller Stadium.
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Loyola Stars Sawyer, Runkel Honored By ECAC

Posted on 26 March 2012 by WNST Staff

CENTERVILLE, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland junior Mike Sawyer and sophomore Jack Runkel were named the ECAC Lacrosse League Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, after the Greyhounds went 2-0 with wins over then-No. 18 Georgetown University and UMBC last week.

The awards are the second of the year for both players. Earlier on Monday, Loyola moved up to fourth in the USILA Coaches Poll while staying steady at fifth in the InsideLacrosse Media Rankings. The Greyhounds put their 8-0 record – their best start since 1999 – on the line Saturday, March 31, when they host Ohio State University at 1 o’clock.

Sawyer led the Greyhounds’ offense in the wins, scoring eight goals to go with two assists. He also recorded the eventual game-winners in both games. On Wednesday night, he tallied three goals and a ground ball as Loyola downed Georgetown after the Hoyas entered the game with a 4-1 record.

In Saturday night’s game, Loyola trailed UMBC – an 8-7 winner earlier this year against Maryland – 3-1 in the second quarter, but Sawyer found a cutting Justin Ward, assitsing on Ward’s goal to spark a 10-1 Loyola run. Sawyer scored five goals, including four-straight Loyola goals, and had two assists during the run that put Loyola in control of a 13-5 victory.

This season, Sawyer has led the Greyhounds with 29 goals and 37 total points. He is tops in the ECAC and third in NCAA Division I with 3.63 goals per game, while leading the conference and checking in at fifth nationally with 4.63 points.

Runkel continued his solid play between the pipes for the Greyhounds, playing to a 5.50 goals against average while saving 79.1-percent of shots on goal he faced against the Hoyas and Retrievers.

The Hoyas entered Wednesday night’s contest averaging 10 goals per game, but Runkel directed the Loyola defense as it gave up just six. He made six saves in the game, and he was also credited with four ground balls and a caused turnover

Runkel then made a career-high 13 saves on Saturday night, as Loyola held host UMBC to a season-low five goals in a 13-5 victory. Runkel allowed just one second-half goal, and he also had two ground balls and a caused turnover in the victory.

Loyola’s defense is ranked fifth in NCAA Division I with a 7.13 goals allowed per game mark. Meanwhile, the Greyhounds are tied for fifth with 13.0 goals on offense per contest. They lead the country in scoring margin.

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Hopkins Takes Top Spot In Both Lacrosse Polls

Posted on 26 March 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, MD – The Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team jumped to the top spot in both the USILA Coaches Poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll today. The Blue Jays moved up from the number two spot in both polls after Saturday’s 11-10 win at top-ranked Virginia. Hopkins improved to 8-0 for the first time since 2005 with the win the win over the Cavaliers.

The Blue Jays grabbed 10-of-11 first-place votes in the USILA Coaches Poll and totaled 210 points to earn the number one spot. UMass (7-0) checks in at number two with 199 points, while Virginia (8-1/195 points), Loyola (8-0/189) and Cornell (6-1/187) round out the top five. Loyola grabbed the lone first-place vote that didn’t go to Johns Hopkins.

This the 390th weekly poll released by the USILA since the poll was first issued in 1973. This week’s number-one ranking marks the 104th time since the poll’s inception that the Blue Jays have earned the top spot. Johns Hopkins has been ranked in the top five 293 times and the top 10 in 367 of the 390 polls.

The Johns Hopkins office Athletic Communications uses the USILA Poll to reflect Johns Hopkins’ official national ranking.

Hopkins earned a unanimous number-one ranking in the Nike/Media Poll. The Blue Jays grabbed all 18 first-place votes and totaled 360 points to secure the top spot. Virginia (339 points), UMass (311), Cornell (310) and Loyola (292) round out the top five.

USILA Coaches Poll
• March 26, 2012 •
Rk. Team – Points
1. Johns Hopkins (10) – 218
2. UMass – 199
3. Virginia – 195
4. Loyola (1) – 189
5. Cornell – 187
6. Notre Dame – 165
7. Lehigh – 144
8. Duke – 137
9. Maryland – 125
10. Denver – 112
11. North Carolina – 111
12. Villanova – 106
13. Princeton – 95
14. Syracuse – 74
15. Fairfield – 62
16. Bucknell – 53
17. Colgate – 51
18. Penn State – 33
19. Georgetown – 12
20. Hofstra- 8

Others Receiving Votes: Bryant, Drexel, Yale, Navy, Harvard, Robert Morris, UMBC, TowsonNike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll
• March 26, 2012 •
Rk. Team – Points
1. Johns Hopkins (18) – 360
2. Virginia – 339
3. UMass – 311
4. Cornell – 310
5. Loyola – 292
6. Notre Dame – 277
7. Lehigh – 223
8. Duke – 221
9. Maryland – 197
10. Denver – 194
11. Princeton – 190
12. North Carolina – 178
13. Villanova – 158
14. Syracuse – 146
15. Fairfield – 81
16. Bucknell – 79
17. Colgate – 65
18. Penn State – 60
19. Navy – 30
20. Georgetown – 20

Others Receiving Votes: Harvard, Hofstra, Bryant, Yale, Drexel, Robert Morris, St. John’s, Ohio State

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Number One Meets Number Two Saturday As Hopkins Visits Virginia

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

The Game: Second-ranked Johns Hopkins (7-0) hits the road for a key midseason matchup at top-ranked Virginia (8-0).

Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins improved to 7-0 with an 11-7 victory over then sixth-ranked Syracuse at Homewood Field last Saturday. Virginia erased an early 6-1 deficit and knocked off Ohio State, 11-9, in Columbus.

Series History: Johns Hopkins and Virginia are meeting for the 85th time in a series that dates to a 9-0 Johns Hopkins victory in 1904. The Blue Jays lead the series 55-28-1 and won last season, 12-11, at Homewood Field. A complete series history can be found at the back of this week’s note packet.

These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Virginia with an all-time record of 919-294-15 (.754). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.

Game Number 175: This week’s game at Virginia will the 175th for Dave Pietramala as the head coach at Johns Hopkins. He sports a 133-41 (.764) record since taking over in 2001.

Career Win Number 150: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up career win number 150 with the 12-6 victory vs. Towson in the season opener. He now sports an all-time record of 156-58 (.729), including a 133-41 (.764) record at Johns Hopkins. He ranks second all-time in school history in career coaching victories as only Hall of Fame coach Bob Scott (158 wins from 1955-74) has more victories than Pietramala while patrolling the sidelines at Homewood.

About the 7-0 Start: Johns Hopkins is 7-0 for the first time since 2005 and just the second time under head coach Dave Pietramala (2004). Prior to opening at 7-0 in 2005, JHU hadn’t opened a season with seven straight wins since 1995. Since 1977 the Blue Jays have opened a season with seven straight wins seven times (including this season). JHU has won the national championship three times in those six years, made two other trips to the title game and advanced to the NCAA semifinals the other year.

Program Ties: Johns Hopkins freshman attackman Wells Stanwick is the younger brother of Virginia senior attackman Steele Stanwick. Virginia freshman midfielder Ryan Tucker is the son of current Johns Hopkins women’s lacrosse coach Janine Tucker and former Johns Hopkins standout John Tucker ‘84. Virginia senior attackman Chris Bocklet is the younger brother of Matt Bocklet, a standout defenseman on Johns Hopkins’ 2007 national championship team and 2008 national runner-up team.

Yes, They Have Played Before: This will be the second time Johns Hopkins freshman attackman Wells Stanwick has played against his older brother, Virginia attackman Steele Stanwick. As a freshman at Boys’ Latin in high school, Wells faced Steele’s Loyola Blakefield squad. For the record, Loyola won that game 8-5.

Against Number One: This week’s game will be the 10th game Johns Hopkins has played against a top-ranked team under head coach Dave Pietramala. The Blue Jays are 5-4 in their previous nine games against a team-ranked number one under Pietramala.

Against Number One Virginia: This week’s game at Virginia will mark the 10th time Johns Hopkins has taken on the Cavaliers when UVa is ranked number one. JHU is 4-5 in the previous nine games.

Marching Orders: Johns Hopkins will close out the March portion of its 2012 schedule this weekend at Virginia. The Blue Jays are looking for their first perfect record in the month of March since 2005, when they won all five of their games played in the month. Since 1972, JHU has posted a perfect record in the month of March 15 times. In six of those years the Blue Jays went on to win the national championship and in seven other instances JHU finished as national runner-up.

Streaking – Part 1: In case you didn’t notice, Johns Hopkins is 15-1 in its last 16 games, 20-3 since the start of the 2011 season and 22-5 in its last 27 games.

Streaking – Part 2: Johns Hopkins is 108-29 (.788) in its last 137 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 125-37 (.772) overall since the start of the 2002 season.

13-Win Seasons: With a 13-3 record last season, Johns Hopkins reached the 13-win mark for the fifth time under head coach Dave Pietramala and the 12th time in school history.

Home Cookin’: Johns Hopkins ran its home winning streak to 11 games with the 11-7 win over sixth-ranked Syracuse on March 17. The streak is the second-longest under head coach Dave Pietramala, who picked up his 75th career victory at Homewood Field with the win earlier this season against Delaware and sports a gaudy 78-12 (.867) record in home games during his career at JHU. JHU won a school and national-record 37 straight home games from 2001-06 under Pietramala’s guidance and the current 11-game home winning streak is the fourth home streak of seven wins or more since he arrived.

More Home Cookin’: In addition boasting the second-longest home winning streak of the Dave Pietramala era, Johns Hopkins’ current 11-game winning streak at Homewood Field is also the third longest active home winning streak in the nation. Only Virginia, which has currently won 14 straight at Klockner Stadium, and Cornell, which has won 12 straight at Schoellkopf Field, have longer current streaks in the home whites than Johns Hopkins.

Fourteen Straight: Johns Hopkins ran its regular season winning streak to 14 games with the 11-7 win over Syracuse. This is the longest regular season winning streak for JHU since a 19-game run that bridged the 2004 and 2006 seasons. Hopkins’ last loss during the regular season … a 5-4 double-overtime setback at Syracuse last season.

Fourteen Straight – Historically: Not only is the current 14-game regualr season winning streak the second longest under Dave Pietramala, it’s also the sixth longest in school history during the NCAA Tournament era (1971 – Present).

Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins has employed virtually the same first and second midfield units throughout the first seven games and those units have proven to be steady in terms of production. JHU’s first unit of Rob Guida(7), John Ranagan (7) and John Greeley (6) has combined for 20 goals, while the second unit of Lee Coppersmith(8), Mark Goodrich (5) and Greg Edmonds (1) has 14 goals to its credit. The major difference between the two groups has been with assists. The unit of Guida, Ranagan and Greeley has combined for 13 assists. The next assist for the second unit will be its first of the year.

Jumping Right In: Junior John Kaestner had played in 12 career games and hadn’t so much as taken a shot before getting the starting nod at Princeton with freshman Wells Stanwick out. No worries, all Kaestner did is stick the first two goals of his career during a 4-1 fourth-quarter run that fueled JHU’s 10-8 win. He came back with one goal and one assist in the win vs. Manhattan and duplicated that effort in the win over UMBC.

Bassett Now 20-3 in Last 23 Starts: Sophomore goalie Pierce Bassett picked up his 23rd career victory in goal with the 11-7 win vs. Syracuse as he posted nine saves and allowed seven goals to improve to 23-7 in his 30 career starts. He is 20-3 in his last 23 starts dating back to the start of the 2011 season. Through seven games Bassett currently ranks second in the nation in goals against average (5.50) and seventh in save percentage (.606).
Bassett concluded his first full season as the starter for the Blue Jays last season and posted a 7.07 goals against average and a .570 save percentage. He finished fifth in the nation in GAA and 10th in save percentage. His fifth-place finish in GAA is the highest by a JHU goalie since Jesse Schwartzman led the nation in 2005 (6.68), while he is just the third Blue Jay to finish in the top 10 in save percentage since the NCAA began tracking men’s lacrosse statistics in 2000.
Bassett’s 7.07 goals against average is the second best by a JHU goalie since 1993 (Schwartman’s 6.68 GAA in 2005 is the best since records became available in ‘93).

Poppleton, Kennedy Fuel Success at the X: Freshman Drew Kennedy did a solid job on faceoffs in the season-opener vs. Towson as he won 9-of-14 in the absence of junior Mike Poppleton. Poppleton returned against Delaware and has been solid in six games since as he ranks third in the nation in FO win percentage (.651 • 69-of-106). He won 15-of-18 against Siena, 11-of-21 at Princeton, 10-of-12 vs. Manhattan and 12-of-18 against Syracuse. As a team, JHU is 80-of-135 (.593) on faceoffs this season and ranks seventh in the nation in FO winning percentage.

Poll Position: The Blue Jays check in at number two in both the USILA Coaches Poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll this week. The Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications Office uses the USILA Poll to represent JHU’s official ranking at the time of a game. Prior to falling out of the top 20 of the USILA Poll on April 26 and May 3, 2010 (JHU was receiving votes in both polls), the Blue Jays had been ranked in the top 20 in 367 consecutive polls dating back to the first poll in 1973.

More Poll Position: Including this week’s USILA Poll, there have been 389 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 387 of those 389 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 366 of the 389 and the top five in 292 of those 389.

Offensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU offense:
• JHU has scored at least one goal in 27 of 28 quarters this season and two or more in 23 of the 28 quarters.
• For all the talk about JHU being a slow down team, the Blue Jays are averaging 36.7 shots per game. That number compares favorably to JHU’s averages in 2005 (38.1) and 2007 (36.3) – the most recent years in which Johns Hopkins won the national championship.
• Johns Hopkins ranks 24th in the nation in scoring offense (10.43), 22nd in extra-man offense (.391) and seventh in scoring margin (+5.14).

Defensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest concerning the JHU defense:
• Hopkins held Towson to just 18 shots and Manhattan to just 14. Hopkins is surrending an average of just 24.6 shots per game.
• Johns Hopkins has held each of its seven opponents scoreless for a stretch of at least 19:30.
• JHU has held the opposition scoreless in 11 of 28 quarters this season (39.3%).
• The Blue Jays rank second in the nation in scoring defense (5.29), 10th in man-down defense (.750) and seventh in scoring margin (+5.14) this season.

Now That’s a Drought: The Johns Hopkins defense did not allow an even-strength goal for an amazing stretch of 116:37 from late in the win at Princeton through early in the fourth quarter of the win over UMBC. The Retrievers did score a pair of extra-man goals in the first half, but the first six-on-six goal they scored came 34 seconds into the fourth quarter.

About the Shutout: Shutouts in college lacrosse are rare, but JHU notched one with the 11-0 victory over Manhattan. Prior to that, the Blue Jays had last posted a shutout on March 26, 1988, when they knocked off Princeton, 9-0. The shutout vs. Manhattan was the 61st in school history with 57 of those 61 shutouts coming prior to 1950.

Noting JHU in the NCAA Tournament: Johns Hopkins made its 40th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season. By comparison, the next six longest active streaks of qualifying for the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament add up to exactly 40 consecutive appearances (Maryland-9, Cornell-8, Virginia-7, Notre Dame-6, Duke-5, North Carolina-5).

First to 900: Johns Hopkins’ 10-6 win at Towson in the 2011 season opener not only got the season off on the right foot for the Blue Jays, but also made history. The win was the 900th all-time in school history, making Johns Hopkins the first program to record 900 all-time wins. JHU now has 919 all-time wins.

That’s 625 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 919-294-15 (.754) … that’s 625 games over .500. To put this in perspective: JHU has played an average of just over 15 games per season under head coach Dave Pietramala. Using a 15-game season as a reference, if the Blue Jays posted a 5-10 record for 125 straight seasons, they would still be five games over .500.

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Loyola Puts Undefeated Record On Line Saturday At UMBC

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent UMBC Retrievers
Date Saturday, March 24, 2012
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Catonsville, Md. | UMBC Stadium
TV | Radio UMBC Webcasting
Series Record UMBC leads, 16-13
Last Meeting UMBC 9, Loyola 8 (2OT) – April 19, 2005 at Loyola

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will make the short trip across town to take on the UMBC Retrievers on Saturday night in Catonsville, Md. The game will be held at UMBC Stadium at 7 o’clock

Series History

UMBC and Loyola will meet for the 30th time in series history when the teams take the field on Saturday with the Retrievers holding a 16-13 advantage in the previous 29 contests.

The teams will play for the first time during the regular-season since 2005, although they have played for several years in preseason exhibitions.

UMBC prevailed, 9-8, in double overtime the last time the schools met on April 19, 2005, at Loyola’s Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.

In The Polls

Loyola checks in at No. 5 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll for the second week in a row, and the Greyhounds moved up to fifth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings.

UMBC, meanwhile, is receiving votes in both polls.

Ten Or More

The Greyhounds have scored at least 11 goals in each of their first seven games of the 2012 season, marking the longest stretch of games with 10 or more goals they have put together since March 31-May 5, 2001. The Greyhounds went 5-2 during that 2001 stretch where they averaged 14.9 goals per game.

The last time Loyola opened the season with seven or more games with 10-plus goals was the 2000 season when they reeled off 12 or more in seven-straight wins.

The Only Ones

Loyola is the only team to score 10 or more goals in its first seven games of this season throughout all of NCAA Division I.

As of Monday, the Greyhounds were ranked fifth in Division I with a 13.33 goals per game average.

Second-Half Success

Following its trend from the season, Loyola used a 6-0 run that covered more than 15 minutes of action during the third and fourth quarters Wednesday against Georgetown, en route to an 11-6 victory. The run came days after Loyola reeled off 10-straight goals over the first 28 minutes, 35 seconds of the second half Saturday against Air Force to dispense of a 7-4 halftime deficit.

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 30-10 in the third quarters of games and 52-5 overall this year in the second half.

The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.

Getting Defensive, Too

Loyola’s offense hasn’t been the only unit to put up good numbers in the first part of the 2012 season. The Greyhounds’ defense has allowed no more than eight goals in a game this season, in fact they have allowed eight exactly to five teams.

Through seven games, the Greyhounds’ defense is allowing an average of 7.43 goals per game to rank eighth in Division I in scoring defense.

Lusby Matches Career-High

Eric Lusby scored three times during Loyola’s second half run and finished the Georgetown game with five goals, matching his career-high set on March 3 at Bellarmine.

Lusby has scored at least one goal in each of Loyola’s seven games this season and has four hat tricks. The graduate student returned to game action in the season-opener after missing all but two games of the 2011 season. Now a graduate student, Lusby tore his right ACL in the 2010 NCAA First Round game against Cornell. He attempted to come back last year, but he saw limited action against Navy and Towson and was shut down to rehab the injury for the remainder of the season.

Lusby burst back onto the scene against Delaware, scoring the Greyhounds’ first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity, and the 2010 All-ECAC First Team member tallied three more in the second half.

Lusby reset his career-high at Bellarmine, tallying five goals in the victory to go with one assist, and added two more at Michigan.

Through Loyola’s first seven games, Lusby is second on the team with 21 goals, and he is tied for the team lead with 29 points.

Shot Advantage

Loyola has outshot its opponents in every game this season by a minimum of nine. The game against Duke (37-28) is the only time this season a Greyhounds’ opponent has been within 10 shots of Loyola.

In all, the Greyhounds have taken 312 shots while holding opponents to 171.

Ratliff Honored For Second Time

Loyola long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week on Monday after turning in impressive numbers in last Saturday’s win over Air Force. Ratliff scored twice and had an assist while picking up seven ground balls against the Falcons.

Earlier this season, Ratliff earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week laurels after the Greyhounds’ opener against Delaware.

Ratliff is currently sixth among active long poles in career scoring. He has seven goals and five assists for 12 points. This year, he has three goals and two assists, as well as a team-leading 32 ground balls.

Butts Dishes Four

Davis Butts did not score a goal against Air Force, but he was a key component in the Greyhounds matching their season-high with 15 goals. He posted a career-high four assists in the game, eclipsing his previous best of two.

Butts’ game was the second this season where a Loyola player tallied four or more assists. Justin Ward had five against Towson.

Second Midfield Scoring

All three members of Loyola’s second midfield unit scored at least one goal against Air Force, and the unit combined for three goals and two assists. Pat Byrnes led the way with a goal and a career-best two assists. J.P. Dalton and Phil Dobson each added goals of their own.

This season, the trio has combined for 14 goals and five assists. Byrnes and Dobson each have five goals, and Dalton has four. Byrnes, meanwhile, has three assists, and Dalton has tallied a pair. The unit has already scored more goals than it did last year when it had 10 goals and two assists during the season.

On The Ground

Loyola picked up a season-high 45 ground balls against Air Force, grabbing 16 more than the Falcons. Scott Ratliff and Reid Acton led the way with seven each, while J.P. Dalton had six.

Josh Hawkins grabbed five ground balls for the second game in a row since returning from an injury that held him out of Loyola’s first four games of the year.

Sharing The Rock

No Loyola player has more than 11 assists (Justin Ward) through seven games, but seven players have at least four assists, and 12 have two or more. In addition to Ward’s 1, Eric Lusby has eight assists, Davis Butts eight, Sean O’Sullivan seven and Mike Sawyer five.

Man-Up Success

Entering the week, Loyola led the nation in extra-man success this season, converting on 75-percent (12-of-16) man-up opportunities in six games. After going 1-of-5 against Georgetown, the Greyhounds’ percentage dipped slightly to .619, but four players – Eric Lusby (4), Mike Sawyer (4), Davis Butts (2) and Sean O’Sullivan (2) – have scored two or more man-up goals this year.

Last season, the Greyhounds extra-man unit was seventh nationally with a .420 (21-of-50) conversion percentage in 2011.

Toomey Wins 50th

Head coach Charley Toomey earned his 50th-career win Wednesday, March 7, as Loyola beat Michigan, 15-8.

Toomey, who is in his seventh season, has led Loyola to eight-plus wins in each of the last three seasons and has had the Greyhounds finish .500 or better in all seven seasons since coming to the Evergreen campus.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first six games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. They scored five-straight in the second quarter against Delaware to take a 5-3 lead and never trailed again in the game, and the Greyhounds turned a 6-2 advantage against Towson into an 11-2 lead with a run of five-straight that stretched from the second quarter to the third quarter.

Loyola rattled off four-straight against Bellarmine in the fourth quarter, turning a 7-6 advantage into an 11-6 lead with less than six minutes to go, and it scored eight-straight against Michigan between the first and second quarters to claim an 8-1 lead.

Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.

The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.

Loyola then used a 6-0 run to break a 5-5 tie early in the third quarter with Georgetown on the way to a 11-6 victory.

Sawyer Shows Same Form

Mike Sawyer has picked up where he left off a year ago, leading the team with 24 goals and 29 points through the first seven games. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 36 points.

Sawyer tied a then-career-high with five goals in the team’s, 15-8, win at Michigan, before scoring a new personal-best six goals against Duke.

After scoring three goals against Air Force, he now has 15 career multi-goal games and the 18 multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.

Before the season, Sawyer was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Team and was named to the Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.

Dominant At The ‘X’

In his first year as the Greyhounds’ primary face-off man, senior J.P. Dalton has continued Loyola’s tradition of excellence at the ‘X’.

Through six games, Dalton ranks ninth nationally in face-off percentage, winning restarts at a .609 clip (98-of-161). As a unit, the Greyhounds entered the week fifth-best in the nation at .608.

Dalton is second on the team with 32 ground balls, while one of his primary wings, Scott Ratliff leads the team with 33. Josh Hawkins, who returned from injury to make his season-debut on March 10 against Duke, has 10 in two games, and Pat Laconi has 11. Davis Butts has also seen time on the wing and has 16 ground balls this season.

Ward Dishes Five

Justin Ward played the role of feeder in Loyola’s 13-6 win over Towson, finishing the game with five assists. Just one week previously, the sophomore recorded his first collegiate assist against Delaware.

Ward became the first Loyola player to record five or more assists since Shane Koppens had six in a March 10, 2009, win over Bryant.

Scoring In Two Straight

Loyola posted 13 goals in back-to-back games to open the season, marking the first time since April 2007 that the Greyhounds scored 13 or more in two games in a row.

The last time it happened, Loyola defeated Fairfield, 19-2, on April 21, 2007, and Hobart, 17-10, on April 28.

Through just two games, the Greyhounds rank eighth in NCAA Division I in goals per game (13.0).

Sawyer, Runkel Earns ECAC Honors

Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel were honored as ECAC Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week on March 12 following wins at Michigan and against Duke.

Sawyer scored 11 goals and had 14 points, setting career highs in both categories. He scored five goals and had six points in Michigan’s first-ever home game, before breaking those personal records with six goals and eight points in a win over Duke. He also picked up a career-high six ground balls, finishing the week with nine ground balls.

Runkel made the first two starts of his collegiate career, posting an 8.00 goals-against average and .515 save percentage to help the Greyhounds in two wins. Playing less than three minutes between the pipes as a freshman last season, he started the Michigan game and held the Wolverines to eight goals, while making five saves. He then made a career-high 12 saves against a Duke team that has played in the last five Final Fours.

Bonitatibus, Runkel Both Win First Starts

Junior Michael Bonitatibus made his first collegiate start in goal for the Greyhounds against Delaware after having played less than two minutes prior to this season.

Bonitatibus, who played 65 seconds in his collegiate debut last year at Duke, made seven saves for the Greyhounds and allowed just eight goals. He also picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Bonitatibus became the first Loyola goalkeeper to win his starting debut in nearly 11 years. The last was Mark Bloomquist who also defeated Delaware, 8-7, on February 24, 2001.

Jack Runkel made his first career start against Michigan and also won his initial outing as a starter. He tallied five saves against the Wolverines, and he then posted a career-high 12 against Duke.

Record At Ridley

After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds have opened their third year at the stadium with five wins at home. Loyola is now 13-3 all-time at Ridley.

What’s Next

Loyola moves back to ECAC Lacrosse League action on Saturday, March 31, when it hosts Ohio State University at 1 o’clock. It is the first of four straight ECAC games, but the only one that will be played at home.

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