Loyola tries to bounce back Saturday at Hobart

April 19, 2013 | WNST Staff

Opponent Hobart Statesmen
Date Saturday, April 20, 2013
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Geneva, N.Y. | Boswell Field
TV | Radio Time Warner Cable Sports Syracuse
Series Record Loyola leads, 12-3
Last Meeting Loyola 17, Hobart 6 – April 21, 2012, in Geneva, N.Y.

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland wraps up ECAC Lacrosse League regular-season play on Saturday, April 20, when it travels to Geneva, N.Y., for a conference game at Hobart College.

Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. at Boswell Field.


Series History

The Greyhounds will meet Hobart for the 16th time in series history when the teams take the field on Saturday and the ninth time as ECAC foes. Both programs joined the league for the 2005 season.

Loyola holds a 12-3 advantage in the previous 15 games that have been played between the teams, including a 17-6 victory last season on April 21 in Geneva.

Mike Sawyer scored four goals and assisted on another, while Davis Butts and Scott Ratliff each added three points – Butts had two goals and an assist, while Ratliff tallied a goal and two assists.


In The Polls

Loyola checks in as the No. 8 team in both the USILA coaches and Inside Lacrosse media polls.


Last Time Out

Denver took five goals leads on two occasions, 8-3 just before halftime and 9-4 in the third quarter, but Loyola scored eight of the final 11 goals in regulation, tying the score at 12-12 on a Sean O’Sullivan strike with just over two minutes remaining.

Both teams had offensive possessions in the final minute, but neither scored and the game went to overtime. The Pioneers’ Cameron Flint picked up the ground ball off the opening faceoff of extra time and scored 16 seconds in to lift Denver to a 13-12 victory last Saturday.

Flint matched O’Sullivan and Mike Sawyer for game-high honors with four goals. Sawyer’s four were a season-best for him, and he added a pair of assists for six points.

Josh Hawkins scored twice in transition for the second game in a row, and Davis Butts and Zach Herreweyers each scored once. Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello joined Sawyer with two assisted each.


Hawkins On The Fly

In just five games this year, Josh Hawkins has already eclipsed his previous high in goals, scoring seven this season to beat his total of six from last season and his 2010 freshman campaign.

The defensive midfielder has scored twice in each of Loyola’s last two games and has at least one goal in every game he’s played this year.

He has put 10-of-16 shots on goal and scored on 43.8-percent of his total shots.

In 45 career games, Hawkins has scored 22 goals and has eight assists as a short-stick defender.


O’Sullivan Shooting On Target

Sean O’Sullivan’s game-tying goal with 2:11 to play in the third quarter against Denver gave him four for the game, tying his career-high set on February 25, 2012, against Towson.

The senior needed just four shots against the Pioneers to score his four goals. This season, O’Sullivan has scored his 14 goals on just 35 shots (.400 shot percentage), and he is putting 74.3-percent of his total shots on goal (26-of-35). His 14 goals rank third on the team this season.


Sawyer Has Season-Best Game

Mike Sawyer put up his best offensive numbers of the season last Saturday against Denver, scoring four goals and assisting on two for six points. All of those represented season-highs in the respective categories.

Sawyer is tied with Justin Ward for the team lead with 23 goals this season, and his 2.3 goals per game lead the team.

He scored the game’s first goal against Denver 32 seconds into the contest, picking up a ground ball at midfield and racing down the right side for a goal, and he added his second with 4:22 left in the fourth quarter. Sawyer then tallied two in a row within 26 seconds of each other late in the fourth quarter to draw the Greyhounds within a goal.

In 54 career games, Sawyer has scored 115 goals and has 23 assists for 139 points.

Earlier this year, against UMBC, he became the eighth player in school Division I history to reach 100 goals, and his 115 total place him in a tie for third with Tim O’Shea on the Division I career chart. He is five behind Gewas Schindler in second and 18 back of Pat Lamon in first. Sawyer’s 139 points rank 11th in school Division I history.


Ratliff Sets Record

Scott Ratliff did something believed to be a first in the modern era of college lacrosse  (circa 1971) on April 6 in the Greyhounds’ win over visiting Fairfield. The senior long-stick midfielder scored four goals, becoming the first player with a pole to do so.

Ratliff scored once off a Loyola faceoff win, a second time on a give-and-go in transition with Pat Laconi and twice more off set plays in settled offense with feeds from Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello.

In recent years, at least two long-sticks, Duke’s C.J. Costabile and Bryant’s Mason Poli, have recorded hat tricks.


Defensively Speaking

Loyola allowed just 22 goals over a four-game stretch from March 20-April 6, an average of 5.5. In the first two games, at Georgetown and Michigan, the Greyhounds gave up just one goal before halftime, and they then allowed only one after the break at Ohio State.

In those four games, Loyola’s opponents have made just 19.8-percent of their shots, converting on 22-of-111 attempts.

The Greyhounds forced 67 turnovers in the games, as Georgetown committed 20, Michigan had 18, Ohio State, 16 and Fairfield, 13. Of those 67 turnovers, Loyola was credited with 44 caused turnovers.

The 17 caused at Georgetown were the most this season by Loyola and the most by a Greyhounds’ team since they posted 19 in back-to-back games against St. John’s and Massachusetts in March 2009.


CLASSy Senior Candidate

Last week, Scott Ratliff was named one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, an honor given yearly to a NCAA Division I senior who has notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition

Ratliff has continued his high production on defense, transition and offense that helped him earn USILA All-America Third Team and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year honors a year ago when he led the team last year in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7).

He had one of his stat-sheet filling games against Air Force, scoring a goal and assisting on another while picking up five ground balls and causing three turnovers, and he turned in another with a goal, four ground balls and two caused turnovers while going 4-of-4 on faceoffs against Georgetown. Ratliff came one shy of his career-high with eight ground balls at Michigan.

His career totals now stand at 27 goals and 13 assists, and his 40 career points are second-most among active long-poles to Bryant’s Mason Poli. Last year, he set the school’s single-season long-pole scoring record with 12 goals and seven assists, eclipsing the previous high of 16 points on 11 goals and five assists set in 1995 by current Loyola assistant coach Matt Dwan.

Additionally, Ratliff now stands 10th in school Division I history in career ground balls (197) and second in caused turnovers (85). His caused turnovers are five shy of tying the school record set in 2008 by P.T. Ricci.


Defensive Midfield Production

Loyola’s defensive midfield had a productive game against Fairfield, finishing the outing with six goals, an assists, six caused turnovers and six ground balls.

This season, long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff has posted 11 goals and three assists, good for fifth on the team with 14 points, while short-stick Pat Laconi has four goals and five points, and fellow short-stick Josh Hawkins has five goals and an assist.


Another Multi-Point Venture For Ward

With two assists against Denver, Justin Ward had his 12th multi-point effort in as many games this season. He has now tallied at least two points in all 12 games this season, and he has three or more in eight of those outings.

In the Georgetown game, he became the 10th player in the program’s Division I history (since 1982) to log 50 or more assists in his career. With 58 career assists, Ward now stands ninth in school Division I history, one shy of Pat Lamon’s 59 in eighth place.

Ward put up his second game with seven or more points on March 16 against Air Force, logging seven with two goals and five assists in the win over the Falcons. His five assists tied his career-high, set twice in 2012 against Towson and Fairfield.

On February 26, 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.

Through 10 games this year, Ward leads the team with 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points.


Pontrello Keeps Tallying Points

Nikko Pontrello notched his third hat trick of the season on March 30 at Ohio State, scoring a game-high three against the Buckeyes. He also had three-goal outings against UMBC and Air Force earlier this year.

In his first season as a starter, Pontrello has scored 13 goals while assisting on 14 for 27 points, second most on the team. As a freshman in 2012, he scored four goals and assisted on six.

He posted his second six-point game this season March 16 against Air Force, scoring a career-high four goals to go with two assists. He scored in the first quarter, tallied a pair during Loyola’s 4-0 third-quarter run and added his fourth in the final frame. Earlier this year against UMBC, Pontrello posted three goals and three assists for six points against the Retrievers.


Fletcher Turns Up ‘D’

Joe Fletcher earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors on March 18 after picking up three ground balls and causing a turnover against Air Force. More impressive was the defense Fletcher played on Air Force’s offensive quarterback, preseason All-American Keith Dryer.

Dryer entered the game with four goals and a team-leading 10 assists, but Fletcher held him without a point.

This season, Fletcher, who was a Preseason All-America First Team honoree, has 37 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers.


Offensive Addition

Freshman Zach Herreweyers made his first career start on March 16 against Air Force on attack for the Greyhounds, and he made his debut to the opening 10 an impressive one.

Herreweyers scored his first collegiate goal with 12.3 seconds left in the first quarter, and he finished with a hat trick, tallying goals for Loyola in the third and fourth quarters, as well. He also picked up three ground balls.

He followed that game with a four-goal outing Wednesday at Georgetown, a hat trick at Michigan and a goal and an assist at Ohio State.

The freshman from London, Ontario, made his collegiate debut against Duke on March 8. In five games played, he is tied for fourth on the team with 11 goals.

Herreweyers became the first Loyola freshman to score three times in a game since current senior Patrick Fanshaw scored five goals and assisted on another on March 20, 2010, also against Air Force.


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.


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 Georgetown this was the 70th victory of his coaching career, becoming the second coach in Loyola history to win 70 or more, joining – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001).


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 Greyhounds then had a 4-0 run that spanned both halves to help beat Bellarmine, and they runs of 3-0 and 4-0 to beat Air Force.

In the Georgetown game, Loyola had its longest run of the year, scoring eight straight.

At Ohio State, the Greyhounds went on a 6-0 run that spanned the final three quarters to take control of the game. A 5-0 first-quarter run spurred the win over Fairfield.


Second-Half Success

Last season, the Greyhounds outscored opponents 66-22 in the third quarters of games, and 123-63 overall in the second half (including overtime). 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 47-21 in the third quarter and 73-50 overall after halftime.