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Chapter 7: Finally, a 1983 World Series crown for Baltimore

Posted on 16 August 2018 by Nestor Aparicio

(Originally published as a prelude to “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 7 of a 19 Chapter Series on How Baseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net. Follow @FreeTheBirds12 on Twiter for updated information regarding our April 5th events.)

Life was percolating along very nicely for me at the end of the summer of 1983.

There was that awesome trip to St. Louis, the Orioles were doing extremely well, the Phillies (again, I was an idiot!) were busting up Montreal in the NL East, I had a new girlfriend and my junior year at Dundalk High was coming.

Despite this “long distance” romance I was having with the Phillies, I was still VERY involved in going to Orioles games. I didn’t get to as many as I had before (again, once girls came along, it was all downhill for sports!), but I still did about 20 games on 33rd Street in 1983. And, like 1979, all in Sect. 10 General Admission seats, some with my Pop and some with my pals. All of those nights on those long, gold, aluminum benches, complete with the jar-rattling volume when banged on.

And the Phillies and Orioles, it would later be proved, were on a destiny’s collision course for the World Series in October.

But en route there was the AL Championship Series against the vaunted Chicago White Sox, led by Lamar Hoyt.

My Pop landed some right field seats for Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS at Memorial Stadium and we were all set. Right before the series my Dundalk buddy John Rafalides (at whose wedding I would later be the best man) gave me a buzz and told me his Dad, Pete, had an extra seat in Sect 39, Row 19 right behind home plate upstairs and asked if I wanted it since I was such an Orioles nut.

So, my Pop actually took my Mom to Game 2 and I went with Mr. Pete Rafalides, who was just a super cool guy. He was a realtor and connected with the Greek community. He loved talking sports with me and would always feed me cool munchies when I came to his home. And I mean he FED me! He always had the coolest snacks — Doritos, Dolly Madison cakes, Tastykakes, those chocolate malt balls, all sorts of great stuff!

I caught on quickly and made sure I got to go there every year for Thanksgiving! And later in life, when John became my roommate, I got the residual effect — the baklava, pastitsio, spanakopita, the grape leaves — from every Greek holiday!

But, for whatever reason, John’s dad liked me and off went we to Game 2 — me, Mr. Pete and two of his work friends. And we hung on every pitch! And Mike Boddicker pitched his ass off, a five-hit shuout over the White Sox, and we had a paaaaaah-tttaaaay in Sect. 39 that night. “Wild” Bill Hagy was going nuts over in Sect. 34. We had binoculars and I could see my folks over in right field having fun, too. That was just one of the greatest nights, even 23 years later.
I remember the smell of the air that night, the lights in the sky, how bright the field looked from up in that perch in Sect. 39. The steepness of the seats, the people crowded into that cozy ballpark and trees lined up in the outfield.

I can’t imagine my life without that night.

It was just a beautiful thing, that night. Life was perfect!

Two afternoons later Tito Landrum hit a 3-run homer off of Britt Burns that sent me and my 64-year old Mom onto Bank Street banging pots and pans with the shot heard ’round the beltway, a blast at Comiskey Park that sent the Orioles back into the World Series for the second time in four years and the sixth time in 17 years. I’ll say that again: the Orioles were in the World Series SIX times

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Chapter 3: My Pop and Little League in Dundalk

Posted on 16 August 2018 by Nestor Aparicio

(Originally published as a prelude to the “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 3 of a 19 Chapter Series on How baseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net. If you’re as upset about the demise of the Baltimore Orioles, please save Thursday, April 5th for some civic action.)

I think the biggest part of my Pop’s revitalization as a person in the 1970’s after his son’s death wasn’t that he found a little sports buddy in me — as a bat boy and an avid baseball, football and basketball watcher — but in the abundance of energy it must’ve taken to keep up with me.

Can you imagine the energy it took a 60-year old, overweight steelworker after a full 90-degree, eight-hour day at Sparrows Point to chase a rambunctious 10-year old boy down from Section 34 in the summer of 1979? That happened every single night! Forty-two games that summer, I swear to God!

My Dad took great pride in volunteering as a Little League coach in my neighborhood, Colgate, near Eastpoint Mall. He won two league championships as the coach of the Colgate-Eastpoint Pirates in 1973 and 1974. It was a four-team league with a great parade through the neighborhood on Opening Day Saturday. It was very a very typical American kinda thing, I thought. I was the team batboy. We had our championship picture and clipping from The Dundalk Eagle on the kitchen wall from the day it was published through my father’s death in 1992. He loved coaching those kids and winning! I liked just being the batboy and being a part of baseball.

All of those “older” kids kind of took me under their wing and made me feel good. They played catch with me, pitched to me — stuff like that. And when you’re 4 or 5, that’s a pretty big deal! These kids were like 12 and 13 years old.

My Pop was such a little league wacko that one time he had a really talented kid named Ted Boccia, who wanted to be a catcher. Only problem was, he was LEFTHANDED!

He was adamant about catching and catching was my Pop’s FAVORITE position, the one he played as a kid. So, clearly being unable to find a left-handed catcher’s mitt anywhere in the known universe in 1973, he wrote to the Rawlings factory, told the story of this boy’s dream to be a left-handed catcher and they had one made and sent it to my Pop. I even think my Pop might’ve paid for it himself. Needless to say, the Eastpoint Pirates had an outstanding left-handed catcher, the only one I’ve ever seen in my life!

As for me during those years, I excelled at the greatest game ever played: waffle ball!

We played in my backyard and alley. All the neighborhood kids did.

There were no “fantasy” leagues or video games. There was APBA and Strat-o-Matic (we honestly didn’t discover those until adolescence and I loved me some “Strat” in the days when I got a little older), but we opted for good old-fashioned “put the bat through the glove” kinda ball.
ANY kind of ball, actually — wallball, wiffleball, kickball, rundown, pitcher’s handout or just plain, baseball — we’d play!

We’d play with pinkies (those soft spongy balls), we’d play with superballs, but mostly we’d play with tennis balls and wooden bats on the pavement at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on the back side of Eastern Avenue. We’d play ANYTHING but softball,

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Chapter 1: This whole WNST thing was started by man in Dundalk who loved Orioles

Posted on 16 August 2018 by Nestor Aparicio

(Originally published prior to the “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 1 of a 19 Chapter Series on how my Pop, baseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net.).

When I first started getting that urge during the All-Star break that maybe we should try to storm the castle that is The Warehouse and attempt to overthrow the King — again it was a well-documented email from a guy who said that even the Berlin Wall fell because people like us made it fall that started this whole thing — I started to do some serious soul-searching.

About my life, and what it’s become. And where I’m going. And what’s important. And really what makes a fool like me tick. Maybe, like Dudley Moore’s character in the movie “10,” I’m having my “mid-life” crisis at 38, who knows?

But when you’ve been talking to and with people for four hours a day, five days a week, every day for almost 14 years about basically the one civic thing we all have in common besides taxes — black and white, young and old, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, male and female and that would be SPORTS — and, no less, for a completely wide open audience of anyone who cares to eves drop on your life, and then, poof, you just disappear for 18 months — believe it or not, you find that you talk “to” and “with” yourself a LOT.

And — after much deep and very sincere self-analysis — I’m here to tell you that for me, personally, I’ve concluded that every single good thing or worthwhile pursuit in my life came directly because of or through my lifelong passion for baseball and the Orioles.

I’m going to say that again, because for all intents and purposes, this is the thesis of my mid-life term paper that will be The Moon or some future book title over the next month and why I’ve been in mall parking lots handing out little orange cards and behaving more like a very revved-up version of Marty O’Malley meets Bob Ehrlich meets Howard Beale from the movie “Network:” EVERY SINGLE GREAT THING IN MY LIFE CAME BECAUSE I LOVED BASEBALL AND THE ORIOLES AS A CHILD!

Now, I know what you’re saying right now. You’re saying, Nestor’s done gone and lost his mind. It’s only about the 10th time in my life that I’ve been told that by most everyone around me.

But I can prove it to you. And I will, if you follow the orange brick road with me!

You know those points in your life that you come to where there’s a giant Y in the road and you have two directions you could potentially go in and you hope to God you pick the right road. Every time in my life that these events have transpired, in some way, baseball has been the backdrop, the calendar of my life, really.
I can tell you where I was living, who I was dating, where I was working and how I was feeling based on what two teams were in the World Series that fall.

Swear to God!

And those lessons I learned on my first day of “tee ball” about teamwork, and communicating and preparing and practicing and playing fair and experiencing winning and losing, and doing my best, sacrificing, and respecting the game

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Loyola rolls past Colgate, advances to Patriot League title game

Posted on 25 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Runs Push MLAX Past Colgate Into Patriot League Title Game

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland used a pair of 3-0 runs, wrapped around a 4-0 stretch, to defeat Colgate University, 12-6, in the Patriot League Semifinals at Ridley Athletic Complex on Friday night. The top-ranked and seeded Greyhounds will play the winner of the U.S. Military Academy and Lehigh University in the title game on Sunday, April 27, at 1 p.m.

Loyola (13-1 overall) scored three-straight in the first quarter, four in a row during the second and three consecutive during the fourth. Colgate (9-6) scored back-to-back goals just once int eh game, late in the third quarter to pull within three.

Ryan Walsh scored one of his team-high three goals with 1:03 left in the third, and Cameron ripped a 12-yard shot from the top off a Kevin Adams assist from behind with less than three seconds left, cutting the Greyhounds’ advantage to 7-4.

Loyola, however, scored two goals 14 seconds apart less than two minutes into the fourth quarter to stretch out its lead.

Justin Ward dodged from goal-line extended on the right side of the crease, got topside and took an overhand shot that found the net for his second goal of the day at 13:31. He finished with five points on two goals and a team-high three assists.

The Raiders came up with the ensuing faceoff, but Ryan Fournier stripped Alex Kinnealey of the ball, and Brian Sherlock picked it up off the ground. Sherlock fed Fournier at the top of the box, and the long-stick midfielder scored on a low shot 14 seconds after Ward’s tally to put Loyola up 9-4.

Brian Schultz extended the Greyhounds’ advantage to six with a man-up goal off Jeff Chase’s assist at 11:59, and Loyola lead six.

Matt Clarkson momentarily brought the Raiders back within five, making a long split-dodge run to the top of the box for a goal at 7:43, but Loyola got the next possession, and after a timeout, Colgate set up a ride with goalkeeper Brandon Burke out of the cage.

Schultz fed Sherlock in front for a goal at 6:40, and Loyola scored its 12th of the night at 4:57 when Pontrello assisted on Kevin Ryan’s second.

Walsh put Colgate on the board 2:48 in, scoring with the 30-second timer on, but Ward responded with Loyola’s first 58 ticks of the clock after Walsh’s.

Ryan then took a Ward pass, shot-faked and scored at 4:23, and Chase added one off Ward’s second assist at 2:41, pushing Loyola in front, 3-1. Williams got free on the left side, though, and Colgate was within one heading into the second quarter after his goal at 1:31.

In the second quarter’s first 30 seconds, Joe Fletcher caused a turnover, and Brian Schultz backed off his man to open space and score his first of the game. Pontrello then picked up a ground ball backing up a wide Loyola shot, and he backed down his man to score with 4:21 left in the second, making it 5-2 Greyhounds.

Schultz added his second of the game at 3:06, also an unassisted tally, and the teams went into the locker room at halftime with the Greyhounds in front, 6-2.

After a lightning delay of 38 minutes less than five minutes into the second half, Schultz logged his third on an extra-man opportunity, taking a cross-crease pass from Ward to make the Greyhounds’ advantage five, 7-2, with 5:22 left before Colgate would score twice to tighten the game, 7-4.

Schultz’s four goals give him 10 in the Greyhounds’ last two games and 31 this season. Entering the season, he had scored three goals in his first three seasons.

Fletcher also tied his career-high with five caused turnovers, and he picked up five ground balls.

Ward’s three assists pushed his second total to 45, extending his school Division I single-season record and moving him into a three-way tie for second in Patriot League single-season history.

After the game, Fletcher, Pontrello and Ward were all named Tewaaraton Award nominees. They are three of 28 semifinalists for the award. Loyola joins Duke University as the only schools nationally with three nominees.

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Loyola battles Colgate in Patriot League semis Friday

Posted on 24 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Colgate Raiders

Friday, April 25, 2014  |  4:30 p.m.

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


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland will host the Patriot League Championships at Ridley Athletic Complex, beginning with the semifinals on Friday, April 25.

The top-seeded Greyhounds will play fourth-seeded Colgate University in the first semifinal at 4:30 p.m. The game will be followed by a semifinal between the U.S. Military Academy, the No. 2 seed and No. 3 Lehigh University at 7:30 p.m.

Colgate beat No. 5 seed Bucknell University, 10-9, in double-overtime on Tuesday, and Lehigh topped the No. 6 seed U.S. Naval Academy, 10-6.

Semifinal winners will meet in the title game at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 27.

Loyola went 8-0 to win the Patriot League Regular-Season title.

Joe Fletcher leads all close defenders nationally in ground balls (61) and ground balls per game (4.69). In 13 games, the players Fletcher has been responsible for marking have scored 11 goals (several when Fletcher has been out of the game late in regulation).

Pat Laconi is tops among NCAA Division I non-pole players in caused turnovers (27) and caused turnovers per game (2.08).

 

Last Time Out

Brian Schultz scored a career-high six goals and matched his best with seven points last Thursday as the top-ranked Greyhounds defeated Bucknell University, 13-5.

Schultz logged his third career hat trick and an assist in the game’s first 25 minutes, and he added three more goals in the second half.

Nikko Pontrello added three goals and an assist, while Justin Ward scored once and assisted on three.

The teams played more than half of the first quarter without a goal, but Schultz took a Ward feed and scored at 7:27. Ryan Joseph responded with a goal fro the Bison, but Schultz fed Matt Sawyer for an in-close goal at 4:47, starting a 7-0 Loyola run.

The Greyhounds held Bucknell without a goal for 37 minutes, 17 seconds, taking an 8-1 lead into the fourth quarter.

Loyola out-groundballed the Bison, 39-31, with Joe Fletcher leading the way with seven. Graham Savio picked up five while winning 13-of-20 faceoffs, and Kyle Duffy had four.

Pat Laconi caused a career-high five turnovers, while Jason Crane and Schultz each caused two.

 

Turn On The Television

All three games in the Patriot League Championships will be broadcast live, nationally on CBS Sports Network. Dave Ryan will call the play-by-play, and Evan Washburn will handle the analysis of the action.

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

 

In The Polls

With last Thursday’s win against Bucknell, Loyola remained in the No. 1 spot of both the USILA coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls for the fifth week in a row.

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

 

Series History

Loyola and Colgate met for the first time earlier this year in Hamilton, N.Y., a game that was a 10-8 decision in the Greyhounds’ favor. The Raiders led 5-4 with 12:14 left in the third quarter before Loyola went on a 4-0 run that gave them an 8-5 advantage after goals by Jeff Chase, Justin Ward (two) and Nikko Pontrello.

Colgate pulled back within one on a Matt Clarkson strike with 13:33 left, but Matt Sawyer used a Ward feed to score from 10 yards out with 4:05 for the final margin.

Ward had a game-high five points with two goals and three assists, while Pontrello chipped in three goals and an assist. Clarkson scored three goals for Colgate.

 

All-League Awards

Three Loyola players earned individual awards on Monday when the Patriot League honors were announced. Joe Fletcher was named Defensive Player of the Year, Jack Runkel Goalkeeper of the Year and Justin Ward Offensive Player of the Year.

The trio was also named to the All-Patriot League First Team along with teammates Pat Laconi, Nikko Pontrello and Brian Sherlock. Kevin Ryan was named to the Second Team. Loyola’s seven All-League players were the most by any team this season.

 

Get To Ten

Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 66 occasions. After defeating Bucknell, 13-5, on Thursday, Loyola has won 81.8 percent of those games (54-12).

 

Since 2012

Loyola has the best winning percentage in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse since the start of the 2012 season. The Greyhounds are 41-7 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 12-1 this season) for a .854 mark. Loyola’s winning percentage of .923 this season is the best nationally.

Only Duke has won more games (43) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by more than seven percent (43-12, .782).

 

Chart Toppers

A pair of Greyhounds attackers are near the top of two offensive categories through games of Monday, April 21, in both total goals and assists. Nikko Pontrello is second in Division I with 43 goals, while Justin Ward is second with 42 assists.

The duo is the No. 2 point-scoring tandem in the country with 107 combined points (Ward, 55; Pontrello, 52). Albany’s Lyle (80) and Miles (77) have a combined 157.

 

Tops Among Close Defenders

Joe Fletcher not only leads Loyola in ground balls, total (61) and per game (4.69), this season, but more impressive than that, he paces all close defenders nationally in the categories. Fletcher is 46th overall in ground balls per game, while the 45 players who are ahead of him are either face-off specialists or long-stick midfielders who play on the wings during restarts.

 

And Short-Sticks, Too

Meanwhile, Pat Laconi leads all non-pole defenders nationally in caused turnovers and caused turnovers per game. With a career-high five against Bucknell, he has caused 27 this season while averaging 2.08 per game. He is eighth in the nation, and the seven players ahead of him in the rankings are all long-stick midfielders or close defenders.

 

Record-Setting Quarterback

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 43 assists in 13 games. With his third and final assist on April 12 against Boston University, Ward passed Sean Heffernan for first-place in school single-season history at the Division I level.

He is second in the nation in total assists (42), and he is also second in the country and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.23 assists per game this year. The 42 assists are tied for fourth in Patriot League history, six shy of matching Bucknell’s David Dickson’s record of 48 from a year ago.

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

Ward now has 109 career assists. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also sixth in school Division I history in total points with 161, 19 away from tying Gewas Schindler (1996-99) for fifth place.

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

 

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello was held without a goal for the first time this season on April 5 against Navy, snapping a streak of 10-straight games to start the season that Pontrello had two or more goals. He rebounded, however, with three goals and two assists versus Boston University and three goals and an assist versus Bucknell. Through games of Monday, April 21, Pontrello is third in the nation in total goals with 43.

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

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

He leads the Patriot League and is second nationally in goals per game (3.31), while he is third and 17th in points per game (4.00).

 

Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .647 mark, saving 132 out of 204 shots on goal he’s faced. In a six-game stretch  against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel made 61 saves and allowed just 26 goals (.701).

The senior goalkeeper has earned a record five Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors this year and has a goals against average of 6.86 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .619 through 13 games. He is second in the nation in saves percentage and third in goals against average.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.67 goals against average and .567 saves percentage. Runkel’s record between the pipes is 39-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 43 victories. Amato, however, is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.

 

Fletch, White And Blue

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

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

Versus Colgate, Fletcher was matched up against Ryan Walsh, and he held the Raiders’ leading scorer without a goal or assist for the first time in his career, a total of 42 prior games. He then marked Navy’s T.J. Hanzsche, holding him without a point for the first time in 15 games. He then snapped the 41-game point-scoring streak of Bucknell’s David Dickson on April 17, holding him without a shot.

In all, the players Fletcher has had primary marking responsibilities for have tallied 11 goals in 13 games this year (including three each by the University of Virginia’s Mark Cockerton and Penn State University’s Shane Sturgis in the season’s first two games). Four of those goals have come when Fletcher was already out of the game late in the fourth quarter.

Fletcher has been named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week five times this year, the most any player in conference history has earned the award. He leads the Greyhounds with 61 ground balls and caused turnovers (19). His 64 career caused turnovers are fourth all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci, 88 of Scott Ratliff and Pat Laconi’s 68.

 

Not Just Defensive Midfield

Pat Laconi has continued to show his versatility as one of the top short-stick defensive midfielders in the nation while being a player with offensive acumen. The Preseason All-American had a goal against Bucknell to bring his season total to eight goals and three assists and his career numbers to 13 and 12.

Laconi posted four ground balls, matching his career-high, and three caused turnovers at Colgate, the final of each coming with less than 25 seconds remaining to help seal the win. He caused another three turnovers a week later at Navy and then had a career-high five against Bucknell. His team-leading 27 caused turnovers are tops a this season have brought his career total to 68, third-most in school history.

 

Taking Care Of The Ball

Loyola continues to lead the nation in fewest turnovers per game, averaging 10.69 through 13 contests. The Greyhounds have committed 0.98 fewer turnovers per game than the second-place team in the nation, Princeton.

 

Near The Top At Both Sides

The Greyhounds is the only team to be in the top five of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (13.23) rank fifth, and its goals allowed (7.00) are third. As a result, Loyola leads the nation in scoring margin (+6.23).

 

Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all 13 of its games this season, and it has had five stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 22 runs of 3-0 or better. Here is a look at their four best scoring stretches:

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

 

 

Schultz Stepping Up

In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has scored 27 goals, second-most on the team through 13 games. He had the game-winning goal 12 seconds into the second overtime at Navy and less than two weeks later posted a career-best six goals in a win over Bucknell.

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

 

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair

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

 

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

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Ward, Pontrello lead way as Loyola tops Colgate

Posted on 29 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Ward, Pontrello Spark Offense As No. 1 Loyola Tops No. 17 Colgate

HAMILTON, N.Y. – Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello combined for five goals and nine total points, and top-ranked Loyola University Maryland defeated No. 17 Colgate University, 10-8, in Patriot League action on Saturday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium.

Ward scored two both of his goals in back-to-back fashion midway through the third quarter, and he had an assist on a 12-yard Matt Sawyer shot with 4:05 remaining that gave the Greyhounds (9-1, 5-0) a two-goal cushion.

Pontrello finished with three goals and an assist, scoring two of his in a span of two minutes, 42 seconds between the third and fourth quarters.

Loyola’s defense yielded 11 shots to the Raiders (7-3, 4-1) in the fourth quarter, but most came from 12 or more yards away. Goalkeeper Jack Runkel posted 12 saves in the victory, and the Greyhounds held Colgate’s leading scorer, Ryan Walsh, without a point for the first time in his career, a span of 42 prior games.

Pat Laconi had four ground balls and three caused turnovers, the last of each coming with less than 25 seconds to play, enabling the Greyhounds to run out the clock. Joe Fletcher had a team-best seven ground balls, and he had primary man-to-man marking responsibilities for Walsh.

The teams traded goals one-for-one in the first half with the Greyhounds never trailing, but Colgate tied the game at 4-4 heading into halftime as Kevin Boyle finished a transition opportunity for the Raiders following a Loyola turnover. He took a Brandon McCann pass and scored from just in front of the crease with 4.4 seconds left, tying the game for the fourth time.

Cameron Williams scored his second goal of the game to give Colgate its first lead 2:46 into the second half, running down the right alley for a shot.

Jeff Chase answered for Loyola, as he scored from 10 yards out after cutting left to right, knotting the game at 5-5 with 9:29 to play in the third quarter.

Chase’s goal sparked a 4-0 Loyola run that put the Greyhounds in front, 8-5. Sawyer wheeled around the crease and found Ward in front of him for a goal 43 seconds after Chase’s to put Loyola in front 6-5.

Ward then gave the Greyhounds their first multi-goal lead of the game at 6:02 following a Raiders turnover. Pontrello picked up a ground ball during a Colgate failed clear and fed it ahead to Ward who scored from close in on the left side.

Pontrello then pushed the advantage to 8-5 when he caught a Ward pass at goal-line extended left, dodged toward the crease and scored his second of the day at 2:31 in the third.

Colgate, however, got a pair of goals late in the third to make it a one-goal game once again.

Matt Clarkson scored one at 1:08, and then after a Greyhounds turnover, Tyler Rigo got his hands free on the right side for a goal with 16.4 seconds left in the third quarter, pulling the Raiders within one, 8-7.

Loyola quickly pushed its advantage back to two, however, in the fourth quarter. Graham Savio won the period’s opening faceoff to himself, ran into the box and got a shot past Colgate goalkeeper Brandon Burke, but it hit hard off the crossbar and rebounded in front of the crease.

Ryan Fournier collected the ground ball and fed Pontrello on the left side of the crease where he shot-faked and scored his third of the day 11 seconds into the final quarter of regulation.

Clarkson, however, scored quickly for Colgate, tallying his season-high third of the day 1:16 after Pontrello’s third.

The teams played to the one-goal game for nearly 10 minutes before Ward rolled from behind the cage and found Sawyer open 12 yards out up top, and Sawyer ripped a sidearm shot to put Loyola in front two, 10-8.

Colgate had the next possession after winning the faceoff, but it had no shots from inside 12 yards against the Greyhounds defense. The Raiders’ first three attempts went wide, and Runkel made a save on the fourth to gain possession again for Loyola.

At the end of the clear, Loyola drew a slashing call against Colgate, but the Greyhounds turned the ball over on the extra-man opportunity, giving the Raiders possession with 90 ticks left on the clock.

McCann sent a Raiders shot wide after a Colgate timeout, and Loyola called for a break in the action with 41 seconds remaining.

Eric Foote had the ball at the top of the box where Laconi stripped him with a check and picked up the ground ball. He cleared it to Ward and despite beind doubles in the corner, he found Brian Sherlock who ran out the clock with the ball in his stick.

In addition to Ward’s two goals and three assists and Pontrello’s three and one, Sawyer had a goal and an assist, while Chase, Sherlock, Brian Schultz and Kevin Ryan added goals.

Clarkson led Colgate with three goals, while Williams and Rigo had two apiece and McCann assisted on three first-half goals. Burke made 12 saves in goal.

Loyola continues its Patriot League road swing on Saturday, April 5, with a 12 noon game in Annapolis, Md., against the U.S. Naval Academy.

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#1 Loyola hits road to face Colgate Saturday

Posted on 29 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Game Information
Opponent Colgate Raiders
Date Saturday, March 29, 2014
Time 12:00 p.m.
Location Hamilton, N.Y. | Andy Kerr Stadium

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

  • Loyola University Maryland opens a two-game Patriot League road trip on Saturday, March 29, when it travels to Hamilton, N.Y., to face Colgate University at 12 noon.
  • The Greyhounds, by virtue of a 21-4 win over Lafayette last Saturday, have scored 20 or more goals twice this season, marking the first time they have done so since the 1997 team scored 24 against Fairfield, 20 versus Towson and 21 in the NCAA First Round against Notre Dame. Earlier this year, Loyola beat Towson, 20-4.
  • Loyola’s 17-goal margin of victory over the Leopards was its largest since beating Fairfield 19-2 on April 21, 2007.
  • The Greyhounds had a 52-22 advantage in ground balls against Lafayette, the largest margin in the statistical category Loyola has posted since Charley Toomey became head coach in 2006. The previous high was 23 earlier this season at Holy Cross.
  • Nikko Pontrello has moved up to second in the country in goals per game (3.78) with his nation-leading 34 total.
  • Justin Ward is second in both assists per game (3.33) and total assists (32).

Last Time Out

  • Loyola’s starting attack of Nikko Pontrello, Brian Schultz and Justin Ward combined for 12 goals, and the Greyhounds defeated visiting Lafayette College, 21-4, last Saturday in Patriot League action.
  • Pontrello finished with five goals, while Schultz had four and Ward three. Ward led all players with seven points, chipping in four assists.
  • Nine Greyhounds in all scored goals against the Leopards as Brian Sherlock tallied three and two assists, while Romar Dennis had a pair along with one helper.
  • Led by Ward’s four and two each by Sherlock and Tyler Albrecht, 15 of the Greyhounds’ 21 goals were of the assisted variety.
  • Loyola’s 71.4 percent assist ratio matched its best of the season. The Greyhounds also assisted on the same percentage in a 14-7 win at Lehigh on March 1.
  • The Greyhounds won 18-of-29 faceoffs against Lafayette. Graham Savio was successful on 13-of-19, and Blake Burkhart made good on 5-of-8. Savio had a career-best 11 ground balls, as well as his first career assist.

Follow The Action    

  • Saturday’s game, and all non-televised Patriot League games, will be broadcast on the Patriot League Network. Additionally, all of Loyola’s non-televised home games will be available on the free HD network.
  • Log on to PatriotLeague.tv to watch the home games on your computer, web-enabled televisions and most mobile devices.

In The Polls    

  • Loyola moved up to the No. 1 spot in both the USILA coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls on Monday following its wins last week over Georgetown and Lafayette.
  • The Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 at some point in each of the last three seasons, most recently in the first polls of the 2012 season.
  • Colgate checks in at 19th in the coaches rankings and 17th in the media version.

Series History    

  • Loyola and Colgate will meet for the first time when the teams take the first on Saturday. It is the second time this year (Holy Cross) that the Greyhounds have played an opponent for the first time.

Get To Ten    

  • Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 63 occasions. After defeating the Leopards, 21-4, on Saturday, Loyola has won 80.9 percent of those games (51-12).

Since 2012    

  • Loyola has the best winning percentage in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse since the start of the 2012 season. The Greyhounds are 37-7 during that stretch (17-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 8-1 this season) for a .841 mark.
  • Only Duke has won more games (38) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by more than eight percent (38-12, .760).

Chart Toppers    

  • A pair of Greyhounds attackers are at or near the top of two offensive categories through games of Tuesday, March 25, in both total goals and assists.Nikko Pontrello paces Division I with 34 goals, while Justin Ward is second with 30 assists.
  • The duo is the No. 2 point-scoring tandem in the country with 39 each. Albany’s Lyle (48) and Miles (44) have a combined 92, 14 more than Pontrello and Ward

Pontrello Putting Up Points    

  • Nikko Pontrello had his ninth multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Saturday when he scored five against Lafayette. Through games of Monday, March 24, Pontrello leads the nation in total goals with 34.
  • He scored two in the season-opener at Virginia and then had three each against Penn State and Towson before scoring a career-high six goals at Holy Cross. He then tallied four at Lehigh, five against Duke and three at Georgetown.
  • Two of his goals have been game-winners in one-goal contests. Pontrello scored 19 seconds into overtime to give Loyola a 12-11 win at Penn State, and he then tallied one with 51.4 seconds left in regulation to push the Greyhounds past Georgetown, 10-9.
  • Pontrello leads the Greyhounds with 34 goals and is tied with Justin Ward for the team-lead with 39 points through nine games.
  • He leads the Patriot League and is second nationally in goals per game (3.78), while he is tied for first and 13th with Ward in points per game (4.33).

Stopping Shots    

  • After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .649 mark, saving 87 out of 134 shots on goal he’s faced. In a six-game stretch  against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Duke and Army, Runkel made 61 saves and allowed just 26 goals (.701).
  • The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.14 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .608 through nine games. He is fourth in the nation in saves percentage and sixth in goals against average.
  • In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.81 goals against average and .559 saves percentage; he is fifth in Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982) with 388 career saves. Runkel’s record between the pipes is 35-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 41 victories. Amato (as of Monday), however, Amato is a four-year starter, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.
  • Runkel picked up his fourth-straight Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honor on March 17, becoming the first player in League history to win any of the weekly honors (Offensive, Defensive, Goalkeeper or Rookie) four-consecutive times.

Record-Setting Quarterback    

  • Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 24 assists in the last six contests. He is second in the nation in total assists (30), and he is also second in the country and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.33 assists per game this year. His 30 assists are already tied for eighth in school Division I single-season history.
  • With four assists against Duke  Ward set Loyola’s career Division I record (since 1982) in total assists, eclipsing the mark of 83 set from 1989-92 by Jim Blanding. Following his four against Lafayette, Ward now has 97 in his career. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also 10th in school Division I history in total points with 145.
  • Ward is in his third year as a starter on attack for the Greyhound after earning USILA All-America Honorable Mention last year after finishing tops on the team in points (62) and assists (35) and second in goals (27). His 62 points ranked tied for fifth in school single-season Division I history, and his 35 assists check in at third on that list.

Offensively Efficient    

  • Loyola is one of only two teams nationally to rank in the top five in shooting percentage and fewest turnovers per game. The Greyhounds lead Division I by averaging 9.89 turnovers per game, nearly two fewer than Denver, which is second in the statistical category. Loyola is also fifth in shooting percentage (.354).
  • The Pioneers are the only other team to be in the top five of both categories, checking in second in turnovers per game (11.78) and shooting percentage (.380).

Near The Top At Both Sides    

  • The Greyhounds are also one of just two teams to be in the top five of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (14.11) rank fourth, and its goals allowed (7.33) are tied for fifth.
  • North Carolina is the other team in the top five for both, matching the Greyhounds in goals allowed while it is second in goals per game (14.78).
  • While it is tied for fifth nationally in scoring defense, Loyola is just fourth in the Patriot League in the category. Army (1st, 5.50), Lehigh (2nd, 6.67) and Colgate (4th, 7.11) all rank ahead of the Greyhounds nationally. In conference games, however, Loyola and Army are tied at 5.25 per contest.

Man-Up Success    

  • Loyola has converted on just under half of its man-up possessions this year, scoring 14 goals on 29 opportunities. Its .483 success rate is good for 10th in NCAA Division I through games of Monday, March 24.
  • Nikko Pontrello leads the way with five man-up goals, while Kevin Ryan has three and Matt Sawyer and Brian Schultz each have two.
  • Eight of Loyola’s extra-man goals have been assisted by Justin Ward.

Games Of Runs    

  • Loyola has used significant runs in all nine of its games this season, and it has had four stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 16 runs of 3-0 or better. Here is a look at their four best scoring stretches:

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

Five-Plus For Two    

  • Matt Sawyer scored six goals, and Nikko Pontrello tallied five for the Greyhounds on Sunday against Duke, marking the first time in over a decade that two Loyola players have scored five or more in the same game.
  • The last pair to do so was Gavin Prout (six) and Tim Goettelmann (five) in a 14-9 win on March 25, 2000, at 14th-ranked Brown University.

Tripled Up    

  • Matt Sawyer entered the March 9 game against Duke with a single-game high of two goals, those coming in the season-opener at the University of Virginia. It took the senior from Waxhaw, N.C., just 15-minutes, 56-seconds against the Blue Devils to match that total, and 20:51 to exceed it.
  • Sawyer finished the game by tripling his previous high, totaling six goals on just seven shots. Through nine games this year, Sawyer has scored 11 goals, good for fourth on the team.

Sherlock Scoring    

  • Brian Sherlock, a redshirt freshman who transfered to Loyola after sitting out last year with an injury at North Carolina, had a career-high five points with three goals and two assists against Lafayette. He has now posted 17 points with nine goals and eight assists this season through nine games, and he also has shown his skill off the ground with 15 ground balls.

Fletch, White And Blue    

  • Senior defender Joe Fletcher was the lone current collegiate player selected as part of one of 52 players who made up the United States Men’s National Team training roster this fall, and the day before Loyola’s season-opener, he found out he is one of 30 players who made the cut for the team that will compete at the 2014 World Cup in Denver.
  • Against Holy Cross, Fletcher set a career-high with eight ground balls, eclipsing his previous total of seven set on three different occasions. In a pair of games against Towson and the Crusaders, he had 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers.
  • He earned his second Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor this year on Monday after picking up seven ground balls and causing a turnover against Duke. He also was primarily responsible for holding the Blue Devils’ All-American attacker Jordan Wolf to one goal. Fletcher was again honored on March 17 after limiting Army’s John Glesener to two goals on 22 shots.
  • This season, the Preseason All-American is second on the Greyhounds with 37 ground balls and caused turnovers (13). His 58 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.

Not Just Defensive Midfield    

  • Short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on March 3 after matching his career-high with two goals at Lehigh.
  • The senior, who is a team co-captain and Preseason All-American, had a goal an assist versus Army and a goal at Georgetown, bringing his season totals to six goals an one assist. He now has 11 goals and 10 assists in his four-year career. His 14 caused turnovers this season have brought his career total to 55, fourth most in school history.

Schultz Stepping Up    

  • In his first year as a starter on attack for the Greyhounds, senior Brian Schultz has parlayed his opportunity into a solid start to the season. Through nine games, Schultz has scored 17 goals, second most on the team, and assisted on nine, second behind team-leader Justin Ward.
  • Entering this season, Schultz had seen most of his playing time on extra-man opportunities for the Greyhounds, posting a combined three goals and five assists.

Tewaaraton Watch Trio, Senior CLASS Award Pair    

  • Two of Loyola’s senior co-captains were named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List when it was released last week. Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward were among the 50 players nationally to receive recognition.
  • They were also two of 20 players nationally to be named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award that seniors who have performed at a high level athletically and in the classroom and who have used their platforms as student-athletes to make positive impacts in the community.
  • In addition to the senior duo that is on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, junior attacker Nikko Pontrello was also named to the group on March 20.

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Balanced Navy attack not enough to top Colgate

Posted on 22 March 2014 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. —  Seven different players scored for the Midshipmen, but it would not be enough to stifle a potent Colgate offense that dealt Navy a 10-7 loss in men’s lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Navy fell to 3-5 on the year, including 2-3 in Patriot League action, while the Raiders, who are ranked 18th in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, improved to 7-2 and 3-1 in conference play.

“We did an awful lot of good things today, but give credit to Colgate who just made more plays than us,” said third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “Overall there are some good things that we did today and we need to stay the course.”

The Midshipmen looked to have the hot hand early, as they opened up a 2-0 lead six minutes into the contest.  Senior attackman Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) scored his 16th goal of the season just under two minutes into the game and classmate Pat Durkin(Germantown, Md.) punched in an unassisted goal at 8:57.

Colgate answered Durkin’s goal with an uncontested shot by leading scorer Ryan Walsh at the 7:15 mark.  With the goal, Walsh extended his streak of consecutive games with a point to 42 which is the fourth-longest active streak in Div. I lacrosse this season.

Navy pushed its lead back to two when Durkin carried the ball down the right side of the box and found senior attackTucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) anchored on the left crease and Hull fired in his 70th collegiate goal at the 3:35 mark.  Hull now joins the ranks of just 12 players in Div. I lax this season who have amassed 70 goals and 50 assists over their careers.

Colgate, however, would score the final two goals of the first period, including a goal by sophomore middie Eric Foote with 44.2 seconds remaining in the quarter, to even the score at 3-3.

The Raiders scored on a high-to-high shot by Brendon McCann to open the second quarter and take its first lead of the contest at 13:19.

Navy’s T.J. Hanzsche (Berwyn, Pa.) answered at the 11:51 mark when he curled around the right side of the cage and punched in his shot from seven yards out.  The goal extended Hanzsche’s point/goal-scoring streak to 14 straight games.

That goal, however, would be Navy’s last for more than 30 minutes of action, and Navy would score the next three goals to take a 7-4 lead less than three minutes into the fourth quarter.

“I thought we picked up right where we left off in practice this week and scored a few early,” said Sowell.  “Unfortunately we had that long drought and Colgate had a number of quality possessions.  They are good all around, but in particular they have a solid offense.”

Navy finally found the back of the net at 11:11 in the fourth quarter and closed to within two (5-7) when senior midfielderAustin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) split the double team on the right wing and sent his shot past Colgate rookie goalkeeper Brandon Burke.

Colgate, who had five different goal scorers in the game, saw three different players stick goals over a five-minute span to give the Raiders a 10-5 advantage.

The Mids tried to rally over the final two minutes of the contest, as a transition goal by senior long pole Pat Kiernan(Ridgewood, N.J.) and a faceoff win and goal by freshman Brady Dove (Stevensville, Md.) trimmed the lead to three with 1:47 to play in the game, but it would not be enough to overcome the deficit.

McCann and Foote led the way for Colgate with three goals apiece, while Burke was solid in goal with seven saves.

Navy keeper John Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) made nine stops, including four each in the second and fourth quarters.  Connors also caused a pair of Colgate turnovers, while Kiernan forced three.

The faceoff game ended nearly even as Colgate junior Alex Kinnealey won 11 draws, while Dove won 10 for the Mids.  Kinnealey took control early in the game, winning eight of the 11 draws in the first 30 minutes of action, however Dove won seven of the 10 in the second half.  Kinnealey came into the contest winning 61.3 percent of his faceoffs, while Dove had won 61.0 percent.

“We anticipated if (the faceoff battle) being a big challenge for us,” said Sowell.  “Brady has been great all season for us, but today he came up against a matchup that gave him some trouble.  Sometimes you come across a player that trumps your move.  I thought he did a good job of adjusting in the second half.”

The Mids will be back in action next Saturday when they make the trek to north to face Boston U. in the inaugural game between the two programs.  Faceoff is slated for 1:00 pm.

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Navy returns home Saturday to face Colgate

Posted on 21 March 2014 by WNST Staff

2014 Navy Men’s Lacrosse Game Specifics
Game 8 Navy (3-4, 2-2 PL) vs. Colgate (6-2, 2-1 PL)
Date and Faceoff March 22 at 12:00 pm ET
Location Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000)


Game Preview

• After playing its last two games on the road, the Navy men’s lacrosse team (3-4, 2-2 Patriot League) returns home Saturday to battle conference foe Colgate (6-2, 2-1 PL).  Faceoff is slated for 12:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• The game will be streamed online for FREE via PatriotLeague.TV and NavySports.com.  Live stats will also be available at NavySports.com.
• The Mids’ struggles with road play continued last week with a pair of road losses to Towson (14-9) and Lehigh (13-2).  Sophomore attack T.J. Hanzsche handled the highlights for the Mids, scoring both of the Mids’ goals as he pushed his consecutives games with a point (and goal) to 12.
• Colgate is coming off a 15-10 loss against No. 4 Cornell this past Tuesday, snapping a four-game winning streak by the Raiders.  Colgate won those four games (Bucknell, Hobart, Boston U. and Binghamton) by a combined of six goals.

Meet the Mids Set for Saturday
• Navy will hold its annual Meet the Mids event following its game against Colgate on Saturday.
• Members of the Navy men’s lacrosse team will be available for autographs on the Blue Concourse, with the first 300 kids in line for the postgame autograph session receiving a Navy lacrosse “Meet the Mids” t-shirt, compliments of Annapolis area Papa John’s and Chick-fil-A.
• For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, call 1-800-US4-NAVY or visit NavySports.com(.)

Taking the Field In …
10 – Navy has lost just five games (57-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season … Navy is 11-0 under Sowell when scoring 10 or more goals (5-0 in 2012, 3-0 in 2013, 3-0 in 2014).
9 – The Mids have reached double digits in 9 of the 16 games they have played against Colgate, winning all 9 of the games.
8 – Navy is 8-6 under third-year head coach Rick Sowell when leading after the first quarter of play.  The Mids have held the lead after the first 15 minutes of action if 5 of their 7 games this season and own a 3-2 mark in those contests.
7 – Among starting attack Sam Jones’ 15 goals this season, 7 have been unassisted.  As a team, 31 of Navy’s 75 goals (41.3) have been unassisted.
6 – Freshman faceoff specialist Brady Dove, who is Navy’s all-time freshman faceoff wins leader, needs 6 wins on Saturday to become just the 14th player in school history to win 100 draws over the span of a career.
5 – Senior midfielder Pat Durkin has scored 5 goals this season and all 5 have been scored at home.
4 – Senior attack Tucker Hull needs 4 goals to join Navy’s all-time goals scored list with 73.  He would also join teammate Sam Jones as one of just nine active NCAA players to score 70 plus goals and register 50 assists.
3 – Jones needs just 3 points to become only the seventh player in school history to reach the 30-point milestone in each of his four seasons and the first sinceNick Mirabito (2005-08).
2 – Sowell is 2 wins from earning his 100th collegiate victory.  He owns a 98-99 record in 15 years as a head coach.
1 – Navy senior long pole Pat Kiernan stands No. 1 on Navy’s career caused turnovers list with61 over his four year career.  He leads Navy this season with 10 takeaways.

Scouting the Raiders
• In his third season as head coach at Colgate, Mike Murphy has led the Raiders to a 6-2 mark winning four in a row prior to Tuesday night’s 15-10 loss to fourth-ranked Cornell.  In addition to the loss again The Big Red, Colgate dropped an 8-7 decision to Lafayette in its Patriot League opener on Feb. 22.
• Colgate owns a 2-1 Patriot League mark, picking up wins over Bucknell (9-8) and Boston U. (7-5), while stumbling against Lafayette (8-7).
• Anchoring the Colgate offense is junior All-Patriot League attackman Ryan Walsh who has posted 28 points on 18 goals and 10 assists.  He enters today’s game boasting a 41-game point-scoring streak which is the fourth longest behind Duke’s Jordan Wolf (48), St. John’s Kieran McArdle (44) and Albany’s Miles Thompson (41).  Thirteen (8-5) of Walsh’s 28 points have been scored in Patriot League contests.
• Four other players have turned in 10 points or more this season, including sophomore attack Kevin Adams whose 15 points have been scored off goals, while senior attack Brendon McCann has split his gave evenly with 17 points on 10 goals and 7 assists.  McCann is coming off a 3-goal, 1-assist performance against Cornell.
• The Raiders have relied upon the play of freshman Brandon Burke in goal to lead the defense.  Burke owns a 7.07 goals-against average and a 57.6 save percentage.  Prior to Tuesday’s game against Coglate where he surrendered 15 goals and made 10 saves, Burke had been ranked fifth nationally in saves per game (9.43) and was No. 2 in GAA, giving up 5.93 goals per game.  In his three Patriot League appearances, he has posted a 7.00 GAA and a 56.2 save percentage.
• Junior middie Alex Kinnealey has been strong at the faceoff position, winning 61.3 percent (84-137) of the draws he has taken this season, including 59.6 percent (31-52) in conference play.  Going into the Cornell game, he stood 10th nationally in faceoff winning percentage (62.7).  Additionally, he paces the team with 50 ground balls.
• All-league defenseman Bobby Lawrence has been stellar in his senior season, producing a team-best 17 caused turnovers.  He is ranked 11th nationally in caused turnovers per game  (2.1).

Navy vs. Colgate – The Series
• Navy leads the all-time series with Colgate, 11-5, including wins in 3 of the last 5 contests.
• The two teams have met 14 times since the Midshipmen joined the Patriot League in 2004.  During that span, Navy has produced a 9-5 record and outscored Colgate, 144-111.
• Five of the last six contests between the two programs has been decided by one goal, including the 2012 contest in which Navy’s Sam Jones targeted a shot with 3.4 seconds remaining in the game to lead the Mids to a 12-11 victory.
• Today’s contest marks the eighth game played in Annapolis with Navy holding a 5-2 advantage.  Colgate has won each of the last two games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, scoring a 10-9 win in 2009 and a 5-4 decision in 2011.
• Navy and Colgate have twice faced one another in the Patriot League Tournament and have been met with split results.  In 2007, the Mids claimed a 15-9 win over the Raiders in the championship game, before dropping the program’s first Patriot League Tournament contest at the 2008 semifinals against eventual champion Colgate.

Kiernan Among Nation’s Top Poles
• Senior long stick defensive midfielder Pat Kiernan is one of the best at his position in the country.
• Kiernan, a 2014 Preseason All-American, was among the national leaders in both caused turnovers (12th, 2.00) and ground balls (32nd, 5.23) last season.
• He is Navy’s record holder for career caused turnovers (61), a stat introduced in 2009.  With 26 caused turnovers last season, he finished the year ranked No. 3 on the Mids’ single-season list.  He is also ranked ninth (14, 2012) and tied for 13th (11, 2011) on the chart.
• He is tied with ninth-place Matt Russell (2003-06) on the career ground balls list with 159, trailing eighth-place Chad Donnelly who posted 172 from 1997-2000.  Meanwhile, he turned in 68 grounders last spring to etch his name in at ninth on the Mids’ single-season chart.  It’s the most ground balls by a Navy player since 2008 when draw specialist Mikelis Visgauss grabbed 80.
• He is also 19th on the Mids’ career faceoff wins list, winning 24 of the 54 draws (44.4) he has taken.
• Kiernan has produced 13 career points, including  a program-record 10 in 2012.
• He is tied for seventh in the country among active poles with 13 points.
• Kiernan is tied as the all-time leader in career points scored by a Navy defensemen, while his 10 goals are the most at Navy.

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Loyola tries to snap funk Saturday at Colgate

Posted on 21 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds at Colgate Raiders

Saturday, February 22, 2014  |  2:00 p.m.

Hamilton, N.Y. | Cottrell Court  |  PLN

 

Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland plays its penultimate regular-season road game of the year on Saturday, February 22, in Hamilton, N.Y., where it will take on Colgate University

The Greyhounds are looking for their first conference road win of the season.

Jordan Latham led Loyola in scoring, tying with Jarred Jones for team-high honors, for the second game in a row against Bucknell on Wednesday night. It was the third time in his career he has paced Loyola in points.

Latham is averaging 9.1 points in Patriot League play after finishing non-conference play averaging 5.0. He is shooting 49.5 percent from the field in the 15 League games.

 

Last Time Out

The Greyhounds had their worst half of the season in the first 20 minutes on Wednesday night against Bucknell, scoring just 14 points to trail by the same number at halftime. Loyola rallied, however, taking a lead of as many as seven in the second half before ultimately falling, 55-53, to the Bison.

R.J. Williams made a driving layup with 1:13 left for Loyola, but Cameron Ayers hit a 3-pointer from the right win to put Bucknell up, 55-53, with less than 16 seconds left.

Jarred Jones’ layup attempt with four seconds remaining rolled around more than half of the rim before falling off to give the Bison the win.

 

 

Patriot League Network

Saturday’s game against Colgate will air live on the Patriot League Network.

The contest, and all of Loyola’s remaining, non-televised home and road games will be streamed, free of charge, in high definition and can be accessed at www.patriotleague.tv.

 

Series History Versus Colgate

Loyola and Colgate will meet for the second time as Patriot League foes and the fourth time overall when the teams take the floor on Saturday afternoon.

The teams had not played in over 30 years before Loyola hosted the Raiders on January 25, 2014, in Reitz Arena.

Dylon Cormier and R.J. Williams scored 16 of Loyola’s final 18 points, and the Greyhounds held off the Raiders, 67-60, in that contest. Cormier finished with 21 points, and Williams had a career-high 15

Colgate led by as many as nine early in the first half, but Loyola ended up with a 31-24 halftime advantage.

Loyola won the programs’ first meeting on December 22, 1974, taking a 79-78 decision in the opening round of the Scranton Holiday Tournament.

The Raiders were 56-54 winners the next time the teams squared off. They met in the Albright Invitational Consolation Game on December 30, 1983, in Reading, Pa.

 

Start Of A New Era

Loyola’s January 2 game against Navy marked the start of a new era for Loyola basketball, the Greyhounds’ first game as a member of the Patriot League.

Loyola announced in August 2012 it would join the 10-school League, and it officially became a member on July 1, 2013.

The Greyhounds had been members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) since 1989-1990.

 

Academic Honors For Rassman

Last week, sophomore forward Franz Rassman was named to the Capital One Academic All-America District II Team for his excellence in the classroom.

Rassman, who has started 20-of-21 games and is averaging 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, is now eligible for Academic All-America honors along with district honorees from around the nation.

 

Cormier Has Hand Surgery

Dylon Cormier, the leading scorer in the Patriot League (21.2 points per game) fractured his left hand in a loose-ball scramble on Saturday, February 1, against the U.S. Military Academy, and he had surgery on February 5 to stabilize the break, likely ending his season.

Cormier was also second in the Patriot League in steals (2.2) and fifth in rebounds (5.8) at the time of his injury.

 

Career Night For Latham

Jordan Latham recorded career-highs in several categories last Saturday night against Boston University, logging his first collegiate double-double with bests of 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Latham made 10-of-16 field goals and 5-of-8 free throws (career-highs in both made and attempted for both) while also blocking three shots and tying his personal-best with two steals.

The senior forward from Baltimore scored 16 points in the first half, more than any other Loyola player has tallied in the opening 20 minutes this year. He played a career-high 33 minutes, as well in the game.

He followed that game by leading the team in scoring for the second game in a row, tying Jarred Jones with 13 points, on Wednesday night against Colgate. He had career-highs of seven free-throws made and 11 attempted in that contest. It was the first time in his career that he had led the team in scoring in back-to-back games.

His previous scoring high of 17 came in December 2012 at Florida Gulf Coast University, and he had a high of seven rebounds earlier this season at Cornell University.

 

Latham And The League

In Loyola’s 15 Patriot League contests, Jordan Latham has significantly raised his scoring contributions. He finished Loyola’s regular-season slate of 11 games with a 5.0 points per game, but he has bumped that up to 9.1 points in League contests.

In conference games, Latham is shooting 49.5 percent (33.8 non-conference), and he is also better at the free-throw line, making 67.4 percent as opposed to 47.4.

Latham has also rebounded better, 4.2 in the League, up from 3.4, and his blocked shots per game are 1.5, higher than his previous 1.1.

The improved play in the Patriot League has raised his cumulative totals to 7.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

In Patriot League play, his 1.5 blocked shots are fourth in the conference, and his 1.3 overall are 6th.

 

Laster Impression

Eric Laster has set career-highs in scoring in two of the Greyhounds’ last four games. He recorded 18 points on February 15 against Boston University, clipping his previous best of 17 on February 8 at Lehigh.

Laster’s 18 against the Terriers came in a much more efficient manner than the 17 against the Mountain Hawks. He made 6-of-7 from the field, including both of his 3-point attempts, against Boston University after hitting 6-of-15 at Lehigh.

Through 26 games, 23 starts, this year, Laster is second on the team with an 8.2 points per game average. He is shooting 41.2 percent from the field and 40.5 percent form 3-point range. The sophomore also has averaged 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He played a career-high 37 minutes on February 19 against Bucknell to raise his minutes per game to 27.3.

In 27 games as a freshman in 2011-2012, Laster averaged 0.8 points and 0.4 rebounds in 5.3 minutes of action per game.

 

Turnover Back In Line

After two games in which the Greyhounds had two of their top three turnover totals of the season – 17 at Lafayette and 22 versus Boston University – they had their lowest mark of the year with just five against Bucknell.

It was the sixth time this season Loyola finished a game with nine or fewer miscues. It is 4-2 in those games with both losses coming at the hands of the Bison.

Thirteen of the turnovers against Boston University came via Terriers’ steals in a game Loyola was playing without starting point guard R.J. Williams due to an injury.

The game against Boston University was just the sixth time this season that the Greyhounds have committed more turnovers than their opponents. They are 2-4 in those games.

Overall, turnovers have not been a major issue for the Greyhounds this season. They are averaging 12.0 giveaways per game this year, fourth fewest in the Patriot League. Additionally, Loyola is tops in the conference in turnover margin, averaging 2.12 fewer per game than its opponents.

 

Block Party

Jordan Latham and Jarred Jones have combined for 21 blocked shots in the last five games for the Greyhounds (Latham 12, Jones 9), helping Loyola take over the Patriot League lead in blocked shots per game (4.3).

Latham had four versus American, and Jones tallied four at Lehigh.

Latham had three against both Boston University and Bucknell to retake  the seasonal team lead from Jones. The duo is sixth and seventh, respectively, in blocked shots per game in the Patriot League, averaging 1.3 and 1.2 a contest.

 

Patton’s Playing Time

With R.J. Williams out against Boston University due to an injury, Jevon Patton saw a season-high 23 minutes at the point guard spot.

The freshman from Charlotte scored just two points, but he dished out six assists, the third most in a game by a Loyola player this season (Williams has had games with 10 and nine assists).

 

Hubbard Hits From Deep

Tyler Hubbard had one of the best 3-point shooting nights in school history against American, making 6-of-7 attempts on his way to a career-high 20 points.

Hubbard’s six threes are tied for sixth-most in school single-game history, and they were the most since Robert Olson and J’hared Hall both hit six in a game at Manhattan on January 7, 2011.

The sophomore out of Washington, D.C., made three in both halves with his only miss coming in the first. He also made both of his free throw attempts after being fouled with 25 seconds left. He eclipsed his previous career-high of 17 scored on 6-of-7 shooting, 4-of-5 from behind the arc, in a November 14, 2012, game against UMBC.

A week earlier, Hubbard scored his previous season-high of 13 at College of the Holy Cross when he made 4-of-6 from deep.

 

Winning Without Boards

Loyola posted a season-low 17 rebounds on February 5 against American, but the Greyhounds also had the distinction of tying the mark for the fewest rebounds in a win by a NCAA Division I team this season (according to Stats, Inc.)

Delaware and Indiana State also had 17 rebounds in wins over College of Charleston and Pepperdine, respectively, this season. Ironically, Delaware’s win with 17 boards came on the same day as Loyola victory over American.

 

Jones-ing For Points

Jarred Jones has scored in double figures each of the last two games – 10 against Boston University and 13 versus Bucknell – after recording just seven points in a three-game stretch from February 5-12. Prior to that skid, he scored 17, his second highest total of the year, on February 1 versus Army.

He also has six rebounds in each of the last three Greyhounds games.

 

Jones On The Defensive End

Although he struggled offensively during a stretch, Jarred Jones has continued to be a solid defensive player for the Greyhounds. In those games, he has blocked seven shots and come up with 10 steals.

He has at least two steals in each of Loyola’s last seven games, dating back to January 29 against Holy Cross. He also has blocked two or more shots in five of the last seven games with a career-high tying four on February 8 at Lehigh. He is second on the team with 32 blocks and seventh in the League with 1.3 per game.

Jones is also seventh in the Patriot League in steals per game. He averages 1.5 per game with a total of 39.

 

Setting Up The Shots

R.J. Williams finished the February 1 game against Army with nine assists, one off his career-high of 10 set on January 13 against Lafayette.

Williams is sixth in the Patriot League in assists per game (4.0). He had 34 assists in eight non-conference games, and he entered January and Patriot League action averaging 3.8 per game. Since then, Williams has 58 assists in 14 games for an average of 4.1.

The junior from Baltimore has also increased his scoring average during Patriot League play. Overall he is averaging 7.7 points per game, 8.1 against conference opponents.

 

Gotta Get To The Line

The Greyhounds have seen their most success this season when getting to the free-throw line consistently. They are 6-2 when attempting 25 or more free throws (wins over Binghamton, Cornell, Fairfield, UMBC, Navy and Lafayette; losses to Stony Brook and Saint Joseph’s). In the Loyola’s three other wins, Catholic, Lehigh and Colgate, it took 19, 24 and 18 free throws, respectively.

Overall, Loyola is getting to the free-throw line more than seven fewer times in losses than wins (27.7-20.1).

 

Away From The Friendly Confines

Loyola lost its 11th straight road game on February 12 at Lafayette after winning its first three this season away from Reitz Arena. At 3-11 on the road, the Greyhounds are shooting 38.2 percent as opposed to 44.9 percent while going 7-5 at home. Opponents are shooting 46.4 percent in their own facilities, 43.7 percent in Reitz Arena.

The Greyhounds turn the ball over at a rate of almost one per game more on the road (12.4-11.6), and they also force nearly two more turnovers at home (15.1-13.4).

With these factors, the Greyhounds are averaging nearly seven points less per game on the road, 62.7, to their 69.1 points per game at home.

 

Sticky Fingers

The Greyhounds posted 10 steals against Bucknell on February 19, marking the sixth time in 16 Patriot League games that they have grabbed 10 or more. Through February 21, Loyola leads the League with 8.4 steals overall.

Through games of February 20, the Greyhounds are 17th nationally at 8.38 steals per game. Loyola has had 11 or more steals in eight games through 26 contests.

R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is 14th nationally in steals per game (2.4), while Dylon Cormier is second (2.19) and 25th.

In the January 25 game against Colgate, Cormier had two steals, moving him past Tracy Bergan and into second on the all-time steals list at Loyola. Bergan was in attendance at the game as part of the Greyhounds’ 1994 NCAA Tournament team that was honored that night. He now has 185 in his career.

With 120 in his career, Williams is 10th on the career chart. His 55 this season are tied for ninth on the school single-season chart.

 

Cormier’s Scoring

Dylon Cormier had been one of the top scorers in the nation this season, averaging 21.2 points per game through 21 and the time of his injury. Through games of Thursday, February 21, Cormier was 14th in the nation in points per game.

Cormier scored 20 or more points in the Greyhounds’ first five games, and he had three 30-plus point efforts during that stretch, as well.

Overall, he has 14 20-plus point games in 21 contests, and he has recorded 25 or more eight times.

On November 20 at UMBC, Cormier had a career-high 12 field goals and went 9-of-13 from the line to match his career-best with 34 points (also set on November 10 at Cornell).

No Loyola player in the school’s Division I era (since 1981-1982) had started the season with five-straight 20-point games. Andre Collins, who set the school single-season scoring record at 26.1, started the 2005-2006 season with 20 or more points in five of six games, but he scored  just 16 in the Greyhounds’ third game of the season.

Cormier was the first player in Loyola men’s basketball history to post two 30+ point games to start the season.

He was also the first Loyola player to score 30 or more in back-to-back outings since Collins went for 34, 36 and 39 in three-straight games (all on the road at VMI, Delaware and Providence) from December 29, 2005-January 3, 2006.

 

Over 1,600

In the first half of the game at Bucknell, Dylon Cormier hit the 1,600 career points mark, becoming the seventh player in school history to do so, the fifth in the program’s tenure at Division I.

At Boston University, Cormier moved into seventh-place all-time at Loyola in scoring, passing Mike Powell and his 1,580 points. At the time of his injury, Cormier had 1,659 career points through 115 career games.

 

Telling Stat

In Loyola’s 16 losses this season, the Greyhounds are shooting more than nine percent worse from the floor than they are in their eight victories.

Loyola has made 47.0 percent (249-of-530) shots in 10 wins versus 37.7 percent (343-of-909) in 16 losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 14.9 less (74.8 versus 59.9) points per game.

As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (47.0-42.5) in the games they’ve won.

 

Start Of The Smith Era

G.G. Smith was named the 20th head coach in Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball history on April 12, 2013. Her garnered his first head coaching win on November 8, 2013, in the season-opener against Binghamton.

The 1999 graduate of the University of Georgia spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Loyola for Jimmy Patsos who took the head coaching position at Siena College in March.

Loyola amassed a 106-87 record (.549) during Smith’s six years as an assistant. The 106 wins and the .549 winning percentage are the best of any six-year stretch during Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982-1983).

As a player, Smith was a three-year starter and four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs from 1995-1999. Smith helped the Bulldogs advance to the 1996 NCAA Sweet 16 and another tournament appearance in 1997. He left Georgia as the school’s career leader in games played (129), wins in a season (24) and 3-pointers in a game (nine).

Smith is the son of current Texas Tech University Head Coach Tubby Smith. The elder Smith led the University of Kentucky to the 1998 NCAA Championship and is in his 23rd season as a head coach. G.G. Smith played for his father from 1995-1997 at Georgia.

 

Look Back At 2012-2013

Loyola finished the 2012-2013 season with a 23-12 record, marking the first time in the school’s Division I history (since 1982-1983) that the Greyhounds have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons.

The Greyhounds finished their final season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 12-6 mark, tying for second place.

After falling in the first round of the MAAC Championships, Loyola its first-ever bid tot he CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Following the Greyhounds’ 2012 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, it was the first consecutive postseason bids in school Division I history and the first since 1953 in any division of competition.

Erik Etherly and Dylon Cormier became the first set of Loyola teammates to be named to the All-MAAC First Team in the same year.

Five players – Julius Brooks, Etherly, Robert Olson, Luke Wandrusch and Anthony Winbush – graduated after the season, leaving behind combined career totals of 3,413 points, 1,930 rebounds, 575 assists and 395 steals.

 

Cormier On The Charts

Dylon Cormier entered his senior season at Loyola with a chance to climb many of the Greyhounds’ career statistical charts. Here is a look at where he stands:

 

Scoring
7th 1,659 points
Next Mike Krawczyk, 1,676
Field Goals Made
10th 552 field goals made
Next Gene Gwiazdowski, 565
3-Pointers Made
13th 96 3-Pt. Made
Next B.J. Davis, 104
Free Throws Made
2nd 459 free throws made
Next Jim Lacy, 613
Assists
20th 210 assists
Next Dave Wojick, 219
Steals
2nd 185 steals
Next Jason Rowe, 272

 

 

 

Into The Fold

Loyola signed three high school seniors in the early signing period to comprise its Class of 2018.

Forward Cam Gregory (Waldorf, Md./St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes) and guards Chancellor Barnard (Columbia, Md./Glenelg Country School) and Colton Bishop (Winston-Salem, N.C./Forsyth County Day School) will join the program in the fall.

For more on the trio, visit http://loyo.la/MBB-NLIs-13.

 

High Marks

The Loyola men’s basketball team scored the highest amongst squads in the State of Maryland in the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate report. The Greyhounds checked in with a 91-percent GSR, tops among the state’s nine Division I schools, for players who entered the school between 2003-2006.

 

Up Next

The Greyhounds return to Reitz Arena for their final regular-season home game against College of the Holy Cross on Wednesday, February 26. Loyola will celebrate its four seniors – Dylon Cormier, Jordan Latham, Chido Onyiuke and manager Zan Cheema – prior to the game.

Following that contest, Loyola will close the regular-season in nearby Annapolis, Md., where it will take on the U.S. Naval Academy at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 1.

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