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Navy doubled up by Army in annual rivalry battle

Posted on 13 April 2014 by WNST Staff

WEST POINT, N.Y. —  Navy senior attackman Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) and junior middie Gabe Voumard (Cape May, N.J.) scored two goals each but it would not be enough as the high-powered Army offense (8-3, 6-1 Patriot League) outmuscled the Mids and scored a 14-7 victory over the Navy men’s lacrosse team (4-7, 3-5 PL) Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.

“I have to take my hat off to Army.  They played an all-around great game,” said third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “They were hot early on in the game and while we were able to cut into the lead a number of times, we could never get back to within one.  They took our punch, if you will, and were able to counter almost every time.”

Army wasted little time in making a statement in the game, scoring its first goal just six seconds into the contest.  In a mirror image of last year’s contest, sophomore faceoff specialist Alex Daly won the draw and fed All-American attackman John Glesener who fired in his shot from 10 yards out on the left wing.

Navy, though, answered just 51 seconds later when Jones ducked under his defender and sent his diving shot from the left crease past Army keeper Bobby Sincero.  Sincero was inserted into the starting grid after an injury sidelined Sam Somers.  Somers has been the cornerstone of Army’s defense this season and stands No. 1 in the country in goals-against average and No. 2 in save percentage.

Jones’ goal, however, would be the last for the Mids until late in the second quarter as Army put together a 5-0 run that featured five different scorers.

After nearly a 28-minute scoring drought, Navy punched in a goal with 1:14 left in the half when Jones found classmateAustin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) who split a pair of defenders and sent an eight-yarder past Sincero.

Just nine seconds later, however, Army midfielder Michael Larrabee answered to again put the Black Knights up by five.

Navy, though, would get the final say in the half as co-captain Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.) intercepted an Army pass and ran the length of the field to find Jones for the transition goal and trim Army’s lead to four (7-3) at the break.

The Mids, who were outshot 21-8 in the opening half, scored two of the first three goals to start the second half with senior Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) and Gabe Voumard (Cape May, N.J.) sticking shots.

Army again put together a 3-0 run with three goals scored by three different players to gain its largest lead of the game at six (11-5) with 3:13 to play in the third.

Navy long pole Ben Sampson (Doylestown, Pa.) picked up the loose ball on the ensuing faceoff and drilled his first goal of the season and second of his career to get Navy within five (11-6) with 3:01 to play in the third.

The Mids, however, could get no closer than five, as Army scored three of the game’s final four goals to deal Navy its sixth straight loss in the series.

“I think we started to loosen up a bit to start the second half, but they were able to counter.  When they went on their little run, it really made it tough for us to gain any momentum.”

Nine different players scored goals for the Black Knights, including starting attackmen Connor Cook (3), John Glesener (3) and Will Mazzone (2) who combined to score eight goals.  Cook played a hand in six of Army’s 14 goals, as he added a team-best three assists.

Sincero played a fine game in what was just his fifth appearance in between the pipes this season, making eight saves.

Meanwhile, Daly won 14 of the 25 draws for the Black Knights and picked up six ground balls.

“I know Army was without Sam Somers, who is an outstanding goalkeeper, but they have an awfully good defense in front of whomever is in goal,” added Sowell.  “They also have a great faceoff guy who was able stir up some transition plays for them and lead to some goals.  They are just a good all-around team.

“That said, I’m certainly proud of my guys and how hard they played.  Today’s game got away from us, but we will continue to work hard and prepare for the games ahead of us.”

Both Jones and Voumard paced the Mids with three points on two goals and an assist, while Kiernan turned in three caused turnovers and four ground balls.

While Army secured a bye in the Patriot League Tournament due to start Tuesday, April 22, the Mids also claimed one of the six playoff spots thanks to wins by Bucknell over Lafayette and Colgate over Holy Cross this weekend.

The Mids will be back in action next Friday when they play host to nationally-ranked Johns Hopkins in what will be the final home game for Navy’s 13 seniors.  Faceoff is slated for 7:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.

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Navy, Army renew historic rivalry Saturday in West Point

Posted on 11 April 2014 by WNST Staff

2014 Navy Men’s Lacrosse Game Specifics
Game 11 Army (7-3, 5-1 PL) vs. Navy (4-6, 3-4 PL)
Date and Faceoff April 12 at 2:00 pm ET
Location West Point, N.Y. | Michie Stadium (38,000)
Television CBS Sports Network | Dave Ryan & Evan Washburn
Video Streaming None

Game Preview

• Bragging rights will be on the line this Saturday when  Navy (4-6, 3-4 Patriot League) travels to West Point to battle its arch rival Army (7-3, 5-1 PL) in the annual Star Game.  The 93rd edition of the Army-Navy Game is slated for a 2:00 pm faceoff at Michie Stadium.
• Saturday’s contest will be televised by CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan (play by play) and Evan Washburn (analyst) calling the action.  There will be no video stream available for this contest.
• Live stats will be available at NavySports.com.
• The Mids are looking to bounce back after dropping a heart-breaking 7-6 double-overtime decision at home to top-ranked Loyola last Saturday.  A goal by Navy junior midfielder Gabe Voumard in the fourth quarter sent the game into extra minutes, but it was Brian Schultz who fired in the game-winning goal 1:12 into the second overtime frame.
• Meanwhile, Army comes into the game riding a three-game winning streak after narrowly escaping Boston with a win over the Terriers.  The Black Knights dominated the early stages of the game, but BU scored five of the game’s last seven games and came a goal shy of upsetting Army in its inaugural season.

Scouting the Black Knights
• Ninth-year Army head coach Joe Alberici has directed the Black Knights to a 7-3 overall mark, including a 5-1 Patriot League record.
• Army’s losses have been by a combined THREE goals.  The Black Knights dropped a 6-5 decision to Massachusetts in their opener, a 9-8 overtime decision to Rutgers and a 7-6 decision on the road against then-No. 2 Loyola.  Army has reaped the benefits of close games, as well, scoring a 6-5 win over nationally-ranked Lehigh, an 8-6 victory over Lafayette and an 8-7 road win last Saturday over Boston U.
• The Black Knights dominated the early stages of their game against Boston U., however, the Terriers put together a furious rally over the last seven minutes of the contest.  BU scored the game’s last three goals, but came up a goal short.
• The Black Knights are ranked No. 1 in the country in scoring defense, surrendering just 5.70 goals per game.  No team has reached double digits against Army this season.  Rutgers came the closest in a 9-8 OT win.
• Meanwhile, army stands ninth in scoring margin (+3.50) and 10th in man-down defense (72.0)
• Army’s two lowest rankings are in saves per game (#62, 9.00) and shot percentage (#55, 23.8).
• Junior attackman John Glesener is atop the scoring leader board for the Black Knights with 37 points on a team-best 26 goals and 11 assists.  He owns 4 of Army’s 8 extra-man goals.  He is ranked 20th nationally in points per game (3.70) and goals per outing (2.60).
• Sophomore attackman Will Mazzone has split his 24 points evenly with 12 goals and 12 assists, while classmate Connor Cook has amassed 18 points on 10 goals and 8 assists.
• Sophomore Alex Daly has won 96 of his 155 draws (.619) this season and stands 13th nationally in winning percentage.  He did not, however, play against Boston U. last weekend.
• Army has used 5 different face-off men this season, however, rookie Alex Daly has taken the majority.  He has won 49.7 percent (78-157) of his draws this season and is pacing the team in ground balls with 40.
• In his second season as the starting keeper, junior Sam Somers has been solid outstanding.   He is ranked No. 1 nationally in goals-against average (5.43) and No. 2 in save percentage (62.2).
• Junior long stick midfielder Jimbo D’April has been solid on defense where he has produced a team-best 14 caused turnovers and has 22 ground balls.

Army vs. Navy – The Series
• Saturday’s contest marks the 93rd meeting between Army and Navy on the lacrosse field, meeting for the 82nd-consecutive year … it’s the longest continuous lacrosse series between Navy and another team.
• Navy owns a 57-32-3 series advantage that included 13-straight wins by the Midshipmen between 1998 and 2007 … the Mids have won 14 of the last 20 contests in the series.
• The Mids also own a 52-31-3 advantage in Star Games, winning 11 of the last 16.
• Army, however, has won six of the last seven games in the series, including each of the last five games overall and four-consecutive Star Games.
• The Mids lead the series at West Point, 27-16-2, however Army has won three in a row on its home field.  Navy’s last win at Michie Stadium was an 11-10 decision on April 15, 2006.
• There have been only six times in the 92-game history (dating back to 1924) in which the two programs have battled twice in one season (1978 and 1981 in the NCAA Tournament; 2005, ‘06, ‘07 and ‘10 in the Patriot League Tournament).
• Navy has scored eight or more goals in 21 of the last 25 games against Army … the Mids have held the Black Knights to single digits in nine of the 14 games since joining the league in 2004 … Army has reach double digits three times in the last 10 games against the Mids.

Taking the Field In …
10 – Navy has lost just five games (58-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season … Navy is 12-0 under Sowell when scoring 10 or more goals (5-0 in 2012, 3-0 in 2013, 4-0 in 2014).
9 – Senior co-captain Pat Kiernan stands 9th on Navy’s career ground balls list with 171 … it’s the most ground balls by a Navy player since William Wallace set the record with 222 from 2004-07.
8 – Army leads the country in scoring defense (5.70) this season, however, Navy has scored eight or more goals in 21 of the last 25 games against the Black Knights.
7 – With his goal last Saturday against Loyola, senior Sam Jones became one of just 7 players in program history who have scored 80 goals and dealt out 50 assists … he has posted 80 goals and 54 assists.
6 – n his 3 previous appearances against Army, senior attackman Tucker Hull has scored 6 goals, including 3 in last year’s contest.
5 – Rookie Brady Dove needs 3 faceoff wins to move into 5th place on Navy’s single season faceoff wins list.  His 126 faceoff wins this spring are the most since Mikelis Visgauss won 126 in 2008.
4 – 4 Patriot League players are ranked among the nation’s top 20 in faceoff winning percentage, including Army’s Alex Daly (61.9) who is 13th and Navy’s Brady Dove (58.6) who is 18th.
3 – Navy is 3 goals shy of topping its goal total from a year ago.  The Mids scored 103 goals (7.92) in their 13 games last season and through 10 games this spring have scored 101.
2 – Tucker Hull has been held without a goal in just 2 games this season (Georgetown, Lehigh) and without a point just once (Lehigh).
1 – Third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell is just 1 win shy of earning his 100th collegiate victory.  He owns a 99-103 record in 15 years as a head coach.

On the Road Again
• Since the beginning of the 2004 campaign, Navy has lost 29 of its 59 road games (neutral sites not included).
• Navy had lost 10 straight games on the road dating back to 2012, but finally got a check in the win column two weeks ago at Boston U.   The Mids dropped back-to-back games to Maryland and Army in 2012, were 0-5 a year ago and dropped contests at Bucknell (9-6), Towson (14-9) and Lehigh (13-2) this season before dealing the Terriers a 13-7 loss.
• Navy has had a losing record on the road in four of its last five years.  The Mids were 2-4 in 2010, 1-6 in 2011, 3-2 in 2012, 0-5 in 2013 and 1-3 in 2014.
• Six of Navy’s 13 games this season will be played away from its home venue, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium – at Bucknell (L, 9-6), at Towson (L, 14-9), at Lehigh (L, 13-2), at Boston U. (W, 13-7), at Army and at Maryland.
• Navy has averaged 11.8 goals in its 6 home games this season and just 7.5 goals in its 4 road games.  Meanwhile, the Mids’ opponents have scored 46 goals (7.7) in games played in Annapolis vs. 43 on the road (10.8).

Patriot League Tournament
• With the addition of Loyola and Boston U. this season, the Patriot League Tournament will expand to six teams and feature a quarterfinal round where the top two seeds receive a bye.  The 2014 Patriot League Quarterfinals will be played Tuesday, April 22, with the semifinals on Friday, April 25 and the championship on Sunday, April 27.
• The No. 3 and 6 seeds will face one another, while the No. 5 seed will travel to the No. 4 seed.
• Those winners will then join the top two seeds in the weekend semifinal and championship rounds, played at the site of the highest overall seed in the tournament. The brackets will re-seed after the quarterfinal round.
• While the playoff scene remains murky, Loyola, Army and Lehigh have clinched a spot in the tournament.  Meanwhile, Loyola has secured one of the top two seeds to earn an opening-round bye.
• Among the six teams vying for the final three spots in the tournament, Navy is the only team with just one conference game left.
• Colgate is 3-3 with games against Holy Cross and Army, Bucknell is 3-3 with games against Lafayette and Loyola, Holy Cross is 1-5 with games against Colgate and Boston U., Boston U. is 1-5 with games against Loyola and Holy Cross and Lafayette is 1-5 with games against Bucknell and Lehigh.
• This weekend’s lineup includes Lafayette at Bucknell on Friday night (7:30 pm), with Saturday contests between Holy Cross and Colgate (1:00pm), Boston U. and Loyola (1:00 pm) and Army vs. Navy (2:00 pm).  Lehigh has a nonconference matchup against Georgetown on Saturday (7:00 pm).

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Fletcher, Runkel strong as Loyola tops Army in low scoring affair

Posted on 15 March 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland goalkeeper Jack Runkel made 19 saves on 45 U.S. Military Academy shots, and defender Joe Fletcher picked up five ground balls, as the second-ranked Greyhounds held off the Black Knights for a 7-6 Patriot League win on Saturday afternoon in front of 2,624 fans at Ridley Athletic Complex.

In addition to his ground balls, several of which came at key moments in the action, Fletcher held his Army’s leading scorer, John Glessner who entered the game with 15 goals and seven assists, to two goals on 22 shots.

Loyola (6-1 overall, 3-0 Patriot League) entered the game ranked third nationally in shooting percentage, scoring on 37.9 percent of their shots this season. The Black Knights’ defense, which was first in the nation in scoring defense by allowing just 5.33 goals in their first six games, held the Greyhounds to just 20 percent from the field (seven goals on 35 shots), its worst mark of the year.

After Loyola scored the first two goals of the game, Army (4-3, 2-1) evened the game with just eight-tenths of a second left in the first period. Glessner, a high school teammate of Fletcher’s at West Genesse High School in Syracuse, went on the run down the right alley and snuck a hard shot inside the far post to tie the game at 3-3.

A scoreless second quarter that saw Runkel make five saves and Army’s Sam Somers post three, Army took a 4-3 lead 2:23 into the third quarter when Shea Mullins scored his second of the game. Mullins rolled right-to-left 12 yards out and tallied a goal with a sidearm shot.

Later in the third quarter, the Greyhounds had a protracted offensive possession, extended by Pat Frazier and Fletcher pickups after balls rolled to or over the midfield line.

Somers made a save on a Brian Schultz shot from the left side, but the ball rebouned out of the crease and into traffic. An Army defender came up with the ball momentarily, but it was jostled away,Kevin Ryan picked up the loose ball and scored his second of the game to tie the score at 4-4 with 6:53 left in the frame.

Loyola went back in front with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter as Justin Ward fed Schultz who was rolling the crease. Schultz got topside and scored to push the Greyhounds up one.

Nearly a third of the way into the fourth quarter, Army went a man-down after an unnecessary roughness call, and the Black Knights were forced to play two short after a cross-check was flagged during the playout of the extra-man opportunity.

Ward used the two-man advantage to the Greyhounds’ benefit, shooting a hard pass from the point to Nikko Pontrello on the top left of the crease, and Pontrello shot-faked Somers to score at 10:45.

Less than two minutes later, Loyola pressed out to its largest lead of the game, 7-4, when it recorded a transition goal.

Runkel made a save on a Glessner shot, and Fletcher picked up the ground ball as it rebounded out of the crease. Defender Pat Frazier made the run into the offensive box for Loyola, and Pat Laconifound him posted up four yards in front of the goal. Frazier scored his first career goal at 8:52, giving the Greyhounds a three-goal lead.

Minutes later, Somers stopped a Schultz right-side attempt, but Zack Sirico came up with a ground ball in front of the crease from his knees. Sirico flipped an over-the shoulder shot from the ground, but Somers was there again to make the save.

Somers sent an outlet over the top, and Army’s Jimbo D’Aprile ran the ball into the offensive end. He found Glessner on the doorstep of the left side, and he finished with his second goal of the game at 4:22.

Loyola looked to run more time off the clock, but Pat Hart caused a turnover for the Black Knights. In transition, Tim Stackpole took a shot, but a Loyola defender checked his stick. The ball floated right to Will Mazzone on the close left side, and Mazzone scored at 2:18 to make it a 7-6 Loyola lead.

Army won the ensuing faceoff, but Glessner’s first attempt was high, and Runkel saved the second to give the Greyhounds possession.

Loyola successfully cleared the ball, and Ward broke out of a triple-team at the top left corner of the box. He threw a lob pass to Shultz on the opposite side of the crease, and Schultz dumped a one-time shot on goal. Somers, however, came sliding across to make a save, and Army cleared the ball with 30 seconds to play in regulation.

An initial Glessner attempt went wide left, and the Black Knights took a timeout with just over six seconds left on the clock. Glessner tried to speed-dodge Fletcher from the end line, but he could not get an angle, and his shot went wide right and out of bounds with just over a second left.

Led by the five from Fletcher, Loyola had a 34-25 advantage in ground balls, a mark that was 20-11 in the second half.

The Greyhounds scored the first two goals of the game, opening up with a Ryan extra-man goal off a Ward assist at 13:01. Laconi then struck in transition at 10:34 after causing a turnover, picking up a ground ball and running a one-man clear.

Mullins scored Army’s first at 5:54, but Pontrello posted up on his defender and scored from the left side at 2:41 to put the Greyhounds up, 3-1.

Gunnar Miller used a long-range bouncer to pull Army within a goal with 60 seconds left in the first quarter before Glesener’s first strike tied the game.

The Greyhounds are back in action quickly as they travel to Washington, D.C., for a 6 p.m. faceoff at Georgetown University on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. The game from Multi-Sport Field will air live on CBS Sports Network.


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Loyola plays first ever home Patriot League contest Saturday against Army

Posted on 14 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Army Black Knights

Saturday, March 15, 2014  |  1:00 p.m.

Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland plays its second-straight home game on Saturday, March 15, when it hosts the U.S. Military Academy at 1 p.m.

The game will be Loyola’s first home Patriot League contest since officially joining the conference on July 1, 2013.

The Greyhounds are third nationally in goals per game, averaging 14.83, and they are also third in scoring margin with a +7.0 mark in their five games.

Nikko Pontrello moved up to third in the nation in goals per game (4.0) after scoring five last Sunday against Duke.

Justin Ward is now third nationally in assists per game (3.17). Ward has posted two or more assists in all of Loyola’s six games thus far.

Loyola has won its first two Patriot League games – at Holy Cross and Lehigh – by a combined score of 30-11.

Three Loyola players – Matt Sawyer (offensive), Joe Fletcher (defensive), and Jack Runkel (goalkeeper) – swept the Patriot League weekly awards on Monday following the win over Duke.

Duke had a 13-10 advantage in faceoffs won last Saturday, but led by Joe Fletcher’s seven, the Greyhounds came away with a 35-34 lead in ground balls.

Last Time Out

Loyola trailed Duke, 4-3, after the first quarter, but the Greyhounds scored 10 of the next 12 goals to go on to a 14-7 victory over the Blue Devils on Sunday night in front of a national television audience and 3,912 fans at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Matt Sawyer tripled his previous career-high with six goals, and Nikko Pontrello tallied five goals for the Greyhounds. The two needed just 14 shots for their 11 goals.

Sawyer and Pontrello scored goals within 1:07 of each other early int he second quarter, and Sawyer added two more in the frame to help the Greyhounds go into the locker room with an 8-5 advantage.

Pontrello then added the first two goals of the second half, and each had scores in the first two minutes of the third quarter, as did Justin Ward.

Ward finished with a goal and four assists, while Brian Schultz posted a goal and two helpers. Jeff Chase had the other Greyhounds goal.

Jack Runkel made nine saves in goal for the Greyhounds, as the defense allowed seven or fewer goals for the fourth-straight game.



Follow The Action

Saturday’s game, and all non-televised home games, will be broadcast on the Patriot League Network. Additionally, all of Loyola’s road conference games will also be available on the free HD network.

Log on to LoyolaGreyhounds.com/pln or PatriotLeague.tv to watch the home games on your computer, web-enabled televisions and most mobile devices.


In The Polls

Loyola moved up in the polls following its win last weekend over then-No. 4 Duke. The Greyhounds are now tied for second in he USILA Coaches’ Poll and second outright in both the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls he Lacrosse Magazine rankings.

Army enters the game receiving votes in both the in the USILA Coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse version.


Series History

Saturday will be the second meeting all-time between Loyola and the U.S. Military Academy and the first 71 years.

Army won the first meeting of the two teams at the end of the 1943 season, 9-3, in Baltimore.


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 34-7 during that stretch (17-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013 and 5-1 this season) for a .829 mark.

Only Duke has won more games (36) than Loyola during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by nearly eight percent (36-12, .750).


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.


Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all six of its games this season, and it has had four stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have 11 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   Towson 10-0 16:38
at Virginia 9-0 14:18   Towson 7-0 18:37



Tripled Up

Matt Sawyer entered Sunday’s 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. His lone shot that did not find the net was perhaps his hardest of the night, and it went off the far-side post.

His six goals raised his 2014 total to 10, tied for third on the team. He now has 14 goals in his career.

Sunday’s game was not the first time a member of the Sawyer family had put up six goals on Duke. Matt’s older brother, three-time All-American Mike, scored six goals and had two assists in a 13-8 win over the Blue Devils in March 2012.


Slowing Scorers

Duke’s Jordan Wolf and Josh Dionne came into Sunday’s game tied for the team lead in goals (12 each), and the duo had a combined 235 career goals. Loyola, however, held them to just one goal each in the victory.

In four career games against Loyola, prior to Sunday, Wolf had scored nine goals.

Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello had his sixth multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Sunday when he scored a five goals against Duke. The game came a week after he scored four at Lehigh and two since he set a career-high with six goals at Holy Cross. The junior attacker scored twice in the opener against Virginia, and he then recorded three versus both Penn State and Towson. His final goal against the Nittany Lions came 19 seconds into overtime and lifted Loyola to a 12-11 win. In his career, Loyola is now 8-0 in games that he scored three or more goals.

Pontrello leads the Greyhounds with 24 goals and 29 points through six games. He has already eclipsed his goal total from last year when he finished his sophomore campaign with 16.

He leads the Patriot League and is third nationally in goals per game (4.0), while he is second and seventh in points per game (4.83).


Record-Setting Quarterback

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out 13 combined assists in the last three contests. He is third in the nation, and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.17 assists per game this year.

With four assists against Duke – the second game in a row he’s posted that total – Ward set Loyola’s career Division I record (since 1982) in total assists (85), eclipsing the mark of 83 set from 1989-92 by Jim Blanding. Gary Hanley holds the all-time Loyola record with 160 assists. Ward is also 15th in school Division I history in total points with 130.

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.


Midfield Scoring

Entering the 2014 season, Loyola was looking to replace five of its top seven offensive midfielders from a year ago, a group that included All-American Davis Butts, as well as first middies Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan. As a group, the five contributed 47 goals, 29 assists and 76 points, right at 25 percent of the Greyhounds total in each.

This year, Loyola’s first and second midfield units have scored more than 47 percent of the team’s goals, a total of 42. Kevin Ryan scored eight goals combined against Holy Cross and Lehigh, and he is second on the team with 11 total. Matt Sawyer’s six versus Duke moved him into a tie for third with 10 total, and Tyler Albrecht is fifth on the squad with eight goals, while Brian Sherlock has six goals and five assists.


Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .643 mark, saving 54 out of 84 shots on goal he’s faced. In the last four games against Towson, Holy Cross, Lehigh and Duke, Runkel has made 42 saves and allowed just 19 goals (.689).

The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.51 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .582 through five games.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.91 goals against average and .551 saves percentage. His record between the pipes is 32-6. He is second in wins among active goalkeepers, trailing only Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 39 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 long 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.

This season, the Preseason All-American is tied for Loyola’s team-lead with 25 ground balls, and he leads the squad with 11 caused turnovers. His 56 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, also scored twice against Towson, and his four goals match his total from a year ago when he scored four times and assisted on six. Laconi also is second on the team with seven caused turnovers this season.


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 six games, Schultz has scored 10 goals, tied for third most on the team, and eight assists, second behind team-leader Justin Ward.

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


Hot Hand

Steve Vaikness, Loyola’s volunteer assistant coach lauded by many in the media as the top faceoff teacher in the nation, has pulled the right strings in the first five games with a faceoff group of Blake Burkhart, Brendan Donovan and Graham Savio.

In the Virginia game, Savio came in to win 11-of-18 restarts, and Donovan then provided wins in 4-of-7 during a critical stretch at Penn State. Burkhart shined against Towson, winning 10-of-14 as Loyola jumped out to a big lead. It was Savio again at Holy Cross, as the freshman won 14-of-18 draws.

Savio then took all of the faceoffs at Lehigh, winning a career-high 15-of-24. He battled Duke All-American Brendan Fowler on Sunday, going 10-of-21 (.476) against the 2013 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

As a unit, Loyola is winning 52.3 percent of faceoffs, up from last year’s mark of 46.5.


Tewaaraton Watch, Senior CLASS Award List 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.


Margin In Two

As Loyola outscored Towson and Holy Cross by a combined 28 goals, 36-8, it took a bit of time to find precedent for the last time the Greyhounds won back-to-back games by such a margin. The last time Loyola won two by 28 or more goals goes back to the Dave Cottle-coached 1996 team that beat Saint Joseph’s, 26-6, on April 10 and C.W. Post, 17-5, on April 13. That combined margin of victory was 32 goals, 43-11.

The last time Loyola scored a combined 36 goals in consecutive games was 2007 when it tallied 19 against Fairfield on April 21 and 17 versus Hobart a week later. The last time the Greyhounds yielded eight or fewer in back-to-back outings was 2001 when they beat Radford, 18-5, on April 11, and Butler, 12-3, on April 14.


Patriot League Honors

Loyola players have earned 10 Patriot League weekly awards over the last three weeks. Matt Sawyer (Offensive) won his first award, while Jack Runkel (Goalkeeper) won his third-straight, and Joe Fletcher (Defensive) earned his second in three weeks on Monday, March 10. Prior to Sawyer winning the offensive award, Nikko Pontrello had earned two in a row, while Pat Laconi (Defensive, March 3), Joe Fletcher (Defensive, February 24) and Brian Sherlock (Rookie, February 24) also were honored.

Romar Dennis won the initial Rookie of the Week Award this year after scoring twice in the season-opener at Virginia.

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Blast win in Game 3 to advance to MISL Championship Series

Posted on 11 March 2014 by WNST Staff


After Falling to Syracuse in Game 2, Baltimore Came Back to Win in Game 3

The Baltimore Blast faced the Syracuse Silver Knights tonight for the sixth time this season. After a tough 9-6 loss in game 2, the Blast came back in full force and ended the night with a 4-3 win in game 3. Baltimore advanced to the Championship series for the second consecutive year.


The first quarter in game 2 was a low scoring start to the game. Lucas Roque got the Blast on the board first with a goal at 8:58 on the clock off an assist from JT Noone. Nate Bordeau scored for the Silver Knights at 4:44 in the quarter off an assist from Kenardo Forbes to tie the game.

The Blast were able to record 6 shots in the second quarter to Syracuse’s one, but no goals were scored for either side. The Blast went into the half tied 2-2.

The second half picked up the pace with both teams coming out playing physically. At the 8:52 mark in the quarter Slavisa Ubiparapovic scored on a power play of an assist from Kenardo Forbes giving the Knights a 4-2 lead.

The Silver Knights scored at 8:21 in the fourth quarter as Antiono Manfut scored a 3 point goal off an assist from Neto. Tony Donatelli answered for the Blast with a goal at 5:57 in the quarter off an assist from Mike Lookingland. Kenardo Forbes answered with a goal for the Knights assisted by Slavisa Ubiparapovic. With 1:56 left in the quarter, Pat Healey assisted Tony Donatelli for his second goal of the night, pulling the Blast within 3. At the final buzzer, the Blast had been defeated 9-6 in game 2 and then had to prepare for game 3, which started 15 minutes later.

Offensively, Tony Donatelli led the way scoring 2 goals. Defensively goalkeeper William Vanzela recorded 6 saves in the loss. The Blast captain set the tone in game 3 with an early goal and Marco Mangione was able to seal the victory with a goal.


Scoring Summary Game 2:

1          2          3          4          F

Blast                2          0          0          4          6

Knights           2          0          2          5          9



After dropping game 2 of the MISL semifinal series the Blast were forced into a 15- minute mini game against the Syracuse Silver Knights with the winner advancing to the MISL championship series.

Mike Lookingland gave the Blast an early lead off a penalty kick with 13:06 on the clock. With 5:07 on the clock Adriano Dos Santos assisted Marco Mangione who headed the ball in for a spectacular goal. With 2:00 left in the game Slavisa Ubiparipovic scored a 3-point goal for the Silver Knights. At the final buzzer the Blast had won 4-3 earning a spot in the MISL Championship Series.

Offensively, Tony Donatelli led the way scoring 2 goals in game 2 both off Mike Lookingland assists. Defensively goalkeeper William Vanzela recorded 6 saves in the loss. The Blast captain set the tone in game 3 with an early goal and Marco Mangione was able to seal the victory with a goal.

Baltimore will travel to Missouri on Friday to take on the Comets in game one of the MISL Championship Series at 8:30pm EST. before hosting game two at the Baltimore Arena Sunday at 5:05pm.


Scoring Summary Game 3:

1            F

Baltimore    4      4

Syracuse    3      3


Upcoming Games:

MISL Championship Series:

3/14 @ Missouri, 8:30p.m.

3/16 vs. Missouri, 5:05p.m. 

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Blast try to punch ticket to Championship Game Tuesday against Syracuse

Posted on 10 March 2014 by WNST Staff


MISL Playoffs Game 2:  Tuesday, March 11th   

Just the Facts:

Tuesday, March 11th

Baltimore Blast vs. Syracuse Silver Knights

Baltimore Arena, 7:35pm EST.


WATCH THE GAME LIVE ON YOUTUBE! http://www.youtube.com/user/Baltimoreblast

Game 1 Recap vs. Silver Knights:

The Baltimore Blast traveled to Syracuse this past Friday night to play the Silver Knights for their Game 1 in the playoffs and won, 20-7. The victory put the Blast up 1-0 in the post season. Offensively, Aduato Neto and Mike Lookingland led the Blast with a combination of 11 points. Neto posted two 2-point goals and 2 assists and Lookinland had one 3-point goal and two assists. Lucas Roque also recorded 2 goals while Marco Mangione, Max Ferdinand, Stephen DeRoux, and Tony Donatelli contributed one goal each. Defensively Pat Healey led Baltimore with 2 blocks and goalkeeper William Vanzela recorded 14 saves in the victory.


Regular Season Wrap Up:

The Blast finished the regular season in first place with a 17-3 record. Baltimore scored 309 points this season while only allowing 101 points against them. Offensively, the Blast finished 3rd in the league in total points. The following are the offensive leaders for Baltimore this season:


Total Points                            Goals                                        Assists

Mike Lookingland (56)         Tony Donatelli   (19)               Mike Lookingland (18)

Tony Donatelli (48)               Mike Lookingland (17)           Lucas Roque (12)

Max Ferdinand (43)              Max Ferdinand (17)                Pat Healey (10)


Defensively, the Blast had a record setting season allowing only 101 points. William Vanzela led the league with a 5.57 points against average. Mike Lookingland (33) and Pat Healey (31) were 1st and 2nd in the league in blocks. J.T. Noone was third on the team in blocks with 15. The Blast also finished 1st in the league in power play defense with 80%.


The Competition:

The Syracuse Silver Knights reached the playoffs for the first time as they complete their 3rd season in the MISL. Syracuse finished 12-8 in the regular season as they scored 278 points and allowed 223 points. They also finished first in the league in power play offense with at 46% success rate. Offensively, Kenardo Forbes led the team with 67 points while Machel Millwood had 58.  The defense was led by Nelson Santana; he recorded 42 points and 29 Blocks. The Silver Knight’s goalie, Brian O’Quinn enters the matchup with a .775 save percentage. Syracuse is coached by Tommy Tanner and Joe Papaleo.


After falling to the Blast in Game 1 on Friday Night, the Silver Knights have one more chance to make it to the Championships. If Syracuse beats Baltimore in Game 2, both teams play a 15 minute tie breaker (game 3) immediately after the end of game 2. If the Blast defeat the Knights, they will host the Championship game at home on Sunday, March 16th at 5:05pm.


Wave Series: After falling to the Comets 20-6 on Sunday, The Wave (#2) will play the Comets (#3) again tonight at the U.S Cellular arena.  If the Wave beat the Comets, both teams will play a 15 minute tie breaker at the end of Game two, whoever wins the tie breaker (Game 3) will advance to the Championship game.


Championship Game (If Blast defeat Syracuse on Tuesday March 11th):

Sunday, March 16th vs. TBD  at 5:05pm, Baltimore Arena

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Blast top Syracuse to claim leg one of playoff series

Posted on 07 March 2014 by WNST Staff


Blast Defeat Syracuse 20-7

The Baltimore Blast traveled to Syracuse tonight to play the Silver Knights for their Game 1 in the playoffs and won, 20-7. The victory tonight put the Blast up 1-0 in the post season and they look to have the same success when they play the Silver Knights again at home on Tuesday, March 11th.

The first quarter was high scoring and a great start to tonight’s match. Aduato Neto got the Blast on the board first 3 minutes into the game. Marco Mangione scored again for Baltimore 2:09 left in the quarter off an assist from Aduato Neto. The Silver Knights took advantage of a power play when Machel Millwood scored shortly after Mangione. Less than a minute later, Lucas Roque scored a goal with 1:23 left on the clock off an assist from Tony Donatelli.

Max Ferdinand scored first in the second quarter at the 12:48 mark. Ferdinand helped the Blast to their second goal of the quarter when he assisted Lucas Roque with 2:18 left in the quarter. With 42 seconds left in the quarter Syracuse’s Machel Millwood scored his second goal of the game. The Blast went into the half leading 10-4.

The second half picked up for the Blast when Neto assisted Stephen DeRoux for the teams sixth goal of the night.  Less than 3 minutes later Aduato Neto scored his second goal of the night off an assist from goalkeeper, William Vanzela. Syracuse’s Nelson Santana recorded a 3-point goal with two minutes left in the quarter.

The Blast held on to their lead into the 4th quarter and remained in control. Max Ferdinand assisted his second goal of the night to Mike Lookingland’s 3-point goal.  Less than 30 seconds remaining in the game, Tony Donatelli also scored an unassisted 3-point goal into the open net. At the final buzzer, the Blast had won 20-7.

Offensively, Aduato Neto led the Blast with 2 goals and 2 assists. Defensively Pat Healey led Baltimore with 2 blocks and goalkeeper William Vanzela recorded 14 saves in the victory.

Baltimore will matchup against Syracuse at the Baltimore Arena this Tuesday as they look to wrap up the series at 7:35pm.


Scoring Summary:

1 2 3 4 F

Blast 6   4 4 5 20

Knights 2 2 3 0 7


Upcoming Games:

MISL Playoffs

Game Two: Syracuse at Baltimore Tuesday, March 11th 7:35 p.m.

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Blast begin postseason push Friday at Syracuse

Posted on 06 March 2014 by WNST Staff


MISL Playoffs Game 1:  Friday, March 7th   

Just the Facts:

Friday, March 7th

Baltimore Blast vs. Syracuse Silver Knights

Oncenter War Memorial Arena, 7:30pm EST.



2013-14: 3-1

All Time: 11-3


WATCH THE GAME LIVE ON YOUTUBE! http://www.youtube.com/user/SilverKnightsSoccer


The Baltimore Blast enter the playoff as the number one seed and are matched against the number four seed, Syracuse Silver Knights. The play-off which begins Friday in Syracuse is a best two out of three series. game 2 is in Baltimore on Tuesday March 11th at 7:35pm. If each team wins a game, game 3 will be played immediately after game 2 on Tuesday. The length of game 3 is 15 minutes. The Blast have played the Silver Knights 4 times this year and have a 3-1 record in these games.


Regular Season Wrap Up:

The Blast finished the regular season in first place with a 17-3 record. Baltimore scored 309 points this season while only allowing 101 points against them. Offensively, the Blast finished 3rd in the league in total points. The following are the offensive leaders for Baltimore this season:


Total Points                            Goals                                        Assists

Mike Lookingland (56)         Tony Donatelli   (19)               Mike Lookingland (18)

Tony Donatelli (48)               Mike Lookingland (17)           Lucas Roque (12)

Max Ferdinand (43)              Max Ferdinand (17)                Pat Healey (10)


Defensively, the Blast had a record setting season allowing only 101 points. William Vanzela led the league with a 5.57 points against average. Mike Lookingland (33) and Pat Healey (31) were 1st and 2nd in the league in blocks. J.T. Noone was third on the team in blocks with 15. The Blast also finished 1st in the league in power play defense with 80%.


The Competition:

The Syracuse Silver Knights reached the playoffs for the first time as they complete their 3rd season in the MISL. Syracuse finished 12-8 in the regular season as they scored 278 points and allowed 223 points. They also finished first in the league in power play offense with at 46% success rate. Offensively, Kenardo Forbes led the team with 67 points while Machel Millwood had 58.  The defense was led by Nelson Santana; he recorded 42 points and 29 Blocks. The Silver Knight’s goalie, Brian O’Quinn enters the matchup with a .775 save percentage. Syracuse is coached by Tommy Tanner and Joe Papaleo.


Wave Series:

The Milwaukee Wave will face the Missouri Comets in Major Indoor Soccer League semifinals after dropping the season finale to the Comets 9-4 last Sunday. Milwaukee (16-4) is the No. 2 seed and Missouri (14-6) is the No. 3 seed. The first leg of the two-game series is at 3:10 p.m. Sunday at the Indpendence Events Center in Missouri. Milwaukee hosts Game 2 at 7 p.m. Monday, March 10. If the teams split, they’ll play a 15-minute “mini-game” to break the tie.

Upcoming Playoff Games: 

Game 2: Tuesday, March 11th vs. Syracuse Silver Knights @ 7:35pm (Baltimore Arena)

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Blast win tight affair over Silver Knights on Hall of Fame night

Posted on 22 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Blast Push Past Silver Knights

The Syracuse Silver Knights visited Baltimore, Saturday February 22nd, for the final regular season home game in front of 8,385 fans. The Blast improved their record to 15-3 with a 10-9 win over the Silver Knights.

The Blast got on the board early in the game with a goal from Lucio Gonzaga, assisted by Mike Lookingland. One minute later Tony Donatelli scored to give the Blast a 4-0 lead.  The Silver Knights’, Nelson Santana, scored a three-point goal 12:56 into the first quarter, with a pass from Corey Elenio. With the quarter winding down, J.T. Noone finds Max Ferdinand for a late goal.  At the end of the first quarter, the Blast led the Knights 6-2.

Mike Lookingland assisted Tony Donatelli for a power play goal 2:44 into the second quarter. Nate Bourdeau got the Silver Knights on the board again from an assist by Bo Jelovac. At half time, the Blast were ahead 8-5.

Syracuse Silver Knight, Antonio Manfut found Bo Jelovac for a late goal. Seconds later Lucio Gonzaga found the back of the net after a pass from Mike Lookingland. At the end of the quarter the Blast led the Knights 10-7.

The Knights add the only score in the fourth quarter with a goal from Neto, assisted by Corey Elenio.  At the final whistle the Blast improved their record to 15-3 and beat the Knights 10-9.

The Blast were led by Tony Donatelli and Lucio Gonzaga with 2 goals each in tonight’s win against the Knights. Mike Lookingland contributed 3 assists to the Blast victory.  William Vanzela protected the net with 10 saves, while the Baltimore defense held the Knights to only 9 points.

The Baltimore Blast are traveling to Rochester to play the Lancers tomorrow for their third game this weekend. The Blast are looking to improve their record to 3-0 against the Lancers. With only two games remaining before the playoffs, the Blast carry a seven game winning streak into Rochester.

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Loyola continues Patriot League play Saturday at Army

Posted on 31 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Army Black Knights

Saturday, February 1, 2014  |  1:00 p.m.

Baltimore, Md. | Reitz Arena


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola returns to Reitz Arena for the first of two-straight home games on Saturday, February 1. The Greyhounds will tip-off at 1 o’clock against the U.S. Military Academy.

The game marks the start of the second half of the Patriot League schedule for the conference’s 10 teams.

The Greyhounds finished the month of January with a 4-5 record, all in League play.

Loyola continues to lead the Patriot League in steals per game, averaging 8.7 a contest. Starting guards R.J. Williams (2.6) and Dylon Cormier (2.1) are first and second, individually.

Williams is seventh in the nation in steals per game, and Cormier is tied for 31st.

Last Time Out

The Greyhounds cut a one-time 14-point deficit to two on multiple occasions in the second half on Wednesday night, but Loyola could not get over the hump to tie or take the lead in a 60-51 loss at College of the Holy Cross.

The Crusaders led by 12 in the first half, and Holy Cross then went up 38-24 with just under 14 minutes left in regulation, but Loyola used a 23-11 run to cut the lead to a pair, 49-47, on a traditional 3-point play by Dylon Cormier with 4:05 on the clock.

Loyola again was within two after two R.J. Williams free throws at 3:19, but it could not draw closer.

Tyler Hubbard scored a career-high 13 points in the game, and Cormier had 15.



Patriot League Network

Saturday’s game against Army 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.

Gary Lambrecht will call the play-by-play, and Jim Chivers ’05 will provide color analysis.


Series History Versus Army

Loyola and Army will meet for the third time on the basketball hardwood when the teams take the floor Saturday. The teams have split the two previous games.

Army led by 13 early in the second half, but a Dylon Cormier three with five minutes to go pulled the Greyhounds within a point, but Army came away with a 91-82 win at West Point on January 5, 2014.

The Greyhounds and Black Knights are conference foes for the second time as members of the Patriot League. Army was in its last year of membership in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in 1989-90, Loyola’s first season in the league that it left after 2012-13.

The teams were in separate divisions – Army in the North, Loyola the South – and played once during the year, a 62-55 Greyhounds win in Reitz Arena during January.


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.


Hubbard Hits High

Tyler Hubbard made the most of his second career, and second-straight, starting opportunity on Wednesday night at Holy Cross, knocking down 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point line for a season-high 13 points.

The sophomore guard made his first career start last Saturday against Colgate, and he was inserted into the starting lineup again by Head Coach G.G. Smith. Hubbard’s four threes tied a career-high, and he was four points off his career-best set in November 2012 against UMBC.

Hubbard’s threes came after a four-game stretch in which he had not made more than one in a game. Prior to that stretch, he scored 12 points when he hit 3-of-5 against Lehigh on January 8.


Gorski Makes Good

Freshman post player Nick Gorski has seen his most extensive playing time of 2014 in the Greyhounds’ last two games, and he’s taken advantage of the opportunity. Gorski saw 11 minutes of court time against Colgate last Saturday and 18 Wednesday night at Holy Cross.

Against the Crusaders, Gorski made all three of his field goal attempts, including a 3-pointer, and both of his free throws to finish with a career-high nine points. He also led Loyola with five rebounds.

In the game against Colgate, he tallied four points and two rebounds, his most points since scoring seven in the season’s second game at Cornell.


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 almost eight fewer in losses than wins (27.7-20.0).


Baltimore Guard Duo

Former summer league teammates Dylon Cormier and R.J. Williams have made quite the duo as Loyola’s starting backcourt over the past three years, and last Saturday’s game against Colgate was perfect evidence of that.

The were the game’s top two scorers with Cormier turning in 21 and Williams delivering a career-high 15 points. They made 11-of-20 combined shots and were successful on all 13 of their combined free-throw attempts.

Williams had a team-best four assists, while Cormier passed out three. Defensively, they combined for six of Loyola’s eight steals with Williams coming up with four.

In the game’s final 10 minutes, Cormier and Williams scored 16 of Loyola’s final 18 points.


Away From The Friendly Confines

Loyola lost its ninth straight road game last Wednesday night at Holy Cross after winning its first three this season away from Reitz Arena.

At 3-9 on the road, the Greyhounds are shooting 38.9 percent as opposed to 46.3 percent while going 6-2 at home. Opponents are shooting 47.1 percent in their own facilities, 43.1 percent in Reitz Arena.

Loyola does shoot slightly better from 3-point range on the road, making 33.7 percent of shots from behind the arc as compared to 27.9 at home.

The Greyhounds turn the ball over at a rate of one per game more on the road (12.2-11.0), and they also force an additional turnover at home (15.0-13.4).

With these factors, the Greyhounds are averaging nearly five points less per game on the road, 65.2, to their 71.4 points per game at home.


The Difference

The Greyhounds won two in a row – January 11 against Lehigh and two days later versus Lafayette – after going 1-6 in their previous seven.

They produced two of their three best shooting performances of the season in the games, shooting an even 50 percent against the Mountain Hawks and a season-best 54.9 versus the Leopards.

Combined, Loyola made 54-of-103 (52.4 percent) of its shots in the wins after shooting 39.2 percent (150-of-383) in its previous seven.


Lower Volume, Higher Efficiency

Dylon Cormier has averaged 20.0 points per game over the Greyhounds’ last six, lower than his season average of 21.8, but  he has done so with considerably better efficiency.

Over the six games, Cormier has made 56.3 percent (45-of-80) of his shots from the field, a 10.1 percent improvement over his 46.2 percent mark for the entire year.

Versus Lafayette, Cormier made 73.3 percent of his shot attempts (11-of-15). That came after a 10-fo-18 performance versus the Mountain Hawks.

In Loyola’s four previous games – Miami, Navy, Army and American – Cormier had made just 33.8 percent of his shots (21-of-62). That included a game in which he made 10 at Army, but with 25 attempts.

In the seven games prior to the current two-game winning streak, Cormier was just 4-of-26 (15.4 percent) from 3-point range. Against Lehigh and Lafayette, however, he has attempted just one from behind the arc.


Double Double-Doubles

Dylon Cormier and R.J. Williams both posted double-doubles against Lafayette, as Cormier went for 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Williams posted 12 points and a career-best 10 assists.

It was the first time since an 88-85 overtime win against Iona College on January 30, 2011, that two Loyola players completed the feat in the same game. Erik Etherly (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Justin Drummond (14 points, 10 rebounds) managed it on that day.

Williams’ 10 assists were the most by a Greyhounds’ player since Brian Rudolph dished out 10 on February 27, 2011, in the regular-season finale at Canisius College.


Cormier To The Glass

Dylon Cormier led, or tied for the team lead, for the 10 time this season with seven rebounds against Bucknell. Six of the Greyhounds’ eight wins this season have come when Cormier leads the team on the boards.

This season, Cormier leads the Greyhounds with 6.2 rebounds per game, a total that ranks tops among Patriot League guards and fifth overall.

He is also the top offensive rebounder in the conference, averaging 3.0 per game, a mark that is 0.4 better than any other player in the League.

Cormier has 114 total rebounds this year, with 59 coming on the offensive end.


Sticky Fingers

The Greyhounds posted 11 or more steals in each of their first three Patriot League games, and they are averaging 8.9 in conference play through nine games.

The 80 steals in its last nine games have raised Loyola’s Patriot League-leading average to 8.7 per game. Through games of January 30, the Greyhounds are ranked 18th nationally in steals per game.

Loyola has had 11 or more steals in seven games through 20 contests.

R.J. Williams leads the Patriot League,and is seventh nationally in steals per game (2.61), while Dylon Cormier is second (2.15) and tied for 31st.

Williams posted a career-high six, tied for fifth-most in school single-game history, at Army.

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 182 in his career.

With 112 in his career, Williams is11th on the career chart.


Cormier’s Scoring

Dylon Cormier has been one of the top scorers in the nation this season, averaging 21.6 points per game through 19. Through games of Thursday, January 30, Cormier was 12th 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 18 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.

Cormier now has 1,645 career points through 114 career games. Next up on the career scoring list is Mike Krawczyk who scored 1,676 from 1968-72.


Cormier To The Charity Stripe

Loyola went to the free-throw line a season-high 35 times on December 19 against Stony Brook, and Dylon Cormier took 21 of the attempts.

His 21 free throw attempts were the second-most in school single-game history, one shy of tying the January 14, 2009, mark set by Jamal Barney against NJIT.

Cormier made 16 free throws, a career-best, good for a tie for fourth in single-game history. Barney holds that record, as well, with 18.

He had another game that will be entered on the Loyola charts against Navy when he made 12-of-12 at the line. It was the fifth-best performance in school history (most makes without a miss).

Through 20 games, Cormier has gone to the free-throw line 184 times (seventh in Division I through games of January 30). His average of 9.2 free throws per game is tied for sixth nationally.

Loyola is guaranteed at least 30 games this season (29 regular-season, plus at least one Patriot League Tournament), and with that average, Cormier would 276 free throws in 2013-14. The school single-season record for free throws attempted is 255 set in 1997-98 by Mike Powell.

In his career, Cormier is 457-of-655 from the free-throw line. He is second in school history in both free throws made and attempted.


Last Five Focus

In Loyola’s nine victories this season, it has outscored its opponents 18.4-11.8 in the final five minutes of the games.

The Greyhounds have shot 59.2 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from 3-point range, in the final five minutes of the wins. Their opponents have shot just 37.2 percent from the field and 23.3 percent from behind the arc.

In those 45 minutes, Loyola has committed just 13 turnovers to its opponents’ 25. Seventeen of the opponent turnovers have been from Loyola steals.


Block Party

Jordan Latham tied his career-high with four blocks against Navy, and Loyola matched its season-best with seven.

Latham now has 79 career blocks, fifth-best in school history.


Die Hard Dogs

Loyola has trailed with five minutes to go in regulation in four of its eight victories this season – Binghamton, Cornell, UMBC and Navy – only to come back to win.

In their Patriot League-opener, the Greyhounds were 10 points back of Navy, 47-37, when the clock hit 5:00 in the second half, but Loyola closed the half on an 15-5 run to force overtime.

At Binghamton, the Greyhounds were down five at the five-minute mark; Cornell, seven; and UMBC, six. In the game at UMBC, the Retrievers’ lead ballooned to 10 with 90 seconds left.


Overcoming Overtime

Loyola is 3-0 in overtime games this season and has won its last seven games that have extended past regulation.

Since the 2004-2005 season, Loyola is 12-1 in overtime games.

This season, the Greyhounds have outscored Cornell, UMBC and Navy by an average of 12.3 to 7.3 in the extra frames.

Loyola’s three overtime games this year match the number it played, and won, last year. Prior to 2012-13, the last time Loyola played three or more overtime games in a season was 1990-91.


Turnover Battle

Through 20 games this season, the Greyhounds are averaging 2.5 fewer turnovers per game than their opponents, tops in the Patriot League and 50th in the nation.


Telling Stat

In Loyola’s 11 losses this season, the Greyhounds are shooting nearly eight percent worse from the floor than they are in their eight victories.

Loyola has made 46.1 percent (178-of-386) shots in six wins versus 37.6 percent (236-of-628) in eight losses. As a consequence, Loyola is averaging 16.8 points less (77.4 versus 60.6) points.

As one would expect, opponents are shooting better (49.1-41.7) in the games they’ve won.


Lasting Impression

After averaging just 5.3 minutes in 27 games last season, Eric Laster has seen his role expand dramatically this season, starting the first 15 games on the wing.

Laster has averaged 8.4 points in Loyola’s first 20 contests, and he is shooting 41.8 percent (30-of-72) from 3-point range. In 27 games last year, he averaged just 0.8 points (22 total) and shot 32.3 percent overall from the field.


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 enters 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:


7th 1,645 points
Next Mike Krawczyk, 1,676
Field Goals Made
11th 546 field goals made
Next Bob Reilly, 549
3-Pointers Made
13th 96 3-Pt. Made
Next B.J. Davis, 104
Free Throws Made
2nd 457 free throws made
Next Jim Lacy, 613
20th 210 assists
Next Dave Wojick, 219
2nd 182 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.


Nod To Maryland Prep Basketball

The State of Maryland is home to the most college basketball recruits, according to Mode Analytics. Loyola’s home produces 58 players per 1,000 college-age males, six more than second place Louisiana.


Up Next

The Greyhounds remain at Reitz Arena for their next game, a 7:30 p.m. contest on Wednesday, February 5, against American University.

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