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Five Loyola lacrosse players earn USILA All-America honors

Posted on 22 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Five Loyola Men’s Lacrosse Players Earn USILA All-America Honors

BALTIMORE – Joe Fletcher became Loyola University Maryland’s first men’s lacrosse player to earn U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-America First Team honors in back-to-back years since 1998-99 on Thursday, and the senior close defender was joined on the All-America teams by four of his Greyhounds teammates.

Senior short-stick midfielder Pat Laconi, senior goalkeeper Jack Runkel and senior attacker Justin Ward all were named to the Second Team, and junior attacker Nikko Pontrello earned Honorable Mention.

Fletcher is the first player to be a repeat First Team All-American at Loyola since midfielder Mark Frye accomplished the honor in 1998 and 1999. It is also the first time in Loyola’s Division I history (since 1982) that the Greyhounds have placed four players on the first and second teams. The only other time in program history that happened was in 1981 when four were named to the First Team.

Fletcher is also one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player; with that recognition, he became just the second player in the 14-year history of the award to be named a finalist as a close defender. He leads all close defensemen nationally in ground balls (80) and ground balls per game (4.71), and he also set a career-high with 31 caused turnovers.

The All-America honors add to an already crowded shelf of awards Fletcher has earned this year. He was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year, to the Capital One Academic All-District I At Large Team and to the USILA Scholar All-America Team.

He played in all 65 games that Loyola has played the last four years, starting 53. In those contests, he picked up 191 ground balls and caused 76 turnovers, the third-most in school history and most by a Greyhounds close defenseman. Additionally, Fletcher was whistled for just five penalties and only two of the one-minute variety over his time on the field.

Laconi solidified his reputation as one of the top cover short-stick defensive midfielders and transition players this year, posting career-highs in goals (11), ground balls (31) and caused turnovers (34). The only short-stick defensive midfielder to be named to the First or Second Team this season, he 34 caused turnovers and 2.0 per game mark rank eighth nationally and tops amongst all non-pole defenders in Division I.

He also more than doubled his goal-scoring total from his first three seasons at Loyola (five) this year. An All-Patriot League First Team performer and USILA Scholar All-American, Laconi played in all 65 games for Loyola over the last four seasons and finished with 89 ground balls, 75 caused turnovers, 16 goals and 12 assists. His caused turnover total is the most by a Loyola short-stick player and fourth-most in school history.

Runkel saved his best collegiate season for his senior year, as he posted excellent performances between the pipes. The Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year is third in NCAA Division I in goals against average (7.20) and saves percentage (.611) while making a career-high 181 saves in the cage.

The first Loyola goalkeeper to earn First or Second Team All-America honors since Tim McGeeney was recognized on the Second Team in 1995, Runkel posted 10 or more saves on 10 occasions this year and had a season-high of 19 against the U.S. Military Academy. Runkel was named the Patriot League Championships Most Valuable Player after stopping 27 shots in the two games, 15 in the title game against Lehigh University. Over his four years at Loyola, three as a starter, Runkel compiled a 42-7 record as the goalkeeper of record for the Greyhounds. He had a goals against average of 7.71 and a .569 career save percentage.

Ward was a three-year starter on attack as the Greyhounds’ offensive quarterback, and he has his most statistically productive season in 2014. He shattered Loyola’s Division I single-season and career records for assists this year, passing out 53 assists to better the 1994 mark of 38 by Sean Heffernan. An Honorable Mention All-American in 2013, Ward also tied Eric Lusby’s 2012 record for points in a season, totaling 71 this year. His 3.12 assists per game this year rank second in Division I.

His career assist total finished at 120, breaking the school Division I mark by 36. He eclipsed the total of 84 that Jim Blanding recorded from 1989-92. This year, Ward was the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and USILA Scholar All-American after recording two or more assists in 16 of Loyola’s 17 games. He tallied three or more for a 12-game stretch, as well during the year.

Pontrello burst into the nation’s lacrosse consciousness with one of the top goal-scoring seasons in school history. After scoring 20 goals in his first two seasons at Loyola, he finished with 51 this year, the third-most in school single-season history. He also had 12 assists for a total of 63 points, the sixth-most in school single-season history, and his 3.0 goals per game this season rank fifth nationally.

After scoring a combined five goals in the Greyhounds’ first two games of the season at the University of Virginia and Penn State University, Pontrello combined for 19 in a four-game stretch that included five in a 14-7 win over Duke University. An All-Patriot League First Team honoree, he scored two or more goals in Loyola’s first 10 games of the year, had multiple goals in 15-of-17 outings and at least one goal in 16 contests.

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Loyola captains Fletcher, Laconi, Ward pick up scholar All-America honors

Posted on 20 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Captains Trio Earns USILA Scholar All-America Honors

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland’s three men’s lacrosse co-captains – defender Joe Fletcher, short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi and attacker Justin Ward – were today named to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Scholar All-America Team.

Loyola and Duke University were the only two NCAA Division I programs to have three or more players honored as Scholar All-Americans. The Blue Devils led the nation with three honorees.

The three seniors were all All-Patriot League First Team players and led the Greyhounds to a 15-2 record and six-week stay at No. 1 in the nation this season.

Each of the student-athletes is in the top two of a major statistical category this season, and all graduated with bachelor of business administration degrees last Saturday. Laconi tops all non-pole players nationally in caused turnovers per game, while Fletcher leads all close defenders in ground balls per game. Ward is second in the nation in assists per game.

Laconi has been one of the top cover short-stick defensive midfielders in the nation since coming to Loyola. This year, he led the team with 34 caused turnovers, and his 2.0 per game are eighth overall in Division I, tops amongst short-sticks.

He also scored a career-best 11 goals this year and finished his career with 16 goals and 12 assists. His 75 career caused turnovers rank fourth all-time at Loyola.

Ward, the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, led the Greyhounds in points for the second year in a row and during the season, he shattered Loyola’s Division I career and season records for assists. He finished his senior campaign with 18 goals and 53 assists for 71 points; his points total tied Eric Lusby’s 2012 mark for most points by a Loyola Division I player in a season.

Ward’s 53 assists in 2014 broke the previous record by 15, and his 3.12 per game rank second in Division I this year. He completed his Loyola career with 57 goals and 120 assists, shattering Loyola’s Division I career assists record by 36, and his 177 points rank sixth in school Division I history.

Fletcher is a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award and is the second defender in the honor’s 14-year history to be named one of the final five. This year, he set career-highs with 80 ground balls and 31 caused turnovers with his 4.71 ground balls per game ranking first among close defenders.

Last week, he was named to the Capital One Academic All-District I Team, and he was also honored as the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The three, who were housemates off the field, will soon begin their professional lacrosse careers. Fletcher was the No. 3 overall pick by the New York Lizards in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Entry Draft, while Laconi and Ward were selected ninth and 23rd overall, both by the Charlotte Hounds.

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Loyola midfielder Laconi honored again by Patriot League

Posted on 05 May 2014 by WNST Staff

Laconi Earns Final Patriot League Defensive Weekly Honor

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Loyola University Maryland senior short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honor on Monday, picking up his second award of the season in the year’s final week.

Laconi, who was named to the All-Patriot League First Team, had four caused turnovers and four ground balls on Saturday in the top-ranked Greyhounds’ 13-10 victory over then-No. 6 Johns Hopkins University.

He also scored a goal in settled offense, taking his defender behind the crease and rolling topside for his ninth score of the season.

Laconi finished the game one off his career-high for caused turnovers set on April 17 against Bucknell University. Through the end of the regular-season, Laconi leads all non-pole players nationally in caused turnovers (32) and caused turnovers per game (2.0).

The Greyhounds open play in the NCAA Championships on Saturday, May 10, when they will host the University of Albany in the first round. Game time is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex. Tickets are on-sale now atwww.loyolagreyhounds.com/tickets.

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Red hot Loyola welcomes Duke for Sunday night showdown

Posted on 08 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola Greyhounds vs. Duke Blue Devils

Sunday, March 9, 2014  |  6:00 p.m.

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


Quick Hits About The ’Hounds

Loyola University Maryland returns to Ridley Athletic Complex to host a nationally televised game on Sunday, March 9, at 6 p.m., against Duke University.

The game features the last two NCAA Champions (Loyola 2012, Duke 2013).

The Greyhounds are fourth nationally in goals per game, averaging 15.25, and they are also fourth in scoring margin with a +7.0 mark in their five games.

Nikko Pontrello moved up to fifth in the nation in goals per game (3.75) after scoring four last Saturday at Lehigh.

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

Three Loyola players – Nikko Pontrello (offensive), Pat Laconi (defensive), and Jack Runkel (goalkeeper) – swept the Patriot League weekly awards on Monday following the win at Lehigh.

Loyola had used a 67-39 advantage in ground balls the past two Saturdays in wins over Holy Cross and Lehigh. Its 23-groundball advantage was the largest the Greyhounds have posted in Charley Toomey’s nine years as head coach, eclipsing a margin of 20 in 2008 against St. John’s.

Last Time Out

The Greyhounds moved to 2-0 in the Patriot League with a 14-7 victory over then-No. 14 Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa., on Saturday, March 1.

Kevin Ryan scored a career-high five goals, and Nikko Pontrello added four goals and an assist, in the win. Brian Schultz and Pat Laconi added one each.

Justin Ward posted his fifth multi-assist in as many games this season with four against the Mountain Hawks, while Jeff Chase recorded the first of his career with three.

After Loyola took a 3-1 lead in the first quarter, Lehigh scored two in a row to tie the game at 3-3 heading into the second quarter. Pontrelllo, however, scored three unanswered, and Schultz added one before the end of the half, and the Greyhounds were up 7-3 going into halftime.

Lehigh opened the second-half scoring with a goal at 11:39, but Laconi, Ryan (twice) and Matt Sawyer scored in the third quarter to put Loyola up 10-4 heading into the final 15 minutes.

Jack Runkel posted a season-high 13 saves in goal for the Greyhounds, and Graham Savio won 15-of-24 at the face-off ‘X’, picking up six ground balls.



Turn On The Television

Sunday’s game 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 four that will feature the Greyhounds on the network. Home games against Bucknell University and Johns Hopkins University, as well as the Greyhounds contest at Georgetown University, will air on the channel.


In The Polls

Loyola moved up in the polls following its win last week over then-No. 14 Lehigh. The Greyhounds are now fifth in both the USILA Coaches’ Poll and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse media polls, and they are fourth in the Lacrosse Magazine rankings.

Duke enters the game ranked third in the in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine versions and fourth in the coaches’ poll.


Series History

Sunday will be the 27th meeting all-time between the Blue Devils and the Greyhounds, with Duke holding a 16-10 advantage in a series that dates back to 1946.

Including this year, the teams have played during the regular-season for 15-straight (since 2000). Twice during that span, 2008 and 2013, the teams have also met in NCAA Tournament action.

The Blue Devils won last year’s regular-season meeting, 9-8, outscoring Loyola 5-3 in the fourth quarter. Josh Offit’s goal with 12:26 left in regulation gave Duke its first lead since the second quarter, 6-5, but Sean O’Sullivan struck on an extra-man opportunity for Loyola, and the Greyhounds tied the game less than two minutes later. Offitt and Christian Walsh, however, scored back-to-back goals to put the Blue Devils in front for good.

The teams met again in the NCAA First Round, playing what would become to many the game of the year. Duke edged the Greyhounds, 12-11 in double-overtime. Case Mathias tied the game at 11-11 on a goal with 65 seconds left in regulation, and he scored the winner 2:20 into the second overtime.

Mathias led Duke with three goals, while Zach Herreweyers scored three for Loyola, and Justin Ward had five assists.

Duke had won five-straight over Loyola and eight of nine, before the Greyhounds defeated the Blue Devils, 13-8, on March 10, 2012, in Baltimore.


Games Of Runs

Loyola has used significant runs in all five of its games this season, and it has had four stretches of seven or more unanswered goals. In all the Greyhounds have nine 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



Pontrello Putting Up Points

Nikko Pontrello had his fifth multi-goal game is as many contests to open the season on Saturday when he scored a pair four goals at Lehigh. The game came a week after 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 7-0 in games that he scored three or more goals.

Pontrello leads the Greyhounds with 19 goals and 24 points through four 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 fifth nationally in goals per game (3.8), while he is second and 11th in points per game (4.8).


Ryan Racks Up Goals

Kevin Ryan has tied his previous, or set new career-highs in each of the Greyhounds’ last three games, bringing his season total to 11. The senior midfielder posted a pair of goals against Towson to match his previous best, and he then set a new high with three at Holy Cross.

Ryan broke that mark with a five-goal game at Lehigh last Saturday, scoring four in the second half to help push the Greyhounds to a 14-7 win. Loyola is 4-0 all-time when Ryan scored two or more goals.


Ward Playing The Role

Justin Ward has continued to be the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense this year, passing out nine combined assists in the last two contests. He is fourth in the nation, and tops in the Patriot League, with 3.0 assists per game this year.

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.

With four assists at Lehigh, Ward moved past into second place in Loyola’s Division I history with 82. He is two assists back of Jim Blanding for first place. Ward is also 17th in school Division I history in total points with 125.


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 nearly 47 percent of the team’s goals, a total of 35. Kevin Ryan has scored eight goals in the last two games and is second on the team with 11 total. Tyler Albrecht is third on the squad with eight goals, while Brian Sherlock has six goals and four assists.


Stopping Shots

After opening the season with a .214 save percentage in the opener at Virginia, Jack Runkel has played to a .662 mark, saving 45 out of 68 shots on goal he’s faced. In the last three games against Towson, Holy Cross and Lehigh, Runkel made 33 saves and allowed just 12 goals (.733).

The senior goalkeeper, who earned 2012 NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, has a goals against average of 7.62 this season and a cumulative saves percentage of .585 through five games.

In three years as a starter for the Greyhounds, Runkel has a 7.93 goals against average and .551 saves percentage. His record between the pipes is 31-6. He is tied with Penn State’s Austin Kaut for second in wins among active goalkeepers. Runkel and Kaut trail Maryland’s Niko Amato who has 39 victories. Both Kaut and Amato, however, are four-year starters, while Runkel did not start until early in his sophomore season.


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 five games, Schultz has scored nine goals, third most on the team, and six assisted, 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.

As a unit, Loyola is winning 53.8 percent of faceoffs, up from last year’s mark of 46.5.


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. This season, the Preseason All-American is second on Loyola with 18 ground balls, and he leads the squad with 10 caused turnovers. His 55 career caused turnovers are third all-time at Loyola behind the 90 of P.T. Ricci and 88 of Scott Ratliff.


Tyler’s Time

As a freshman in 2013, Tyler Albrecht saw limited action for the Greyhounds, mostly coming off the wings on faceoffs and occasional offensive midfield shifts. His role has changed dramatically in his second season, and the Canadian midfielder is making the most of it.

Albrecht is a starter on Loyola’s first midfield with Matt Sawyer and Brian Sherlock, and he has three multi-goal games in five outings this year. Albrecht scored twice in the season-opener at Virginia, and he recorded hat tricks with three each against Penn State and Towson. He is third on the team with eight goals.

In addition to his offensive work, Albrecht has continued to be a two-way middie, playing on the wings for faceoffs and defensive shifts. He had five ground balls and two caused turnovers against Towson.


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 seven Patriot League weekly awards over the last two weeks. Nikko Pontrello (Offensive) and Jack Runkel (Goalkeeper) won their second awards in as many weeks on Monday, March 3, 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.


Up Next

The Greyhounds step back into Patriot League play on Saturday, March 15, when they host the U.S. Military Academy at Ridley Athletic Complex in a 1 p.m. game.

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Loyola’s Laconi, Pontrello, Runkel honored by Patriot League

Posted on 03 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Laconi, Pontrello, Runkel Receive Patriot League Weekly Honors

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Three Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse players – short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi (defensive), attacker Nikko Pontrello (offensive) and Jack Runkel (goalkeeper) – earned weekly awards from the Patriot League on Monday after the Greyhounds defeated then-No. 14 Lehigh University, 14-7, on Saturday afternoon.

Pontrello and Runkel earned their honors for the second week in a row, while Laconi is the second Greyhound in as many weeks to receive the Defensive Player of the Week honor, following in the footsteps of fellow co-captain Joe Fletcher.

Laconi scored a pair of goals in the game at Lehigh, matching his career-high set just over a week before in a game against Towson Unviersity. He also caused a turnover and was part of a Loyola defense that held Lehigh to 29 shots and only 20 on goal.

Pontrello recorded his fifth multi-point outing in as many games this year and his fourth in a row with three or more goals. The junior attacker scored four goals, all in the first half, including three in a row during a second quarter that saw Loyola outscore the Mountain Hawks, 4-0. He has scored 19 goals this season, already eclipsing his previous seasonal best of 16 from last year. His 3.8 goals per game are best in the Patriot League and fifth in the NCAA.

Runkel was tabbed with the weekly goalkeeper honor for the second consecutive time after making 13 saves and allowing just seven Lehigh goals on Saturday. In Loyola’s last three games, Runkel has yielded only 12 goals to Towson, Holy Cross and Lehigh. He has played to a 7.81 goals against average and a .585 saves percentage.

Loyola, which moved up to No. 5 nationally in the USILA Coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Polls and fourth in the Lacrosse Magazine rankings, hosts No. 4 Duke University at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 9, in a game that will air nationally on CBS Sports Network.

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Three Loyola lacrosse players selected in MLL Draft

Posted on 11 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Trio Of Team Captains Drafted By Major League Lacrosse Teams

PHILADELPHIA – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse tri-captains Joe Fletcher (3rd overall, New York Lizards), Pat Laconi (9th, Charlotte Hounds) and Justin Ward (23rd, Charlotte Hounds) were selected in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Entry Draft on Friday night at the USLacrosse Convention.

Fletcher became the highest Loyola player ever selected in the 14-year history of the MLL Draft. He was the third overall pick of event by the New York Lizards. Josh Hawkins was the previous highest Loyola draftee; he was selected fourth by the Hamilton Nationals in last year’s draft.

Laconi and Ward will be reunited with a trio of teammates with whom they won the 2012 NCAA Championship. Attacker Mike Sawyer, who was an MLL All-Star as a rookie last year, NCAA Tournament MVP Eric Lusby and fellow short-stick defensive midfielder Hawkins all play for the Hounds who reached the MLL Championship Game last year.

They bring the number of Greyhounds drafted in the last two years to eight. A quintet of players – Josh Hawkins (5th overall, Hamilton Nationals), Mike Sawyer (8th, Charlotte Hounds), Scott Ratliff (9th, Boston Cannons), Davis Butts (19th, Denver Outlaws) and Reid Acton (26th, Hamilton Nationals) – were selected in last year’s draft.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for these guys who have been big parts of our success since stepping onto campus,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “They are great people, players and leaders, and we look forward to starting practice with them on our field Monday.”

Fletcher finished last season as one of the best defenders in the nation, earning All-America First Team honors from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA). In doing so, he became the first Loyola player to earn the recognition since Gavin Prout in 2001. Earlier this year, Fletcher was the only current collegiate player named to the U.S. National Team training roster and is vying for a spot on the squad that will compete at the 2014 World Cup in Denver.

The senior defender from Syracuse, N.Y., was the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year as he finished the season with 64 ground balls, tops amongst close defenders in the conference. He also had 17 caused turnovers and was a key member of the Greyhounds’ clearing unit that led the nation and set a Division I record by successfully clearing the ball 95.5 percent of the time. A noted student leader outside of lacrosse, Fletcher is co-president of Loyola’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and he is one of 14 students school-wide to serve on the Green & Grey society, a group of student leaders who serve as liaisons to Loyola’s president, board of trustees and administration.

Ward has been the quarterback of the Greyhounds’ offense for the last two seasons, and as a junior in 2013, he turned in a fantastic season that earned him USILA All-America Honorable Mention and All-ECAC honors. The attacker finished 11th in Division I in assists per game (2.19) and 19th in points per game (3.88), culminating the season with 27 goals and 35 assists for 62 points.

His 35 assists ranked third on Loyola’s single-season chart at the Division I level, and his 62 points were tied for fifth. Ward enters the season with 67 career assists, good for seventh at the school in the Division I era, and his 106 career points to date are 22nd. He had one of the most prolific games by a Loyola player in recent years last season when he became the first Greyhound since Gavin Prout in 2001 to score seven goals in a game, and the first since Tim Goettelmann in 2000 to post 10 points, when he tallied seven goals and three assists against UMBC in February.

Laconi has garnered a reputation from coaches as one of the top short-stick defensive midfielders nationwide over the past three years. As a member of the Greyhounds’ rope unit, Laconi has helped Loyola establish an excellent transition game that last year led the nation and set a Division I record by clearing the ball effectively 95.5 percent of the time.

He posted career-highs of 24 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers last year, and he also showed his ability to score on the offensive end. Laconi posted four goals and six assists as a junior after logging one and three during his sophomore campaign.

In addition to their plaudits on the field and in the locker room, Fletcher, Laconi and Ward have all excelled in the classroom, too. All three were named to the ECAC All-Academic Team last year.

The Greyhounds open the season Thursday, February 6, when they travel to Charlottesville, Va., to face the University of Virginia.

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Six Greyhounds named ECAC All-Academic

Posted on 28 May 2013 by WNST Staff

ECAC Division I Lacrosse League 2013 All‐Academic Team 
For immediate release 5/29/13
CENTERVILLE, Mass. ‐ The Eastern College Athletic Conference has announced the ECAC Division I Lacrosse League 2013 
All‐Academic Team.  To qualify for the team, a student‐athlete must maintain a cumulative grade point average of a 3.3 
or better throughout the completion of the most recently finished academic term.  The University of Denver, an NCAA 
Championship semi‐finalist, leads the way with 19 qualifiers.  In all 82 student‐athletes qualified for the squad. 
Seven players earned both All‐Academic and All–Conference recognition.  University of Denver midfielder Wesley Berg 
and defenseman Carson Cannon were first team All‐Conference picks as was defenseman Joe Fletcher from Loyola 
University of Maryland.  Second team All‐Conference selections who qualified for the All‐Academic team are Denver 
midfielder Eric Adamson and attackman Eric Law, Fairfield University midfielder Sam Snow, and attackman Justin Ward 
from Loyola University of Maryland. 
The 2013 ECAC Division I Lacrosse League All‐Academic Team 
U.S. Air Force Academy 
Michael Curran, Jr., Midfield, North Brunswick, N.J.  
Brett Dadiego, Fr., Goalie, Baldwin, N.Y. 
Matthew Duenes, Fr., Midfield, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. 
Doug Gouchoe, Fr., Goalie, Concord, Mass. 
Pat Harrison, Sr., Attack, Annapolis, Md.  
Dan Schonfeld, Sr., Defense, Ellicot City, Md. 
Matt Scott, Jr., Attack/Midfield, Babylon, N.Y.  
Bellarmine University 
Luke Acton, Sr., Attack, Saskatoon, Sask. 
Grant Beczkalo, So., Midfielder, Denver, Colo. 
Cam Gardner, Jr., Midfielder, Calgary, Alta. 
Will Haas, Jr., Goalie, Westerville, Ohio 
Sean Joyce, Jr., Defense/LSM, Highlands Ranch, Colo. 
Ryan Scinta, So., Midfielder, Louisville, Ky. 
Trevor Timmerberg, Gr., Midfielder, Overland Park, Kansas 
University of Denver 
Eric Adamson, So., Midifeld, Anaheim, Calif. 
Sander Aplet, So., Midfield, Arvada, Colo. 
Drew Babb, Jr., Defense, Centennial, colo. 
Joe Bano, Fr., Midfield, Dublin, Ohio 
Wesley Berg, So., Midfield, Coquitlam, British Columbia    
Sean Cannizzaro, So. Attack, Cazenovia, N.Y. 
Carson Cannon, So., Defense, Stillwater, Minn.    
Geoff Davis, Fr., Defense, Jefferson, Md. 
Bailey Dodds, Jr., Attack, Eden Prairie, Minn. 
Kyle Hercher, Sr., Defense, Littleton, Colo. 
Garret Holst, So., Midfield, Fishers, Ind. 
Gordie Koerber, Fr., Attack, Baltimore, Md. 
Matt Kramer, Jr., Defense, Littleton, Colo.  
Ryan LaPlante, So. Goalie, Fort Collins, Colo. 
Eric Law, Sr., Attack, Centennial, Colo.   
Connor Pagnani, So., Midfield, Nashville, Tenn. 
Jack Pruitt, Fr., Midfield, Sammamish, Wash. 
Colin Scott, Sr., Attack, Ridgefield, Conn.  
Taylor Young, Sr., Midfield, Littleton, Colo. 
Fairfield University 
Frank Borgognone, Fr., Long Stick Midfield, Manhasset, N.Y.  
Tom Branca, Fr., Goalie, Cross River, N.Y.  
Brian Browne, Fr., Midfield, Sandwich, Mass. 
Max Buchanan, So., Defense, Wykoff, N.J.  
Mikey Gulasey, Fr., Attack, Medina, Ohio  
Trent Lauer, Fr., Long Stick Midfield, La Jolla, Calif.  
Cameron Parker, So., Midfield, Bainbbridge Island, Wash.  
Greg Perraut, Jr., Defense, Bethesda, Md.  
Sam Snow, Sr., Midfield, Bainbridge, Wash.  
Tristan Sperry, So., Attack, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.  
Hobart College 
Peter Bolte, Jr, Defense, Belmont, Mass. 
Dom Facciponte, Fr., Goalie, Syracuse, N.Y. 
Ryan Korn, Sr., Defensive Midfield, Highlands, N.J. 
Jon Lawless, Sr., Goalie, East Aurora, N.Y. 
Gavin Llewellyn, Fr., Midfield, Towson, Md. 
Ryan Munnelly, Jr, Midfield, Fort Salonga, N.Y. 
Ethan O’Connor, Sr., Long Stick Midfield, Milton, Ontario 
Matt Opsahl, Fr., Attack, Potomac, Md. 
Cam Stone, Jr., Attack, Syracuse, N.Y. 
Peter Zonino, Jr., Goalie, Wayne, Pa. 
Loyola University of Maryland 
Kyle Duffy, Jr., Short Stick Defensive Midfield, Chapel Hill, N.C.  
Joe Fletcher, Jr. Defense, Syracuse, N.Y. 
T.J. Harris, Sr. Defense, Gambrills, Md.   
Harry Kutner, Gr. Midfield, Garden City, N.Y. 
Pat Laconi, Jr. Short Stick Defensive Midfield, Morristown, N.J.  
Justin Ward, Jr., Attack, Glen Burnie, Md.  
University of Michigan 
Chase Brown, Fr. Long Stick Midfield, Annapolis, Md. 
Doug Bryant, Jr., Midfield, Princeton, N.J.  
Jeff Chu, Jr., Defensive Midfield, Berwyn, Pa.  
Michael Dalessio, Fr., Goalie, Eastchester, N.Y.  
Jon Eisenreich, So., Midfield/Face off, Chatham, N.J.  
Mack Gembis, So., Defense, Birmingham, Mich.  
University of Michigan (continued) 
Sam Martorella, Fr., Defensive Midfield, Hewlett, N.Y. 
Dave McCormack So., Attack, Terrace Park, Ohio 
Paxton Moore, Fr., Long Stick Midfield, Haverford, Pa.  
Thomas Orr, So, Defensive Midfield, West Bloomfield, Mich.  
Thomas Paras, Sr. Midfield, Lakewood, Ohio  
Andrew Portnoy, So., Attack, Mountain Lakes, N.J.   
Josh Stauffer, Fr., Attack, Jupiter, Fla.  
Max Zwolan, Jr., Defense, Ann Arbor, Mich. 
Ohio State University 
Dominique Alexander, Sr., Midfield, Baldwin, N.Y. 
Ryan Borcherding, Jr., Defense, Atlanta, Ga. 
Carter Brown, Fr., Attack, Bel Air, Md.    
Eric Chadderdon, So, Defense, Hamburg, N.Y. 
Turner Evans, So., Midfield, Peterborough, Ontario 
Kevin Mack, Sr., Midfield, Dublin, Ohio 
Evan Mulchrone, So. Defense, Chicago, Ill. 
Patrick Toohey, Sr., Midfield, Lutherville, Md.  
Dan Wertz, Sr., Midfield, Lititz, Pa.

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Loyola drops ECAC showdown to Denver in OT

Posted on 13 April 2013 by WNST Staff

Denver Scores 16 Seconds Into Overtime To Edge Men’s Lacrosse

BALTIMORE – Cameron Flint picked up a ground ball off the opening faceoff of overtime, ran the length of the field and scored 16 seconds into overtime to lift visiting University of Denver to a 13-12 victory over Loyola University Maryland in front of 3,285 at Ridley Athletic Complex in an ECAC Lacrosse League game.

The Greyhounds (9-3 overall, 5-1 ECAC) trailed by as many as five goals twice during the game, at halftime when Denver’s Eric Law scored with five seconds to go in the second quarter, and late in the third quarter when Sean Cannizzaro tallied an unassisted goal at 4:01.

Canizzaro’s goal from just in front of the crease pushed the Pioneers’ lead to 9-4, but Loyola reeled off three goals in the quarter’s final three minutes to pull within a pair, 9-7.

Zach Herreweyers started the run when Pat Laconi came into the box on transition and sent a pass to goal-line extended on the right side where Herreweyers got to the crease and used a shot-fake to score at 3:54.

Sean O’Sullivan, who tied Mike Sawyer and Flint for game-high honors with four goals, scored his second extra-man goal of the game at 1:57 off a Sawyer assist.

After Jack Runkel made a save for Loyola and sent an over-the-top outlet pass to Josh Hawkins, the defensive midfielder scored on an overhand seven-yard try to make it 9-7 Denver with 16 ticks left in the third.

The Pioneers (10-2, 5-0), however, scored the first two of the final period in regulation as Eric Adamson tallied one by rolling off a check and shooting form the left side 1:58 into the quarter. Gordie Koerber then scored 58 seconds later off a Garrett Holst assist in transition, and Denver’s lead was back to four, 11-7.

O’Sullivan recorded his third of the game at 10:50, scoring after Nikko Pontrello reversed the ball from right-to-left, creating space for O’Sullivan.

Denver took possession after the faceoff following O’Sullivan’s goal – the Pioneers won 18-of-28 restarts – but Reid Acton caused a turnover and picked up the ground ball for Loyola. He got an outlet pass to Hawkins who again cleared it himself, scoring with another overhand shot at 9:20.

Adamson momentarily stopped the Loyola run for the Pioneers, scoring his second of the quarter with 8:40 remaining to make it 12-9 Denver.

Sawyer restarted the rally for Loyola, tallying a pair within 26 seconds. His first was a behind-the-head highlight reel shot from the right side of the crease after Justin Ward threaded a pass in front of the crease to Sawyer’s stick.

His second came unassisted as he ran from right to left, burying the shot at 6:03 to draw the Greyhounds within a goal, 12-11.

O’Sullivan tied it with his career-high tying fourth of the game at 2:11, whipping a sidearm show from 12 yards out after a Pontrello pass. It marked the game’s first tie since Eric Law gave the Pioneers a 2-1 lead at 11:02 of the first quarter.

Denver had an offensive possession in the final minutes thwarted when Scott Ratliff caused a turnover by Adamson and picked up the ground ball. Loyola cleared it to its offensive end, but a Sawyer shot sailed wide and the teams headed to overtime.

The Pioneers used a 10-3 advantage in faceoff wins in the first half to build its five-goal halftime advantage, scoring four unanswered in the first quarter after Sawyer tallied the game’s first score just 32 seconds in.

Sawyer finished with a season-high six points on four goals and two assists. O’Sullivan scored four time, and Hawkins tallied two, while Herreweyers and Davis Butts each added goals for the Greyhounds. Pontrello, Sawyer and Justin Ward each had two assists, and Laconi added another.

Ratliff posted four ground balls and three caused turnovers, and Jack Runkel made 13 saves on defense for the Greyhounds.

The loss snapped a 13-game ECAC winning streak for the Greyhounds, dating back to March 2011.

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Ratliff, Hawkins lead Loyola past Fairfield

Posted on 06 April 2013 by WNST Staff

Defensive Midfield Scores Six In 13-7 Win Over Fairfield


BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland defensive midfielders Scott Ratliff and Josh Hawkins combined to score six goals on as many shots, and Pat Laconi added an assist, as the Greyhounds’ defensive midfield was in on almost half of their goals during a 13-7 victory Saturday afternoon over visiting Fairfield University in ECAC Lacrosse League action at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Ratliff, a long-stick midfielder, scored four, and Hawkins added two for Loyola (9-2 overall, 5-0 ECAC), which clinched a bid to the 2013 ECAC Championships that will be played May 2-4 at Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y. Ratliff also had four caused turnovers and three ground balls, and Hawkins tallied a pair off the ground and caused one Stags turnover.

Fairfield (6-5, 3-2) took an early 1-0 lead as Marshall Johnson scored on a seven-yard shot from the top at 10:32 in the first quarter, but less than two minutes later, an extra-man goal by Loyola would start a 5-0 Greyhounds run.

A Stags push gave Loyola a man advanatage, and Harry Kutner fed Kevin Ryan who hit an over-the-shoulder shot from just in front of the crease to tie the game at 1-1 with 8:44 on the first-quarter clock.

Ratliff then picked up the ground ball on the next faceoff, and he struck with a 12-yard shot from the top of the box to give Loyola its first lead, 2-1, just nine second after Ryan’s goal.

Chris Layne scored the Greyhounds’ third goal, taking a flip from Davis Butts and running left-to-right past his defender to score at 6:27. Justin Ward then scored his first of two-straight at 3:11 with a sidearm shot from just outside the crease.

Ward added another 59 seconds later, converting a bounce shot from a tough angle on the left side after rolling from ‘X’. That goal pushed the Greyhounds’ advantage to 5-1.

Drew Frederick came off a check on the right side and scored on a low-to-low shot with 40 seconds left in the first quarter, but the Greyhounds still had enough time to score one more before the end of the first 15 minutes.

Nikko Pontrello came off a Ratliff screen, and Ratliff rolled to the right side of the crease where Pontrello hit him with 23 ticks showing for Ratliff’s second of the quarter.

Sean O’Sullivan gave Loyola a 7-2 lead at 12:09 in the second quarter when he got free down the right alley, but Fairfield got back within four at 9:40 on a Eric Warden bouncer after rolling the crease on the left side.

Ratliff quickly built the lead back to five for Loyola, flicking a shot into the net off a Ward feed at 9:12.

Later in the quarter, with a 30-second warning in place, Sam Snow came down the right side and hit an overhand bouncer at 3:46, cutting Loyola’s lead to 8-4.

Hawkins, however, pushed the lead back to five before halftime, running a slow clear and backing off a check for a hard shot from seven yards out with 56 seconds remaining before the break.

Jordan Greenfield pulled the Stags back to within four, 9-5, 1:22 into the second half with a low-to-low shot from the right side off a Snow pass, but Ratliff to a Laconi pass in transition and hit a 10-yard step-down shot at 12:44.

Mike Sawyer used a Ward pass at 10:53 to score his first of the game before Warden scored his second with a goal for Fairfield at 10:18.

The score remained 11-6 in Loyola’s favor for several minutes before Sawyer scored in highlight-reel fashion. He was knocked to the turf, and a penalty flag flew on Fairfield, but Sawyer got off a hard shot from the ground and scored at 1:29 to push the lead to six.

Ratliff then caused a Fairfield turnover with under 45 seconds left in the quarter, and Hawkins appeared to settle the play before faking a pass and running down the left alley to score with 18 seconds left in the third.

Fairfield scored the fourth quarter’s lone goal with 1:56 left in the game on a Tristan Sperry shot.

In addition to the multi-point efforts by the defensive midfielders, Ward finished with two goals and two assists, and Sawyer scored twice.

Joe Fletcher matched Ratliff and goalkeeper Jack Runkel for team-high honors with three assists, and defenders Pat Frazier and Reid Acton each caused two turnovers.

The Greyhounds play their final regular-season home game of the season on Saturday, April 13, at 1 o’clock against the University of Denver.

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Loyola defense strong in win over Ohio State

Posted on 30 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Defense Yields Just Four Goals In Men’s Lacrosse Win At Ohio State


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Loyola University Maryland’s defense allowed just 23 Ohio State University shots, and the Greyhounds shutout the Buckeyes for a stretch of nearly 33 minutes during a 9-4 ECAC Lacrosse League victory on Saturday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Field.

Jack Runkel made nine saves in goal for the Greyhounds (8-2 overall, 4-0 ECAC), while Loyola forced 16 Ohio State (6-3, 1-2) turnovers.

The Greyhounds also held Ohio State without an extra-man goal despite five opportunities in the game. Entering the contest, the Buckeyes was tops in the ECAC and fifth in NCAA Division I with a 53.8-percent success rate on man-up chances.

David Planning rolled off a check and scored on a shot at the top right for Ohio State with 3:03 left in the first half, tying the score at 3-3, but that was the last goal the Buckeyes would score until just nine seconds remained in the game.

The Loyola defense held Ohio State without a goal for 32:54 between scores. Meanwhile, the Greyhounds’ offense and transition game reeled off six unanswered goals.

Chris Layne put Loyola on top with 1:54 to go before halftime with his first goal a goal off a Justin Ward assist. Ward used a quick restart from behind the cage after a wide Loyola shot and found Layne running down the right side after checking in from the box. Layne one-timed a shot past Ohio State goalkeeper Greg Dutton who had 14 saves in the loss.

Just 70 seconds later, Layne shot a pass to Zach Herreweyers below goal-line extended on the right, and Herreweyers rolled to the crease, using a low-to-low shot to score.

Nikko Pontrello, who had a game-high three goals, made it three goals for Loyola in just 1:41 of action with a goal after a toe-drag move. Davis Butts reversed the ball from the top of the box to Layne who then got the ball to Pontrello who used the toe-drag to beat his defender and score 13 seconds before halftime, staking the Greyhounds to a 6-3 halftime advantage.

Pontrello scored his second-straight with 8:31 on the third-quarter clock, scoring from close on the right side after a feed by Herreweyers.

A Runkel save and ground ball pickup led to the Greyhounds’ eighth goal just before the end of the third period. Loyola cleared the ball to its offensive end, and when it looked like it would allow time to run out in the quarter, Layne sent a 20-yard pass from the high right side to Scott Ratliff on the left side of the crease.

Ratliff used a multiple shot-fake and beat Dutton with four seconds left in the quarter, pushing the advantage to 8-3 for the Greyhounds.

Ohio State committed a faceoff violation on the opening faceoff of the fourth quarter, and Josh Hawkins took a Ratliff pass and raced down the right side, scoring with an overhand shot form five yards out 13 seconds into the final period.

From there, the Greyhounds’ defense took the leading role, as they gave up just four shots in the final 15 minutes, and Ohio State committed four turnovers during the same span.

Nick Liddil scored the game’s final goal, off a Planning assist, with nine ticks left on the clock, snapping the 32:54 scoreless streak.

Joe Fletcher led Loyola’s defense with five ground balls, while Runkel had three in addition to his nine saves.

Brendan Donovan went 6-of-8 on faceoffs for Loyola, picking up three ground balls. Pat Laconi caused two of the six turnovers Loyola was credited with.

Ohio State’s Logan Schuss, who entered the game leading the Buckeyes with 20 goals, scored the game’s first just 55 seconds after the opening faceoff.

Loyola responded with its first at 10:27 when Sean O’Sullivan flipped a pass to Butts who whipped a 10-yard sidearm shot for a goal.

Pontrello then gave Loyola its first lead at 4:36, ripping a 12-yard shot from the top right after a long feed from Ward near the crease.

Ohio State tied the game 1:21 into the second quarter when Jesse King dodged from the top and fed a pass inside for a goal by Carter Brown with a 30-second warning in play.

Mike Sawyer gave Loyola the lead back at 6:11 after Ward threw a skip pass to the right side out of a double-team.

Loyola outshot Ohio State, 41-23, in the game while picking up 29 ground balls to the Buckeyes’ 20.

The Greyhounds return to Ridley Athletic Complex for the first time since early March for an ECAC game on Saturday, April 6, against Fairfield University. The game against Fairfield starts at 2:30 p.m. following the Loyola women’s game against Georgetown University that commences at 12 noon.

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