Jan. 11, 2013
PHILADELPHIA - Five members of the defending NCAA Champion Loyola University Maryland men's lacrosse team were selected Friday night in the Major League Lacrosse Draft, including two in the first round and three of the top nine overall, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown on Friday night.
Josh Hawkins (5th overall, Hamilton Nationals) and Mike Sawyer (8th, Charlotte Hounds) were selected in the first round. Scott Ratliff (9th, Boston Cannons) was picked in the second; Davis Butts (19th, Denver Outlaws), third; and Reid Acton (26th, Hamilton Nationals), fourth.
"I want to congratulate each of these guys on what is a tremendous accomplishment," said Charley Toomey, Loyola's head coach. "They have already made great contributions to our program, and we are looking forward to even more from this year as we start spring practice on Monday."
Hawkins has continued to be one of the top defensive midfielders in the nation and garnered considerable respect nationally for his play during the NCAA Championships. He was named a Preseason All-America First Team member after garnering honorable mention last season. Hawkins earned NCAA All-Tournament honors and helped the Greyhounds limit Notre Dame and Maryland to a combined eight goals on Championships weekend. In addition to his six goals and two assists in 15 games last year, Hawkins was second on the team with 63 ground balls.
Sawyer, a Preseason USILA All-America Second Team selection after earning the same honor following last year, was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation's top player last season when he scored 52 goals and assisted on 10 more and was named the team's Offensive Most Valuable Player. During the regular-season, he led the ECAC in goals and goals per game while earning All-ECAC First Team honors. He became the second player to score 50 or more goals in a season and was joined by a third on last year's team.
Ratliff continued to be one of the top long-stick midfielders in the nation and set a Loyola scoring record for the position last year. This year, he was tabbed a Preseason All-America Second Team member and was on the USILA Third Team last season when he finished with 12 goals and seven assists, exceeding current Loyola Assistant Coach Matt Dwan's previous record for a long-stick midfielder set in 1995. In addition to his scoring, he tallied 88 ground balls and 37 caused turnovers while earning ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, ECAC Championships Most Valuable Player, NCAA All-Tournament Team and team co-defenisve player of the year honors.
Butts was a first-line midfielder for the Greyhounds for the second year in a row in 2012. This season, he was named to the Preseason All-America Third Team after picking up honorable mention last season. He excelled as a dodger and finisher and ranked fourth on the team in points (35) and third in goals scored (21). A versatile player, Butts also saw plenty of action on the wings of faceoffs and in the defensive midfield where he picked up 40 ground balls.
Acton will enter 2013 having started on the Greyhounds' defense each of the last three years. The Preseason All-America Honorable Mention candidate who received the same award last season finished the 2012 season with 44 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers, while helping Loyola record a 7.21 goals allowed per game average, the fifth-best mark in Division I. The Greyhounds set a pair of defensive records during Championship Weekend, holding Notre Dame and Maryland to a combined eight goals in the two games and allowing the Terrapins just three in the title match.
Loyola will see outside competition for the first time in 2013 in just over two weeks. The Greyhounds travel to the Orlando area to face the U.S. National Team on Sunday, January 27, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at DisneyWorld. The regular season commences for Loyola on Saturday, February 16, at the University of Delaware.