Jan. 28, 2013
BALTIMORE - The Loyola University Maryland men's lacrosse team received its first-ever preseason No. 1 ranking in the coaches and media polls on Monday, a day after the Greyhounds opened their exhibition schedule against the U.S. National Team.
Loyola received 10 of 12 first-place votes in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches Poll and 21 of 25 top votes in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings.
Maryland, which will visit Ridley Athletic Complex on February 23 for the Greyhounds' home opener, is ranked second in both polls. Loyola topped the Terrapins, 9-3, on Memorial Day 2012 to win the program's first NCAA title.
The Greyhounds finished 2012 with an 18-1 record, tying the NCAA Division I mark for most wins in a season. This season, the team returns eight starters and 35 letterwinners.
In the coaches' poll, Notre Dame and Johns Hopkins are tied for third place, while Duke rounds out the top five. The same five teams occupy the top five in the media version with Notre Dame checking in at third, Duke, fourth and Johns Hopkins, fifth.
Loyola will play three of the other top five teams in the preseason poll this season. In addition to the game against Maryland, the Greyhounds will face Duke and Johns Hopkins on the road. Other 2013 Loyola opponents to garner preseason poll recognition are Denver (8th coaches/8th media), Fairfield (15th/16th) and Ohio State (18th/20th). Three other opponents received votes in at least one of the polls: Delaware, Georgetown and Towson.
The Greyhounds have previously been ranked as high as second in the USILA coaches poll (1990, 1991 and 1992).
On Sunday, Loyola opened its exhibition schedule in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., with a game against the U.S. National Team. Four players - Davis Butts, Phil Dobson, Nikko Pontrello and Mike Sawyer - scored twice each, while Harry Kutner and Justin Ward each tallied three assists in the 17-13 loss. Ward also had a goal to lead the Greyhounds with four total points.
Loyola will play two more exhibition games before opening the regular season on Saturday, February 16, at Delaware.