News

Men's Lacrosse Meets Nittany Lions For The 52nd Time Saturday At Noon

Feb. 12, 2015

Game Information
Opponent Penn State Nittany Lions
Date Saturday, February 14, 2015
Time 12:00 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Md. | Ridley Athletic Complex
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Quick Hits About The ’Hounds
  • Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse plays its second-straight home game against a fellow ranked opponent to start the season.
  • The Greyhounds will host Penn State University at 12 noon on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Ridley Athletic Complex.
  • Saturday’s game will be Penn State’s first-ever trip to Ridley and its first to Loyola’s campus since the 2007 season.
  • Loyola posted a 19-to-28 advantage in faceoffs in its first game of the season, winning 67.9 percent of restarts with Graham Savio at the ‘X.’
  • Virginia and the Greyhounds finished one-two in ground balls per game last season with the Cavaliers picking up an average of 37.75 to the Greyhounds’ 36.0. Loyola, however, posted an advantage off the ground last Saturday, grabbing 38 to Virginia’s 27.
  • Six Loyola players finished the season’s first game with two or more points, and Romar Dennis, Zach Herreweyers, Nikko Pontrello and Brian Sherlock each had three.
  • Dennis and Herreweyers both scored three goals, while Tyler Albrecht and Ryan Fournier both had two. Pontrello and Sherlock each had two assists.

Last Time Out
  • Ninth-ranked Virginia scored four-straight goals to open the second half as part of a 5-0 run last Saturday, and the Cavaliers held off Loyola, 13-12, in the season opener for both teams.
  • The game was the first matchup of top-10 ranked teams nationwide in 2015.
  • Ryan Fournier his second goal of the game in transition, and Romar Dennis added his first of the afternoon with 4:48 left in the second quarter, staking the Greyhounds to a 6-5 lead, but Owen Van Arsdale sent the teams to the locker room tied at 6-6 with a goal at 3:21.
  • Greg Coholan tallied the third quarter’s first two goals, and Matt Emery and Ryan Lukacovic added scores for the Cavaliers to put them ahead, 10-6, with 6:32 left in the third.
  • Zach Herreweyers scored back-to-back tallies 54 seconds apart after Lukacovic’s goal, and Dennis had consecutive fourth-quarter goals to make it 12-11 Virginia with 4:30 remaining.
  • Zed Williams notched his third of the game for the Cavaliers, but Herreweyers responded with his third at 2:04 to draw the Greyhounds within one, 13-12, but the could not score the equalizer.

In The Polls   
  • Loyola is ranked seventh in both the USILA coaches’ and Cascade/Maverick Inside Lacrosse media polls to start the season. Last year, the Greyhounds opened the season 12th in the coaches’ and 16th in the media polls.
  • Penn State checks in at No. 17 in the coaches’ rankings and 14th in the media version of the poll.

Patriot League Network   
  • Saturday’s game, along with all non-televised Loyola men’s lacrosse home games, will be broadcast digitally in free HD on the Patriot League Network. WBAL Radio’s Brett Hollander and Chris Gunkel ’91 will call the action.
  • Powered by Campus Insiders, the Network started last year and provided one of the most comprehensive digital packages of any conference nationally. Check LoyolaGreyhounds.com for links to each game.

Series History   
  • Loyola and Penn State will meet for the 52nd time when the teams take the field Saturday, but it will be just the second meeting since 2009. The Nittany Lions, who are third only to Towson (55) and Johns Hopkins (52) in games played against the Greyhounds, lead the series, 26-24-1. Loyola has won the last five meetings, the first four of that stretch coming when the teams were ECAC Lacrosse League foes.
  • Last season’s game went into overtime when the teams met on Feb. 15, 2014, inside of Holuba Hall. The Greyhounds posted an 11-7 lead with 12:10 to go in regulation when Nikko Pontrello picked up a ground ball off the rebound of his own shot and scored his second of the game.
  • The Nittany Lions, however, closed regulation on a 4-0 run, tying the game with 63 ticks left in the fourth quarter on an Erik Myers score.
  • Graham Savio won the overtime faceoff for Loyola, and Pontrello scored the game-winner in an unsettled situation 19 seconds into the extra frame, giving the Greyhounds their first win of the 2015 season that would start a 15-game winning streak.

Great Start On Restarts   
  • Graham Savio put up an excellent performance at the faceoff ‘X’ to start the season, winning 19-of-28 restarts (67.9 percent) against a pair of Virginia faceoff specialists.
  • His 19 wins and 28 faceoffs taken were both career-highs, and he picked up a team-best nine ground balls, a number that was three off his career-high.

Waiting On The Wings   
  • A large part of Loyola’s success against Virginia in the faceoff game was the play of its wings. Long-stick midfielder Ryan Fournier tallied five of his seven ground balls on faceoffs, and he led the Greyhounds charge in transition.
  • Savio cleanly won the game’s opening faceoff to the stick of Fournier who picked the ground ball, raced into the box and gave the Greyhounds a 1-0 lead just seven seconds into the season.

Locking Down A Scorer   
  • Senior co-captain Pat Frazier also had an outstanding performance in the season-opener, holding his mark without a goal or assist. Impressively, Frazier was matched up against Virginia’s leading returning scorer, 2014 All-American James Pannell, who had 38 goals a year ago.
  • Frazier, who returns to the Greyhounds’ defense as a starter for the third year in a row, had three ground balls and caused a turnover against the Cavaliers. He started his career as a long-stick midfielder for Loyola but he moved to close defense as a sophomore in 2013 where he joined the starting lineup after the season’s first two games.
  • Frazier has started each of the last 32 games on close defense for Loyola. In 2014, he picked up 27 ground balls and caused 15 turnovers, third-most on the team.
  • In addition to his work on the field, Frazier is one of 14 members of Loyola’s Green & Grey Society, a group of students who are liaisons to the University’s administration.

Hat Trick Pair   
  • Half of Loyola’s 12 goals against Virginia came from the sticks of two players, junior attacker Zach Herreweyers and sophomore midfielder Romar Dennis. Herreweyers, who did not start after missing much of the preceding week’s practices with an illness, scored twice in the third quarter and again in the fourth for his sixth career hat trick, while Dennis had a second quarter goal and two in the fourth to set a career-high.
  • Dennis had six goals and four assists as a freshman, and more than half of his nine career goals have now come in two career games against Virginia. He scored twice in his Loyola debut last year in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Plenty Of Fresh Faces   

Preseason Prognostications   
  • For the second year in as many seasons in the conference, Loyola topped the Patriot League preseason poll by a vote of conference coaches, leading the nine-team rankings with 12 first-place votes and 123 points. The U.S. Military Academy garnered one top vote and 110 points, while Lehigh University received the other five top nods and 109 overall points. Bucknell University, Colgate University, the U.S. Naval Academy, Boston University, Lafayette College and College of the Holy Cross rounded out the poll.

Honors Candidates   
  • Four Loyola players earned recognition on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team, and the same quartet garnered Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America honors.
  • Nikko Pontrello was named to the All-America Second Team, while Ryan Fournier, Pat Frazier and Brian Sherlock were received honorable mention.

Get To Ten   
  • Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 69 occasions. Despite the season-opening loss to Virginia, 13-12, Loyola has won 81.2 percent of those games (56-13).

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 44-9 during that stretch (18-1 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013, 15-2 last season and 0-1 this year) for a .830 mark.
  • Duke has won 48 games during the run, but the Blue Devils are second to the Greyhounds in winning percentage by nearly six percent (50-13, .794).

Pontrello Putting Up Points   
  • Nikko Pontrello was held without a goal just once last season (at Navy), snapping a streak of 10-straight games to start the season that Pontrello had two or more goals. He rebounded, however, with three goals and two assists versus Boston University and three goals and an assist versus Bucknell. He finished the year scoring at least one goal in every game but the contest at Navy, and he tallied two or more in 14-of-17 outings.
  • Pontrello finished his junior campaign ranked fifth nationally in goals per game (3.0), and he was tied for third in NCAA Division I in total goals with 51.
  • Two of his goals last year game-winners in one-goal contests. Pontrello scored 19 seconds into overtime to give Loyola a 12-11 win at Penn State, and he then tallied one with 51.4 seconds left in regulation to push the Greyhounds past Georgetown, 10-9.
  • Pontrello’s 51 goals last season rank third in school single-season history, three shy of Eric Lusby’s 2012 record. His 63 points are tied for Mike Ruland (1988) for 10th.
  • In the 2015 season-opener, Pontrello had only one goal, but he posted his 11th career multi-assist game with two.

Captain Trio   
  • By a vote of the Loyola players and coaches, three members of the team were named tri-captains for the 2014 season. Seniors Nikko Pontrello and Pat Frazier and sophomore Brian Sherlock were named captains at the conclusion of fall practices. Sherlock is the first sophomore to be so named during Charley Toomey’s 10 seasons as Loyola head coach.

In The Middle Of Things   
  • Brian Sherlock is one of three members of Loyola’s starting midfield to return this season, joining Tyler Albrecht and Romar Dennis on the Greyhounds’ top line. Sherlock was a member of the Preseason All-Patriot League Team and Preseason All-American after scoring 19 goals and assisting on 10 during his first collegiate season. In addition to playing on the offensive midfield, Sherlock took several runs each game on the wings of faceoffs and on the defensive side of the field.
  • Albrecht is the team’s third-leading returning scorer after tallying 12 goals and five assists in 2014, while Dennis contributed six goals and four assists in his freshman campaign.
  • Sherlock posted three points, a goal and two assists, and Albrecht scored twice in the 2015 season-opener versus Virginia. Dennis tied for team-high honors with three goals.

Not Just Defensive Midfield   
  • Ryan Fournier developed into one of the nation’s top long-stick midfielders as the 2014 season progressed. The Canadian picked up 32 ground balls and caused nine turnovers while becoming an offensive weapon in transition.
  • Fournier, who was a short-stick midfielder at the beginning of the fall season his freshman year, scored four goals and assisted on two. He was named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team and a Preseason All-America candidate.
  • He showed his skills on the first possession of the 2015 season, picking up the ground ball off a Graham Savio faceoff win and scoring seven seconds into the game against Virginia. Fournier finished with a career-high seven ground balls and two goals, his first multi-goal output of his career.

Near The Top At Both Sides   
  • The 2014 Greyhounds were the only team to be in the top six of scoring offense and defense at the Division I level. Loyola’s goals per game (12.88) ranked sixth, and its goals allowed (7.47) were fourth. As a result, Loyola led the nation in scoring margin (+5.41).