Feb. 17, 2009
Game Overview: Loyola opens up the home portion of its schedule Saturday when it hosts neighbor Towson in a 1 p.m. non-conference tilt broadcast on live on ABC-2 and on ESPNU tape delay at 6:30 p.m. The 'Hounds kicked off their season last weekend in Atlanta with a 10-9 loss against ninth-ranked Notre Dame. The matchup will commence the '09 campaign for the Tigers.
Last Time Out: Attackman Collin Finnerty scored a career-high four goals and added an assist but Notre Dame's Ryan Hoff scored the eventual game-winner with 5:29 to play and the Irish staved off multiple last-second efforts from Loyola to claim a 10-9 nail-biter in Powder Springs, Ga., just north of Atlanta. Irish goalkeeper Scott Rodgers made two critical saves of midfielder Jimmy Daly and long stick midfielder P.T. Ricci in the final seconds to preserve the win. Finnerty's four scores and an assist led Loyola, while Daly found the net twice, and Cooper MacDonnell, Eric Lusby and Jake Willcox all scored one goal apiece.
The Series: Towson holds a slight 27-23 advantage in the previous matchups between the two schools separated by four miles. In the matchup last season-also the second game of the year- Cooper MacDonnell scored a career-high four goals and Shane Koppens added two and three assists in a 13-8 Loyola victory at Johnny Unitas Stadium. After Towson took a 5-4 lead at 4:30 in the second quarter, Loyola responded with a 6-0 run in which five different players found the net to go up, 10-5.
Scouting The Tigers: The Tigers went 5-9 last season, with a 3-3 mark in the Colonial Athletic Conference. The Loyola-Towson matchup has been one of the most evenly matched series in collegiate lacrosse. Before last season's 13-8 Loyola victory, the teams had been separated by a combined four goals in their previous three outings (2007: Towson 9, Loyola 8; 2006: Towson 11, Loyola 10; 2005:Towson 7, Loyola 5).
The Coaches: Loyola alum Charley Toomey '90 enters his fourth season as head coach of his alma mater's lacrosse program, boasting a 20-20 (.500) career record, including a 1-2 mark against Towson. He has assembled an impressive 16-5 conference record during that span, including the 2008 ECAC title. Towson is led by Head Coach Tony Seaman, who enters his 26th season as a head coach (246-138 over 25 seasons), and 11th with the Tigers (82-65). He is 5-5 against Loyola with Towson.
Loyola-Towson In The Polls: The Greyhounds moved up a spot to No. 16 in both the USILA poll as voted on by Division-I coaches, and in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media poll. The Tigers are unranked but received votes in each poll.
Loyola Coaches To Attend Season Kick-Off: Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey will attend Towson's preseason Face-Off at the ESPNZone in Baltimore's Inner Harbor on Wednesday morning. Also in attendance will be Johns Hopkins Coach Dave Pietramala, UMBC's Don Zimmerman, and Coach Seaman. Scott Garceau of WJZ-FM 105.7 "The Fan" will host the question and answer session.
Faring Well at the Face-Off: Loyola dominated the X against the Irish on Saturday, winning 16-of-22 face-off opportunities. Junior John Schiavone led the way by winning 14-of-20 (0.70) and senior Michael Atkinson won both of his attempts. In one of Schiavone's controls, he sprinted upfield and dished off to Finnerty, who netted his shot for a 5-3 Loyola lead.
More On Finnerty: With a career-best four-goal performance on Saturday, junior attackman Collin Finnerty earned his sixth multi-goal game of his career at Loyola. It was the most goals by a Loyola player in a season opener since Jim Fink scored four in a 17-12 Loyola victory over Delaware back on Feb. 23, 2002. Last year, Finnerty had two-goal games against four opponents (UMass, Rutgers, Fairfield, Hobart) and scored three in the NCAA Tournament match against Duke.
Hagelin Makes Most Of Start: Loyola goalkeeper Jake Hagelin started and played all 60 minutes in the cage against Notre Dame. He made 15 saves, one short of his career-best which he set against Hobart back on April 26, 2008.
Koppens Must Sit: Loyola will play its final game without its top attackman, Shane Koppens. The senior was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA in the offseason but has to sit out the first two games as ruled in the decision. Koppens, a 2008 USILA All-American Honorable Mention selection, led Loyola last season with 44 points (19 goals, 25 assists). He is currently eighth on Loyola's all-time assist list with 61.
Ricci Tabbed Preseason All-American: Loyola long-stick midfielder P.T. Ricci was named a preseason First Team All-American in mid-December in Inside Lacrosse's Face-Off Yearbook, while Koppens garnered honorable mention honors. Ricci picked up 84 groundballs last season, which was fifth most in program history for a single season. Ricci also led his team with 41 caused turnovers and picked up at least five groundballs on 10 different occasions.
Koppens, Ricci Named To ECAC Team: Both Koppens and Ricci were two of the 11 players named to the preseason All-ECAC Team. Koppens led the league last season with 45 points and was named the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year. Ricci was also named a First Team All-ECAC selection in 2008 after leading the Greyhounds to their first-ever ECAC title since joining the league in 2005.
Greyhounds Picked Second In ECAC: A vote by league coaches picked defending-champs Loyola to finish second in the ECAC for the 2009 season. The Greyhounds received three first-place votes from the league's eight coaches. Georgetown, ranked seventh in the preseason national USILA poll, was picked to finish first.
Loyola Names Its Captains: The 2009 Greyhounds will be captained by a talented quartet of seniors: midfielder Jimmy Daly, defender Eddie Graham- a talented defenseman who missed all of last season with a knee injury- Koppens and Ricci.
2008 Loyola Season Recap: Loyola earned its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance after winning the ECAC with a 6-1 record and earning the league's automatic postseason berth. The Greyhounds went 7-7 last season and fell at top-seeded Duke, 12-7, in the first round of the tournament in Durham, N.C.
Plenty of Scorers Returning: Loyola brings back eight starters from last year's team and 35 letterwinners. Included are the top four scorers from a year ago: Koppens (19 G, 25 A), junior Cooper MacDonnell (22 G, 5 A), sophomore Matt Langan (11 G, 7 A) and junior Collin Finnerty (16 G, 1 A).
Don't Forget The 'D: In 2008, the Greyhounds made defense their trademark, ranking 17th nationally in goals-against-average, while limiting ECAC opponents to a league-low 5.57 goals-a-game. Loyola welcomes back senior Eric Kohl, juniors Steve Layne and Steve Dircks, along with Graham, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, but was a standout defenseman for Loyola two seasons ago.
New Faces At Face-Off: Loyola will miss the presence of Tim McDermott at the X. McDermott graduated last season but won 109-of-186 (.586) last season for the Greyhounds. Stepping in to fill the void will be senior Michael Atkinson (43-46, .483 in 2008) and John Schiavone (11-7, .611). Junior Michael Haight will also contend for a spot in the rotation.
Good To Go In The Goal: Sophomore Jake Hagelin had one of the more impressive freshman seasons in the country last year, playing in all but 25 minutes the entire year and setting a new single-season ECAC record with a 5.52 GAA in conference play. The team also welcomes back senior Alex Peaty, who helped Loyoa to the 2007 NCAA Tournament.