Feb. 23, 2009
BALTIMORE - Loyola attackman Collin Finnerty was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday by the league office for the weeks of February 14-21, just two days after the junior posted his second straight game of five points and four goals.
Finnerty, a native of Garden City, N.Y. (Chaminade), leads the ECAC in both points (10) and goals (eight) after putting up back-to-back five-point, four-goal performances in helping Loyola to a split against No. 9 Notre Dame and Towson. The Greyhounds retained their No. 16 ranking in Monday's USILA poll, and moved to 18th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse poll.
"Collin has really been playing with a lot of confidence lately, and that's showing in his performance," Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey said. "When he gets his hands set to shoot, he is certainly very tough to defend."
In his team's 11-8 home-opening victory over the Tigers on Saturday, Finnerty got Loyola off to a rampant start, scoring on three of his team's first four goals to push the Greyhounds (1-1) to a 4-0 lead after the first period. He got the scoring started just 1:03 into the game to give Loyola a one-score advantage it would not relinquish. Then, he assisted on a goal to sophomore Eric Lusby seven minutes into the game to double the lead, 2-0. Four minutes later, he found the net with an unassisted goal.
Off a Cooper MacDonnell pass, Finnerty would find the net just 20 seconds before halftime for the hat-trick. Finally, he polished off his afternoon with a goal 1:50 into the fourth period, beating the goalie off a John Schiavone feed from a won face-off.
Finnerty established career-highs in points (5) and goals (4) in Loyola's 10-9 season-opening loss against Notre Dame on February 14 in Atlanta. He scored twice and added an assist to Eric Lusby in the second period to lift Loyola to a 5-3 lead. After the Irish went up 7-6 in the third period, Finnerty's goal evened up the teams again. He again would find the net 1:30 in the fourth off a feed from fellow attackman Matt Langan.
His four goals were the most by a Loyola player in a season opener since Jim Fink scored four in a 17-12 victory over Delaware on Feb. 23, 2002. Finnerty has shot with a deadly accuracy on the season, scoring eight goals on just 11 shots on goal.
Senior P.T. Ricci was one of 10 players to be named to the conference's Honor Roll. The long-stick middie has collected a team-best 14 groundballs for the season, which ranks second in the ECAC. He assisted on a goal against Notre Dame.
The other ECAC winners included Fairfield's Charlie Cipriano and Georgetown's Barney Ehrmann, both named co-Defensive Players of the Week, and the Rookie award went to Hobart's Chris Pedersen.
The Greyhounds kick off defense of their ECAC title on Saturday, as they head to State College for a 1 p.m. start against Penn State (0-2).