March 3, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Three Loyola University Maryland men's lacrosse players - short-stick defensive midfielder Pat Laconi (defensive), attacker Nikko Pontrello (offensive) and Jack Runkel (goalkeeper) - earned weekly awards from the Patriot League on Monday after the Greyhounds defeated then-No. 14 Lehigh University, 14-7, on Saturday afternoon.
Pontrello and Runkel earned their honors for the second week in a row, while Laconi is the second Greyhound in as many weeks to receive the Defensive Player of the Week honor, following in the footsteps of fellow co-captain Joe Fletcher.
Laconi scored a pair of goals in the game at Lehigh, matching his career-high set just over a week before in a game against Towson Unviersity. He also caused a turnover and was part of a Loyola defense that held Lehigh to 29 shots and only 20 on goal.
Pontrello recorded his fifth multi-point outing in as many games this year and his fourth in a row with three or more goals. The junior attacker scored four goals, all in the first half, including three in a row during a second quarter that saw Loyola outscore the Mountain Hawks, 4-0. He has scored 19 goals this season, already eclipsing his previous seasonal best of 16 from last year. His 3.8 goals per game are best in the Patriot League and fifth in the NCAA.
Runkel was tabbed with the weekly goalkeeper honor for the second consecutive time after making 13 saves and allowing just seven Lehigh goals on Saturday. In Loyola's last three games, Runkel has yielded only 12 goals to Towson, Holy Cross and Lehigh. He has played to a 7.81 goals against average and a .585 saves percentage.
Loyola, which moved up to No. 5 nationally in the USILA Coaches and Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Polls and fourth in the Lacrosse Magazine rankings, hosts No. 4 Duke University at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 9, in a game that will air nationally on CBS Sports Network.