March 8, 2006
San Diego, Calif. - The Loyola men's lacrosse team has arrived in sunny Southern California and will now prepare for its First Four match-up with No. 3 Duke this Saturday at San Diego's Torero Stadium. The game, televised nationally on CSTV, is Game One of a Division I double-header that begins at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Live Audio
The Greyhounds are enjoying a two-game win streak and bring a No. 17 national ranking into Saturday's showdown with the third-ranked Blue Devils. Junior Patrick Kennedy, who registered a career-high five assists against Wagner on Tuesday, leads the team with seven goals and six assists this season. Both Dan Bauers and Ryan Rabidou have six goals on the year, giving the starting attack 19 goals after three games.
The Loyola defense is holding opponents to seven goals per game, allowing only three goals in the fourth quarter this season. Senior Michael Fretwell has a .620 saves percentage while Jordan Rabidou has been working hard at the face-off x, winning 31-of-41 while leading the team with 19 groundballs.
The Blue Devils look to preseason first-team All-America attackmen Matt Danowski and Matt Zash for offense and also have a preseason first-team All-America defender in Tony McDevitt. Duke entered the year as preseason No. 1 and held that spot until last Saturday's overtime loss to current No. 1 Maryland. The Blue Devils are 4-1 this season, having played all five games at home.
Last year in Durham, the Greyhounds cut a 6-2 deficit to 6-5 with three unanswered goals in the fourth quarter and with 29 seconds left in regulation, had a good look at the game-tying goal when Paul Richards shot low on Duke goalie Aaron Fenton, who made a nice save to preserve the win. The Blue Devils went on to win their first 11 games before falling at Johns Hopkins in double-overtime. Johns Hopkins also defeated Duke, 9-8, in the national championship game on Memorial Day.
This year's match-up was scheduled as Loyola's home game at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field, but was moved to participate in the First Four, an elite NCAA lacrosse invitational created to showcase the top Division I men's college lacrosse programs in the country. Loyola and Duke square off in Game One while Navy and Bucknell play in Game Two of the double-header.
The First Four began last season with Georgetown, Syracuse, Notre Dame and North Carolina playing at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, Calif. More than 7,200 people attended, making it the largest crowd to ever watch a lacrosse game on the West Coast.
For ticket information, hotel information or a schedule of events, visit the 2006 First Four Website. Saturday's game, which begins at 8 p.m. EST can be seen on CSTV and heard on WNST AM 1570.