ECAC Tabs Koppens, Sawyer As Players Of The Week

March 16, 2009

BALTIMORE - With both having instrumental parts in leading the Loyola men's lacrosse team to a pair of home victories, senior Shane Koppens (Offensive) and freshman Mike Sawyer (co-Rookie) were named ECAC Players of the Week for March 9-16, the league office announced Monday. After the victories the Greyhounds-- who currently sit atop the league standings--were rewarded today by climbing two spots in the USILA Coaches Poll to No. 12 and to 14th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse rankings.

Loyola (5-2, 2-0 ECAC) commenced its four-game homestand in adequate fashion on Tuesday with a 15-11 come-from-behind victory over Bryant. The Hounds followed it up with a 10-7 win over ECAC foe St. John's, handing the 15th ranked Red Storm their first loss of the season.

Perhaps no one in the country had a more impressive week than Koppens, a native of Clifton Park, N.Y. Against Bryant, he posted a career-day not seen from a Loyola player in nine seasons by scoring three goals and adding a career-high six assists to become the first Loyola player since Gavin Prout to score nine points in a game. Prout scored six and three in a 16-12 win over Hofstra back on March 4, 2000.

Koppens' six assists against Bryant were also the most recorded by a player in a single game this season in Division-I, and his nine-point game ranks second-best.

Carrying over that momentum, the reigning ECAC Offensive Player of the Year scored two goals and added two assists in the win over St. John's. With 10 assists on the season, he has jumped from eighth to tied for fifth with Kevin Beach on the all-time Loyola career assist list with 71.

It is the third time Koppens has won the award. He also won it last season after scoring five goals and two assists in a win over then-second ranked Georgetown, and in 2007 when he scored three and two in a victory over Penn State.

Saywer, a native of Charlotte, N.C., started both games and scored three goals, while adding an assist and collecting five groundballs.

The midfielder scored a goal and an assist against the Bulldogs, and added a pair against St. John's--the second a 15-yard low-to-high rope -- that ignited a 7-0 run that spanned both halves to overturn an early 2-0 deficit and to lift Loyola to a five-goal cushion. It was the first multi-goal game of his promising career.

Senior long-stick middie P.T. Ricci was also named to the Conference Honor Roll. In the two wins this week, Ricci absolutely filled up the stat-sheet, scoring a goal and two assists, picking up 22 groundballs and forcing 11 turnovers.

Hobart goalkeeper Max Silberlicht was named Defensive Player of the Week and Penn State attackman Jack Forster shared co-Rookie laurels with Sawyer.

For the first time in nearly a month, the Greyhounds get a full week of preparation for their next opponent: Massachusetts (3-3). Face-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.