March 20, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nikko Pontrello, Loyola University Maryalnd's junior attacker leads NCAA Division I men's lacrosse players in total goals this season, was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List on Thursday, joining teammates Joe Fletcher and Justin Ward.
Pontrello has scored two or more goals in all eight contests Loyola (7-1 overall) has played this season, and he has three-plus in six of the games. As of March 20, Pontrello is fourth in the nation in goals per game (3.625) and tops in total goals (29).
The Marlton, N.J., native entered the season with 20 career goals after scoring four as a freshman in 2012 and 16 last season when he also totaled 19 assists to finish third on the team with 35 points.
This season, he opened the year with two goals and an assist at Virginia, and since then he has scored four goals twice (Towson, at Lehigh), five (Duke) and six (at Holy Cross) once each.
In last night's 10-9 win at Georgetown, Pontrello scored all three of his goals in the second half, the last coming on a dodge from behind the cage and roll to the crease with 51.4 seconds left to record the game-winning tally.
Pontrello has scored on 50 percent of his 58 shots this season, tying him for 12th in the nation in shot percentage. He also is third on the team in ground balls with 23.
He joins fellow attacker Ward and Fletcher, a defender, on the watch list of those who will vie for the honor of top lacrosse player in the nation. Ward leads the country in total assists (26) and is third in assists per game (3.25), while Fletcher is one of the nation's top defenders, pacing the Greyhounds in ground balls (32) and tied for the team-lead with 12 caused turnovers.
The trio will lead Loyola back into Patriot League action on Saturday, March 22, at 1 p.m. when the Greyhounds host Lafayette College at Ridley Athletic Complex. The game, while will air live on the Patriot League Network (www.patriotleague.tv), is part of a doubleheader with the Loyola women hosting Lehigh University at 4 p.m.