March 22, 2007
Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola men's lacrosse team will play its second straight ECAC home game this Saturday when its hosts the Massachusetts Minutemen at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. The Greyhounds bring a three-game win streak and a 2-0 conference record into the weekend. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. Live Audio
The Greyhounds have yet to start 3-0 in two seasons of ECAC play, and standing in their way is national finalist UMass. Over the years, Loyola has dominated the series, winning 9-of-10 all-time meetings with the Minutemen. Last season, however, UMass prevailed in Amherst as the `Hounds leading scorer at the time, Patrick Kennedy, suffered a season-ending injury.
At the end of the year, Loyola, UMass and Penn State tied for second place in the ECAC. The Minutemen advanced to the NCAA Tournament and eventually to the championship game. This year, UMass has struggled a bit and brings a sub-.500 record into Saturday's game. The Minutemen, however, have not played a conference game while Loyola is playing its third league foe in four weeks.
The Greyhounds cracked the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll Top-10 this week with their No. 10 ranking. Loyola has moved up the national rankings with help on both the offensive and defensive sides of the field. Junior Shane Koppens is the team's leading scorer with 18 points, while senior Dan Bauers is the top goal scorer with 14 goals. Both Koppens and Bauers have scored in all five Loyola games this season.
The defense, which has held opponents to single digits in all five games, held St. John's to six goals last Saturday. Sophomore goalie Alex Peaty made 12 saves in the game and has 53 saves this season. Senior Dan Kallaugher, who has won 33-of-57 face-offs this season, leads the team with 40 groundballs.
Loyola is 3-2 overall while UMass is 2-4 on the year. The last time these two teams met at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field (March 26, 2005), Koppens scored three goals as the `Hounds upset the 11th-ranked Minutemen, 6-5.
Saturday's game can be heard on WNST AM 1570 and online at www.LoyolaGreyhounds.com or www.WNST.net. Loyola alum Chris Gunkel will provide the play-by-play; Gary Beach will add color commentary. Coverage begins at 12:55 p.m.