Men's Lacrosse Heads To Nation's Capitol For Matchup With Georgetown

April 7, 2009

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Game Overview: An April of four consecutive conference matches for Loyola next brings Georgetown on Saturday at 1 p.m. in a televised matchup of ranked foes broadcast on MASN. The Hoyas were chosen in the preseason by league coaches to win the ECAC while Loyola, the defending league champs, garnered the remaining votes.

The Rankings: Loyola (6-4 overall, 3-1 ECAC) maintained its 15th and 16th rankings in the USILA Coaches Poll and in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media rankings this week, respectively. They share their 15th position in the coaches poll with Colgate and Harvard. The Hoyas (5-5 overall, 1-2 ECAC) are ranked 19/18.

Last Time Out: Freshman Mike Sawyer scored three of his career-high four goals in the first half to lift Loyola to a 7-5 halftime lead, and the Greyhounds would score three unanswered to open the third period en route to a 12-9 conference victory over Rutgers on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J. Attackmen Shane Koppens and Collin Finnerty both notched two goals and an assist apiece, and face-off specialist John Schiavone went 16-of-19.

The Series: Loyola has won 24 of the all-time 31 matchups against the Hoyas in the program's histories.

Last Meeting vs. Georgetown: Loyola upset then-No. 4 Georgetown on April 12, 2008 in Baltimore in their last meeting. Shane Koppens had a career-day with five goals and two assists as Loyola led wire-to-wire. Midfielder Jake Willcox scored twice, while goalkeeper Jake Hagelin made 11 saves and P.T. Ricci scooped a game-high nine groundballs.

Scouting The Hoyas: Georgetown improved to5-5 overall with wins over Mt. St. Mary's and Fairfield last week. Senior midfielder Dan D'Agnes scored five goals and had one assist in the two games. He scored three goals and had one assist in the Hoyas 12-4 win at Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday, and followed that up with two goals in Georgetown's league win over Fairfield a week ago today. Jake Samperton and Ricky Mirabito also added two goals in the win over Fairfield, while Craig Dowd had two assists against the Stags. After starting the season slow, the Hoyas have won three of their last four.

The Coaches: Loyola's Charley Toomey '90 enters his fourth season as head coach of his alma mater's lacrosse program, boasting a 26-23 (.530) career record. He is 2-1 against Georgetown in his tenure, and 19-6 against ECAC opponents. Dave Urick (Cortland State, '70) enters his 20th season at the helm of the Hoyas program, boasting a 198-79 (.714) record there. This is his 30th season as a head coach.

Hounds Propel To Second In ECAC: With a win over Rutgers on Saturday, Loyola jumped to into a second-place tie with Fairfield at 3-1 in the conference standings. Massachusetts, which holds the head-to-head advantage over Loyola, is atop with a perfect 3-0 record against ECAC opponents.

Sawyer Recognized By ECAC: With a career-best four goal effort against Rutgers on Saturday, freshman Mike Sawyer was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week. A midfielder from Charlotte, N.C., Sawyer scored three of the goals in the first half, opening up both the first and second periods with scores. His eight goals tie midfielder Jimmy Daly for most among a Loyola midfielder, and he has started every game since the February 21 matchup against Towson. It was his second such recognition this season.

Schiavone Imposing At The X: Less than a month removed from his career-best 17-of-19 effort against St. John's, junior John Schiavone again put on a gem against Rutgers by going 16-of-19. From the effort alone, his winning percentage jumped .26 points to .585, good for 14th in the country.

Quick Start Crucial For Hounds Success: Loyola is a perfect 5-0 in games when it leads at halftime. They are also 5-1 when they allow 9 or fewer goals and when they take more shots.

Koppens Moves Up On Scoring List: With three points in the win over Rutgers, senior Shane Koppens moved up to sole possession of ninth-place on the all-time Loyola points list with 139. He now needs five to catch Brian Duffy at eighth. On the all-time assist list, he needs just four more to move into a tie with Mike Ruland for fourth with 77 career assists.

New Faces Get In On Scoring: With his four-goal outing against Rutgers, freshman Mike Sawyer doubled his season goal total from four to eight. There were some other new faces who got in on the scoring action, too. Stephen Murray and Chris Basler both scored just their second goals of the year against the Scarlet Knights.

Under The Bright Lights: Loyola is 1-1 in televised games this season, splitting home matches against Towson and No. 2 Syracuse shown on Baltimore's WMAR. Last season, the Hounds went 2-3 in TV games.

Terrific Trio: Loyola's offense is spearheaded by a three-headed monster up front at the attack position. Senior Shane Koppens leads the way with 29 points (17 G, 12 A) while Collin Finnerty has 27 points on 16 goals and 11 assists. Cooper MacDonnell leads all goalscrers with 22 and has four assists.

Koppens One Shy Of 30-Point Mark: Despite missing the first two games of the season, attackman Shane Koppens has a team-high 29 points, one away from his third 30-plus season of his career.

More On Koppens: Shane Koppens' 3.62 points-a-game leads the ECAC. He is also fourth in goals-per-game (2.12) and third in assists-a-game (1.62).

MacDonnell Second On League List: Attackman Cooper MacDonnell is second in the league behind only UMass' Jim Connolly with 2.20 goals-a-game. His 22 goals for the season are good for third.

Even Ten For Loyola: Loyola comes into today's game averaging exactly 10 goals-a-game, which is second in the league only to UMass' 10.67. Loyola has scored exactly 100 goals this year in 10 games.

Ground Control: Loyola leads the ECAC with 37.30 groundballs-a-game. Long-stick midfielder P.T. Ricci leads the way with just over seven groundballs a contest, good for third in the country.

More On Loyola's Depth: Loyola has had 15 players this season score at least one goal, while eight players have scored five or more goals.

Daly Makes Scoring Routine From Midfield: Loyola senior co-captain Jimmy Daly leads Loyola's midfielders with eight goals and an assist. Senior Jake Willcox has come on strong as well. He has scored four goals in his last five games and has six on the season.

Two-Man Committee: For the second straight game, goalkeeper Alex Peaty started against Rutgers. He played the entire first half and made one saves. Sophomore Jake Hagelin, who started the team's first eight games, spelled Peaty in the second half and made three saves.

Ricci Named A Mid-Season All-American: Loyola senior P.T. Ricci was named to the Inside Lacrosse Midseason All-American First Team this week for the `specialist' designation. He was just one of 11 players on the First Team. He was named a pre-season All-American by numerous publications. He was the only Loyola player recognized.