April 14, 2005
Baltimore, Md. - When Loyola joined the ECAC, conference rivals were expected to form. This Saturday, the Greyhounds have an opportunity to forge a league rivalry with No. 4 Georgetown as the two teams battle for first place in the ECAC. Face-off from North Kehoe Field is slated for 1 p.m. Live Audio
In its first season of play in the ECAC, Loyola has raced out to a 3-1 conference mark while Georgetown remains the only unbeaten team in the conference with a 2-0 league record. The Hoyas, who have won five of the last six ECAC titles, were picked to win the conference again this season while the first-year `Hounds were picked fourth in the coaches' poll.
Both teams have hit their stride this season with Loyola winning four of its last five games and Georgetown winning seven of its last eight. The Greyhounds, who are coming off a home loss to defending national champion Syracuse, are 4-4 overall while the Hoyas are ranked fourth in this week's Inside Lacrosse Media Poll with a 7-2 overall record.
Despite its loss to Syracuse, the Greyhounds look poised to make a playoff push with a solid mix of youth and veteran leadership. Seniors Grant Halford, Dan Gross and Geoff Hunter lead a defense allowing an average of 6.41 goals per game in its last five contests while freshman Shane Koppens has settled into the offense with eight goals and four assists over the same five-game stretch.
Senior Matt Monfett still leads the team with 13 goals this season, but Koppens, with his 10 goals and five assists, is tied for the team lead in points. Monfett and Koppens have also received a lift at attack from sophomore Dan Bauers, who moved from first midfield to starting attack against Rutgers on April 2. Bauers entered the game with three career goals and has scored two goals in each of Loyola's two games since.
The Hoyas counter with ECAC preseason Defensive Player of the Year Brodie Merrill. A first-team All-America last season, Merrill anchors the Georgetown defense while Sean Denihan leads the offense with 11 goals and 12 assists this season.
Georgetown has already defeated St. John's and Hobart and beginning this Saturday, all four of its remaining games are against ECAC foes. Loyola plays its sixth and final conference game of the season versus Hobart on April 30.
Saturday's game will be the 28th all-time meeting between Loyola and Georgetown. The Greyhounds have dominated the series, winning 23-of-27, including 13-of-14 at Georgetown. The game will be broadcast live on WNST AM 1570 and online at www.LoyolaGreyhounds.com. For a live Webcast of the game, click onto Georgetown Webcast.