No. 15 Men's Lacrosse Hosts Fairfield Saturday In ECAC Showdown

April 17, 2009

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Game Overview: Loyola hits the home stretch of its schedule on Saturday with a critical ECAC matchup against Fairfield, the first of three straight games in Baltimore to end the season for the Greyhounds, with the next two coming on the Evergreen campus and the finale coming against Johns Hopkins. Face-off for Loyola-Fairfield is slated for 3 p.m. Saturday at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.

1981 Team Honored: Before the game, the College will recognize the 1981 Loyola team, which boasted four First-Team All Americans--Steve McCloskey, Gary Hanley, David Maynes and Joe Carrier--and is just one of two teams in the school's history to advance to the NCAA Championship game. They fell to Adelphi, 17-14, in the Division-II final, helping pave the way for the program's ascent to Division-I the following season.

The Rankings: Loyola (7-4 overall, 4-1 ECAC) occupies the15th spot in both the USILA Coaches poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media rankings. They are tied at 15 with Massachusetts, which sits atop the current ECAC standings at 4-0, in the coaches poll. The Stags enter the game unranked.

Last Time Out: Attackman Cooper MacDonnell matched his career-high with five goals and an assist for a career-best six points and Jake Hagelin made two critical saves in the waning seconds as the Greyhounds defeated homestanding Georgetown, 8-7, in rainy conditions in the nation's capitol. After Georgetown's Andrew Brancaccio scored to propel the Hoyas to a 3-1 lead 4:27 into the third, Loyola scored six of the game's next seven to a take a 7-4 advantage with 12 minutes remaining. Georgetown would twice cut the lead to one, but the Greyhounds persevered for the win.

The Series: Loyola has won two of the last three matchups against the Stags since the 2006 season, including a sizeable 19-2 win the last time these teams played here in Baltimore back in 2007. After Loyola defeated the Stags 19-9 in 2000, the teams waited five seasons before renewing the matchup.Last Meeting vs. Fairfield: Collin Finnnerty scored twice in the opening two minutes as the Greyhounds secured their first-ever ECAC conference title with a 13-4 victory at Fairfield, cementing consecutive berths in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2000-2001 seasons. The Greyhounds dominated from the start, jumping to 6-0 and 8-0 leads after the first and second periods . Shane Koppens (2-1), Jimmy Daly (2-1) Cooper MacDonnell (1-2) and Joe Landry (2-1) all registered three-point games.

Scouting The Stags: At just a game back of Loyola in the league standings, this is obviously a critical match for Fairfield (6-4 overall, 3-1 overall) if it wants to jump back into the thick of things atop the league. On Saturday night, the Stags dropped their second straight game, this one a non-conference contest, 18-11 at Yale. Brent Adams and Chris Trombino led the offense with three points each. Adams had two assists and continues to lead the team in points, 23, and assists, 10. Steve Golmont took all 33 face-offs for the Stags in the game, winning a career-high 16. He also had eight ground balls in the game

The Coaches: Loyola's Charley Toomey '90 enters his fourth season as head coach of his alma mater's lacrosse program, boasting a 27-23 (.540) career record. After losing against Fairfield in his first season in 2006, he has won two straight against the Stags. He is 20-6 against ECAC opponents, including a 13-1 mark at home. Andy Copelan is in his first season with Fairfield.

Koppens Named A Tewaaraton Finalist: Senior Shane Koppens was named a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award on Wednesday, which recognizes the top player in all of collegiate lacrosse. Koppens, a native of Clifton Park, N.Y., has scored 29 points on 17 goals and a team-high 12 assists. He is currently ninth on Loyola's all-time career-points list with 139 and is fifth on the all-time assists list with 73. He was just one of 21 players to make the final list for the prestigious honor.

MacDonnell Named ECAC Player of the Week: After his career-high six points helped Loyola defeat Georgetown on Saturday, attackman Cooper MacDonnell was named the ECAC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. The junior has scored at least two goals in nine of his team's last 10 games while averaging 3.5 goals-a-game over his last four.

MacDonnell Is League's Top Goal Scorer: MacDonnell claimed the overall league lead in goals with his performance noted above. He has scored a ECAC-best 27 goals on the season.

Schiavone Keeps Hot Hand, Cracks Top Ten: Face-off specialist John Schiavone continues to impress at the X. Against Georgetown, he went 13-of-19 just a week after going 16-of-19 in the win over Rutgers. He has pushed his winning percentage to a season-best .594, good for 10th in the country. Loyola is second in the ECAC in team winning percentage at .563.

Hounds Faring Well In League Stats: Loyola ranks second in the ECAC in the following categories: goals-a-game (9.82), points-a-game (14.55), caused turnovers a game (9.18) and face-off percentage (.563). They lead the league in shot percentage (.280).

Hounding Defense: Loyola has allowed single-digit goals in four of its last five contests, and is allowing 8.82 goals-a-game for the season.

In The Tournament, According to IL: On Monday, Inside Lacrosse released a mock bracket of the NCAA Tournament field, and it included the Greyhounds garnering the final at-large bid. They were seeded No. 15 and would face second-seeded Princeton, the Ivy League's automatic qualifier.

Greyhounds Fifth In Groundballs: Loyola owns the No. 5 spot in the country in groundballs-a-game, averaging 37.45. North Carolina owns the spot with 47.46.

Ricci Climbing Season List: Loyola long-stick middie P.T. Ricci has collected a team-high 80 groundballs on the season, good for third in the country. That number puts him currently in seventh position on the Loyola single-season groundball record behind and one spot behind, of all people, himself, in sixth place. He collected 84 last season.

Ricci Turns In Gem In Win Over Georgetown: Ricci, a preseason First Team All-American, was all over the field in the win over Georgetown. He scooped nine groundballs and caused a season-high six turnovers. The Greyhounds forced 19 cough-ups in the win.

Terrific Trio: Loyola's offense is spearheaded by a three-headed monster up front at the attack position. Cooper MacDonnell leads the way with 32 points on 27 goals and 11 assists, while Shane Koppens (29 points-17 goals, team-high 12 assists) and Collin Finnerty (27 points, 16 goals, 11 assists) follow.

Hagelin Superb In Win: Sophomore goalkeeper Jake Hagelin turned in one of his finest performances in the win against Georgetown, making 10 saves in his first start since the Massachusetts game. None, however, were any bigger than the two he made over the final 12 seconds that preserved the win. He now has an 8.16 goals-against-average and a .527 save percentage.

Midfield Making Mark: Loyola boasts three midfielders who have all scored eight goals: Jimmy Daly (8-1), Mike Sawyer (8-0) and Jake Willcox (8-0). Willcox scored the team's first two goals against the Hoyas on Saturday, and has scored a goal in five of his last six games.

Third's A Charm: Loyola has outscored opponents 35-20 in the third period. They are winning all three quarters except the fourth.

More On Koppens: Shane Koppens' 3.22 points-a-game leads the ECAC. He is third in assists-a-game (1.33) and seventh in goals-a-game (1.89).

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.

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.