April 20, 2009
BALTIMORE - A pair of Loyola men's lacrosse senior standouts, Shane Koppens and P.T. Ricci, were recognized as the Eastern College Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week for April 20 after both had key contributions in Loyola's home win over Fairfield on Saturday. With the victory, which pushed Loyola into first-place in the league standings, the Greyhounds were bumped up to No. 12 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media rankings and to 14th in the USILA coaches poll.
Koppens shared his offensive award with Georgetown's Scott Kocis, while Penn State's Jack Davis also earned defensive player of the week accolades with Ricci. Fairfield goalkeeper Charlie Cipriano was named rookie of the week.
Koppens (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) scored three goals and added a pair of assists in Loyola's 12-7 win over Fairfield. After the Stags closed within 8-5 in the third period, the attackman responded with a pair of consecutive tallies, including a shot behind his helmet in the fourth quarter as he was facing away from the goal, to extend the lead to five.
With the performance, the Tewaaraton finalist moved into a tie with Brian Duffy for eighth on the all-time Loyola points list (144). He currently stands fifth on the all-time career assist list with 75, and is tied with fellow attackman Cooper MacDonnell for the team lead in points with 34 (20 goals, 14 assists).
Ricci, whose seven groundballs-a-game stand for third in the country, scooped six while causing a team-high four turnovers in the win. Thanks to Ricci (Wayne, Pa./Conestoga), the Greyhounds stayed right at their groundball average, winning 38-33. The long-stick midfielder also helped limit Fairfield star midfielder, Brent Adams, to just a late goal.
An Inside Lacrosse Midseason All-American, Ricci has picked up 86 groundballs this season, which is currently tied with former Greyhound Wayne McPartland (1986) for fifth on the single-season list. Peter Haas, who scooped 106 in 1998, currently holds the record. He has also scored two goals and three assists this season.
It is the second such award for Koppens this season and the first for Ricci. Loyola has now had a league player of the week four of the five past weeks. Freshman J.P. Dalton, who scored his first career-goal in the win, was named to the honor roll.
Loyola (8-4 overall, 5-1 conference) currently holds a half-game advantage over Massachusetts in the league standings, with the Minutemen holding the head-to-head advantage. The Greyhounds close out the conference portion of their schedule on Saturday when they host Hobart at 1 p.m. in their home finale.