April 21, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Loyola University Maryland defender Joe Fletcher was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for a record fifth time this season after helping the top-ranked Greyhounds beat Bucknell University, 13-5, last Thursday night.
Prior to this season, no defensive player had earned the Defensive Player of the Week award more than three times in a season, and no player had earned any award (Offensive, Defensive, Goalkeeper or Rookie of the Week) on more than four occasions.
Fletcher joins fellow Loyola senior Jack Runkel as players who have now won five in a season. Runkel won four-straight Goalkeeper of the Week honors and a fifth one later in the year.
Against the Bison, Fletcher picked up seven ground balls and had a caused turnover. He was the primary defender on Bucknell's David Dickson, an attacker who entered the game having scored at least one point in 41-straight games.
For the third time in four weeks, Fletcher was largely responsible for stopping a considerable point-scored streak. In addition to Dickson, Fletcher shut down Colgate University's Ryan Walsh on March 29 after Walsh had scored in 42 consecutive, and he then held the U.S. Naval Academy's T.J. Hanzsche without a point on April 5. Hanzsche had a point in 15 in a row.
Fletcher leads all close defensemen nationally in ground balls (61) and ground balls per game (4.69) this season.
Runkel and attacker Brian Schultz were named to the Patriot League weekly honor roll on Monday. Runkel had 14 saves against the Bison, and Schultz racked up a career-high six goals and seven points versus the Bison who entered the game allowing an average of just 8.2 goals per game.
Loyola opens play in the Patriot League Championships on Friday, April 25, at 4:30 p.m. when it hosts either Colgate, Bucknell or Navy at Ridley Athletic Complex. Tickets for the Championships are available for purchase at www.loyolagreyhounds.com/tickets.