April 23, 2009
Game Overview: Loyola, winners of three in a row, wraps up league play on Saturday with a 1 p.m. matchup against Hobart in the team's home finale. The Greyhounds will recognize 12 seniors in a pregame ceremony. The team wraps up the regular season on May 2 against Johns Hopkins in a 1 p.m. tilt televised on WMAR-TV/ESPNU.
The Rankings: Loyola (8-4 overall, 5-1 ECAC) moved up to 12th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings this week, the team's highest position in the poll all season, while holding the 14th spot in the USILA Coaches poll. The Statesmen (7-5, 2-4 ECAC) enter the game unranked.
Last Time Out: After Fairfield scored the game's first goal, No.15 Loyola responded with five unanswered and kept its foot on the pedal the rest of the way, cruising to a 12-7 victory over the Stags on Saturday behind hat-tricks from attackmen Collin Finnerty and Shane Koppens. The Stags twice cut the lead to two in the third period, but the Greyhounds opened up the fourth with three straight goals to take control of the game. Koppens led Loyola with five points, while Finnerty had four. Eight different Greyhounds scored goals and 10 registered points.
The Series: Loyola has taken two of the last three from the Statesmen since joining the ECAC, including an 11-6 win in 2006 and a 17-10 home victory the year after. The Statesmen topped the Hounds, 10-6, last season.
Last Meeting vs. Hobart: Hobart used a flurry of shots--41 in all--to jump out to a three-goal halftime lead and went on to spoil Loyola's season finale by handing the Greyhounds a 10-6 setback in Geneva, N.Y., on April 26, 2008. Jake Hagelin made 16 saves in the game as the Statesmen outscored the Greyhounds 4-1 in a critical second period. Collin Finnerty led Loyola with two goals, while Paul Richards added a pair of assists. John Schiavone scored his lone career goal in the game.
Scouting The Statesmen: After starting the season at a blistering 5-0, the Statesmen dropped their next five games to fall to. 500 as of April 11. They have responded with two straight victories though, most recently a 17-6 win against Canisius on Tuesday evening in their home finale. The Statesmen jumped out to a 7-0 lead while freshman Bobby Dattillo went 17-of-26 at the face-off and collected a game-high eight groundballs. Jeff Colburn leads Hobart with 34 points (16 goals, 18 assists) while Kevin Curtin has 30 (18 goals, 12 assists).
The Coaches: Loyola's Charley Toomey '90 enters his fourth season as head coach of his alma mater's lacrosse program, boasting a 28-23 (.549) career record. He is 2-1 against Hobart and 21-6 in his career against ECAC opponents, including a 14-1 mark at home. Following the 2008 season, T.W. Johnson was promoted to head coach of the Hobart program. He served the previous four seasons at Hobart's top assistant coach.
Greyhounds Recognize Seniors: Loyola will honor 11 members of its 2009 senior class on Saturday in a pre-game ceremony: P.T. Ricci, Tyler Gale, Jimmy Daly, Dan Farruggio,Ryan Cunningham, Eric Kohl, Jake Willcox, Eddie Graham, Brian Gormley, Michael Atkinson and Sean Hecker. Fifth-year senior Shane Koppens and graduate student Brian Cullinane will also be playing their final games at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.
2009 Class At Loyola: The group has accumulated a 28-23 mark in their time at Evergreen (2006:6-6, 2007:7-6, 2008:7-7, 2009:8-4), including a 21-6 tally against ECAC opponents. They also led the Loyola program to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances the last two seasons for the first-time since the 2000-01 seasons.
Greyhounds Need Help For ECAC Crown: Loyola is currently tied with Massachusetts for first-place in the league at 5-1. The Minutemen, however, hold the head-to-head advantage with their 8-6 win back on March 21 and would earn the automatic bid if the teams finished tied with the same record. UMass hosts Syracuse today and finish their season with a trip to Rutgers on May 2.
Hounds Rank 10th In RPI: In the first RPI release of the season on Sunday, Loyola was ranked 10th, boasting an 8-4 overall record, with a 4-1 mark on the road and a 4-2 record at home. They fell 10-9 in Atlanta against still-undefeated Notre Dame in the season opener. The Hounds are the top team ranked in the ECAC, with UMass a spot behind at No. 11. Johns Hopkins, which hosts Loyola in their season finale, tops the list.
Loyola In Latest IL Bracketology: In the publication's latest bracketology, Inside Lacrosse has Loyola receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they would play fourth-ranked Duke, which ended Loyola's tournament run last season in the first round. UMass was projected with the ECAC automatic berth.
Koppens, Ricci Recognized By ECAC: A pair of Loyola star seniors, P.T. Ricci and Shane Koppens, were named the league co-Defensive and co-Offensive Players of the Week on Monday, respectively. Koppens scored three goals and two assists in the 12-7 win over Fairfield on Saturday, while Ricci scooped six groundballs and caused a game-high four turnovers.
More On Koppens: With his performance against the Stags, 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). He currently leads the ECAC with an average of 3.40 points-a-game.
And Ricci: The long-stick midfielder, recently named a midseason First Team All-American by Inside Lacrosse, ranks third nationally with seven groundballs-a-game. 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. His 46 caused turnovers are twice as many as the next Loyola player, Steve Layne, who has 22.
Loyola In Home Finales: Since 2000 Loyola is 3-6 in home finales, with five of the losses coming against Johns Hopkins. The Greyhounds will be looking to make it three straight wins in home finales against Hobart, as they topped the Statesmen back in 2005 (15-11) and 2007 (17-10).
Three's Company: The Loyola offense is led by its talented trio of attackmen up front: Cooper MacDonnell (28 goals), Shane Koppens (20 goals) and Collin Finnerty ( 19 goals). Together, the trio has scored 67-of-120 goals, which accounts for 55 percent of the team's offense.
Hounds Top The ECAC: Loyola leads the ECAC in a slew of categories, including: assists-per-game (4.92), groundballs-a-game (37.50), points-per-game (14.92) and shot percentage (.280). They average 10 goals-a-game which ranks second, as does their caused turnovers (9.33-a-game) and face-off percentage (152-116-.567). Loyola stands third nationally in groundball margin, too.
MacDonnell Near Top Of Goal List: Loyola attackman Cooper MacDonnell is the ECAC's second-leading goal scorer, scoring 28 goals on the season, just two behind Massachusetts' Jim Connolly. He has scored several of them when it has mattered most, as his three game-winning goals are tied for conference-high honors.
The Face Of The Hounds: Perhaps no other player has had a more positive impact on Loyola this season than face-off specialist John Schiavone, who has won 143-of-240 face-offs this season, good for a .596 winning percentage, which stands second in the conference and seventh nationally.
Midfield Making Presence Known: Loyola got goals from three of its midfielders last against Farifield, as Jake Willcox, Mike Sawyer and J.P. Dalton all scored one goal apiece, and Jimmy Daly and Taylor Ebsary added assists. It was Dalton's first career-goal. Sawyer and Willcox both lead the midfielders with nine goals apiece while Daly is just one behind while also tallying two assists.
Lusby Comes On Strong: Sophomore Eric Lusby has turned heads with his play lately, scoring a goal and an assist in the win over Fairfield. He has scored a goal in four of Loyola's last five games.
Hagelin Returns To Form: Since being reinserted into the starting lineup two games ago, goalkeeper Jake Hagelin has flashed the skill which earned him 2008 ECAC Rookie of the Year. In the win over Fairfield, he made nine saves. He was even better against Georgetown, making 10 in the victory, including pair in the waning seconds. For the season, he has played in 12 games, making 88 saves (.537) with a 7.87 goals-against-average.
Koppens Named A Tewaaraton Finalist: Senior Shane Koppens was named a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award on April 16, which recognizes the top player in all of collegiate lacrosse. Koppens, a native of Clifton Park, N.Y., is the reigning ECAC Offensive Player of the Year and was a USILA Honorable Mention All-American in in 2008. He was just one of 21 players to make the final list.