April 30, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola men's lacrosse team closes its regular season this Saturday when it plays host to Johns Hopkins University at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. The Greyhounds and Blue Jays, who enter their Charles Street tilt with identical season records, will be playing for playoff positioning in a game broadcast live on Baltimore's ABC-2 and ESPNU. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. Live Audio
Both teams are 7-5 this season and ranked in the national polls. The Greyhounds, who earned the ECAC automatic qualifier in the NCAA Tournament this season, know they are in the field of 16, while Johns Hopkins can assume an at-large bid as defending national champions and its current No. 5 ranking in the polls.
Over the years, the Blue Jays have won a majority of the 45 all-time meetings between the two programs, but the games have been extremely close of late. In their last meeting at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field, a thrilling overtime game with six lead changes was eventually won by the Blue Jays. Last year at Homewood Field, the Greyhounds held a third-quarter lead, but could not maintain it down the stretch as the Blue Jays pulled away late for a three-goal victory.
This year, the Greyhounds come in having won four of their last six, winning both home games in the month of April. In fact, Loyola's last home game, an April 12 battle with ECAC rival Georgetown, resulted in an 11-9 win over the fourth-ranked Hoyas.
Senior Shane Koppens, who scored five goals in that victory, is the team's leading scorer this season with 17 goals and 22 assists. He needs only two more assists to take over eight place on Loyola's all-time career assist list.
Apart from Koppens and sophomore Cooper MacDonnell, who leads the team with 20 goals this year, the Greyhounds have been most impressive on the defensive end of the field. Freshman Jake Hagelin has had a tremendous season in the cage, while the close defense has limited opponent's opportunities giving Loyola a Top-20 national ranking in goals allowed per game.
Johns Hopkins, meanwhile, enters Saturday's contest on a four-game win streak. The Blue Jays defeated Mount St. Mary's on Monday night at Homewood Field and after 12 games this season are averaging 10.73 goals per game. The Loyola defense has allowed more than 10 goals in only two games this season - against the current No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country - Duke and Syracuse.
Saturday's game will also be the final regular season home game for 11 members of Loyola's senior class. Those seniors, which include Brian Cullinane, Matt Curran, Shane Koppens, Joe Landry, Evan McAbee, Tim McDermott, David Moore, Ryan Nelson, Todd Osterman, Paul Richards and team manager Elle McNamara, will be recognized before the start of play.
General Admission tickets are available for $10 and will be sold pregame at the Loyola Box Office. For more ticket information or to order tickets by phone, please call (410) 617-5013.