July 10, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - Defending ECAC Champion Loyola College will have a new corps of conference opponents beginning in 2010, the ECAC Conference announced today. League commissioner Rudy Keeling announced the addition of five new members that include 2008 NCAA Tournament teams Denver and Ohio State.
In all, Air Force, Bellarmine, Denver, Ohio State and Quinnipiac will join existing members Fairfield, Hobart andLoyola to form a strong ECAC Conference for the 2010 season. The Greyhounds, who won the league in 2008, go from a one-bid conference a year ago to one where three teams advanced to the tournament.
"The lacrosse world is going through a metamorphosis and the ECAC Lacrosse League has emerged stronger than ever," said Keeling. "The combination of the teams from the ECAC and the Great Western Lacrosse League will make us one of the power lacrosse conferences in the country."
Loyola, Denver and Ohio State each finished with a Top-25 RPI last season. The Greyhounds were one of two ECAC teams to make the NCAA Tournament in 2007, earning an at-large berth along with Georgetown's automatic bid.
In its nine-year history, ECAC Lacrosse members have earned 19 NCAA Tournament bids, and more than two thirds (68%) of those berths have been at-large selections. An ECAC team has advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals in seven of the league's nine years, and in six of the last seven seasons. In 2003, the ECAC had four teams qualify for the NCAA tournament, a quarter of the 16-team field.
Loyola, which has traditionally played one of the top non-conference schedules in the country will continue to do so with the intent to continue rivalries with Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Towson and Duke. The Greyhounds also plan to add Navy to the schedule in 2010 to maintain one of the nation's top overall schedules.
"We are excited about 2010 and the changes that await," said Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey. "In addition to the new conference teams on our schedule, we are excited about adding the U.S. Naval Academy to create another local rivalry. 2010 will also mark the unveiling of the new IAC project - our state-of-the-art athletic complex and 6,000 seat stadium."
In three seasons of ECAC play, Coach Toomey is 16-5 in the conference with a highly impressive 11-0 record against ECAC teams at home. Toomey was awarded both the 2006 and 2008 ECAC Coach of the Year.