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Men's Lacrosse Season Commences Saturday At Virginia

Foster Huggins and the Greyhounds play Virginia on February 10.
Foster Huggins and the Greyhounds play Virginia on February 10.

Feb. 5, 2018

Game Information
Opponent Virginia Cavaliers
Date Saturday, February 10, 2018
Time 1:00 p.m.
Location Charlottesville, Va. | Klöckner Stadium
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Online Media Live Stats | ACC Network Extra/ESPN3/WatchESPN
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Game Notes Loyola Get Acrobat Reader

Quick Hits About The 'Hounds

  • Loyola University Maryland begins its 79th season of men's lacrosse on Saturday, February 10, 2018, when it plays the University of Virginia.
  • Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the Cavaliers' Klöckner Stadium.
  • Dating back to March 23, 2016, Loyola is averaging 12.3 goals over its last 26 games. The Greyhounds have scored less than 10 only four times in that span.
  • Loyola was the lone NCAA Division I team to rank in the nation's top-11 of both scoring offense and scoring defense in 2017. The Greyhounds allowed 8.38 goals per game to finish 10th, while scoring 12.38 for an 11th-place mark.
  • The Greyhounds won the 2017 Patriot League Championship, marking the third time in four years they have won the crown since joining the conference prior to the 2014 season.
  • With the League title, Loyola reached the NCAA Championships for the 24th time in school history and sixth time since 2010.
  • Pat Spencer has recorded two or more points in all but two of the 34 games to start his collegiate career, and he has 19 multi-goal and 24 multi-assist games.

Looking Back

  • Loyola finished the 2017 season with a 10-6 record after reaching the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row. The Greyhounds went 6-2 during the Patriot League regular-season, earning the No. 1 seed in the conference championships. Loyola then won a pair of games in the tournament to capture the Patriot League crown for the third time since joining the conference prior to the 2014 campaign.
  • Pat Spencer, who was named a first-team All-American by the USILA and Inside Lacrosse, led Loyola in goals (28), assists (55) and total points (83) last season, setting Patriot League and school single-season records for assists.
  • Alex McGovern returns this year after finishing second on the team in goals (24) and points (44), while Jay Drapeau is back after finishing fifth with 20 goals and 26 points.
  • Jacob Stover was an Inside Lacrosse All-American Honorable Mention player after posting a 7.74 goals-against average, good for fourth in Division I.
  • Three players who started five or more games - Foster Huggins, Ryder Harkins and Paul Volante - last year are back on close defense.

In The Polls

  • Loyola is ranked 13th in the USILA Coaches Poll and 10th in the Maverick/Inside Lacrosse media version.
  • Virginia opens the season 15th in the media version.

Series History

  • The Greyhounds and Cavaliers will meet for the 22nd time when the teams take the field on Saturday. Virginia holds a 14-7 lead in the all-time series after opening last year with a narrow 16-15 victory on February 11, 2017, at Loyola's Ridley Athletic Complex.
  • Saturday's game is the fifth in as many years. The teams renewed their series in 2014 after having not played since the 1991 campaign. The Cavaliers won both the 2014 (14-13) and 2015 (13-12) games by one goal before Loyola took the 2016 decision, 11-4.
  • In last year's game, Loyola went on a 4-1 run in the fourth quarter to twice tie the game, but Virginia held off the Greyhounds for a 16-15 non-conference victory in front of 4,618 fans at Ridley Athletic Complex.
  • A behind-the-back goal on the doorstep by Zack Sirico knotted the game at 14-14 with 5:01 left in regulation, but just under two minutes later, Ryan Lukacovic rolled the crease and scored from the left pipe for Virginia (1-0 overall) at 3:05. Loyola responded six seconds later as Graham Savio won the face-off to himself, scooped up the ground ball and raced into the box, scoring with a high sidearm shot to bring the Greyhounds even at 15-15. Savio scored a career-high two goals while going 19-of-35 at the `X' with a career-high-tying 12 ground balls. The tie was short-lived, however, as Ryan Conrad scored what would be the game-winner off a Zed Williams feed with 2:17 left on the clock.
  • Conrad scored the first of three second-half goals at 7:50 in the third quarter to give the Cavaliers a 10-5 lead, but Peter Swindell tallied his first collegiate goal for the Greyhounds 45 ticks of the clock later, sparking a 5-0 Loyola run.
  • After Jared Mintzlaff scored in transition off a one-man clear with 12:57 left in regulation, Dox Aitken and Conrad scored to put Virginia back on top by two. Jay Drapeau scored off a Pat Spencer assist at 10:03, but Michael Kraus and Aitken each scored for Virginia, making it 14-11 Cavaliers with 8:13 left.
  • Brian Begley, Alex McGovern and Sirico scored for the Greyhounds to knot the game at 14-14, tying the game for the fifth and penultimate time with 5:01 left.
  • Aitken (four) and Conrad (three) combined for seven goals for Virginia, while McGovern, Sirico, Duffy Begley and Savio each scored twice for Loyola.

ACC Network Extra

  • Saturday's game will stream live on ACC Network Extra. The broadcast can be accessed on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

Preseason Prognostications

  • Loyola was picked to finish first in the Patriot League by a vote of conference coaches, leading the nine-team poll with 14 of a possible 16 first-place votes. The U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, Bucknell University and Boston University rounded out the Patriot League's top-five. Lehigh University, Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross and Lafayette College filled out the remainder of the poll.
  • Pat Spencer was selected as the Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year  and was named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team.
  • Spencer also garnered Preseason All-America First Team recognition from Inside Lacrosse's Face-Off Yearbook, and he is a member of the USILA Division I Player of the Year Watch List.

Captain Quartet

  • Three seniors - Brian Begley, Zac Davliakos and Jared Mintzlaff - and a junior - John Duffy - were named captains for the 2018 men's lacrosse team by their peers and the Greyhounds' coaching staff. The senior trio is a member of the Greyhounds defensive midfield, while Duffy is an offensive midfielder.

Defense Making A Stand

  • Over the last 10 games of 2017 - beginning with a March 18 win over the U.S. Naval Academy - Loyola's defense has allowed just 6.8 goals per game, limiting opponents to 28.3 shots in the process. The Greyhounds had advantages of 323-258 in ground balls (32.3-25.8 per game) and 106-152 in turnovers (10.6-15.2) as they went 7-3 during the stretch.
  • Of its opponents 152 turnovers in the last 10 games of 2017, Loyola caused 103 turnovers. Jacob Stover saw more than 516 minutes between the pipes in those games, playing  to a 6.04 goals against average while posting a .594 saves percentage.

Spreading The Wealth

  • Loyola averaged 8.38 assists last season, a mark that ranked fourth in NCAA Division I. Of Loyola's 198 goals this year, 67.7 percent (134 total) were assisted.
  • The Greyhounds assisted on 71.4 percent of goals (100-of-140) in wins, 60.7 percent (34-of-56) in losses.

Focal Point

  • Pat Spencer was in the starting lineup on attack for his first collegiate game at Virginia in 2016, and he made an immediate difference on the Greyhounds' offensive side of the ball. The sophomore from Davidsonville, Maryland, scored two goals and assisted on a pair, earning Corvias Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors after the fact.
  • Honors were a large part of his freshman campaign for the Greyhounds, one in which he was named to the USILA All-America Second Team. He also became the first player in Patriot League history to outright win the conference's Offensive Player and Rookie of the Year honors.
  • In 18 games during 2016, Spencer led Loyola in points (89), assists (52) and goals (37, tied), and against North Carolina in the NCAA Semifinals, Spencer tied Gary Hanley's 1982 record for points in a season with 89. Hanley and Spencer are the only two players in Loyola history to score 80 or more in one year; Hanley did so three times in 1979 (83), 1980 (86) and 1981 (89). Two weeks earlier versus Duke, Spencer eclipsed the school Division I mark of 71 shared by Eric Lusby (2012) and Justin Ward (2014).
  • Spencer finished second in single-season assists with 52, just one behind the 2014 record of 53 set by Ward. Spencer was second nationally with 2.89 assists per game and 4.94 points per game.
  • He followed his stellar freshman campaign with an equally big sophomore season, scoring 28 goals with 55 assists for 83 points. His 55 assists set a Patriot League and Loyola single-season record, and his 83 points were fifth in school single-season history, third in the conference. His 3.44 assists per game ranked second in NCAA Division I, and he was sixth with 5.19 points per contest in 2017.
  • A 2017 Tewaaraton Award finalist, Spencer has recorded two or more points in all but two of his 33 collegiate games. He has 19 multi-goal games and 24 multi-assist outings.
  • He is the NCAA Division I active career leader in assists (3.15) and is third in points per game (5.06).

Chart Climbing

  • Despite his relatively short career on the field for Loyola, Pat Spencer is already making a dent on the school's and Patriot League's career records charts.
  • Against Lafayette on February 25, 2017 (the 21st game of his career), he crossed the 100-point mark for his career and now has 65 goals, 107 assists and 172 points. Versus Bucknell (his 27th game), he moved into sole possession of third at the school in career assists (Hanley, 160; Ward, 120). After the 2017 season, he is eighth with 171 points. His 107 career assists are eighth in Patriot League history.
  • Against Army West Point in the 2017 Patriot League Championship Game, he broke Ward's single-season Loyola and Patriot League record for assists, finishing the season with 55.

Stover's First Five, Last Ten

  • Jacob Stover finished his sophomore season of 2017 fourth in NCAA Division I and tops in the Patriot League in goals-against average (7.74) while ranking 13th and second in saves percentage (.547).
  • His numbers have been outstanding in the Greyhounds' last 11 games of the season. After five contests to open the year, he had a 10.41 goals-against average while saving 50 percent of shots on goal. Those numbers have moved to 6.48 and 57.7 over the last 11.

Tying It All Together

  • Loyola's rope unit of defensive midfielders boasts a group of players with a plethora of experience. Three of the Greyhounds' four team captains come out of the group, and the trio of long-stick midfielder Zac Davliakos (49) and short-stick defensive midfielders Jared Mintzlaff (49) and Brian Begley (48) have played in a combined 146 games during their career. Meanwhile, three sophomores - long-stick midfielders Alex Johnson and Ryan McNulty and short-stick defensive midfielder Matt Higgins - saw considerable game action in 2017 as freshmen.
  • Begley earned All-Patriot League Second Team honors last year after picking up 32 ground balls and causing nine turnovers on defense, while scoring seven goals with an assist on offensive. In his career, he has nine goals, three assists and 83 ground balls.
  • Mintzlaff posted six goals and three assists last year to go with 15 caused turnovers and 17 ground balls, raising his career totals to nine goals, four assists, 47 ground balls and 35 caused turnovers.
  • Davliakos tied with Mintzlaff for third on the team with 15 caused turnovers while picking up 38 ground balls in 2017; he also scored twice and had three assists. Over his three previous seasons, Davliakos has scored seven goals, assisted on five, picked up 57 ground balls while causing 22 turnovers.

Experience Up Close

  • Loyola's returners on close defense all started at least five games last season, led by two-year starter Foster Huggins who has opened the last 34 games for the Greyhounds on defense. Over the last two seasons, Huggins - an All-Patriot League First Team honoree in 2016 - has posted 60 ground balls and 40 caused turnovers.
  • Ryder Harkins moved into a starting role last year, as did Paul Volante. Harkins opened 13 of 16 games, including the final 11 and had 11 caused turnovers, while Volante started five games and finished the year with seven ground balls and five caused turnovers.

Capturing Conference & National Honors

  • Pat Spencer became the first player in Patriot League history to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors as a freshman and sophomore when the conference's postseason honors were announced at the end of 2017. He was joined on the All-Patriot League First Team by Brian Sherlock who also made history.
  • Sherlock was just the fourth player in Patriot League history, and the first midfielder, to earn All-Patriot League First Team honors four-straight years.
  • Four Greyhounds were named to the All-Patriot League Second Team: short-stick defensive midfielder Brian Begley, defender Jack Carrigan, midfielder Romar Dennis and attacker Alex McGovern. Sherlock then became the second Loyola player in four years (Joe Fletcher, 2014) to be named the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the sport.
  • Spencer garnered USILA and Inside Lacrosse All-America First Team honors, while Sherlock picked up third-team recognition from the coaches' group. Sherlock, Jack Carrigan and Jacob Stover all earned Inside Lacrosse All-America Honorable Mention, too.

Century Mark

  • Charley Toomey won the 100th game of his head coaching career Feb. 27, 2016, against Lafayette College, becoming just the second coach in Loyola men's lacrosse history to do so. Toomey is in his 13th year at Loyola and is 121-60 since 2006 at the helm of the Greyhounds program.

Get To Ten

  • Since Charley Toomey became head coach at Loyola in 2006, the Greyhounds have scored 10 or more goals on 104 occasions; Loyola has won 79.8 percent of those games (83-21).

Up Next

  • Loyola opens its home schedule with a Saturday, February 17 contest against Charles Street rival Johns Hopkins University. The Greyhounds and Blue Jays will faceoff at 1 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex.
  • The game against Johns Hopkins is the first of three-straight at home for Loyola. It opens their Patriot League slate on Saturday, February 24 against Lafayette College before taking on another local foe, Towson University on Wednesday, February 28.






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