m-lacros Towson Hosts Men's Lacrosse In 55th Meeting Between Teams - Loyola University Maryland Official Athletic Site

Towson Hosts Men's Lacrosse In 55th Meeting Between Teams

Pat Laconi
Pat Laconi

Feb. 19, 2013

Game Information
Opponent Towson Tigers
Date Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Time 7:00 p.m.
Location Towson, Md. | Johnny Unitas Stadium
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Game Data

  • Loyola University Maryland plays its second game of the season and its second of five in a 15-day stretch to open the season.
  • The Greyhounds make the short trip to Towson University on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, for a 7 p.m. faceoff against the Tigers at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Series History

  • The Loyola-Towson rivalry is the most played series in the history of men’s lacrosse at both schools. Wednesday’s game will be the 55th all-time meeting between the teams, dating back to 1959, the first year of intercollegiate lacrosse at Towson.
  • Of Loyola’s opponents, only Towson (54), Johns Hopkins (50) and Penn State (50) have played the Greyhounds 50 or more times. Georgetown is Loyola next most-played opponent after that trio. The Hoyas will meet the Greyhounds for the 36th time next month.
  • Loyola evened the all-time series record at 27-27 with a 13-6 victory on February 25, 2012. The Greyhounds have won the last five meetings between the teams dating back to 2008.
  • In last year’s game, Mike Sawyer and Sean O’Sullivan both scored four goals, and Justin Ward passed out a career-best five assists as the Greyhounds defeated Towson, 13-6. Loyola led 6-1 midway through the second quarter and extended its advantage to 11-2 in the third.

In The Polls

  • Loyola opened the 2013 season ranked No. 1 in both the USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls, but after last weekend’s narrow victory at Delaware, the Greyhounds fell to No. 2 in the coaches’ version. They remain in the top spot in the media poll.
  • It was the first time in the polls’ existences that the Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 in the preseason.

Last Time Out

  • Chris Layne took the ball after a timeout, went to midfield and dodged down the middle, scoring with 4.4 seconds left to lift Loyola to a 9-8 win at Delaware on Saturday in the Greyhounds’ season-opener.
  • A Mike Sawyer goal with 1:18 remaining in the third quarter gave the Greyhounds a 7-4 advantage, but the Blue Hens tied the game at 7-7 with three goals in the first 4:32 of the fourth quarter.
  • Sean O’Sullivan took a Sawyer pass and scored from the left side at 8:20, and the Greyhounds nearly held off a late Delaware charge. The Blue Hens, however, scored on an extra-man opportunity with 26 seconds left to tie the game at 8-8.
  • Justin Ward led all players with three goals and five points, while Layne had two goals and an assist.
  • Defensively, Jack Runkel made 10 of his 11 saves in the second half, and Reid Acton caused a game-high five turnovers. Scott Ratliff picked up six ground balls for the Greyhounds.

Last-Second Layne

  • Chris Layne was one of two players to score more than one goal on Saturday against Delaware, and he was one of four Greyhounds to score two or more points.
  • Layne tallied the first and last goals of the game for the Greyhounds, the initial coming at 12:17 in the first quarter, and the second with 4.4 seconds left in the fourth. He also assisted on a Scott Ratliff transition goal just over five minutes into the third quarter.
  • It was his fourth career multi-goal game as a collegian with two coming last year (against Air Force and versus Fairfield in the ECAC Championship Game). He also had a two-goal outing as a sophomore in 2010 at North Carolina against Delaware.

Ward With Three And Two

  • Justin Ward, who finished third on the team in points as a sophomore in 2012, paced the Greyhounds’ offense with three goals and two assists for a career-high tying five points at Delaware. He matched the five points he scored last season against Towson, all coming on assists.
  • Ward’s three goals were also a career-high. He scored 12 goals last season and assisted on a team-best 31 for 43 points.
  • With his two assists on Saturday, Ward moved into 25th place in Loyola’s Division I history with 34 career assists. He passed Gavin Prout who had 33 from 2000-2001.

Acton Active On Defense

  • Reid Acton tied his career-high on Saturday with five caused turnovers to lead all players. He also picked up five ground balls, one shy of Scott Ratliff’s team-best six. He was part of a unit that held Delaware’s starting attack to just three goals in the game.
  • Acton also caused five turnovers last season against Ohio State.

Loyola Debuts

  • Four players – Joe Baker, Jason Crane, Justin Verratti and Harry Kutner – made their Loyola debuts on Saturday at Delaware with Baker, Crane and Verratti’s debuts also marking their first collegiate experience. Kutner played four years and graduated from St. John’s prior to coming to Loyola for his final year of eligibility (he received a medical hardship waiver after an injury in 2011).
  • In addition to those four, two players, T.J. Harris and Nikko Pontrello, made their starting lineup debuts on Saturday on close defense and attack, respectively.

Between The Pipes

  • Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel made 10 of his 11 saves during the second half against Delaware, marking the eight time in his career that he has posted 10 or more saves in goal. The last time came when Runkel set a career-high in the NCAA Semifinals with 15 saves against Notre Dame, setting a career-high. He narrowly eclipsed his previous best of 14 set on April 28 against Johns Hopkins. Runkel followed his performance in the Semifinal with a six-save, three-goals allowed performance in the title game against Maryland. He was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team for his efforts.
  • Runkel played to a 5.22 goals against average and .700 saves percentage in four NCAA Tournament games.

A Lot Of Everything

  • The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola senior does a lot, as he led the team last year  in ground balls (88) and caused turnovers (37), was fifth in goals (12) and seventh in assists (7). His 37 caused turnovers were second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.
  • A Tewaaraton Award semifinalist, Ratliff was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Championships after scoring three goals, one a game-winner, and recording two assists and 16 ground balls.
  • He had two goals, including the winner just eight seconds into overtime, and an assist versus Denver while picking up a career-high nine ground balls.
  • Ratliff, who was also an USILA All-America Third Team member, an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.
  • He tallied a goal and six ground balls in the 2013 season-opener against Delaware, bringing his career scoring totals to 17 goals and 10 assists. He is currently second among active long-poles in scoring behind Bryant’s Mason Poli who has 32 goals and 10 assists.
  • With his game-opening goal against Canisius in the NCAA First Round, he set the Loyola single-season record for long-pole scoring, surpassing the record of 16 points set by current assistant coach Matt Dwan his senior season in 1995 when he tallied 11 goals and five assists and earned All-America honors.

Helmet Stickers

  • Loyola players are wearing three stickers on their helmets this season to remember those who have passed away. The stickers are in memory of Adam Pomper, a member of the 2012 team who passed away on June 12, 2012, Mandy O’Sullivan, mother of current players Sean and Ryan O’Sullivan who died in March 2012 from pancreatic cancer, and the 26 victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting in December 2012 where Loyola put on a youth lacrosse clinic in January.

National Team Exhibition

  • The Greyhounds took part in the 8th-annual Champion Challenge, an event hosted by USLacrosse, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at DisneyWorld on January 27. The Greyhounds faced the U.S. Men’s National Team in a nationally televised exhibition game.
  • Loyola fell, 17-13, to the reigning FIL World Champions despite being within a goal midway through the fourth quarter, 13-12.
  • Justin Ward posted a team-high four points with a goal and three assists, while four Greyhounds – seniors Davis Butts, Phil Dobson and Mike Sawyer and sophomore Nikko Pontrello – scored two goals each. Graduate student Harry Kutner handed out three assists, while senior Sean O’Sullivan scored once and had two assists. Junior Brian Schultz had a goal and an assist, while senior Josh Hawkins and junior Kevin Ryan both had single goals. Senior Chris Layne also tallied an assist.

Welcome To The Staff

  • Two new faces join Head Coach Charley Toomey and Assistant Coaches Matt Dwan and Steve Vaikness on the Greyhounds’ coaching staff for 2013. David Metzbower, a 1986 Delaware graduate and former Blue Hens assistant coach, came on board in November as the Greyhounds’ offensive coordinator, replacing Dan Chemotti who left to become the head coach at the University of Richmond. Loyola alum Steve Layne ’10 was brought on in September as the program’s Director of Lacrosse Operations.

Television Dates Announced

  • In addition to Loyola’s exhibition game against the U.S. National Team, three Greyhound games will be broadcast this season.
  • The Greyhounds home opener against Maryland on Saturday, February 23, will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, the first non-event based men’s lacrosse game the network will air.
  • The game against Air Force in the Inside Lacrosse/Whitman’s Sampler Mile-HIgh Classic on Saturday, March 16, will air on ESPN3, and the Greyhounds’ Saturday, April 27, game at Johns Hopkins will air on ESPNU.

Well-Represented In MLL Draft

  • Five members of the Loyola men’s lacrosse team were selected in the top 26 of the January 11 Major League Lacrosse draft. The Greyhounds tied Virginia for the most draft picks in the selection process.
  • Josh Hawkins and Mike Sawyer were both taken in the first round, going fifth and eighth overall to the Hamilton Nationals and Charlotte Hounds, respectively.
  • Scott Ratliff was the first pick of the second round, going ninth to the Boston Cannons, and Davis Butts was taken early in the third round, 19th overall to the Denver Outlaws.
  • Joining Hawkins in Hamilton will be Reid Acton, the team’s fourth round pick, 26th overall.
  • Sawyer will be joined in Charlotte by former teammate Eric Lusby who was the top waiver pick after the NCAA season ended in early June. After missing the majority of the MLL season with an injury, the NCAA Championships Most Outstanding Player made his MLL debut on July 28 at Long Island and scored a goal. He then tallied three goals  in an August 11 win over Rochester.

Newtown Youth Clinic

  • Fourteen members of the Loyola men’s lacrosse team took time from their holiday vacation to travel to Newtown, Conn., for a clinic with the Newtown Lacrosse Association.
  • Led by freshman Jason Crane, the Greyhounds worked with more than 100 elementary and junior-high school-age players, many of whom attended Sandy Hook Elementary School where the shooting that killed 26 took place in December.

First NCAA Championship

  • Loyola won its first NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship, and the school’s first NCAA Division I title in any sport, on May 28, 2012, in Foxborough, Mass. The Greyhounds defeated Maryland, 9-3 in the title game, capping a season in which the Greyhounds tied an NCAA record with 18 victories.

Returning From 2012

Preseason Accolades

  • Six Loyola players were named to the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America teams: defender Joe Fletcher and short-stick midfielder Josh Hawkins (first team); attackman Mike Sawyer and long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff (second); midfielder Davis Butts (third); and, defender Reid Acton (honorable mention).
  • All six earned All-America honors last season with Sawyer earned Second Team honors and Ratliff was named to the Third Team. Acton, Butts, Fletcher and Acton earned Honorable Mention along with graduate student Eric Lusby.
  • In his first year as a starter, Fletcher was named to the NCAA and ECAC Championships All-Tournament Teams and earned a reputation as one of the top defenders in the nation. In 19 games as a sophomore, Fletcher caused 26 turnovers, second most on the team, and had 41 ground balls.
  • Hawkins has continued to be one of the top defensive midfielders in the nation and garnered considerable respect nationally for his play during the NCAA Championships. He earned NCAA All-Tournament honors and helped the Greyhounds limit Notre Dame and Maryland to a combined eight goals on Championships weekend. In addition to his six goals and two assists in 15 games last year, Hawkins was second on the team with 63 ground balls.
  • Sawyer was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player last season when he scored 52 goals and assisted on 10 more and was named the team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. During the regular-season, he led the ECAC in goals and goals per game while earning All-ECAC First Team honors. He became the second player to score 50 or more goals in a season and was joined by a third on last year’s team.
  • Ratliff continued to be one of the top long-stick midfielders in the nation and set a Loyola scoring record for the position last year. He finished with 12 goals and seven assists, exceeding current Loyola Assistant Coach Matt Dwan’s previous record for a long-stick midfielder set in 1995. In addition to his scoring, he tallied 88 ground balls and 37 caused turnovers while earning ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, ECAC Championships Most Valuable Player, NCAA All-Tournament Team and team co-defenisve player of the year honors.
  • Butts was a first-line midfielder for the Greyhounds for the second year in a row. He excelled as a dodger and finisher and ranked fourth on the team in points (35) and third in goals scored (21). A versatile player, Butts also saw plenty of action on the wings of faceoffs and in the defensive midfield where he picked up 40 ground balls.
  • Acton will enter 2013 having started on the Greyhounds’ defense each of the last three years. He finished the 2012 season with 44 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers, while helping Loyola record a 7.21 goals allowed per game average, the fifth-best mark in Division I. The Greyhounds set a pair of defensive records during Championship Weekend, holding Notre Dame and Maryland to a combined eight goals in the two games and allowing the Terrapins just three in the title match.

Seven Earn All-America Honors in 2012

  • Attacker Mike Sawyer was named to the USILA All-America Second Team, and long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff earned Third Team honors earlier this week from the coaches’ association.
  • Five other Greyhounds – attacker Eric Lusby, midfielders Davis Butts and Josh Hawkins and defenders Reid Acton and Joe Fletcher – received honorable mention.
  • The seven honorees are the most for Loyola since seven received plaudits following the 1999 season. Sawyer and Ratliff are also the first Loyola players to receive All-America nods other than honorable mention since Gavin Prout was a first teamer in 2001.

School Record In Wins

  • Loyola’s victory over Maryland in the NCAA Championship Game was its 18th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.
  • The 18 wins also tied an NCAA Division I record for victories in a season.
  • It was Loyola’s 15th season all-time with 10 or more wins with 12 coming since the Greyhounds joined Division I in 1982.

Toomey Receives Morris Touchstone Award

  • Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career, and in December, he received the coaches association’s Morris Touchstone Award as the national coach of the year. 
  • The Greyhounds became the second team in USILA Coaches Poll history to start a season unranked and ascend to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The only other team was Duke in 2007 – a year after the Blue Devils had their season suspended in March – which accomplished the feat after being unranked in the first poll, moving to second in the next version and first in the third. Duke was knocked from its perch as No. 1 that season when it lost to the Greyhounds at the First Four in San Diego.
  • The win over Canisius in the First Round was the 60th victory of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 60 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .626 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

Big Runs

  • Last season, runs of three-plus goals were critical in the Greyhounds success, as they had runs of 3-0 or better in all 19 games. In all, Loyola scored three or more in a row on 37 occasions last year.
  • The Greyhounds opened the 2013 season in similar fashion as they scored three-straight in the second quarter to take a 4-2 lead against Delaware after trailing, 2-1.

On The Flip Side

  • Conversely, the Greyhounds allowed a run of three or more goals just 12 times last year, with the last coming when Canisius scored three in the second quarter. Only Denver (seven in ECAC Semifinal), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.
  • In the 2013 season-opener, Delaware had one 3-0 run that the Blue Hens used to tie the game at 7-7 in the fourth quarter.

Second-Half Success

  • The Greyhounds outscored opponents 66-22 in the third quarters of games, and 123-63 overall in the second half (including overtime), last season.
  • The second-half scoring continues a trend from 2011 when Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56.
The Last Meeting
Towson6
Loyola Maryland13
February 25, 2012
Ridley Athletic Complex
Sawyer, O'Sullivan Pace Men's Lax To Win Over Towson
Mike Sawyer and Sean O'Sullivan scored four goals apiece, and Justin Ward contributed five assists as the Loyola University Maryland men's lacrosse team topped Towson, 13-6, at Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday afternoon.