Loyola University Maryland plays its fourth game in 11 days to start the 2013 season on Tuesday, February 26, when it hosts UMBC at 7 o'clock at Ridley Athletic Complex.
UMBC and Loyola will meet for the 31st time in series history when the teams take the field on Tuesday with the Retrievers holding a 16-14 advantage in the previous 30 contests.
Last year, the teams will played for the first time during the regular-season since 2005.
Last season, Mike Sawyer scored four-straight goals during a 10-1 Loyola run that led to a 13-5 Greyhounds' victory at UMBC on a rainy March night. Sawyer finished with five goals and two assists, and Jack Runkel posted a then-career-high 13 saves for Loyola. Six Loyola players had multi-point nights, led by Sawyer's seven. Justin Ward, J.P. Dalton and Eric Lusby each had three points, while Phil Dobson and Davis Butts each had two.
In The Polls
Loyola sits at No. 4 in both the USILA Coaches and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls.
Entering the season, It was the first time in the polls' existences that the Greyhounds have been ranked No. 1 to start the year.
Last Time Out
Loyola scored the first goals of the first and third quarters last Saturday, but Maryland launched into 5-0 and 3-0 runs in those respective quarters thereafter, and the No. 1/2 Terrapins finished with a 12-10 victory over the Greyhounds.
Mike Sawyer opened the game with a 12-yard rip at 10:02, but Maryland reeled off five in a row, taking a 5-1 lead with three seconds left in the third quarter on a Landon Carr transition goal.
The teams traded second-quarter goals and Maryland led 7-3 at halftime before Pat Laconi scored for Loyola 27 seconds into the third quarter.
This time, the Terrapins netted three goals in a row to lead 10-4 on a Kevin Cooper goal with 10:57 on the clock. Loyola would score four of the next five to get within three, 11-8, on Matt Sawyer's goal with 2:53 left in the third.
Neither Loyola, nor Maryland, would score for nearly 15 minutes before Billy Gribbin broke through for the Terrapins with 3:08 left in regulation. Sean O'Sullivan and Chris Layne would add two more for Loyola, but the Greyhounds could not get closer.
Layne Keeps Tallying Points
Chris Layne had his third multi-point game in as many contests this season, recording two goals and an assist for the Greyhounds against Maryland. Last season, he had a total of five multi-point games while finishing with 11 goals and 14 assists.
With his two goals against both Delaware and Maryland, Layne has also doubled his multi-goal games during his time at Loyola. He also had one as a sophomore in 2010 for North Carolina.
Through three games this year, Layne is tied for second on the team with five goals, is second in both assists (four) and points (nine).
At Delaware in the season-opener, 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.
Spreading The Scoring
Nine Loyola players scored goals on Wednesday night at Towson with seven recording two or more points, and nine was also the number of scorers on Saturday versus Maryland.
The seven multi-point scorers were a step-up from the four (Layne, Sawyer, Ward and Davis Butts) who had two or more at Delaware.
Last season, Loyola had just two games with seven players scoring two or more points (Michigan, Air Force).
Ward Remains High Point Scorer
Justin Ward scored a goal and had an assist against Maryland and remains the Greyhounds' 2013 point leader with 12. The junior attackman had a goal and three assists against Towson after opening with three goals and two assists to tie his career-high with five points at Delaware.
Ward finished third on the team last season in points (43) while leading the Greyhounds with 31 assists, the fourth-most in Loyola's single-season Division I history.
With his assists at Maryland, he moved into 22nd in school Division I assist history with 38. With three more, he'll move into a tie for 20th.
Sawyer's Hat Trick
With more than five minutes remaining in the first half, at Towson Mike Sawyer had recorded his first hat trick of the 2013 season and 18th of his career. He is now third among active players with career hat tricks, trailing only Colgate's Peter Baum (28) and Army's Garrett Thul (25).
Sawyer had not scored more than one goal in a game during Loyola's last four outings, including the NCAA Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Championship Game, as well as Loyola's season-opener at Delaware. His last hat trick came on May 12, 2012, in the NCAA First Round when he scored four in the second half for a total of five against Canisius.
Last season, he recorded 11 hat tricks, including a stretch of five in a row from March 7-24.
Burkhart Breaks In
Blake Burkhart made his Loyola debut at the faceoff X against Towson, taking all 28 restarts and winning a career-high 17-of-28 (60.7-perecnt).
He also had a game-high eight ground balls while winning the first four of the game, 6-of-8 during the second quarter and 5-of-8 during the fourth.
Burkhart then was successful on 14-of-25 against Maryland.
Burkhart played his freshman season at Rutgers University where he was 54-of-100 at the `X' in 2012 before transferring to Loyola.
Better Off The Ground
Winning the ground ball battle was a point of emphasis for Loyola entering the Towson game, and the Greyhounds were successful. They picked up 40 to the Tigers' 30, thanks in large part to a 17-11 advantage in faceoffs.
In the season-opener against Delaware, the Blue Hens grabbed 36, and Loyola had 34.
Loyola was 10th in the NCAA last season with an average of 32.79 per game. The Greyhounds were 13-0 last year when picking up more than their opponents.
Loyola converted on 4-of-5 extra-man opportunities against Towson after going 0-of-2 against Delaware.
Kevin Ryan scored twice on man-up opportunities, recording the first multi-goal or point game of his career. He later added an assist on a Mike Sawyer goal in an even situation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Returning From 2012
Head Coach Charley Toomey returns eight starters and 34 letterwinners from the 2012 Loyola team that won the NCAA Championship.
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.
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 .640 winning percentage trails only Cottle's .721 at Loyola.
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 have 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. They then had two runs of 3-0 or better at Towson.
The game against Maryland marked the first time since May 5, 2011, against Fairfield that the Greyhounds did not put up a run of 3-0 or better.
Loyola hosts its third home game in an eight day span on Saturday, March 2, when it takes on Bellarmine at 1 p.m. in its ECAC Lacrosse League opener.