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Saturday's Duke Matchup Culminates Three-Game Road Voyage For Men's Lacrosse
March 4, 2009
Game Overview: No. 14/16 Loyola culminates a three-game voyage on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Durham, N.C. against 13th-ranked Duke. It is the third straight game for Loyola away from Baltimore in the past week. The Greyhounds have been away from the Evergreen Campus since last Friday, with this past week the College's Spring Break.
Last Time Out: Six different players found the net for Loyola (3-1, 1-0 ECAC) to bolster a balanced scoring attack and the Greyhounds, led by Cooper MacDonnell's two tallies and an assist, outscored the Saints 6-2 over decisive second and third periods to claim a 7-5 non-conference victory in 19-degree conditions in Loudonville, N.Y. Collin Finnerty scored his team-high ninth goal of the season and added an assist for Loyola, which enters today's matchup on the heels of three straight wins.
Lockdown Hounds: From the 8:13 mark in the second period to the 11:13 mark in the fourth, Loyola held Siena to just one goal in the 27-plus minute span to jump out to a 7-3 lead. For the third consecutive game--all wins--Loyola took a lead into intermission.
The Series: Duke holds a slight 10-9 advantage, including a pair of victories last season. Back on March 8, 2008, then-ranked No. 2 Duke handed No. 13 Loyola a 21-8 setback at Geppi-Aikens Field in front of 1,544 fans and a national cable audience. Duke's Max Quinzani had five goals to lead the way, while Zack Greer had four goals and four assists, and Matt Danowski had two goals and four assists. Midfielder Paul Richards, scoring two, was the only Greyhound to record a multi-goal game.
Last Meeting vs. Duke: Loyola got the chance to avenge its regular season loss with a First Round NCAA Tournament matchup against the top-seeded Blue Devils in Durham on May 10. Loyola and Duke shared a 1-1 tie after the first period but the Blue Devils outscored the Greyhounds 10-3 over the second and third periods to win, 12-7. It was a gusty effort for Loyola, making its second straight trip to the NCAAs. Collin Finnerty paced the way with a hat-trick and Jake Hagelin made 13 saves, becoming Loyola's first true freshman goalie to start an NCAA Tournament game since All-American Tim McGeeney did it in 1992 against Brown.
Scouting The Blue Devils: Duke (3-2, 0-1 ACC) is coming off a 16-7 win over visiting Holy Cross on Tuesday. Junior Max Quinzani registered a season-high six goals to lead the Blue Devils, who had 10 different players score at least one point, with five posting multiple point efforts. In its prior game, Duke was bested by No. 7 Maryland, 12-7, in front of 17,119 fans at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium Saturday.
The Coaches: Loyola's Charley Toomey '90 enters his fourth season as head coach of his alma mater's lacrosse program, boasting a 23-20 (.534) career record. He is 1-3 all-time vs. the Blue Devils, with the sole win against the Blue Devils a big one. Back on March 10, 2007, No. 16 Loyola upset top-ranked Duke, 8-7, at the First Four in San Diego, Calif., giving the Greyhounds their first victory over a No. 1 team since they topped Syracuse, 14-13 in overtime back on April 7, 2001. Head Coach John Danowski (Rutgers '76) is in his third season with the Blue Devils boasting a 38-7 record.
Loyola-Duke In The Polls: The Greyhounds moved up two spots to No. 14 in the USILA Coaches Poll while retaining their No. 16 position from Nike/Inside Lacrosse. Duke holds the No. 13 spot in both polls.
Koppens Returns In Top Form: After sitting out the first two games of the season, attackman Shane Koppens has made an immediate impact in his return. In his first game back against Penn State, Koppens scored a goal just 1:49 into the game and added a pair of fourth-period tallies, including a decisive insurance goal that put Loyola up two, 8-6, to earn his fifth-career three-goal outing. Against Siena Tuesday, he added an assist to Cooper MacDonnell to put Loyola up, 7-3.
More on Koppens: With an assist Tuesday against the Saints, Koppens, currently eighth on Loyola's all-time assist list with 62, moved within four assists of Neal Barthelme for seventh on the list. He currently has 104 career points, 31 shy of cracking into the Top Ten on Loyola's all-time points list (No. 10:Chris Colbeck, 1988-91; 135).
Koppens, Layne Tabbed To ECAC Honor Roll: Koppens and junior defender Steve Layne were named to the ECAC Honor Roll on Monday. Koppens, as noted above, scored a hat-trick in his season debut against the Nittany Lions, while Layne picked up four groundballs and played lock-down defense against PSU's top attackman Jack Forster, limiting him to only goal.
Don't Bring It In His Layne: Just days after being named to the ECAC Honor Roll, Loyola's top man-on-man defender, Steve Layne, erupted for a career-high eight groundballs against Siena on Tuesday, helping Loyola to win the groundball battle, 45-37.
Schiavone Controlling The X: Entering the season, many critics wondered how the Greyhounds would fare at the face-off with the graduation of Tim McDermott. The answer: pretty darn good. John Schiavone has been a force for Loyola at the X, winning 45-of-76 chances (.592). As a team, Loyola is 47-of-80 at face-offs, with a .587 winning percentage. That is third-best in the ECAC, trailing only St. John's (.697) and Rutgers (.678), with both of those statistics through Monday.
Hagelin Helpful in Cage: Entering Tuesday's matchup against Siena, sophomore goalie Jake Hagelin ranked second only to Penn State's Drew Adams in saves-per-game (12.67) and second in save percentage (.603).
Ricci Tabbed Preseason All-American: Loyola long-stick midfielder P.T. Ricci was named a preseason First Team All-American in mid-December in Inside Lacrosse's Face-Off Yearbook, while Koppens garnered honorable mention honors. Ricci picked up 84 groundballs last season, which was fifth most in program history for a single season. Ricci also led his team with 41 caused turnovers and picked up at least five groundballs on 10 different occasions.
Koppens, Ricci Named To ECAC Team: Both Koppens and Ricci were two of the 11 players named to the preseason All-ECAC Team. Koppens led the league last season with 45 points and was named the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year. Ricci was also named a First Team All-ECAC selection in 2008 after leading the Greyhounds to their first-ever ECAC title since joining the league in 2005.
Greyhounds Picked Second In ECAC: A vote by league coaches picked defending-champs Loyola to finish second in the ECAC for the 2009 season. The Greyhounds received three first-place votes from the league's eight coaches. Georgetown, ranked seventh in the preseason national USILA poll, was picked to finish first.
Loyola Names Its Captains: The 2009 Greyhounds will be captained by a talented quartet of seniors: midfielder Jimmy Daly, defender Eddie Graham- a talented defenseman who missed all of last season with a knee injury- Koppens and Ricci.
2008 Loyola Season Recap: Loyola earned its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance after winning the ECAC with a 6-1 record and earning the league's automatic postseason berth. The Greyhounds went 7-7 last season and fell at top-seeded Duke, 12-7, in the first round of the tournament in Durham, N.C.