March 13, 2012
Loyola University Maryland remains home to battle its second ECAC opponent, as Air Force visits Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday, March 17 at noon.
The Greyhounds are off to their first 5-0 start since 2002 when the squad won its first seven games.
Air Force's assistant coach Bill Wilson is a 1994 graduate of Loyola.
Wilson was a four-year letterwinner and four-year starter at defense for the Greyhounds.
Loyola qualified for the NCAA Tournament each season, while advancing to the quarterfinals three times.
The Greyhounds hold a 5-1 advantage in the all-time series with Air Force, but lost, 8-6, in March of last year at Falcon Stadium in Colorado. Since the Falcons joined the ECAC, Loyola is 2-1.
In last year's game, Loyola outshot the Falcons, 32-23 and 19-8 in the second half. Brian Wilson made 10 saves in goal for the Falcons.
The Greyhounds also had an 11-18 advantage at the face-off `X', as J.P. Dalton won a career-high 10-of-16 restarts. Scott Ratliff led Loyola with five ground balls.
In The Polls
Loyola moved up to No. 5 in the USILA Coaches' Poll and sixth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings after its 13-8 victory over No. 11/9 Duke. The Greyhounds are one of three ECAC teams in the polls, joining Denver (9/9) and Fairfield (13/13). Air Force and Ohio State are also receiving votes in both polls.
Finding The Back Of The Net
Loyola has posted 10 or more goals through the first five games to open the season, marking the first time since 2000 that the team has scored 10-plus goals in its first five games.
The Greyhounds tallied 10 or more goals for seven-straight games to open 2000, going 7-0 in those contests. In addition, Loyola lost to Syracuse, 16-9, in its eighth game that season, marking the only time in the 14 games that the Greyhounds didn't reach 10 goals.
Through the first five games this year, the Greyhounds rank fifth in NCAA Division I in goals per game (13.00) as of the March 13 rankings.
Toomey Wins 50th
Head coach Charley Toomey recorded his 50th-career win on Wednesday, March 7, as the Greyhounds defeated Michigan, 15-8.
Toomey, who is in his seventh season, has led Loyola to eight-plus wins in each of the last three seasons and has had the Greyhounds finish .500 or better in all seven seasons since coming to Baltimore.
After totaling just two first quarter goals in their first three games, the Greyhounds scored five times in the first quarter at Michigan and three times vs. Duke.
Justin Ward, Sean O'Sullivan and Davis Butts each scored once while Mike Sawyer tallied twice at Michigan.
Sawyer, O'Sullivan and Phil Dobson scored for Loyola in the first quarter against Duke.
Sawyer, Runkel Earns ECAC Honor
Mike Sawyer and Jack Runkel were honored as ECAC Lacrosse Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week following a win at Michigan and vs. Duke win.
Sawyer scored 11 goals and had 14 points, setting career highs in both categories. He scored five goals and had six points in Michigan's first-ever home game, before breaking those personal records with six goals and eight points in a win over Duke. He also picked up a career-high six ground balls, finishing the week with nine ground balls.
Runkel made the first two starts of his collegiate career, posting an 8.00 goals-against average and .515 save percentage to help the Greyhounds in two wins. Playing less than three minutes between the pipes as a freshman last season, he started the Michigan game and held the Wolverines to eight goals, while making five saves. He then made a career-high 12 saves against a Duke team that has played in the last five Final Fours.
Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first five games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time.
Loyola scored five-straight in the second quarter against Delaware to take a 5-3 lead and never trailed again in the game.
The Greyhounds turned a 6-2 advantage against Towson into an 11-2 lead with a run of five-straight that stretched from the second quarter to the third quarter.
Loyola rattled off four-straight against Bellarmine in the fourth quarter, turning a 7-6 advantage into an 11-6 lead with less than six minutes to go.
The Greyhounds scored eight-straight against Michigan between the first and second quarters to claim an 8-1 lead.
Loyola used four three-goal runs against Duke, including one three-goal streak that put Loyola up 4-1 at the beginning of the second quarter. The Greyhounds never trailed after that initial three-goal run and extended their lead to 13-5 after its fourth three-goal spurt of the game.
Loyola has held opponents to eight or fewer goals in each of the first five games.
It is the first time since 2005 that the Greyhounds have held opponents to eight or fewer goals in five-consecutive games. The last time in happened, Loyola lost to Duke, 6-5, on March 12, 2005, beat Wagner, 13-7, on March 15, St. John's, 6-3, on March 19, Massachusetts, 6-5, on March 26, and Rutgers, 10-5, on April 2.
Sawyer Shows Same Form
Mike Sawyer picked up where he left off a year ago, leading the team with 18 goals and 23 points through the first five games. Sawyer led Loyola last season with 31 goals and 36 assists.
Sawyer tied a then-career-high with five goals in the team's, 15-8, win at Michigan, before scoring a new personal-best six goals against Duke. It was his 13th and 14th career multi-goal game and the 16th and 17th multi-point effort of his tenure at Loyola.
He is currently ranked third nationally with 3.6 goals per game and fourth with 4.80 points per game.
Before the season, Sawyer was named to the Preseason All-ECAC Team and was named to the Face-Off
Yearbook Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.
Hasn't Lost A Step
Eric Lusby returned to game action in the season-opener after missing all but two games of the 2011 season. Now a graduate student, Lusby tore his right ACL in the 2010 NCAA First Round game against Cornell. He attempted to come back last year, but he saw limited action against Navy and Towson and was shut down to rehab the injury for the remainder of the season.
Lusby burst back onto the scene against Delaware, scoring the Greyhounds' first goal of the game on an extra-man opportunity, and the 2010 All-ECAC First Team member tallied three more in the second half.
Lusby reset his career-high at Bellarmine, tallying five goals in the victory to go with one assist, and added two more at Michigan.
Through Loyola's first five games, Lusby is second on the team with 15 goals and ranks 12th nationally with 4.20 points per game.
The Greyhounds continued a trend from the last two years in the opener against Delaware, making adjustments at halftime to outscore their opponents in the third quarter and second half. The Greyhounds outscored the Blue Hens 5-1 in the third quarter and 8-4 after the break.
Loyola has outscored its opponents 20-8 in the second quarter and 22-9 in the third quarter this year.
The Greyhounds outscored their opponents 69-52 after halftime last season (including two overtime goals) despite being outscored 54-39 in the first half of games.
Dominant At The `X'
J.P. Dalton was 15-of-23 for the second-straight game in Loyola's win against Michigan.
Dalton raised his season percentage to 64.0-percent, which ranks 10th nationally.
It is the third-straight game that the Greyhounds have dominated the face-off `X', as the team won 15-of-23 restarts against Bellarmine and 14-of-21 against Towson.
The Greyhounds are seventh in the nation in face-off win percentage at 59.7-percent.
Loyola's man up unit currently leads the nation with a 73.3-percent success rate (11-for-15).
The Greyhounds were successful on all four of its extra-man opportunities against the Wolverines, scoring two man-up goals in the third quarter.
The Greyhounds were 3-for-3 on man-up opportunities vs. Delaware in the season opener and 2-for-3 EMOs in the wins over Towson and Duke.
Eric Lusby leads the team with four man-up goals, while Davis Butts, Mike Sawyer and Sean O'Sullivan have each scored two EMO goals for the Greyhounds. Two of Lusby's game against Duke, while O'Sullivan scored both of his vs. Towson and Butts tacked notched both of his man-up goals at Michigan.
Loyola's extra-man unit was seventh nationally with a .420 (21-of-50) conversion percentage in 2011.
Loyola has come-from-behind to win two of their first five games; vs. Delaware and at Bellarmine.
Loyola trailed 3-0 after the first quarter against Delaware, but then outscored the Blue Hens 10-2 in the second and third quarter to go on to a 13-8 win.
Against Bellarmine, the Greyhounds went into halftime trailing 4-2, but scored five times in the third quarter to take a 7-6 lead and went on to the, 11-8, win.
Four By Two
Mike Sawyer and Sean O'Sullivan both scored four goals in the Greyhounds' win over Towson on Feb. 25, becoming the first pair of Loyola players to record four or more goals in the same game since Patrick Fanshaw and Matt Langan scored five and four, respectively, on March 20, 2010, in a 17-3 win over Air Force.
O'Sullivan matched his career-high, set as a sophomore in 2010 at the U.S. Military Academy against Rutgers, and Sawyer was one off tying his career-best. O'Sullivan needed just four shots to score his four goals, two of which came on extra-man opportunities.
Ward Dishes Five
Justin Ward played the role of feeder in Loyola's 13-6 win over Towson, finishing the game with five assists. Just one week before that, the sophomore recorded his first collegiate assist against Delaware.
Ward became the first Loyola player to record five or more assists since Shane Koppens had six in a March 10, 2009, win over Bryant.
Ward is currently ranked tied for 21st nationally with 1.80 assists per game.
Ratliff Earns ECAC Honor
Scott Ratliff was honored as the ECAC Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career following the Delaware win after picking up a career-high seven ground balls against Delaware.
Ratliff keyed Loyola's possession and defensive efforts in the final three quarters when he helped J.P. Dalton win 14-of-21 face-offs.
Ratliff also had two caused turnovers, and the long-stick midfielder scored the fifth goal of his collegiate career in the third quarter when Michael Bonitatibus made a clean save and sent a pass to Ratliff who executed a one-man clear and scored in transition.
Bonitatibus;Runkel Win First Starts
Junior Michael Bonitatibus and sophomore Jack Runkel each made their first collegiate starts this season in goal for the Greyhounds, and each picked-up wins.
Bonitatibus made his first collegiate start in goal for the Greyhounds against Delaware after having played less than two minutes prior to this season. He made seven saves for the Greyhounds and allowed just eight goals. He also picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers.
Bonitatibus became the first Loyola goalkeeper to win his starting debut in nearly 11 years. The last was Mark Bloomquist who also defeated Delaware, 8-7, on February 24, 2001.
Runkel, who appeared in one game as a freshman, played the second half at Bellarmine, making three saves and allowing just four goals to get the win. He then made his first start against Michigan, making five saves and allowing just eight goals to get the victory.
Loyola won its season opener for the third-straight year, defeating Delaware, 13-8, Saturday, Feb. 18 at Ridley Athletic Complex. The Greyhounds trailed, 3-0, after the first quarter, but they scored five in a row to go up 5-4 at halftime.
Greyhounds Picked Second In ECAC
The Greyhounds were picked to finish second in the ECAC Lacrosse Leagues by the head coaches of their peer schools. Loyola received 54 points in the poll, trailing only Denver, which had 61.
Record At Ridley
After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds opened their third year at the stadium with a 13-8 win over then-No. 19 Delaware and a 13-6 victory against Towson. A 13-8 win vs. Duke improved the Greyhounds to 11-3 all-time at Ridley.
Ranked Opposition At Ridley
The Greyhounds are 3-2 against ranked opponents at Ridley Athletic Complex, including 2-0 in 2012.
Loyola downed No. 11/9 Duke, 13-8, on Saturday, March 10 and No. 19 Delware, 13-8, in the 2012 opener.
The biggest win for the program at Ridley was an 11-6 win vs. No. 9 Georgetown in 2010.
Loyola will host Georgetown on Wednesday, March 21 at the Ridley Athletic Complex at 7 p.m.