Loyola University Maryland head to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the second year in a row to take on the University of Michigan on Saturday, March 23, in the fourth game of a five-game road trip.
The Greyhounds and Wolverines will faceoff in Michigan Stadium in an ECAC Lacrosse League contest at 3 o’clock.
Loyola and Michigan will meet for the second time in series history when the teams take the field on Saturday. Last year, the Wolverines’ first as a varsity program, Loyola visited Ann Arbor, Mich., for a non-conference game on March 7, 2012.
This year’s contest will be the first meeting between the programs as members of the ECAC Lacrosse League.
In last year’s game, Michigan scored the first goal of the game, but Loyola reeled off eight unanswered and eventually was up 8-2 at halftime.
Eight players scored at least one goal, and 10 players had at least a point in the game. Mike Sawyer scored five goals and had an assist for the Greyhounds, and Chris Layne tallied three assists. The game marked the first start of Jack Runkel’s career in goal.
In The Polls
Loyola moved up to No. 6 in the USILA Coaches and ninth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media polls.
Last Time Out
Loyola caused 17 Georgetown turnovers, and six of the Greyhounds’ goals came via transition opportunities or unsettled situations in a 13-8 non-conference win on Wednesday night against the Hoyas.
Georgetown took a 1-0 lead 1:53 into the game, but three minutes later, Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel made a save and started a clear that led to a Scott Ratliff transition goal to tie the game at 1-1.
Ratliff’s goal at 10:07 started an 8-0 Loyola run that would stretch into the third quarter and would feature seven different goal scorers.
The Hoyas committed 20 turnovers in the game, and Loyola was credited with causing 17. Short-stick midfielders Josh Hawkins and Pat Laconi and defender Joe Fletcher were each credited with two caused turnovers, and long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff and defender Reid Acton each registered two.
On the offensive end, Justin Ward led Loyola with five points, scoring once and dishing out five assists. Zach Herreweyers recorded four goals, a career-high, and Harry Kutner scored twice for the Greyhounds. Nikko Pontrello had a three-point game with a goal and two assists.
Loyola was credited Wednesday with a season-high 17 turnovers in its win at Georgetown. The Hoyas committed 20 miscues in all during the game.
The 17 caused were the most this season by Loyola and the most by a Greyhounds’ team since they posted 19 in back-to-back games against St. John’s and Massachusetts in March 2009.
Entering the game against Georgetown, Loyola was ranked 10th in the nation with a 9.43 caused turnovers per game average, and its previous 2013 season high was 16 against UMBC. Last year, the Greyhounds finished the year ranked sixth in the statistical category with 9.05 per game.
Loyola’s defensive midfield had a productive game against Georgetown, finishing the outing with three goals, two assists, 11 ground balls and nine caused turnovers.
Short-sticks Josh Hawkins, who was playing his first game of the 2013 season, and Pat Laconi each scored a goal and assisted on another, while causing three turnovers each. Hawkins had four ground balls and Laconi picked up one. Freshman short-stick Tyler Albrecht also had a ground ball in the game.
Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff had Loyola’s first goal of the game, caused two turnovers and picked up four ground balls. Fellow long-stick Thomas Robinson had a ground ball after causing a turnover.
This season, Laconi is seventh on the team with eight points, and Ratliff is tied for eighth with seven. Laconi has four goals and four assists, while Ratliff has scored six times and assisted on one goal. Hawkins’ two points were his first of the year.
Another Multi-Point Venture For Ward
Justin Ward finished the Georgetown game with five points, scoring once and assisting on four other Loyola goals against the Hoyas. He has now tallied at least two points in all eight games this season, and he has three or more in seven of eight.
In the Georgetown game, he became the 10th player in the program’s Division I history (since 1982) to log 50 or more assists in his career. With 52 career assists, Ward now stands 10th in school Division I history, three shy of Stephen Brundage’s 55 in ninth place.
Ward put up his second game with seven or more points last Saturday against Air Force, logging seven with two goals and five assists in the win over the Falcons.
His five assists tied his career-high, set twice in 2012 against Towson and Fairfield.
On February 26, against UMBC, as the junior finished with seven goals and three assists for 10 points. His goal and point outputs were career-highs. He became the first player to score at least seven goals in a game since Gavin Prout tallied eight in a 19-11 win at Hobart on April 28, 2001.
Ward’s 10-point effort was the first 10-point game for a Greyhound since Tim Goettelmann tallied the same amount in a 19-9 win on March 25, 2000, against Fairfield. In that game, Goettelmann scored four goals and had six assists. Later that season, he would score seven goals on May 16 in the NCAA First Round against Notre Dame.
Through eight games this year, Ward leads the team with 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points.
Fletcher Turns Up ‘D’
Joe Fletcher earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday after picking up three ground balls and causing a turnover against Air Force. More impressive was the defense Fletcher played on Air Force’s offensive quarterback, preseason All-American Keith Dryer.
Dryer entered the game with four goals and a team-leading 10 assists, but Fletcher held him without a point.
Fletcher turned in another standout game Wednesday at Georgetown, posting a team-high six ground balls and three caused turnovers.
This season, Fletcher, who was a Preseason All-America First Team honoree, has 33 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers.
Freshman Zach Herreweyers made his first career start on Saturday against Air Force on attack for the Greyhounds, and he made his debut to the opening 10 an impressive one.
Herreweyers scored his first collegiate goal with 12.3 seconds left in the first quarter, and he finished with a hat trick, tallying goals for Loyola in the third and fourth quarters, as well. He also picked up three ground balls.
He followed that game with a four-goal outing Wednesday at Georgetown.
The freshman from London, Ontario, made his collegiate debut against Duke on March 8.
Herreweyers became the first Loyola freshman to score three times in a game since current senior Patrick Fanshaw scored five goals and assisted on another on March 20, 2010, also against Air Force.
Ward, Fletcher Garner League Honors
Justin Ward and Joe Fletcher earned ECAC Co-Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors, respectively, on Monday after standout performances against Air Force (more later).
It marked the third week in a row that a Loyola defensive player has won the weekly league award after goalkeeper Jack Runkel earned the honor on March 4 and long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff brought it home on March 11. Ward’s award was the first for a Loyola offensive player this season.
The weekly honors were the first of both Ward and Fletcher’s careers.
Pontrello Puts Up Six Again
Nikko Pontrello posted his second six-point game this season last Saturday against Air Force, scoring a career-high four goals to go with two assists. He scored in the first quarter, tallied a pair during Loyola’s 4-0 third-quarter run and added his fourth in the final frame.
Earlier this year against UMBC, Pontrello posted three goals and three assists for six points against the Retrievers.
After scoring four goals and assisting on six in 17 games last season, Pontrello has already tallied 10 goals and 10 assists in seven games this year.
Ratliff Keeps Up Production
Scott Ratliff has continued his high production on defense, transition and offense that helped him earn USILA All-America Third Team and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year honors a year ago when 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.
He had one of his stat-sheet filling games against Air Force, scoring a goal and assisting on another while picking up five ground balls and causing three turnovers, and he turned in another with a goal, four ground balls and two caused turnovers while going 4-of-4 on faceoffs against Georgetown.
His career totals now stand at 22 goals and 11 assists, and his 32 career points are second-most among active long-poles to Bryant’s Mason Poli. Last year, he set the school’s single-season long-pole scoring record with 12 goals and seven assists, eclipsing the previous high of 16 points on 11 goals and five assists set in 1995 by current Loyola assistant coach Matt Dwan.
Eighth To 100
With his goal at 9:25 in the third quarter against UMBC, Mike Sawyer became the eighth player in Loyola men’s lacrosse history to score 100 in his career, the seventh in the program’s Division I history.
Sawyer joined a list that includes Gary Hanley (151), Pat Lamon (133), Gewas Schindler (120), Tim O’Shea (115), Kevin Beach (114), John Carroll (112) and Chris Colbeck (108).
Layne Keeps Tallying Points
Chris Layne had his fourth multi-point game in as many contests this season, recording two goals and an assist for the Greyhounds against UMBC after tallying the same amount three days prior against Maryland.
Through eight games this year, Layne has scored 10 goals and has six assists.
Last season, he had a total of five multi-point games while finishing with 11 goals and 14 assists. With his two goals against Delaware, Maryland and UMBC, Layne has more than doubled his multi-goal games during his time at Loyola to five. He also had one as a sophomore in 2010 for North Carolina.
Two At The ‘X’
Loyola has had two primary faceoff men in their six games this season. Brendan Donovan started the season at Delaware, and he then took all but two of the 33 restarts against UMBC. He won 19-of-31 against the Retrievers where his 19 wins were the most by a Loyola player since Dan Kallaugher went 27-of-33 in the NCAA First Round at Albany on May 13, 2007. He also went 7-of-14 versus Bellarmine
Blake Burkhart took the majority of the restarts, winning a career-high 17-of-28, at Towson, and 14-of-25 against Maryland. Burkhart then took all 21 face-offs at Duke, winning 12, and he made good on 14-of-22 against Air Force.
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.
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.
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 Georgetown this was the 70th victory of his coaching career, becoming the second coach in Loyola history to win 70 or more, joining – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001).
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.
Against UMBC, Loyola had a 3-0 first-half run before putting together a 10-0 stretch in the third and fourth quarters. The Greyhounds then had a 4-0 run that spanned both halves to help beat Bellarmine, and they runs of 3-0 and 4-0 to beat Air Force.
In the Georgetown game, Loyola had its longest run of the year, scoring eight straight.
Last season, the Greyhounds outscored opponents 66-22 in the third quarters of games, and 123-63 overall in the second half (including overtime). The second-half scoring continued a trend from 2011 when Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56.
This year, Loyola is outscoring opponents 33-16 in the third quarter and 52-39 overall after halftime.
The Last Meeting
March 7, 2012
Ann Arbor, Mich.
No. 9/12 Men's Lacrosse Races Past Michigan
Mike Sawyer tied a career-high with five goals while also adding one assist, as the Loyola University Maryland men's lacrosse team took down future ECAC foe Michigan, 15-8, on Wednesday night at Oosterbaan Field House in Ann Arbor, Mich.