The Greyhounds play their second of three-consecutive televised home games on Saturday, March 27, when they host Towson at 12 p.m. Gates to Awalt Field at the Ridley Athletic Complex will open at 10 a.m.
Turn On The Television
Saturday’s game is a part of the 2010 ESPNU television series that features over 40 regular-season and 15 NCAA tournament games.
The game will be shown live in the Baltimore market on WMAR/ABC-2 at 12 p.m., and national viewers can see it at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 28, on ESPNU.
Scott Garceau will handle play-by-play duties, while Mark Dixon provides the analysis.
The Loyola-Towson rivalry is the most played series in the history of men’s lacrosse at both schools. Saturday’s game will be the 52nd all-time meeting between the teams, dating back to 1959, the first year of intercollegiate lacrosse at Towson.
Of Loyola’s opponents, only Towson (51) and Penn State (50) have played the Greyhounds 50 or more times. Johns Hopkins will play Loyola for the 48th time later this season, and Georgetown will meet the Greyhounds for the 33rd time next month.
Loyola is the only team Towson has played 50 or more times, although the Tigers will meet Delaware for the 50th time on April 3.
Towson holds a slight 27-24 advantage in the series, but Loyola has won the last two.
Loyola scored the first 14 goals of last Saturday’s game against Air Force and went on to an 18-3 victory over the visiting Falcons. Nine players scored at least one goal for Loyola, and seven Greyhounds dished out one or more assist. All six members of the Greyhounds’ starting attack and first midfield scored a goal.
The Greyhounds took 41 shots against Air Force, putting 26 of them on goal. Loyola scored on 43.9-percent of its shots, its best mark of the season through six games. Of the team’s 18 goals, 12 of them were assisted, another season-high.
Loyola has won 75.6-percent of faceoffs (31-of-41) in its last two games, it’s best two-game success rate since winning 82.8-percent (29-of-39) exactly a year ago in March 14 and 21 games against St. John’s and Massachusetts.
John Schiavone has been even better, winning 80.6-percent (25-of-31) of the restarts he’s taken against Duke and Air Force. In that stretch Schiavone has picked up 17 ground balls, as well.
This season, Steve Vaikness’ faceoff unit is winning restarts at a 57.4-percent clip, while Schiavone is 65-of-112 (.580).
Sharing The Ball
Loyola had its second 10-plus assist game of the season last Saturday against Air Force. Seven Greyhounds recorded 12 assists, eclipsing the team’s previous season-high of 11 assists at Quinnipiac on February 27.
While the offense lit up the scoreboard with 18 goals against Air Force Saturday, the defense was just as impressive. Loyola held Air Force scoreless for the first 42 minutes, 51 seconds of the game and allowed only three Falcon scores.
Jake Hagelin and Alex Peaty combined for 15 saves in goal for the Greyhounds. Hagelin held Air Force scoreless, making six saves, in the first half. Peaty followed with a nine-save second half, allowing just three goals in over 29 minutes. Eric Tillman finished the game in the cage, not allowing a goal.
Loyola forced eight Falcon clears to go awry, and the Greyhounds finished with a 40-31 advantage in ground balls.
ECAC Honors Two Greyhounds
Matt Langan picked up his second ECAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week award on Monday, and Patrick Fanshaw was named the ECAC Rookie of the Week, as well.
The awards mark the fifth and sixth of the season for the Greyhounds: Cooper MacDonnell (Off., Feb. 22), Jake Hagelin (Co-Def., Feb. 22), Langan (Co-Off., March 1), Collin Finnerty (Co-Off., March 8), Langan (Co-Off, March 22), Fanshaw (Rookie, March 22).
Patrick Fanshaw became the first Loyola freshman in 15 years to score five goals. The Glyndon, Md., native scored five times and added an assist for a career-high six points on March 20 against Air Force.
Chris Georgalas was the last Greyhounds’ player to accomplish the task as a freshman, scoring five goals twice during his first season, April 7, 1995, against Hofstra, and April 22, 1995, versus Delaware.
Langan Scoring In Bunches
Matt Langan recorded a career-high four goals and six points on March 20 versus Air Force, the second time this season he’s had a multi-goal game.
On February 27 against Quinnipiac, Langan scored three goals and dished out three assists to establish his career-high with six points.
He leads Loyola with 11 assists and is second on the team with 19 points, both single-season career-highs for the junior who has played in every game for the Greyhounds since 2008.
Many Ways To Contribute
Taylor Ebsary continues to do all of the small things for Loyola, but his contributions are becoming more visible on the stat sheet every game. He had a career-high three points (1 goal, 2 assists) against Air Force, and he also caused a turnover and grabbed three ground balls.
This season, the senior midfielder is third on the team in ground balls (19), tied for first in caused turnovers (7), while contributing three goals and five assists in six games.
Multiple Multi-Point Games
Collin Finnerty scored once and tied his career-high with four assists on March 20 against Air Force, giving him five-straight multi-point games since February 27.
The senior attacker leads Loyola with 13 goals and 20 points this season and has scored three or more points since having just one assist in a season-opening win at Navy. During the last five games, Finnerty has averaged 2.6 goals and 3.8 points.
Defending Home Turf
Whether in previous years at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field or this season at the new Awalt Field at Ridley Athletic Complex, Loyola has been outstanding at defending its home field in ECAC Lacrosse League games.
Since joining the conference in 2005, Loyola is 17-1 against league foes at home.
Lusby Steps Up Production
With an increased role this season in the offense, Eric Lusby has made his scoring ability known from Loyola’s first midfield. He tallied 11 goals last season, scoring one in eight contests and three against Hobart.
This year, however, Lusby has recorded three multi-goal games – three against both Bellarmine and Notre Dame and two versus Air Force – and is second on the Greyhounds with 10 total.
He has scored at least one point in every game this season, and his four man-up goals lead Loyola.
Layne Locks Down Opponents
Steve Layne has resumed his role as a premier defender for the Greyhounds. He is tied for the team lead with seven caused turnovers and is second on the team with 20 ground balls through six games.
Teawaaraton Watch List
Collin Finnerty was named to the 2010 Tewaaraton Award Watch List in March. The award is presented annually to the top collegiate lacrosse player across all NCAA divisions.
The Loyola-Towson game will be broadcast live in the Baltimore area on WNST-AM 1570 with Chris Gunkel ‘90 calling the play-by-play action. For those outside of the WNST listening area, the broadcast can also be heard for free on LoyolaGreyhounds.com.
Loyola has outscored its opponents 39-22 this season after halftime (including one overtime goal). The Greyhounds hold a 20-10 scoring advantage in the third quarter and an 18-12 lead in fourth-quarter goals.
Dircks A Starter Again
After missing the entire 2009 season with a knee injury, Steve Dircks has come all the way back, earning his first insertion to the Greyhounds’ starting lineup in 2010. Dircks was on the field nearly the entire game against Notre Dame and Duke, finishing with a season-high three caused turnovers versus the Fighting Irish and five ground balls and two caused turnovers against Duke.
Dircks earned All-ECAC Second Team honors as a sophomore in 2008 after becoming a starter early in the season.
Double Hat Trick
Cooper MacDonnell tallied a career-high six goals on February 20 in the win over Navy, making him the first player since 2007 to record as many in a single game. Dan Bauers scored six in a 12-6 win on March 17, 2007, against St. John’s.
MacDonnell’s seven total points were also a career-high and the most by a Loyola player since Shane Koppens scored three goals and had six assists for nine points on March 10, 2009, against Bryant.
MacDonnell is currently ninth nationally in consecutive games with a point. He has tallied at least one goal or assist in the Greyhounds’ last 20 games dating to April 19, 2008.
Timing Is Everything
Jake Hagelin made just three saves against the Midshipmen, but his direction of the defense throughout the contest was crucial. Not to mention the fact that his three saves came at opportune times for the Greyhounds.
Tied 7-7 with less than three minutes to play, Hagelin turned away a pair of close shots in less than five seconds, preserving the tie in regulation.
He then made a point-blank save as Ryan O’Leary broke free for a one-on-one opportunity with under a minute to go in overtime. After that save, Hagelin picked up the ground ball and started the clear that led to MacDonnell’s game-winning goal.
Loyola received accolades – as a team and individually – from several outlets before the season started. The Greyhounds were picked to win the ECAC Lacrosse Conference by the league’s coaches, while senior attacker Cooper MacDonnell was tabbed the ECAC Preseason Player of the Year. Senior defender Steve Layne joined MacDonnell on the Preseason All-ECAC team.
Inside Lacrosse tabbed Loyola to win the ECAC, as well, and three Greyhounds earned Preseason All-America honors from the publication. Junior faceoff middie John Schiavone was named to the Third Team, while MacDonnell and Layne earned honorable mention.
Back For More
Loyola returns 60-percent of its goal-scoring from last season and 58.7-percent of its assists. Senior attackers Cooper MacDonnell and Collin Finnerty were the teams’ top two goal scorers last season, recording 30 and 24, respectively, while Finnerty was second on the squad with 13 assists. Senior midfielder Chris Basler is back after finishing third a year ago with 10 assists.
As of September 25, 2009, Loyola is officially known as ‘Loyola University Maryland.’ Since its founding in 1852, it was recognized as ‘Loyola College,’ but it was approved for a designation change by the Maryland Higher Education Council in September.
Loyola wraps up its four-game homestand on Saturday, April 3, with a 2 p.m. game against Ohio State at Ridley Athletic Complex. The game is the second of a Greyhounds lacrosse doubleheader with the Loyola women hosting Cincinnati at 12 p.m.
The Loyola-Ohio State game will be the Greyhounds’ second appearance on the ECAC Game of the Week. The contest will be televised locally on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) and on a variety of outlets nationwide.