Loyola University Maryland heads to Columbus, Ohio, for the first time in nearly 50 years to face Ohio State on Saturday. The Greyhounds and Buckeyes get underway at 1 o’clock in ECAC Lacrosse League action.
Saturday’s game will be the fifth all-time meeting between the teams and second since Ohio State joined the ECAC prior to last season.
Loyola has won the previous four games, including an 11-9 victory on April 3, 2010, at Ridley Athletic Complex.
The Greyhounds last visited Ohio State over 49 years ago, defeating the Buckeyes, 3-2, on April 23, 1962.
Ratliff Puts Up Points
Loyola long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff recorded his first career assist just over 10 minutes into Saturday’s game against Mount St. Mary’s, and then he did not waste any time in picking up his second. The sophomore, who dished a pass in transition to Mike Sawyer who scored with 4:23 to go in the first frame, carried the ball into the box and found Patrick Fanshaw who scored off the opening faceoff of the second quarter.
Ratliff was not done on the offensive end with his two first-half assists. In the third quarter, he cleared took a Jake Hagelin outlet pass, cleared the ball to the offensive end and buried a shot with 6:26 to go in the quarter for his second career goal.
He earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday after the scoring output. Against The Mount, Ratliff also picked up a career-high six ground balls. Ratliff’s three points were the most by a Loyola long-stick midfielder since P.T. Ricci scored a goal and had two assists against Bryant on March 10, 2009.
Four of Loyola’s 14 goals against Mount St. Mary’s came in unsettled situations. Scott Ratliff cleared the ball up field, and Mike Sawyer scored the Greyhounds’ first goal, and Ratliff then fed Patrick Fanshaw for a goal off the opening face-off of the second quarter.
Reid Acton then tallied his first career goal to cap a 4-0 Loyola run with 9:33 to play in the third quarter, one-hopping a shot past Mount goalkeeper T.C. DiBartolo.
After not scoring a man-down goal last season, the Greyhounds have tallied three in the past two games. Jake Hagelin scored one at Air Force, and Scott Ratliff and Matt Langan added one each at Mount St. Mary’s.
The three man-down goals are the most by a Loyola team since the stats has been recorded in the Greyhounds’ archives, starting in 2001. Loyola tallied two in every year from 2007-2009 and one each in 2003 and 2004.
Late Game Langan
Matt Langan saved his scoring for the final 30 minutes of Saturday’s game at Mount St. Mary’s, recording both of his goals and all three of his assists in the second half.
Langan assisted on Patrick Fanshaw’s extra-man goal 2:14 into the third quarter that tied the score at 4-4, and he then recorded assists on back-to-back goals by Chris Palmer and Chris Basler, 1:41 apart, in the fourth quarter. Basler’s goal would prove to be the game-winner, and Langan then added a pair of insurance goals in the last 4:53 after Mount St. Mary’s had pulled within a goal.
Langan leads the ECAC Lacrosse League with 14 assists and a 2.0 assists per game average. His assists per game mark is also good for fifth in NCAA Division I.
Loyola was a perfect 4-of-4 on extra-man opportunities in the second half Saturday at Mount St. Mary’s and 4-of-6 in the game. This season, the Greyhounds have scored on 15-of-31 man-up opportunities, good for a 48.4-percent success rate. The Greyhounds rank sixth in NCAA Division I in man-up scoring this season.
The 15 EMO goals are already more than the 14 Loyola scored all of last season. Loyola’s best extra-man percentage of the last decade came in 2002 when the Greyhounds scored on 37.9-percent (22-of-58) opportunities.
Meanwhile, the Greyhounds are also one of the nation’s best at denying opponents extra-man goals this season. Loyola has held teams to just four EMO goals on 27 opportunities, killing penalties at an 85.2-percent rate, the third best mark in Division I.
Mike Sawyer’s ability to score from just about anywhere in the offensive zone has meant big goal scoring numbers for the sophomore this season. He leads Loyola 20 goals and tops the ECAC with a 2.86 goals per game average.
Sawyer sits all alone in second-place nationally with his goals per game mark. He vaulted into the national lead for a week after scoring 14 goals in three games, five each against Bellarmine and Duke and four versus Denver. Read more about his five-goal games later.
Reid Acton’s third quarter goal capped a 4-0 Loyola run to start the second half and put the Greyhounds up, 6-4. The goal was also the first of Acton’s career and first by a Loyola close defender since Steve Layne scored one against Bryant on March 10, 2009.
Face-Offs In The Fourth
Loyola won just 2-of-8 face-offs in the first half, and the Greyhounds then evenly split the 10 third quarter restarts against Mount St. Mary’s, but John Schiavone and J.P. Dalton were at their best in the fourth quarter.
Loyola clung to an 8-7 lead entering the period, but the duo of Dalton and Schiavone won 7-of-10 face-offs in the final 15 minutes to help Loyola secure the win.
As a result, Loyola outscored the Mountaineers, 6-3, in the third quarter and held the ball for 10:10 of the final 15:00.
Loyola has continued a positive trend from a year ago when it outscored opponents 41-24 in the third quarters of games and 76-55 overall after halftime.
This year, the Greyhounds have tallied 42 second-half goals, while holding opponents to 27. In the third quarter of seven games this year, Loyola has outscored opponents, 21-15.
Dalton On The ‘X’
J.P. Dalton filled in for John Schiavone at the face-off ‘X’ at Air Force and took a career-high 16 restarts. Dalton was successful on 10 of them, improving his season numbers to 13-of-22.
Hagelin Lights The Lamp
Loyola recorded a statistical anomaly against Air Force when goalkeeper Jake Hagelin scored a man-down goal in the fourth quarter. Hagelin’s goal is the first by a Loyola goalkeper since at least 1985, and it was also the first shot by a goalkeeper since Tim Dunnigan took one during the 1992 season.
Scoring Five Again
For the season time in as many games, sophomore attacker Mike Sawyer scored five goals for the Greyhounds last Friday against Duke. He ripped off a quintet of goals in the second half to match the total he put up on March 5 against Bellarmine.
Sawyer’s 10 goals mark the first time since April 2001 that a Loyola player has scored a combined 10 goals in a span of two games. Bobby Horsey was the last Greyhound to accomplish the feat, scoring six against Butler on April 14, 2001, and following a week later with four versus Villanova.
5 Since ‘05
Since joining the ECAC Lacrosse League in 2005, Sawyer’s five goal games are the 10th and 11th respectively by a Loyola player.
Just two players have scored four or more goals twice in the same season. Matt Monfett did it in 2005 against Wagner and Penn State, and Cooper MacDonnell did it twice, in 2008 versus Towson and Syracuse and 2009 against the Orange and Georgetown.
Getting To Ground Balls
Josh Hawkins set a career-high with nine ground balls against Denver, eclipsing his previous best of seven set twice earlier this season against the U.S. Naval Academy and Bellarmine.
Hawkins has 35 ground balls through seven games this season, an average of 4.86 per game, to lead the Greyhounds. Last year, Hawkins played in 12 games and finished the year with 31 ground balls.
10 Quarters Of Defense
During a span of 10 quarters and 150 minutes of game action, Loyola allowed just nine goals. Dating from the second half against Navy in the season opener to the end of the Bellarmine game on March 5, the Greyhounds have played to a 3.60 goals against average.
During the stretch, Loyola outscored opponents 18-7, and the Greyhounds held opponents to just 54 total shots.
John Schiavone continued his top-level play at the ‘X’ this season, winning 14-of-23 face-offs against Duke’s combination of C.J. Costabile and Terrence Molinari.
Schiavone won most of the face-offs to himself, picking up a game-high nine ground balls against the Blue Devils. He also scored his first goal of the season and fourth of his career.
In four games against Duke during his career, Schiavone has won 39-of-64 (.604) face-offs and picked up 29 ground balls, an average of 7.25 per game. Over the last two seasons, he won 27-of-40 (.675) and had 21 ground balls.
How Low Can You Go?
While Loyola and Towson combined for only five goals, it was not the lowest scoring game in Greyhounds history.
Loyola defeated Ohio State by the same score, 3-2, on March 23, 1962, nearly 59 years before Saturday’s contest. That’s a span of 588 games since Loyola played a game with five or fewer combined goals.
More On 3-2
Three goals ties the school record for fewest goals in a Greyhounds’ victory. In addition to the game against Ohio State in 1962, Loyola also defeated Williams College by the same score in the first game of 1954.
The last time Loyola allowed two or fewer goals was just 38 games ago when the Greyhounds posted a 15-1 victory at Massachusetts on March 22, 2008.
All The Way Back
Cade Norris scored for Navy with 5:53 to play in the second quarter, and Loyola stared down a 7-2 deficit. From that point, however, the Greyhounds went on a 6-0 run, holding the Midshipmen scoreless for 28-minutes, 5-seconds, to take an 8-7 lead. The Greyhounds completed the comeback, even after Navy tied the score at 8-8, to defeat the Midshipmen, 9-8.
It had been more 11 years since Loyola rallied from a five-goal deficit to defeat a team. The last time the Greyhounds accomplished the feat was on April 3, 1999, when Towson led Loyola, 12-7, with 8:56 to play in the third quarter. The Greyhounds scored nine of the game’s last 11 goals to defeat the Tigers, 16-14.
Honors For Hagelin
Jake Hagelin was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week on February 28 for his role in the win over Towson.
The 2010 ECAC Goalkeeper of the Year made six saves and directed a Greyhounds’ defense that scattered 21 shots and allowed just eight on goal.
Hagelin, who is tied for sixth nationally with a 5.00 goals against average, has now won seven ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors during his career.
He is the second Loyola player in as many weeks to be honored by the conference. Sophomore attacker Mike Sawyer was named ECAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week after scoring three times against Navy.
The Greyhounds’ comebacks have hinged on several factors, but one of the most impressive statistics came in the ground ball category. Loyola picked up 21 in the second half to Navy’s three.
Against Towson, Loyola controlled 9-of-15 fourth-quarter ground balls and had a 27-17 advantage overall.
Possession At A Premium
Thanks in large part to a 21-3 ground ball advantage and 24-7 lead in shots during the second half against Navy, Loyola controlled the ball most of the time after the break.
The Greyhounds had possession for more than 21 of the 30 second-half minutes, including for one 5-minute, 42-second stretch that culminated in Patrick Fanshaw’s eventual game-winning goal with 68 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The Greyhounds return to Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday, April 9, for a 1 o’clock game against the Fairfield Stags.