The 2013 regular-season comes to an end for Loyola men’s lacrosse on Saturday, April 27, 2013, when they make the short trip down Charles Street to face Johns Hopkins University.
Face-off is slated for 2 p.m. at Homewood Field.
Watch The Action
Saturday’s game will be the Old Spice College Lacrosse Game of the Week on ESPNU. Booker Coorigan will call the play-by-play, while Mark Dixon handles color analysis. The game can also be viewed on ESPN Mobile and WatchESPN platforms.
The Greyhounds and Blue Jays will be meeting for the 51st time in series history on Saturday when they take the field. Johns Hopkins holds a 47-3 advantage in the all-time series and is currently on a 13-game winning streak.
Loyola’s last win against the Blue Jays came on March 12, 1999, when the Greyhounds took a 14-5 decision on the road.
Last year, the Blue Jays held the Greyhounds scoreless for the game’s first 18-plus minutes and scored the first five goals en route to a 6-3 halftime advantage. Johns Hopkins eventually went ahead 9-5 on a Rob Guida goal with 14:13 left in regulation, but Loyola rallied to score four in a row.
Pat Laconi’s first career goal, in transition with 3:04 remaining, pulled Loyola within a goal, and Justin Ward dodged from X, scoring just off the left side of the crease with five seconds to play, sending the game to overtime.
With less than 10 seconds remaining, a Josh Hawkins trail-check sent a John Ranagan shot high and wide right, but the ball went right to the stick of Zach Palmer. He hit Guida with a pass on the doorstep, and Guida one-timed a shot into the net for the game-winner with 2.3 ticks left in overtime.
When the teams play for the 51st time, Johns Hopkins will overtake Penn State as Loyola second most-played in school history. Towson is the Greyhounds’ most-played opponent at 55 meetings.
In The Polls
Loyola moved up to seventh the USILA coaches poll while staying steady at eighth in the Inside Lacrosse media ranking.
Last Time Out
Loyola scored the first six goals of the game and then used a 7-0 run after Hobart closed the gap to one in the second quarter. The latter Greyhounds’ run broke open the game, and Loyola closed its ECAC Lacrosse League regular-season schedule with a 19-11 victory over the host Statesmen.
Justin Ward scored all three of his goals in the opening quarter, and the Greyhounds were ahead 5-0 on his final tally, a man-up strike with 1:23 on the first-quarter clock.
Hobart, however, scored the first five goals of the second quarter and drew within a point, 6-5, at 4:24 on an Alex Love score. Scott Raltiff scored in transition at 3:18, however, sparking three goals before the end of the half at the beginning of a 7-0 Greyhounds’ run.
Mike Sawyer was involved in the scoring of the first five goals of the run, scoring three and assisting on Ratliff’s goal and one by Zach Herreweyers. Sawyer finished with a game-high four goals and six points, while Herreweyers chipped in three goals and two assists, and Ward scored three with one assist.
Ratliff tallied two goals and an assist, while Sean O’Sullivan and Josh Hawkins each scored twice.
Back-To-Back Six-Point Games
Mike Sawyer put up his best offensive numbers of the season on April 13 against Denver, scoring four goals and recording two assists for six points, season-highs in all categories.
The senior attacker quickly replicated that effort on April 20 at Hobart, posting the same numbers in each category.
With his eight goals in two games, Sawyer has leapt into the team lead for goals scored with 27 this season. In seven ECAC Lacrosse League games this season, Sawyer leads the conference with 2.83 goals per game.
In 55 career games, Sawyer has scored 119 goals and has 25 assists for 144 points.
Earlier this year, against UMBC, he became the eighth player in school Division I history to reach 100 goals, and his 119 total place him are third-most on the program’s Division I career chart. He is one behind Gewas Schindler in second and 14 back of Pat Lamon in first. Sawyer’s 139 points rank 11th in school Division I history.
Hawkins On The Fly
In just six games this year, Josh Hawkins has already eclipsed his previous high in goals, scoring nine this season to beat his total of six from last season and his 2010 freshman campaign.
The defensive midfielder has scored twice in each of Loyola’s last three games and has at least one goal in every game he’s played this year.
He has put 13-of-20 shots on goal and scored on 45.0-percent of his total shots.
In 46 career games, Hawkins has scored 24 goals and has eight assists as a short-stick defender.
ECAC Weekly Honors For Ratliff
Scott Ratliff earned ECAC Lacrosse League Specialist of the Week honors on Monday, his third weekly award of 2013 from the conference office.
The long-stick midfielder posted another all-around performance at Hobart Saturday, scoring twice in transition and adding another assist on a Mike Sawyer goal in the third-quarter.
Defensively, Ratliff posted seven ground balls and three caused turnovers, while he and his teammates in the defensive midfield held the Statesmen’s starting midfield to three goals. Ratliff did not allow a goal against a player he was matched up against in the game.
He now has scored 13 goals this season, eclipsing his 2012 school record for scoring by a long-pole player.
Ratliff, who was the 2012 ECAC Defensive Player of the Year and 2013 ECAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, has earned seven weekly awards from the league. Earlier this season, he was named Defensive Player of the Week twice.
O’Sullivan Shooting On Target
Sean O’Sullivan’s game-tying goal with 2:11 to play in the third quarter against Denver gave him four for the game, tying his career-high set on February 25, 2012, against Towson. The senior needed just four shots against the Pioneers to score his four goals.
On Saturday at Hobart, O’Sullivan scored twice on four shots, and this season, he has scored his 16 goals on just 39 shots (.410 shot percentage), and he is putting 74.4-percent of his total shots on goal (29-of-39). His 16 goals rank third on the team this season, and his six extra-man tallies lead the team. O’Sullivan’s four extra-man goals in conference play lead the ECAC in that category.
Loyola’s starting attack against Hobart – Mike Sawyer (four goals, two assists), Zach Herreweyers (three, two) and Justin Ward (three, one) – represented 10 of the Greyhounds’ 19 goals and 15 of the team’s 31 points against the Statesmen.
Ward and Sawyer are first and second, respectively, on the team in scoring this season with 53 and 33 points. Herreweyers, in just seven games, is fifth with 18. Nikko Pontrello, who started 10 games on attack this season, is third on the team with 30 points, 13 coming from goals.
Zach Herreweyers recorded his fourth hat trick of the season Saturday at Hobart in just his seventh game of the season.
The freshman from London, Ontario, posted three goals and two assists against the Statesmen, raising his first-year total to 15 goals and three assists.
Herreweyers, who has hat tricks against Air Force, Georgetown, Michigan and Hobart, leads ECAC Lacrosse League freshmen with 2.14 goals per game and 2.6 points per contest.
Against Air Force, 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.
Ratliff Sets Record
Scott Ratliff did something believed to be a first in the modern era of college lacrosse (circa 1971) on April 6 in the Greyhounds’ win over visiting Fairfield. The senior long-stick midfielder scored four goals, becoming the first player with a pole to do so.
Ratliff scored once off a Loyola faceoff win, a second time on a give-and-go in transition with Pat Laconi and twice more off set plays in settled offense with feeds from Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello.
In recent years, at least two long-sticks, Duke’s C.J. Costabile and Bryant’s Mason Poli, have recorded hat tricks.
Another Multi-Point Venture For Ward
With three first-quarter goals against Hobart, Justin Ward had his 13th multi-point effort in as many games this season. He has now tallied at least two points in all 13 games this season, and he has three or more in nine of those outings.
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 59 career assists, Ward is tied for eighth in school Division I history with Pat Lamon, one shy of Gewas Schindler in seventh.
Ward put up his second game with seven or more points on March 16 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 13 games this year, Ward leads the team with 26 goals and 27 assists for 53 points. His 27 assists are ninth-most in school Division I single-season history.
CLASSy Senior Candidate
Two weeks ago, Scott Ratliff was named one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, an honor given yearly to a NCAA Division I senior who has notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition
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 career totals now stand at 29 goals and 14 assists, and his 43 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.
Additionally, Ratliff now stands 10th in school Division I history in career ground balls (204) and second in caused turnovers (88). His caused turnovers are two shy of tying the school record set in 2008 by P.T. Ricci.
Defensive Midfield Production
Loyola’s defensive midfield had a productive game against Fairfield, finishing the outing with six goals, an assists, six caused turnovers and six ground balls.
The unit posted another solid outing on both sides of the field with four goals and two assists at Hobart on April 20.
This season, long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff has posted 13 goals and four assists, good for sixth on the team with 17 points, while short-stick Josh Hawkins has nine goals and an assist, and fellow short-stick Pat Laconi has four goals and six points. Kyle Duffy scored his first point of the season with an assist at Hobart.
Pontrello Keeps Tallying Points
Nikko Pontrello notched his third hat trick of the season on March 30 at Ohio State, scoring a game-high three against the Buckeyes. He also had three-goal outings against UMBC and Air Force earlier this year.
In his first season as a starter, Pontrello has scored 13 goals while assisting on 17 for 30 points, third-most on the team. As a freshman in 2012, he scored four goals and assisted on six.
He posted his second six-point game this season March 16 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.
Fletcher Turns Up ‘D’
Joe Fletcher earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors on March 18 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.
This season, Fletcher, who was a Preseason All-America First Team honoree, has 49 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers, numbers that are second and third, respectively, on the team.
ECAC Championships Approaching
After Loyola plays at Johns Hopkins to wrap up its 2013 regular-season on Saturday, the Greyhounds will embark on a return trip to Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y., where they will play in the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Tournament.
Loyola, at 6-1 in conference play, is guaranteed no lower than the No. 2 seed in the tournament. Denver, which enters this weekend at 5-1, can earn the top seed with a win Saturday at Michigan by virtue of its head-to-head win against Loyola.
Fairfield and Ohio State have also qualified for the ECAC Championships and play this weekend. If Fairfield wins and Denver loses, the Stags will be the No. 2 seed. If Denver wins, the winner of Fairfield-Ohio State will be the third seed, and the loser will be the fourth.
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.
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.
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.
At Ohio State, the Greyhounds went on a 6-0 run that spanned the final three quarters to take control of the game. A 5-0 first-quarter run spurred the win over Fairfield.
The game against Hobart saw the Greyhounds go on a pair of major runs en route to the win. Loyola scored the game’s first six goals and, after the Statesmen went on a 5-0 run to pull within a goal in the second quarter, the Greyhounds used a 7-0 run that spanned both halves to break open the game.
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 52-24 in the third quarter and 83-56 overall after halftime.