Loyola University Maryland wraps up the 2012 regular-season with a Saturday, April 28, game against Charles Street foe Johns Hopkins University. The Greyhounds and Blue Jays will face-off at 1 o'clock at Ridley Athletic Complex.
Tickets to Saturday's game have been sold out. It will be the second sellout crowd in the three-year history of Ridley Athletic Complex, following the inaugural game on March 13, 2010, between Loyola and Duke. A severe storm, however, prevented many fans from attending that game, however, no tickets remained.
It is the largest presale of tickets in history to a Loyola athletics' event.
Free Webstream Available
As with all Loyola men's lacrosse games this year, a free webstream will be available of the game on Hounds Unleashed, the video arm of LoyolaGreyhounds.com.
The Greyhounds and Blue Jays will be meeting for the 50th time in series history on Saturday when they take the field. Johns Hopkins holds a 46-3 advantage in the all-time series and is currently on a 12-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, Loyola outshot Johns Hopkins, 16-4, in the second half, but the Greyhounds could not overcome an 8-4 deficit, and the Blue Jays came away with an 8-7 win.
When the teams play for the 50th time, Johns Hopkins will tie Penn State for the opponent Loyola has played second-most in school history. Towson is the Greyhounds' most-played opponent at 54 meetings.
In The Polls
The Greyhounds are ranked No. 1 in both the USILA Coaches and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Polls entering the game.
Johns Hopkins checks in at No. 10 in the coaches version and 11th in the media rankings.
The last time either team was ranked No. 1 when this game was played came on May 7, 2005, in a 12-6 Hopkins win on Homewood Field. It will be the first time the Blue Jays have faced Loyola with the Greyhounds in the top spot. Their win in 1999 over Johns Hopkins vaulted Loyola into first, a slot it would hold for nine weeks through the end of the regular-season.
Loyola is ranked No. 1 in the nation (in the USILA poll) for the first time since May 10, 1999, when the Greyhounds completed a 12-0 regular-season. Loyola was ranked first in the final nine polls of that season, and it was No. 1 for two weeks during the 1994 season (April 12 and 19) and one week in 1992 (March 31).
The Greyhounds are just the second team since the USILA poll was introduced in 1973 to go from being unranked to No. 1 in the same season. The other team to accomplish the feat was the 2007 Duke team that went from being unranked in the first poll of the year to No. 2 in the second and first in the third.
Loyola has also been first in the two version of the RPI released thus far by the NCAA.
Record-Tying Win Streak
Loyola's 12-straight wins this season have tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (March 14-May 17) and 1999 (March 6-May 8).
It also matches the best start to a season, equaling the 1999 team that finished the regular-season unblemished at 12-0.
The Greyhounds last played at Ridley Athletic Complex on March 31 before embarking on a three-game ECAC Lacrosse League road trip that took Loyola over 2,200 miles for games against Fairfield, Denver and Hobart.
Loyola defeated the trio of teams to clinch the ECAC regular-season title.
Loyola finished its ECAC Lacrosse League regular-season schedule with a 6-0 record to win its first outright conference title since 2008.
The Greyhounds' undefeated league record is the second in the history of the program - Loyola was an independent at the NCAA Division I level from 1982-2001 and again from 2003-2005. The Greyhounds won the 2002 Colonial Athletic Conference crown with a 5-0 mark.
Loyola enters the May 2-4 ECAC Championships in Denver as the No. 1 seed. The Greyhounds will take on the host Pioneers at 5 p.m. (MDT) on Wednesday, May 2, and the winner of that game plays the winner of Fairfield-Ohio State on Friday, May 4, at 4 p.m., in a game that will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Playing as the nation's No. 1 team for the first time in almost 13 years, the Greyhounds showed no let down against Hobart last Saturday, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game.
The Greyhounds ended the first quarter ahead 7-1, getting goals from six different players and two from Mike Sawyer.
Ratliff, Sawyer Named Tewaaraton Semifinalists
Juniors Scott Ratliff and Mike Sawyer were named to the Tewaaraton Award semifinal list as the game's top players, making Loyola one of five schools - joining Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Massachusetts and Virginia - to have two players make the 25-man list.
Loyola is also one of six schools to have at least one male and one female semifinalist, as sophomore Marlee Paton made the women's list from Loyola. The winners of both awards will be selected on May 31, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
Mike Sawyer scored four goals on Saturday at Hobart, raising his season total to 40 through 12 games, becoming the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000.
In addition to being just the third Loyola player to score 40-plus this century, Sawyer is the seventh Greyhound to reach the mark since Loyola moved to NCAA Division I status in 1982.
Defense Standing Tall
The Greyhounds' defense is ranked sixth in NCAA Division I, and tops in the ECAC, with a 7.08 goals allowed per game mark, as they have not allowed more than nine goals in a single game this season. The Greyhounds are one of two teams (Notre Dame is the other) who have allowed fewer than 10 in each outing this season.
Loyola has used second-half comebacks to win its first two games of its ECAC road trip, scoring the last four gaols of the game to beat then-No. 14 Fairfield, 8-6, on April 7, before using a 5-1 run to close the game in a 12-9 win at then-No. 8 Denver.
The Fairfield game was the first time this season Loyola had trailed in the fourth quarter, and the 4-4 tie going into the final stanza was the first time it had not led outright entering the frame.
The Greyhounds held Fairfield scoreless for the final 11 minutes, 59 seconds of action, and they then kept Denver off the board for 22:32 in the third and fourth quarters while they scored four unanswered.
Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its first 12 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 24 occasions this season.
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.
The Greyhounds had their longest run in almost two years against Air Force, scoring 10 in a row to open the second half. The last time Loyola scored 10 or more in a row was on March 20, 2010, when it had 14 straight against Air Force.
Loyola then used a 6-0 run to break a 5-5 tie early in the third quarter with Georgetown on the way to a 11-6 victory.
The Greyhounds then scored seven in a row on the back end of a 10-1 run last Saturday at UMBC, and after falling behind 3-2 in the second quarter against Ohio State, the Greyhounds strung together four in a row to go ahead 6-3 by the end of the third quarter.
At Fairfield, Loyola scored the final four goals of the game to rally from a 6-4 deficit to win 8-6. The Greyhounds then scored four in a row during the third and fourth quarters at Denver that brought them from down 8-7 to a 12-9 victory.
On The Flip Side
Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just seven times this year, with the most recent coming when Denver scored three on two occasions.
Only Fairfield (five) and Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.
Following six of the seven opponent runs of three or more, Loyola has answered in kind with a run of 4-0 or better.
Taking Care Of The Ball
Loyola committed a season-low seven turnovers in the win at Denver, and the Greyhounds have been one of the best in the nation this season at taking care of the ball.
The Greyhounds lead the ECAC this year with the fewest turnovers per game, averaging 13.33, more than 1.5 fewer than Ohio State which is second with 15.08. Loyola is eighth nationally in the stat category.
Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem
Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the ECAC Lacrosse League this year and one of the most balanced in the nation. The Tewaaraton Award nominees have combined for 72 goals in 12 games this season, an average of 6.6 per game.
Sawyer has scored 40 goals, and his 3.33 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 32 goals and a 2.67 goals per game mark, a number that is tied for 13th in the country. Loyola is the only school to have two players in the top 14 of goals per game nationally.
The Greyhounds have not had two players score 32 or more goals in the same season since 2000 when Tim Goettelmann set the school single-season record with 50, and Gavin Prout tallied 41. As a side note, the Goettelmann-Prout duo has gone on to highly successful professional careers. Goettelman recently retired from Major League Lacrosse as the league's all-time leading scorer with 268 goals in 11 seasons.Prout has been an MLL Champion and has scored 314 National Lacrosse League goals to go with 625 assists as a multiple-time all-star.
Ten Loyola players scored against Hobart, marking the second game in a row, and third time this season, that nine or more have tallied goals in a game. The 10 goals matched the Greyhounds' best for the season that came in a win over Air Force.
Loyola's defensive unit held Denver to more than three goals fewer than its season average. The Pioneers came into the game averaging nearly 12.7 goals per game, but the Greyhounds limited them to just nine.
Denver's Mark Matthews sported a 39-game goal scoring streak coming into the game, but Loyola held him to just a single assist, snapping what had been the nation's second-longest streak.
Ratliff Earns Third Award Of Season
Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff was named the ECAC Co-Specialist of the Week on Monday after scoring a goal, assisting on two, causing four turnovers and winning two ground balls against Hobart.
The award is the third of the season for Ratliff who was named ECAC Defensive Player of the Week after the season-opener and Co-Specialist of the Week on March 19.
Loyola players have won six of this year's 10 ECAC Defensive Player of the Week awards and four of the last five. In addition to Ratliff's opening honor, goalkeeper Jack Runkel earned the award on March 12.
Runkel again won the award on March 26, starting a four-week stretch in which he and defender Reid Acton have alternated garnering the honor.
Acton was named the April 18 recipient after he drew primary marking responsibilities on Denver's Mark Matthews, holding the All-American without a goal for the first time in 40 games.
Runkel Moving Up Stats Charts
Entering the final game of the 2012 regular-season, sophomore goalkeeper Jack Runkel has risen to eighth in the nation with a 7.29 goals against average. In 11 games, nine starts, Runkel has made saves on 55.5-percent of shots on goal he's faced, the No. 17 mark in the country.
While Runkel has picked up three weekly conference awards this year, much of the credit can also go to the defensive unit as a whole. Opponents have taken 290 total shots while Runkel has been in goal this year, but just 155 have been on goal.
On The EMO
This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 52.9-percent of the time. Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year.
The last time Loyola finished above .500 in man-up offense was in 1997 when it converted 39-of-77 (.506).
The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 45-17 in the third quarters of games and 82-40 overall this year in the second half.
The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.
Record At Ridley
After going 4-1 at Ridley Athletic Complex last season, the Greyhounds have opened their third year at the stadium with six wins at home. Loyola is now 14-3 all-time at Ridley.