Loyola opens play in the third-annual ECAC Lacrosse League Championships on Thursday, May 2, when it takes on The Ohio State University in the second semifinal in Geneva, N.Y.
Faceoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. from Hobart College’s Boswell Field.
Watch The Action
The ECAC Championships will be the first original lacrosse games programed by Fox Sports Networks. Mark Larson will call the play-by-play, and Dale Drypolcher will handle color analysis. Terry Mangan will be the sideline reporter for the broadcasts.
Thursday’s semifinals and Saturday’s championship game will be distributed on various Fox Sports Regional Networks nationwide. They will also be available – in the Baltimore area – on Fox College Sports, a premium sports channel on many cable and satellite companies, or on FUEL TV.
Loyola and the Buckeyes will be meeting for the seventh time in series history and first time in postseason action. The Greyhounds have won all six prior meetings, including a 9-4 victory earlier this season in regular-season action.
In the teams’ regular-season meeting on March 30 in Columbus, David Planning scored for Ohio State with 3:03 left in the first half, making the score 3-3, but Loyola scored the next six goals and held the Buckeyes scoreless for 32 minutes, 54 seconds, until they scored with nine ticks left on the clock.
Pontrello had a game-high three goals, while Layne tallied a goal and two assists. Herreweyers, Davis Butts and Scott Ratliff each posted a goal and an assist.
Jack Runkel made nine saves and allowed just four goals for Loyola, while Joe Fletcher picked up a team-best five ground balls.
The Greyhounds led last year’s contest 9-4 when Patrick Fanshaw scored a man-up goal in transition off a Josh Hawkins assist with 5:17 to go in the third quarter, but Ohio State scored five of the next six goals to pull within a score, 10-9, on Tyler Fredericks’ tally with 3:57 left in regulation.
Mike Sawyer and Chris Palmer, however, scored after that for Loyola, and the Greyhounds held off the Buckeyes for an 11-9 victory in Columbus. Chris Palmer finished with five goals, and Matt Langan had three goals and two assists. Hawkins scored a goal and had two assists, all coming in transition.
In The Polls
Loyola moved up to fourth the USILA coaches poll and checked in sixth in the Inside Lacrosse media ranking.
Ohio State is 10th in the coaches version, 11th in the media.
Last Time Out
Johns Hopkins scored 41 seconds into the second half, but Loyola held the Blue Jays scoreless for the game’s final 29 minutes, 18 seconds, and the Greyhounds defeated host Johns Hopkins, 8-4, snapping a 13-game losing skid in the series.
The Greyhounds opened the second half on a man-advantage, and after the teams returned to even strength, Sean O’Sullivan took a Justin Ward skip pass and scored at 14:24 to put Loyola up, 5-3. The Blue Jays, however, got the goal back five seconds later after winning the faceoff on a violation. Mike Poppleton ran into the box and scored Johns Hopkins’ last goal of the game at 14:19.
Mike Sawyer scored his last of three goals with 6:10 to play in the third quarter, and Davis Butts and Kevin Ryan added fourth-quarter goals to provide the final margin.
Sawyer had a game-high three goals, while O’Sullivan, Ryan and Josh Hawkins each posted a goal and an assist.
Loyola is 2-1 all-time in ECAC Championships games, winning both of its contests last season to take the second-annual tournament title.
Last year, the Greyhounds defeated Denver, 14-13 in overtime, to advance to the Championship Game where they beat Fairfield, 14-7.
In the first year of the tournament, the Stags edged Loyola, 10-9, in the semifinals.
Second Half Defensive Success
Loyola’s defense held Johns Hopkins to just one goal in the second half last Saturday and none in the game’s final 29 minutes, 18 seconds. The Blue Jays’ final 18 shots of the second half were either saved or went off target.
Jack Runkel made six of his 10 saves in the second half, four during the fourth quarter.
Johns Hopkins also turned the ball over 10 times in the final 30 minutes, 16 times in all during the game.
Loyola also shutout the Blue Jays on extra-man opportunities Saturday, holding them scoreless on three attempts, two in the fourth quarter.
Fletcher Honored For Defensive Performance
Joe Fletcher earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the third time this season on Monday after a standout performance on close defense against Johns Hopkins.
The junior picked up five ground balls and helped start Loyola’s transition game that cleared the ball successfully all 20 times it attempted clears.
He was matched up against the Blue Jays’ leading scorer, Wells Stanwick, who entered the game averaging 4.0 points per game. Fletcher held Stanwick to just one point on an assist that came in transition off a Johns Hopkins faceoff win. Stanwick, who had 23 goals entering the game, managed just three shots against Fletcher.
Sawyer Keeps Scoring
Mike Sawyer recorded his third-straight hat trick on Saturday at Johns Hopkins, the first time this season he’s accomplished that. In the Greyhounds’ last three games, Sawyer has scored 11 goals while assisting on four. In his first nine this year, he tallied 19 goals and two assists.
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 11 goals in three games, Sawyer has leapt into the team lead for goals scored with 30 this season. He finished the regular-season as the ECAC leader in goals per game during conference games (2.47).
In 56 career games, Sawyer has scored 122 goals and has 25 assists for 147 points.
Earlier this year, against UMBC, he became the eighth player in school Division I history to reach 100 goals, and his 122 total place him are second-most on the program’s Division I career chart. He is 11 back of Pat Lamon in first. Sawyer’s 139 points rank 11th in school Division I history.
Defending The Midfield
Loyola did not allow an offensive midfielder to score for Johns Hopkins on Saturday in 23 shot attempts when entering the game, the seven players that ran on the two midfield lines had combined for 69 goals and 43 assists.
The Greyhounds’ defensive midfield kept the Blue Jays middies from dodging to space and forced outside shots, keeping 17-of-23 shots off cage. The six that were on goal were all saved by Jack Runkel in goal.
Hawkins On The Fly
In just seven games this year, Josh Hawkins has already eclipsed his previous high in goals, scoring 10 this season to beat his total of six from last season and his 2010 freshman campaign. He also has two assists this season.
The defensive midfielder has scored at least two points in each of Loyola’s last four games and has at least one goal in every game he’s played this year. He scored twice against Fairfield, Denver and Hobart and registered a goal and an assist versus Johns Hopkins.
He has put 16-of-24 shots on goal and scored on 41.7-percent of his total shots.
In 47 career games, Hawkins has scored 25 goals and has nine assists as a short-stick defender.
Athletics Banquet Honors
Scott Ratliff was named the team’s Most Valuable Player, and Joe Fletcher earned Most Dedicated Player honors at the end of the year Athletics Awards Banquet on April 29.
Ratliff also was the recipient of the John R. Mohler Award as the athletic department’s top male student-athlete. The award, which is give to a student-athlete from one of Loyola’s eight men’s teams, recognizes the best Greyhound who combines athletic and academic accomplishments.
Sean O’Sullivan was the winner of the Diane Geppi-Aikens Inspiration Award.
ECAC Weekly Honors For Ratliff
Scott Ratliff earned ECAC Lacrosse League Specialist of the Week honors on April 22, 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 has scored eight goals in the Greyhounds’ last four games, nearly doubling his output of nine in the team’s first 10 outings this season. He is currently third on the team with 17 goals and fifth with 19 points.
After scoring once against Fairfield on April 6, he matched his career-high with four goals a week later against Denver. His final goal of the game tied the score with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, forcing overtime. O’Sullivan needed just four shots in the game against the Pioneers to score his four goals.
On April 20 at Hobart, he scored twice on four shots, and he added a goal on his only shot and an assist at Johns Hopkins.
This season, he has scored his 17 goals on just 40 shots (.425 shot percentage), and he is putting 75.0-percent of his total shots on goal (30-of-40). His four extra-man goals in conference play led the ECAC in that category.
Zach Herreweyers recorded his fourth hat trick of the season at Hobart in just his seventh game of the season.
The freshman from London, Ontario, posted three goals and two assists against the Statesmen, and with a goal at Johns Hopkins, he raised his first-year total to 16 goals and three assists in eight contests.
Herreweyers, who had hat tricks against Air Force, Georgetown, Michigan and Hobart, leads ECAC Lacrosse League freshmen with 2.0 goals per game and 2.4 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.
Multi-Point Ventures For Ward
Johns Hopkins All-American defender Tucker Durkin held Justin Ward to just one assist on April 27, the first time this season the junior attacker has been held to less than two points.
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 60 career assists, Ward is tied for seventh in school Division I history Gewas Schindler in seventh. He is now 10 away from tying Kevin Beach and Tim O’Shea for fifth place.
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 is now tied for ninth in school Division I history in career ground balls (207) with P.T. Ricci, and he is second in caused turnovers (88). His caused turnovers are two shy of tying the school record set by 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.
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.
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 continued the trend this year, scoring three or more in a row 20 times and have had runs of 3-0 or better in every game but one (Maryland).
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 54-25 in the third quarter and 87-57 overall after halftime.