Loyola concludes its 2010 regular-season on Saturday, May 8, when it hosts Johns Hopkins at 12 p.m. on Awalt Field at Ridley Athletic Complex. The game between Charles Street foes will be the sixth home game of the season for Loyola and 13th overall.
On The Tube
Saturday's game will be televised nationally on ESPNU and in the Baltimore area on WMAR-TV/ABC-2. Scott Garceau will provide the play-by-play, and Mark Dixon will handle analysis duties.
In The Polls
Loyola enters the game ranked eighth in the USILA Coaches Poll and ninth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings.
Saturday's contest will be the first time since May 6, 2000, that Loyola enters the game ranked higher than Johns Hopkins. In that affair, the Greyhounds were third, and the Blue Jays were sixth, nationally.
In the NCAA RPI released on May 3, Loyola is eighth, while the Blue Jays check in at 12.
This year's game is the 48th all-time meeting between Loyola and Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays hold a 44-3 advantage in the all-time series.
Johns Hopkins is the third-most played opponent by Loyola. The Greyhounds have faced only Towson (51) and Penn State (50) on more occasions.
Last year's game went down as an `Instant Classic' as Loyola scored twice in the game's final 23 seconds to force overtime. Taylor Ebsary caused a turnover off a faceoff, and P.T. Ricci hit Shane Koppens with a 40-yard pass in the waning seconds. Koppens turned and shot, scoring with four seconds left to force overtime. In the second extra frame, Johns Hopkins' Brian Christopher scored with 3:35 remaining to lift the Blue Jays to a 11-10 win.
Loyola finished the month of April 4-0, marking the second year in a row they've accomplished the feat. Its last loss in the fourth month of the season came at Hobart on April 26, 2009.
Prior to April 2009, the last time Loyola went through the month with a perfect record was during the 2001 campaign.
Cooper MacDonnell extended his point-scoring streak to 27 games with a second-quarter goal at Denver on Sunday. MacDonnell has scored a goal in every game that he has played in since April 19, 2008.
The last time he did not tally at least one point or an assist was on April 12, 2008, in a win over Georgetown.
During that span, MacDonnell has scored 56 goals and has 14 assists for 70 points.
On The Ground
With his next ground ball, John Schiavone will have 74 in 2010 and move into a tie for 10th on Loyola's single-season ground ball chart, a spot currently held by Jim Blanding in 1990. Last year, Schiavone scooped up 76 ground balls, good for ninth on the list.
Two Loyola players recently tallied their 100th career ground balls. Steve Layne grabbed his on April 17 at Hobart, and Taylor Ebsary recorded hit the century mark at Denver.
Faceoff Unit Moves Up
Loyola's faceoff unit jumped a spot to No. 3 nationally after winning 10-of-19 restarts against Denver. The Greyhounds have won 59.2-percent of faceoffs this season, behind only Hartford (.624) and Stony Brook (.602) in Division I.
Into the Rankings
Cooper MacDonnell rejoined the NCAA Division rankings for goals per game this week, jumping in at No. 19 with an average of 2.44 per game.
The Preseason ECAC Player of the Year, MacDonnell missed three games (Bellarmine, Notre Dame and Air Force) due to a shoulder injury, and did not qualify for the NCAA statistics until this week. Players must compete in at least 75-percent of their team's games to be eligible.MacDonnell also leads the ECAC in goals per game, and he is tied with Collin Finnerty for the team lead with 22 goals this year.
Part of the balanced offense is the distribution of assists. The Greyhounds have recorded assists on over 59-percent of their goals this season.
Langan leads the team with 17 assists, while Finnerty and Ebsary each have 11.
Finnerty Receives Top Honors
Collin Finnerty was the 2010 recipient of the John R. Moller `50 Award at the Loyola Athletic Awards Banquet on Monday, April 26. Given annually to the top senior male student-athlete at Loyola who has excelled in areas of athletics, scholarship and character, the award is given to a student-athlete who holds at least a 3.0 grade point average.
Through 11 games this year, Finnerty leads Loyola with 22 goals and 32 points, and he is third on the team with 10 assists.
Three other men's lacrosse players were finalists for athletics' department awards: Taylor Ebsary (Rev. Francis McManamin, S.J. Unsung Hero Award), Nick Federici (Leadership) and Kyle Cottrell (Medal of Merit).
Steve Layne was named the team's Most Valuable Player, and Ebsary garnered Most Dedicated honors.
Loyola is one of three teams in NCAA Division I to have allowed fewer than 100 goals so far this season, joining Syracuse (95) and North Carolina (97).
The Greyhounds' 91 goals allowed are fewest in the nation this season, although Syracuse and North Carolina have each played one more game.
Near The Top
Loyola's 7.58 goals allowed per game is third-best in the country, behind Syracuse (7.31) and North Carolina (7.46).
Goalkeeper Jake Hagein is fifth nationally with a 7.69 goals against average. The junior posted 14 saves against Georgetown, earning ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time in as many weeks. Hagelin posted 13 or more saves for four consecutive games (Towson-Georgetown).
He was named a semifinalist for the 2010 Teawaarton Award last month.
The Loyola-Johns Hopkins 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.
During its recent six-game winning streak, Loyola used a combination of high-scoring offense and a shutdown defense. From March 20-April 24, the Greyhounds scored 73 goals (12.17 per game) and allowed just 40 (6.67).
During that stretch, Loyola averaged 37.3 ground balls per game, 9.1 more than their opponents.
The Greyhounds also won faceoffs at a .649 clip and cleared the ball at a .918 mark during the winning streak.
Loyola's six-game winning streak equalled its longest since winning seven in a row to start the 2002 season (February 23-March 30, 2002).
During the Greyhounds' six-game winning streak, the midfielders stepped up their scoring production. They tallied 32 goals and 21 assists during that stretch of games.
After the first and second midfields combined for four goals and four assists versus Georgetown, they were even more prolific scoring eight goals and assisting on five more at Hobart.
Eric Lusby leads midfielders, and is third on the team, with 19 goals this season. Ebsary is second on the Greyhounds, tops amongst middies, with 11 assists.
Back On The Scoring Track
During the absence of Cooper MacDonnell due to an injury, Eric Lusby stepped up his scoring from the midfield. He tallied eight goals in those three games, including three against both Bellarmine and Notre Dame.
With MacDonnell back in the lineup, however, against Duke, Towson and Ohio State, Lusby had just two goals and an assist in the three games.
Over the last three games, Lusby has returned to his earlier scoring form. The left-hander scored three - his third hat trick of the season - at Fairfield on April 10, and he had two goals against both Georgetown and Hobart.
This season, Lusby has scored 19 goals, more than the 15 combined he had during his freshman and sophomore seasons. He has six multi-goal games and has scored at least one point in all 12 of Loyola's games this year.
Another Attacker Shut Down
Fairfield's Sam Snow entered the April 10 game as the Stags' leading scorer with 10 goals and nine assists, but he was limited to just one goal and one assist versus Loyola, thanks in large part to the defense of Steve Layne.
The following week, Layne matched up against Georgetown's leading scorer, Craig Dowd, holding him to just one goal.
Layne leads the Greyhounds with 12 caused turnovers this season, and he is second on the team with 29 ground balls. In addition to his presence against Dowd, Layne tied his career-high with five ground balls against the Hoyas.
Taylor Ebsary was named the ECAC Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, April 5, sharing the honor with Fairfield goalkeeper Joe Marra.
In Loyola's 11-9 win over Ohio State, the senior co-captain scored a career-high four points on a goal and three assists. He also picked up two ground balls and caused a turnover.
Defensively, he had primary responsibility for marking Ohio State's Logan Schuss, the Buckeyes' leading scorer entering the game. Schuss was held without a goal. Against Georgetown, Ebsary had two assists and was key in the defensive and clearing efforts for Loyola.
This season, Ebsary has put up great two-way numbers. He's second on the team with 11 assists, and he has scored six goals. Ebsary is second on the squad with 31 ground balls and nine caused turnovers.
Scoring Out Of The Locker Room
Loyola has outscored opponents 29-18 in the first quarter of games this season, helped in large part to an 18-5 advantage in the Greyhounds' six-game winning streak. Loyola has been just as good coming out of the locker room following halftime, scoring 35 third-quarter goals while holding opponents to just 21.
Dircks' Defense Solid
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 back in the starting lineup for the fist time against Notre Dame, finishing with a season-high three caused turnovers versus the Fighting Irish He then had five ground balls and two caused turnovers against Duke.
Versus Georgetown, Dircks had a career-high six ground balls and caused a turnover. He also held Georgetown's Scott Kocis to just one assist without a goal in the game. He earned All-ECAC Second Team honors as a sophomore in 2008 after becoming a starter early in the season.
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 18-1 against league foes at home.
John Schiavone was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week on April 26 after winning 18 faceoffs and picking up 10 ground balls at Hobart.
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.