Loyola will make its 21 all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships and 19th at the Division I level when it takes on Duke University in the First Round on Sunday, May 12, 2013.
The game is slated for a 5:15 p.m. start from Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C.
Watch The Action
The ESPN family of networks will televise all 15 games of this year's NCAA Championships, and Sunday's Loyola-Duke game will air live on ESPNU.
Mike Corey will call the play-by-play action, and Ryan Flannigan will provide color analysis.
The game can also be seen on the WatchESPN mobile platform.
Sunday will be the 26th meeting all-time between the Blue Devils and the Greyhounds, with Duke holding a 15-10 advantage in the series.
Including this year, the teams have played during the regular-season for 14-straight seasons (since 2000). Sunday's game will be the second time the programs have met in the NCAA Tournament. Duke defeated Loyola, 12-7, in the 2008 NCAA First Round in Durham.
The Blue Devils won this year's regular-season meeting, 9-8, outscoring Loyola 5-3 in the fourth quarter. Josh Offit's goal with 12:26 left in regulation gave Duke its first lead since the second quarter, 6-5, but Sean O'Sullivan struck on an extra-man opportunity for Loyola, and the Greyhounds tied the game less than two minutes later.
Offitt and Christian Walsh, however, scored back-to-back goals to put the Blue Devils in front for good.
Justin Ward had two goals and an assist for Loyola and was the Greyhounds' only multi-point scorer in the game. Offitt, Josh Dionne, Case Matheis and Jordan Wolf all scored twice, while Wolf added two assists.
Scott Ratliff had seven ground balls and four caused turnovers on the defensive end for Loyola.
Duke had won five-straight over Loyola and eight of nine, before the Greyhounds defeated the Blue Devils, 13-8, on March 10, 2012, in Baltimore.
The series dates back to 1946.
In The Polls
Loyola enters the NCAA Championships ranked ninth in both the USILA coaches poll and in the Inside Lacrosse media ranking.
Duke is fourth in the coaches version, eighth in the media's.
Last Time Out
Ohio State scored with 1:33 to play in the third quarter, opening an 8-0 run that closed the game, and the Buckeyes defeated Loyola, 18-11, on Thursday, May 2, in the ECAC Semifinals.
Mike Sawyer and Chris Layne scored at 6:49 and 3:59 in the third quarter to break a 9-9 tie and give the Greyhounds a 11-9 advantage, but the Buckeyes tied the game on a Logan Schuss goal 51 ticks into the fourth, and he added another goal 55 seconds later to put Ohio State up for good.
Schuss scored five goals and added an assist, while Jesse King tallied four goals and an assist and Dominique Alexander scored once and had five assists for the Buckeyes.
Scott Ratliff picked up eight ground balls for Loyola, helping the Greyhounds win 18-of-33 faceoffs in the game.
NCAA Championships History
Loyola is making its 21st all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 19th in Division I history (since 1982). The Greyhounds are 12-19 all-time in the tournament, 12-17 at the Division I level.
The Greyhounds won the first NCAA Division I Championship, in any sport, last season, when they defeated Maryland, 9-3, on Memorial Day. The win completed an 18-1 season for the Greyhounds in which they tied the NCAA Division I record for wins in a season, matching the 18-2 Duke team from 2008. Loyola entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and defeated Canisius, Denver and Notre Dame en route to the title game.
Two Tewaaraton Nominees
The Greyhounds one of five programs nationwide with five men's nominees for the 2013 Tewaaraton Award, and Loyola is one of six schools with at least one man and one woman nominated.
Ratliff enters NCAA Championships play as one of the top long-stick midfielders in the game. He has 75 ground balls and 29 caused turnovers, both tops among players in the ECAC, and he has some of the top offensive numbers for long-stick players in the game's history with 13 goals and four assists this year.
Sawyer has been on a hot streak of late (more later) and now leads the Greyhounds with 34 goals. He is second on the team with 40 points, as well.
Scott Ratliff became the first player in ECAC Lacrosse League history to earn an end-of-the-year award from the conference in a different category. The senior long-stick midfielder was named the 2013 ECAC Specialist of the Year in unanimous fashion after earning ECAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2012.
Joe Fletcher was named the 2013 ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, and both he and Ratliff earned All-ECAC First Team honors.
Mike Sawyer recorded his fourth-straight hat trick in the ECAC Semifinals against Ohio State, the second time in his career he's accomplished that feat. He previously scored three or more goals in five-consecutive games from March 7-21, 2012.
In the Greyhounds' last four games, Sawyer has scored 15 goals while assisting on four. In his first nine this year, he tallied 19 goals and two assists. He has three four-goal games to go with a three-goal outing against Johns Hopkins.
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 15 goals in three games, Sawyer has leapt into the team lead for goals scored with 34 this season. He finished the regular-season as the ECAC leader in goals per game during conference games (2.47).
In 57 career games, Sawyer has scored 126 goals and has 25 assists for 151 points.
Earlier this year, against UMBC, he became the eighth player in school Division I history to reach 100 goals, and his 126 total place him are second-most on the program's Division I career chart. He is seven back of Pat Lamon in first. Sawyer's 151 points rank eighth in school Division I history.
Fletcher Continues Consistent Performance
Joe Fletcher earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the third time this season on May 7 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.
This season, Fletcher has picked up 57 ground balls and caused 17 turnovers.
Second Half Defensive Success
Loyola's defense held Johns Hopkins to just one goal in the second half 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.
Defending The Midfield
Loyola did not allow an offensive midfielder to score for Johns Hopkins 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 eight 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.
Prior the Ohio State game in the ECAC Semifinal, the defensive midfielder had scored at least two points in each of Loyola's last four games and has at least one goal in every game he'd played this year. He scored twice against Fairfield, Denver and Hobart and registered a goal and an assist versus Johns Hopkins.
He has put 17-of-28 shots on goal and scored on 35.7-percent of his total shots.
In 48 career games, Hawkins has scored 25 goals and has nine assists as a short-stick defender.
O'Sullivan Shooting On Target
Sean O'Sullivan has scored eight goals in the Greyhounds' last five 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 20 points.
He matched his career-high with four goals against Denver, and 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 43 shots (.398 shot percentage), and he is putting 69.8-percent of his total shots on goal (30-of-43). 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 was held to less than two points. He rebounded, though, with a goal and two assists versus Ohio State for his 14th multi-point game in 15 games this year.
He has now tallied at least two points in all but one games this season, and he has three or more in 10 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 62 career assists, Ward is in seventh place on the school's Division I career chart; 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 30 assists and 57 points. His 30 assists are tied for seventh in school single-season history.
CLASSy Senior Candidate
Three 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 seventh in school Division I history in career ground balls (216) and he is second in caused turnovers (88). His caused turnovers are two shy of tying the school record set by P.T. Ricci.
Crane A Finalist For Yeardley Love Unsung Hero Award
Freshman Jason Crane is one of five men's players nationally to be a finalist for the Yeardley Love Unsung Hero Award. In January, Crane led a group of 13 of his teammates to Newtown, Conn., to put on a youth lacrosse clinic for members of the town affected by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Crane and his teammates have kept up the connection with the Newtown Youth Lacrosse players, hosting them and their families at the April 13 game against Denver.
Pontrello Keeps Tallying Points
Nikko Pontrello tallied two goals and two assists in the ECAC Semifinal against and Ohio State, coming up with his fourth multi-goal game of the season in addition to three hat tricks (UMBC, Air Force, Ohio State regular-season).
In his first season as a starter, Pontrello has scored 15 goals while assisting on 19 for 34 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 21 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 58-29 in the third quarter and 81-69 overall after halftime.
The Last Meeting
March 8, 2013
Fourth-Quarter Run Pushes Duke Past Men's Lacrosse
Duke University scored five goals in the fourth quarter to get past fourth-ranked Loyola University Maryland, 9-8, Scott Ratliff scored a goal and had a game-high seven ground balls for the Greyhounds.