Loyola makes its third appearance in four years in the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championships when it travels to Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, N.Y., for a first round game against Cornell.
The teams will faceoff on Saturday, May 5, 2010, at 2:30 p.m.
The Greyhounds have appeared in the NCAA Division I Championships 16 times prior to this season and have a 9-16 record in those games. Loyola also reached the NCAA Division II Championships in 1979 and 1981 for a total of 18 prior postseason appearances.
Loyola has played a team from the Ivy Legaue six times in the tournament, going 1-5 in those contests.
Although the Greyhounds did not qualify for the playoffs last season, they were part of the 16-team fields in 2007 and 2008.
On The Tube
Saturday's game will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Rob Simmelkjaer will call the play-by-play, and Jack Emmer will handle analyst duties.
In The Polls
Loyola enters the game ranked 11th in the USILA Coaches Poll and 12th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings, while Cornell is seventh in both polls.
The Greyhounds have been ranked in every edition of the polls this season, and they have been part of the USILA Coaches Poll for the last 29 weeks, dating back to April 7, 2008.
Loyola has not played Cornell during the regular-season since 1962, but the teams are not complete strangers to one another. The Greyhounds and Big Red met for several years in preseason exhibition games until 2010.
The teams met five times between 1956 and 1962 with Cornell winning three times and the other two contests resulting in ties.
Those games did not count in Cornell's all-time record because of Ivy League game limits at the time, but they were counted games for Loyola (thus a discrepancy in the schools' listings for all-time records in the series.
Loyola is 20-24-2 all-time against schools in the Ivy League.
ECAC Honors For Seven Greyhounds
Loyola's Cooper MacDonnell and Jake Hagelin were named the ECAC Offensive Player and Goalkeeper of the Year, respectively, on Tuesday by a vote of league's coaches.
MacDonnell, who missed three games in March due to a shoulder injury, finished the regular-season with 22 goals and five assists.
Hagelin took home top goalkeeping honors after helping Loyola build the top defense in the league. The Greyhounds are second in NCAA Division I in scoring defense, and Hagelin is third in the nation with a 7.86 goals against average.
The loss to Johns Hopkins was the first time in 10 games this season that the Greyhounds have lost when recording more ground balls than their opponent.
Picking Up & Moving Up
With his 10 ground balls on Saturday, John Schiavone moved into eighth-place on Loyola's single-season chart with 83 this season. He also eclipsed his previous season-high of 76, which is now 10th in a single season. Schiavone is now fifth in the NCAA and tops in the ECAC with 6.31 ground balls per game.
With one more ground ball, Schiavone will move into a tie for seventh at Loyola with P.T. Ricci's 2008 total of 84.
He needs eight more to tie Ricci's 2009 total of 91 for fifth all-time.
Chris Hurst has saved his best offense for the final stretch of his collegiate career. The senior midfielder scored three goals, a career-high, on Saturday against Johns Hopkins, marking the third time since April 3 that he's tallied two or more in a game.
Entering the April 3 game against Ohio State, Hurst had just three goals in his three-plus years at Loyola. Since then, however, he scored twice against the Buckeyes, once at Fairfield (along with an assist), twice versus Georgetown and once more at Hobart. Add to that his three versus the Blue Jays, and he has nine goals in his last six games.
Loyola's defense moved up to No. 2 nationally in goals allowed per game. The Greyhounds have yielded an average of 7.69 per game, behind only Syracuse's mark of 7.29.
Although some teams have played more games than Loyola, no one has allowed fewer goals than the Greyhounds. They've given up just 100 this season.
John Schiavone won 12-of-19 faceoffs on Saturday against Johns Hopkins, improving his season total to an even 60-percent (150-of-250). His individual percentage ranks fifth in Division I, and as a team, the Greyhounds' 59.5-percent is third in the country.
Loyola has won more faceoffs in 10 of its 13 games this season.
Over the last nine games of the regular-season, Loyola won 64.5-percent (120-of-186) of restarts. Schiavone was successful on 65.1-percent (110-of-169) of his attempts.
No April Showers, But No May Flowers
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.
The Greyhounds, however, have started the May 2010 with a 0-2 record.
Cooper MacDonnell extended his point-scoring streak to 28 games with a first-quarter assist on a Chris Basler man-up goal against Johns Hopkins. 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 15 assists for 71 points.
EMO Drought Snapped
Loyola snapped an 0-of-7 drought in extra-man opportunities in the first quarter against Johns Hopkins when Chris Basler scored the first goal of the game in a man-up situation.
The Greyhounds' last EMO goal came in the third quarter of an April 10 game at Fairfield, a span of 13-plus quarters.
Loyola has been most successful this season when building a lead. The Greyhounds are 7-1 when leading after the first quarter with the only loss coming against Notre Dame. They are 7-0 when in front at the half and 9-0 when leading at the start of the fourth quarter.
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 12.
Finnerty Receives Top Honors At Athletic Banquet
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 13 games this year, Finnerty leads Loyola with 22 goals and 34 points, and he is tied for second on the team with 12 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.
The Loyola-Cornell 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 was 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 tied for second on the Greyhounds, tops amongst middies, with 12 assists.
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 30-20 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 36 third-quarter goals while holding opponents to just 23.
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.
ECAC Weekly Honors
John Schiavone earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time in three weeks on May 10 after going 12-of-19 on faceoffs and picking up 10 ground balls versus Johns Hopkins.
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.