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July 13, 2011

Several area recruits catch attention of ESPN's Kessenich

Forty underclassmen from around the country took part in the Warrior 40 at Harvard University last week, and ESPN analyst Quint Kessenich singled out several players who have verbally committed to some area programs.

In the first of two reports for Inside Lacrosse, Kessenich, a contributor to The Sun, selected Navy recruit and midfielder Danny Simonetti as the second player who impressed him. Although a little undersized at 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, Simonetti, who will graduate next spring, is a two-way player who should fit in with the Midshipmen’s work ethic. “Simonetti is a do-it-all type midfielder who can get ground balls, play defense, carry the pill in transition and possesses flawless stick with both hands,” Kessenich wrote. “He scored 17 goals and added 19 assists for Cold Spring Harbor [in New York] last spring. He will be the ideal complimentary midfielder on a well balanced line.”

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy
        

July 11, 2011

Michigan joins Loyola, Denver in ECAC

Life in the Eastern College Athletic Conference appeared to get more difficult with the news last week that Michigan has joined the league.

To be fair, this is the first year of Division I lacrosse for the Wolverines, and they have to deal with the likes of two-time ECAC champion and 2011 national semifinalist Denver, 2008 league titlist Loyola, and 2011 ECAC tournament finalist Fairfield.

Then again, Michigan had captured three of the last four Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association national championships and gone 241-44 in the 14 years that coach John Paul has coached the team. And the school carries the kind of Division I punch to become a major player on the recruiting scene sooner rather than later.

The Wolverines will compete next year as an affiliate member and will be eligible for the conference tournament in 2013.

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Categories: Loyola
        

June 23, 2011

Maryland leads pack in Under Armour All-America selections

Maryland fell just short of capturing the national championship, but the Terps will reload with one of the top recruiting classes in the nation.

The Under Armour All-America list was announced on May 26, and Maryland leads all Division I schools with seven players on that list.

Representing the Terps on July 2 at 8 p.m. at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium will be three attackmen in Jay Carlson (St. Paul’s), Kevin Forster and David Solomon, two midfielders in Bobby Gribbin (who reportedly has switched his commitment from Penn State) and Joe LoCascio, and two defensemen in Goran Murray and Eric Parnon.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy
        

June 9, 2011

Review & preview: Loyola

Here’s the fourth installment of a series that checks in with the seven Division I programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and the future. Thursday’s visit takes us to Loyola.

REVIEW

The good: After bidding farewell to Collin Finnerty and Cooper MacDonnell and losing Eric Lusby to a season-ending knee injury, the Greyhounds needed to replenish the attack. In stepped sophomore Mike Sawyer, who recorded 31 goals and 5 assists. “We needed him to,” coach Charley Toomey said of Sawyer, the Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year in 2009 who returned after withdrawing from school last year. “With injuries and graduation, we lost 90 goals. So we knew we needed to have a presence on that right-hand side. I think going into the year, we might’ve hoped that Michael could play some attack and maybe some midfield, but we just needed him down low. He did surprise the coaches with the velocity at which he could shoot the ball.” … A defense that graduated defensemen Steve Layne and Kyle Cottrell didn’t miss much of a beat after inserting junior Dylan Grimm and sophomore Reid Acton into starting roles. This year’s unit surrendered 8.1 goals per game after allowing a 7.9 average last season. “We certainly had [senior] Jake Hagelin back in the cage but with Kyle Cottrell and Steve Layne gone, we had put up good numbers on the board,” Toomey said. “We were real happy with our defensive production in being able to hold teams to the number we’re always shooting for. That was something that we felt very, very good about. With the core of the group coming back, we’re excited about the possibilities of next year.” … Towards the latter half of the season, sophomore midfielder Davis Butts began to assert himself as an initiator. His numbers (10 goals and 5 assists) were modest, but he consistently drew opponents’ long-stick midfielder. “I thought Davis Butts really grew up as the season went on,” Toomey said. “Every team’s got a guy like [Johns Hopkins sophomore John] Ranagan, a guy that you really depend on to start the offense. He became that guy in the midfield for us. He really put it on his shoulders to take that next step, and we saw him grow up as the year went on. So we’re excited now. He did that as a sophomore, so we’ve got him for two more years. That’s something that we’re really happy about.”

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June 2, 2011

Loyola's Toomey, UMBC's Zimmerman say they have not been contacted by Navy

With Navy still searching for a successor to Richie Meade, speculation about whom the Midshipmen have targeted to be the program’s eighth head coach is rampant.

At least two local coaches said the academy has not reached out to them.

Loyola coach Charley Toomey was the head coach of the Naval Academy Preparatory School in 1993 and an assistant coach with the Midshipmen in 1994 and 1995, but he said that he is happy coaching the Greyhounds.

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May 26, 2011

JHU's Dolente, Ranagan headline area representatives on All-American list

The Division I All-American list is out and two Johns Hopkins players made the first team.

Senior faceoff specialist Matt Dolente and sophomore midfielder John Ranagan represented the Blue Jays on the first team. Dolente concluded the 2011 campaign ranked second in the country with a .667 success rate (194-of-291), and his 194 wins ranks third for the most in a single season.

Ranagan ranked third on the team in assists (14) and fourth in both goals (18) and points (32). He finished with 11 multi-point games this season.

Virginia’s Steele Stanwick, a Baltimore native and Loyola graduate, was also named to the first team. The junior attackman, who leads the Cavaliers in points (64) and assists (35), is the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and the only Tewaaraton Award finalist whose team is still competing in the NCAA tournament.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy
        

May 5, 2011

Loyola's Toomey: one more loss, "you go home"

According to several projected brackets, No. 18 Loyola is one of several teams fighting for perhaps one at-large bid in the NCAA tournament.

The best path for the Greyhounds (8-4) entails beating Fairfield on Thursday night and then – most likely – No. 5 Denver on Saturday for the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament championship and the subsequent automatic qualifier.

Loyola coach Charley Toomey said the team understands the circumstances surrounding its postseason hopes.

“It’s a playoff atmosphere, for sure,” he said Tuesday before the team departed for Denver, the site of the ECAC tournament. “We recognize that we’ve got to be playing our best lacrosse right now because if you lose, you go home. That’s the challenge. It’s an exciting time, and what we’re trying to deal with for the ECAC tournament is, it’s not only about playing our best lacrosse, but it’s also about managing exams, managing travel, managing some things that we probably wouldn’t even be thinking about in the regular season. The good news is that you’re preparing for an opponent that you’ve seen earlier in the year. The bad news is, you’ve got a lot of other factors that play into a weekend like this.”

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May 3, 2011

Loyola, UMBC put players on all-conference teams

Several players from Loyola and UMBC were honored by their respective conferences with their inclusion on all-league teams.

Senior defenseman Steve Dircks and sophomore attackman Mike Sawyer represented the No. 18 Greyhounds on the Eastern College Athletic Conference first team.

Dircks, a three-year starter on defense, ranks second on the team in caused turnovers (14), and he has helped the defense limit opponents to 8.0 goals per game, which ranks 15th in Division I.

Sawyer leads Loyola in both goals (27) and points (32) this season and has scored at least one point in every game this season. He was the ECAC Rookie of the Year in 2009.

Senior faceoff specialist John Schiavone was selected to the conference second team. He has won 55.2 percent (116-of-210) of his draws and leads the team in ground balls with 63.

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May 2, 2011

Loyola's path to NCAA tournament narrows

Loyola’s one-goal loss to Johns Hopkins may have hurt the Greyhounds in more ways than one.

Not only did the 8-7 setback at Homewood Field in Baltimore on Saturday extend the No. 4 Blue Jays’ winning streak against their Charles Street rivals to 12 consecutive meetings, but Loyola has backed itself into a corner regarding the NCAA tournament.

The No. 18 Greyhounds (8-4), the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament, must beat No. 3 seed Fairfield on Thursday night and then probably top-seeded and No. 5 Denver on Saturday night to claim the automatic qualifier for the NCAA tournament. Anything short of that goal, and Loyola will likely end up watching the postseason on television.

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Q&A with ESPN's Mark Dixon

ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon will provide commentary for the next installment of the “War on the Shore” series between No. 1 Salisbury and Washington on Saturday at 1 p.m. Dixon discussed his candidate for the top seed in the NCAA tournament, Virginia’s performance on the heels of a major personnel shakeup, and Maryland’s bid for a top-eight seed and a home game.

With No. 1 Notre Dame falling to No. 3 Syracuse, 11-8, on Saturday, who is your candidate with the inside track for the top seed in the NCAA tournament?
I think the No. 1 seed right now is Syracuse. The reason is when you look at the three main criteria for the NCAA selection committee, it’s RPI, strength of schedule and quality wins, and I think Syracuse has all of those wrapped up. Their RPI was already No. 1 going into this weekend. The SOS hasn’t been put out yet, but I’d be shocked if they weren’t in the top three. And when you look at their quality wins, you’re talking about [No. 4] Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, [No. 9] Virginia, [No. 7] Duke, [No. 5] Denver and [No. 13] Villanova. They just have all three of those wrapped up. They play St. John’s in their final and minus any catastrophe there, Syracuse will be the No. 1 seed.

What did you think of Virginia’s 11-2 win against No. 16 Penn in light of the program’s decision to dismiss senior midfielder Shamel Bratton and suspend indefinitely his twin brother Rhamel Bratton?
I wasn’t surprised, to be honest with you. [ESPN analyst] Quint Kessenich and I did a segment a couple weeks ago for Inside Lacrosse called “Quint vs. Dixon: Buy or sell Virginia?” and I said sell. The main reason was the team chemistry. You could just tell that things weren’t right with the team chemistry. So the players stepped up, voted to have Rhamel suspended and Shamel dismissed from the team, and that’s huge. When you’re looking around the locker room, those are the guys you go to battle with in terms of the lacrosse field every single day in practice and then on gameday against other schools, and they made the decision that they didn’t want them there. Virginia has problems in addition to the Brattons with the defense being very suspect. But they did a tremendous job [Saturday]. They made some adjustments. [Senior long-stick midfielder] Bray Malphrus played down at the close, and [redshirt junior defenseman] Chris Clements went up to long-stick midfield. I like [sophomore] Harry Prevas back there. [Senior] Adam Ghitelman is a good goalie who can make saves when given the opportunity. To beat Penn, 11-2, at home, I thought it was a statement win, and I liked the way this offense still has weapons. They still have [junior attackmen] Steele Stanwick and Chris Bocklet and [junior] Colin Briggs in the midfield. So this team still has an explosive offense. It’s just a question of whether or not this defense can pull it together. But I think for this team – in terms of the off-field distractions – the soap opera is done and the drama is finished. Shamel Bratton has been dismissed from the team. Sure, they’ll miss him on the field in terms of his ability and what he brought to the table as an electric offensive lacrosse player. But they don’t have to put up with all of the other stuff, and they can really just focus on winning games now and doing the best that they can without the whole sideshow.

What was the most surprising result of the weekend?
Two things stood out to me. One was the Syracuse offense and how they were able to pick apart the Notre Dame defense. I was really impressed with them being able to penetrate that Irish defense, and I think the big key to that from where I was sitting was [junior attackman] Tom Palasek. His ability to dodge off the corner, get about goal-line extended, create slides, create defensive rotations really opened up a lot of things for the Syracuse offense. And when you can get the ball into [senior attackman] Stephen Keogh, forget about it. That guy’s going to finish. He’s a tremendous goal scorer, and that’s what they were able to do. I was impressed with the play of the second midfield unit, [redshirt sophomore] Steve Ianzito in particular. I think the second biggest surprise wasn’t that [No. 12] Bucknell won the Patriot League championship, but how they did it in such dominating fashion. This is a team right now that is really gelling, and I think they’re peaking at the time that you want a team to peak. I just really love that trio that they have on the offensive end in [senior attackman Mike] Danylyshyn, [senior midfielder Ryan] Klipstein and [junior midfielder] Charlie Streep.

I’ve seen a few projected brackets that don’t have No. 6 Maryland getting a top-eight seed and a home game in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Agree or disagree?
I think Maryland is a top-eight seed and that they will get a home game. When you look at their body of work, their RPI is a little low right now at 11. Their strength of schedule is probably going to be anywhere between eight and 13, but if you look at their wins – the win over Duke in the ACC championship, the win over North Carolina in the ACC tournament – in my opinion, they’re going to get the home game. The RPI and the SOS are a little bit low, but when I look at my top eight, I’ve got Villanova, Bucknell and maybe Penn on the outside looking in. If I compare the resumes of those teams to Maryland’s, I guess Villanova would be the one that would be the most problematic with an RPI of four. But I think their strength of schedule is going to be much lower than Maryland’s. I see the Terps getting seeded anywhere between six and eight. And remember, they still have to play [No. 14] Colgate at home next weekend. That’s going to be a huge game for Colgate because if they can win, that would keep them alive. For Maryland, that’s a good win. Not an eye-popping win, but a good win.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Q&A
        

May 1, 2011

Postscript from Loyola at Johns Hopkins

In less than a year, Johns Hopkins has already reversed a troubling trend.

A season removed from absorbing three one-goal losses en route to the program’s first sub-.500 campaign, the No. 4 Blue Jays have won four one-goal contests this spring.

Johns Hopkins (11-2) added to that string on Saturday by holding off No. 18 Loyola, 8-7, at Homewood Field in Baltimore.

The Blue Jays, who have edged No. 6 Maryland, No. 8 North Carolina and No. 9 Virginia by one goal each, are 40-15 under coach Dave Pietramala in one-goal games.

After last season’s 7-8 record, Pietramala joked that he’s happy with any victory, but he conceded that he’s enjoyed witnessing the character this current squad has shown.

“I like that we found a way to win,” he said. “I like that we got the stop we needed to get. I like that when we needed to extend that lead by one more goal, we got it. I thought [sophomore midfielder] Lee Coppersmith’s goal [at the end of the second quarter] was a big one. I like that we feel good about putting our faceoff guy out there and knowing that we’ve got a pretty darn good chance of coming up with the ball. I like that.”

Just as he did in the 10-9 decision against North Carolina on April 3, senior faceoff specialist Matt Dolente won Saturday’s final draw. Although the offense would later cough up the ball, Dolente said he doesn’t mind bearing the burden of winning that key faceoff.

“We’ve been in that situation a few times this year where you need to come up with a faceoff late, and we’ve had good results and bad results,” he said. “But I think we feel comfortable in that situation. We’ve been in that situation before, and I was confident that we could come away with a win there.”

Other notes:

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April 30, 2011

Loyola at Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

Johns Hopkins has seized control of what began as a tight contest, taking advantage of a 3-0 run to end the second quarter and take a 6-3 lead into halftime against Loyola at Homewood Field in Baltimore on Saturday.

The No. 18 Greyhounds (8-3) took a 1-0 lead after senior attackman Chris Palmer scored 6 minutes, 46 seconds into the first quarter, and both sides traded goals until the score was 3-3 with 9:14 left in the second period.

But the No. 4 Blue Jays (10-2) got goals from sophomore midfielder John Ranagan, freshman midfielder Rob Guida and sophomore midfielder Lee Coppersmith over a span of 3:08 to take the three-goal advantage into intermission.

Johns Hopkins is virtually assured of a spot in the NCAA tournament. Loyola will be the No. 2 seed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament at Denver on Thursday night, but a win against the Blue Jays could strengthen the school’s candidacy for an at-large bid.

Other notes:

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Categories: Halftime thoughts, Johns Hopkins, Loyola
        

Loyola at Johns Hopkins: Three things to watch

The rivalry between these Charles Street programs resumes, but the scales have been severely in favor of Johns Hopkins, which is 45-3 in this series. No. 18 Loyola (8-3) is riding a five-game winning streak after enduring a three-game skid in an eight-day span in March. Meanwhile, the No. 4 Blue Jays (10-2) has also won five consecutive games after dropping a 5-4 double-overtime decision to then-No. 1 Syracuse on March 19. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Homewood Field in Baltimore on Saturday.

1) Slowing down Dolente. Johns Hopkins has demonstrated a knack for turning a defensive stop or turnover or a faceoff win into a transition opportunity. That latter scenario has caught the attention of the Greyhounds, who hope that senior faceoff specialist John Schiavone (107-of-191 for ..560) can neutralize Blue Jays senior Matt Dolente (138-of-206 for .670). “I think you’ve got to have the ball, to start,” Loyola coach Charley Toomey said. “I’m not going to say that we’re going to slow the tempo of the game down because right now, we need to score goals when we have those opportunities, and if it dictates that we’ve got to play fast, then that’s what we need to do. I really believe that the difference for Johns Hopkins over the last two months has been that Dolente has really come on. He’s a real force at the X, and he’s giving them possessions. … We know we’ve got our hands full.”

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Coaches at Johns Hopkins and Loyola praise the Dwan brothers

Friday’s edition of The Sun included a feature on the relationship between Bill and Matt Dwan, who are the respective defensive coordinators for Johns Hopkins and Loyola.

Bill Dwan has been by coach Dave Pietramala’s side since 2001, and Pietramala said there’s a reason why Dwan is the associate head coach.

“I think Bill Dwan is a guy that’s very, very underappreciated,” Pietramala said. “I say that because he is a guy that has no desire to get credit. He is a guy that thrives on being in the background. He is a guy that will make a tremendous head coach when that time comes. But he means more to this program than anybody has any clue.”

Pietramala said one of Dwan’s essential qualities is his ability to gauge Pietramala’s demeanor and take the opposite approach. That would seem to be beneficial considering that Pietramala is not shy about sharing his thoughts with the players when mistakes are made.

Pietramala also said that while the team is getting ready for the next opponent, Dwan is in charge of scouting the opponent after that. That worked well in 2007 when the Blue Jays limited Delaware faceoff specialist Alex Smith, NCAA record holder in several categories, to just 7-of-15 wins in an NCAA tournament semifinal.

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April 27, 2011

Out for rest of 2011, Loyola's Lusby to seek redshirt for 2012

Senior Eric Lusby will sit out the rest of this season and seek a medical waiver to retain a year of eligibility for next season, Loyola coach Charley Toomey confirmed Tuesday.

Lusby registered 20 goals and five assists as a junior, but he tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee in the team’s 11-10 triple overtime loss to Cornell in the first round of the NCAA tournament last May.

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April 22, 2011

Leftovers from Q&A with Loyola's Chris Palmer

Friday’s editions included a Q&A with Loyola fifth-year senior attackman Chris Palmer. Due to space constraints, here are some more answers that didn’t make the cut.

When was the last time you played attack?
Senior year in high school. [The Lovett School in Atlanta, Ga.] I showed up at Bucknell in my freshman year and played for about two weeks as an attackman, and then they thought I was more of a middie than an attackman. But I guess over the last four years, I’ve somehow molded myself back into becoming an attackman.

Why do you think you’ve had more success this season at attack rather than midfield?
The first four games, I didn’t have any goals, and other than the Navy game which I played awful, I thought I was playing well, but I wasn’t scoring. I don’t know. I’m playing well. It’s my last year. So maybe I’m a little more excited than I have been in the past. I don’t know. I can’t really explain it.

Because of your ability to dodge, do you think you’re catching opposing defensemen off guard?
Most offenses these days want to initiate the offense through the midfielders where they can dodge the short sticks. Coach Chemotti has been preaching that we should be dodging the long poles. We’re not scared of dodging the long poles. That’s kind of the mindset that we have, and I do believe that catches some teams off guard, having three attackmen who can all dodge and get to the goal.

Do you think about your former team, No. 12 Bucknell, is playing for the Patriot League regular-season title this season?
I follow them all the time. I’m on the Bucknell website to see how they’re doing, talking to them, and wishing them the best. They’ve got a big game this weekend against [No. 14] Colgate [for the title and the top seed and home-field advantage in the Patriot League tournament]. So Bucknell’s still fresh in my mind. I wear my Bucknell tie sometimes to some of our catered events at Loyola, and the kids here give me a hard time. But I graduated from there. I’m an alumni. I have the right to wear this. It’s not like I’m a freshman or sophomore who just transferred in.

Who is Bucknell’s biggest rival in the Patriot League?
A Bucknell student would think Lehigh or Lafayette. But on the lacrosse field, it’s definitely Navy. Those games in the past have been the ones that drew the biggest fans.

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April 20, 2011

Loyola, UMBC, Stevenson, St. Mary's earn weekly awards

Players from Loyola, UMBC, Stevenson and St. Mary’s were recipients of weekly honors from their respective conferences.

Senior goalkeeper Jake Hagelin was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week after he made a career-best 18 saves in No. 19 Loyola’s 6-5 four-overtime win against Georgetown on Sunday. The Havre de Grace native and Boys’ Latin graduate made six of his stops in the extra session and also collected four ground balls.

Sophomore attackman Scott Jones was cited by the America East as its Player of the Week for his five-goal performance in UMBC’s 13-9 victory over Albany on Saturday night. Four of those five goals occurred in the fourth quarter, and Jones currently leads the Retrievers with 17.

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Loyola's Toomey: team showed physical and mental determination

It’s not a stretch to say that No. 19 Loyola deserved Monday off after outlasting host Georgetown in a 6-5 thriller on Sunday that took 60 minutes of regulation and four four-minute overtime periods to complete.

The Greyhounds’ perseverance actually began the day before when the game – originally scheduled for a 7 p.m. start on Saturday – was moved to 3 p.m. due to concern over inclement weather. The contest was then shifted again to Sunday at 3 p.m. as thunderstorms rolled into the Washington, D.C. area on Saturday afternoon.

Loyola coach Charley Toomey said the players absorbed the multiple changes to their schedule in stride.

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April 16, 2011

Loyola-Georgetown moved to Sunday

Due to forecasts of severe weather, Saturday's contest between No. 20 Loyola and Georgetown in Washington, D.C., has been rescheduled to Sunday at 3 p.m.

The game is still scheduled to take place at Multi-Sport Field on Georgetown's campus.

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Categories: Loyola
        

April 10, 2011

Postscript from Fairfield at Loyola

The number three has become a theme for Loyola.

The Greyhounds began the season with three victories, then dropped three straight regular-season contests under coach Charley Toomey for the first time, and now has won three consecutive games, including Saturday’s 7-6 overtime decision against visiting Fairfield at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore.

It’s been a somewhat dramatic reversal for a program that was once in danger of missing the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament and – with a 3-2 league record – is now in second place in the conference.

Loyola (6-3 overall) won’t be able to overtake No. 12 Denver for the top spot in the conference unless the Pioneers drop their last three league contests. But the team’s focus is more short-term, Toomey said.

“We’re one game at a time,” he said Saturday. “So right now for us, it’s Georgetown [on Saturday]. It’s an opportunity outside of the conference to maybe put something on your resume for May. We’ll start preparing for them tonight, and that’s it. The week after that, we have our last conference game at home, and we’ll be excited to play Hobart at home. But I do think that this team plays the right way. I think the last couple of weeks, we’ve talked about discipline an awful lot in our locker room, and I think that this team is ready for the stretch run. I think they expect to be in the conference tournament, and I think we expect to be playing our best lacrosse in the conference tournament. And that’s our focus and that’s really our marching orders right now.”

The Greyhounds would appear to have the tools to make a bid for the NCAA postseason. Senior John Schiavone is among the top-20 leaders in Division I in faceoff percentage, the attack unit appears to have found its starting lineup with graduate student Chris Palmer shifting from the midfield to join senior Matt Langan and sophomore Mike Sawyer, and the defense anchored by senior goalkeeper Jake Hagelin and senior defenseman Steve Dircks is one of the stingiest in the country.

“We’re really getting back to the right path,” Schiavone said. “We were down a little hole, and I’ve been here for five years, and I’ve seen a lot of different stuff. It’s tough to see a team like that, and it’s even harder to bring a team out of the hole we put ourselves in. … Now we’re coming out, we’re flying from the beginning, we’re excited to play, everyone’s on each other’s shoulders, everybody’s ready to go. It’s a good thing to see.”

Other notes:

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April 9, 2011

Fairfield at Loyola: Halftime thoughts

Defense has taken center stage as No. 20 Loyola leads visiting Fairfield, 3-2, at halftime of a critical Eastern College Athletic Conference meeting at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore on Saturday.

Greyhounds senior goalie Jake Hagelin has made four saves, but he has been outdueled thus far by junior Charlie Cipriano, who has turned away seven shots.

The Stags (5-4 overall and 2-1 in the ECAC) have committed nine turnovers to Loyola’s seven. The Greyhounds have collected 15 ground balls to Fairfield’s eight.

Loyola (5-3, 2-2), which scored the first three goals in last week’s 12-9 victory over Ohio State, appeared destined to take a similar path when sophomore midfielder Davis Butts and sophomore attackman Mike Sawyer scored in the first 2 minutes, 25 seconds of the first quarter.

Junior attackman John Snellman cut the deficit in half with a score with 11.7 seconds left in the period.

Senior attackman Matt Langan gave the Greyhounds another two-goal cushion with 10:12 remaining in the second quarter, but Stags junior midfielder Brent Adams answered with a goal 57 seconds later.

Other notes:

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Fairfield at Loyola: Three things to watch

There’s a lot at stake when Fairfield and Loyola meet in a showdown between Eastern College Athletic Conference rivals. The visiting Stags are 5-4 overall, but more importantly, they are 2-1 in the conference, which is good enough for second place behind No. 12 Denver. The No. 20 Greyhounds have a better overall record at 5-3, but they are 2-2 in the ECAC – a half-game behind Fairfield. A win would give either side more footing in the race for the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore on Saturday.

1) Midfield production. Loyola’s attack has fueled the offense, but the midfield has been underwhelming. Graduate student Chris Palmer is listed as a midfielder, but he scored five goals in last Saturday’s 12-9 victory over Ohio State as an attackman. In fact, according to Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey, no offensive midfielder scored against the Buckeyes. “So we’re looking at our middies this week and challenging them to step up their games,” Toomey said. “That’s going to be the motive all week, to get these guys prepared. But we don’t care where the goals come from. We’re going to look at the scoreboard at the end of the day, and for the last two weeks, we’ve been able to get that 10-plus mark, and that’s always a goal whenever we step on the field.”

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April 5, 2011

Loyola gently applies brakes during modest run

After a turbulent eight-day stretch during which Loyola absorbed setbacks to No. 3 Duke, No. 12 Denver and Air Force, the Greyhounds have rebounded with back-to-back wins against Mount St. Mary’s and Ohio State.

But before supporters get too giddy, coach Charley Toomey acknowledged that Loyola (5-3 overall and 2-2 in the Eastern College Athletic Conference), which broke into The Sun's top-20 rankings at No. 20, is still a work in progress.

“We’re still figuring our team out as coaches, trying to put guys in the right spots and give our guys the best chance to compete on Saturdays,” Toomey said Monday. “Some days, it might be Pat Fanshaw, and some days, it might be Chris Palmer or it might be Brian Smalley, who’s getting some opportunities. We’ve actually gotten a good combination of guys the last couple weeks, and they’ve put the ball in the net a few more times.”

Toomey was referring to the team’s rotation at the No. 3 attackman spot. Fanshaw, a sophomore, started the first six games before giving way to Smalley, a sophomore, against the Mountaineers, and then Palmer, a Bucknell transfer getting his graduate degree, against the Buckeyes.

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March 29, 2011

Loyola, Salisbury snag weekly awards

Loyola sophomore long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff earned Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

Ratliff helped the Greyhounds score four goals in transition, registering one goal and two assists in the team’s 14-12 win against Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday. He also collected a career- and game-high six ground balls.

Salisbury junior attackman Matt Cannone took home Offensive Player of the Week laurels from the Capital Athletic Conference.

Cannone posted 10 points in two victories, including five goals in the No. 2 Sea Gulls’ 10-7 decision against then-No. 8 Roanoke on Wednesday night. With 121 career goals, Cannone is just 10 goals away from passing Eric Bishop for 10th place on the school’s all-time goals list.

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March 25, 2011

Familiar face to return to starting lineup for Mount St. Mary's

Less than a year removed from a season in which he registered 17 goals and 21 assists in 17 starts, Brett Schmidt has been playing off the bench more this spring.

That’s about to change as the junior attackman will return to the starting lineup for Saturday’s home contest against Loyola, coach Tom Gravante said Friday morning.

“He’s back to playing the level of ball that we needed from him against Towson [on March 5],” Gravante said. “So he earned it back, and it’s time to get him in the game right from the start.”

Gravante said the decision to demote Schmidt was two-fold. First, the coaches wanted to give Schmidt, who had posted just one goal and one assist in his first two games, what Gravante called “a kick in the pants.” Second, the staff thought running Schmidt out of the box would pair him with an opponent’s short-stick defender, which would be a mismatch.

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March 24, 2011

Loyola on verge of dubious streak

Since Charley Toomey took over as the head coach prior to the 2006 season, Loyola has never lost three regular-season games in a calendar year.

Back-to-back losses to No. 15 Denver and Air Force, however, have put the Greyhounds (3-3) on some shaky ground, and the reverberations were felt as soon as the team returned from Colorado on Sunday morning.

“We got off that plane as a coaching staff and got back to Ridley [Athletic Complex] at about two in the morning and we sat in Ridley until about 5:30,” Toomey said Wednesday. “We were analyzing every aspect of the program. Do we need to go back to fundamentals in practice? Do we need to simplify things? Looking at our attack, looking at our lines in the midfield, do we need to shake some things up? Do you beat your team up or do you pat them on the back to help them get through this? I think it’s a combination of both. But I do believe that the guys are working hard. I had about 15 kids texting me and asking me to meet on Sunday, to come up to the office and talk. They’re saying the right things.”

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March 23, 2011

Loyola could meet Mount without key contributors

As Loyola tries to snap a two-game losing streak on Saturday at Mount St. Mary's, it might be missing two key contributors.

Senior faceoff specialist John Schiavone and fifth-year senior midfielder Chris Palmer suffered concussions in the Greyhounds’ 12-8 loss to No. 15 Denver a week ago, and both players did not make the trip to Colorado for the team’s 8-6 loss to Air Force on Saturday.

Schiavone, who has won 52-of-91 faceoffs for a 57.1 success rate, has not returned to the practice field yet, putting his status for Saturday’s game even further in doubt.

“It’s a concussion thing, so he has to go through a period of non contact and then he has to have a period of some non-contact workouts,” coach Charley Toomey said. “And when the trainer tells me that he’s good to go, he’ll be back out there for us.”

Similarly, Palmer, a transfer from Bucknell, is edging closer to being kept out on Saturday.

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March 21, 2011

Q&A with ESPN's Matt Ward

A former All-American attackman who helped Virginia capture NCAA championships in 2003 and 2006 and won the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2006 as the sport’s top player, Matt Ward knows a thing or two about the rivalry between the Cavaliers and Johns Hopkins, which will be renewed again on Saturday. But first, Ward, an analyst for ESPN, offered his opinion on No. 1 Syracuse’s chances of going undefeated, the team that suffered the biggest hit with a loss on Saturday, and the team that may have elevated its hopes with a win on Saturday.

Question: Syracuse is 6-0, but has needed overtime in two of its last three games to remain unblemished. Do you think the Orange can be beaten?
Answer: I do. Syracuse is obviously a very skilled team, but I think this year – more than any other that I’ve seen – it’s wide open. Syracuse, in terms of skill set, has one of the best defensive ends in the country, but I don’t know if they have enough athletes to run the table and go undefeated. Certainly, they’re going to be a team that is in the hunt for a national championship, but they’re going to get tested all year. On the offensive end, the one question I have is outside of [sophomore attackman] JoJo Marasco, who’s going to run by someone and make a dodge to the goal? Most of their players are crafty, slick, off-ball players.

Q: What was the biggest surprise of the weekend?
A: To me, I thought it was Towson over [No. 4] Stony Brook. I was a believer – and still am a believer – in Stony Brook because of their faceoff guy [senior Adam Rand] and the talent they have on offense. But to me, that [9-8 score] was shocking. That was a great win by Towson. I think Towson’s a young team, and they’ve got some talented players who are starting to play a little bit better. But that’s a game that Stony Brook should win. I want to see Stony Brook bring it every single day if they want to become a national powerhouse, and I didn’t think Stony Brook brought their “A” game [Saturday]. And [No. 5] Hofstra going down [7-6] to Delaware as well. I wouldn’t have predicted that in a million years. I thought Hofstra was a team that had so many offensive weapons, while Delaware was a team that was struggling. But it was a great win for Delaware. Teams like Hofstra and Stony Brook, when you’re ranked No. 4 or 5 in the country, you need to win those games.

Q: In addition to Stony Brook and Hofstra losing, No. 11 Princeton and No. 15 Loyola were upset by No. 20 Penn and Air Force, respectively. Which of those four teams will be most haunted by Saturday’s setback?
A: I think it’s Princeton. Princeton is now 1-4, and they’re going into their Ivy League schedule. The Ivies are great this year. I don’t think there’s a bad team in the conference this year. So being 1-4, it’s going to be really hard for them to turn that around and make the NCAA tournament. It’s going to be a struggle. They have the players, but right now, it’s not looking good. Penn is an up-and-coming program. I love Coach [Mike] Murphy. He’s done a great job there. But that’s a game that Princeton needs to win. Losing to [No. 19] Villanova and UPenn in the same week can’t be a good feeling.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Q&A, Towson
        

March 17, 2011

Postscript from Denver at Loyola

Charley Toomey may have lifted a page from Don Zimmerman’s playbook.

Four days after Zimmerman was critical of his UMBC players for what he called an “unacceptable” performance in that team’s 16-5 loss to No. 14 Johns Hopkins at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic Saturday night, Toomey seemed to issue a similar challenge after No. 15 Loyola fell, 12-8, to No. 17 Denver in a game between Eastern College Athletic Conference rivals at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore Wednesday night.

“We need to be tougher,” Toomey said. “We need to be tougher on ground balls, we need to be tougher playing defense, coming off of picks. And what means is a little more physical. We’re going to do some soul-searching over the next couple days and figure out who we are. We might have to think about some of our schemes defensively to give our goalie a chance. I really don’t believe we’re giving our goalie a chance to make saves on top of the crease. So we’re really going to have to look at the film and try to figure some things out. But we’re very disappointed.”

The Greyhounds may have dropped their second straight contest and are now 1-1 in conference play, but Toomey correctly noted that they can still finish in the top four in the league and qualify for the four-team ECAC tournament at Denver in May.

Still, Toomey wasn’t thrilled with Loyola’s scoreless drought of 27 minutes, 15 seconds spanning the third and fourth quarters nor was he pleased with the team committing seven of its nine penalties in the second half.

“We’re addressing everything right now,” he said. “Do we have all the balls off the practice field? Because I do think it translates to getting to the right spots in the clears. I think it translates to knowing your scouting report. That’s what we’re talking about, just making sure that we buckle up a little bit. You probably don’t have that sense of urgency until you’re faced with days like this. We promised as coaches that we’re going to fix this thing. We’re going to have to make some changes. But one change that I’m asking them to make that they can make is the discipline. Knowing their scouting reports, taking care of our locker room, taking care of the off-field stuff. … We’re going to button it up.”

Other notes:

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March 16, 2011

Denver at Loyola: Halftime thoughts

Like last season, Loyola finds itself trailing Denver at halftime, but this time, the deficit is not as daunting.

The No. 15 Greyhounds are down 6-5 to the No. 17 Pioneers at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore Wednesday night. Last April, Denver owned a 6-2 advantage at intermission.

Loyola (3-1) got on the scoreboard just 47 seconds into the first quarter when sophomore attackman Mike Sawyer beat his defender from the left wing and slipped the ball past freshman goalkeeper Jamie Faus.

But the Pioneers (3-2) went on a 4-0 run and held the Greyhounds at bay until Sawyer trimmed the deficit to one with 2:16 left before halftime,

Loyola has allowed Denver to score off of three faceoffs, including one that the Greyhounds won. Junior attackman Alex Demopoulos forced a Loyola turnover deep in its own territory and then alley-ooped senior attackman Todd Baxter for an empty-net goal.

Other notes:

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Denver at Loyola: Three things to watch

Both teams enter Wednesday night’s contest involving Eastern College Athletic Conference rivals saddled with recent losses. No. 17 Denver, the reigning conference regular-season champion, dropped a 10-9 decision to No. 3 Notre Dame on Saturday night and flew in to Baltimore on Sunday night because the school is on spring break. No. 15 Loyola absorbed a 14-9 setback by Duke, which scored the game’s first nine goals. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore.

1) Turnovers. Part of the Greyhounds’ troubles against the Blue Devils on Friday night was an inability to protect the ball. Loyola committed seven turnovers in the first quarter, and Duke turned those miscues in three goals. Just as important was that the Greyhounds had limited possessions and opportunities on offense.”I think the bigger stat was the turnovers and where those turnovers were occurring,” coach Charley Toomey said. “You allow a team to run on you and score eight easy goals. … And we certainly know that we played a Denver team that has three very talented attackmen. So we’re going to have to lock it up down low.”

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March 15, 2011

Slow starts plaguing Loyola

Loyola’s 3-1 start masked a serious concern: the team’s lethargic starts.

In all four contests thus far, the No. 15 Greyhounds have either trailed or been tied at halftime. Eventually, the team made adjustments in the second half, but a 7-0 deficit at intermission against then-No. 11 Duke on Friday night exposed Loyola’s vulnerability.

Coach Charley Toomey conceded that the coaching staff has done considerable soul-searching and has been tweaking the team’s pre-game routines.

“As coaches, we’ve tried to look at things that we do in our pre-game and are considering maybe shortening it up and how we go about our time before the game,” he said Tuesday. “But we’ve really had some seniors step up this week and say the right thing. You’ve got to come out and you’ve got to be excited to play. Don’t get me wrong, our kids are. But now it’s a sense of concern in our locker room that we need to get out and we need to play fast. We can’t play from behind. Our defense, there seems to be a lot of pressure on them to play every possession and not with a lead. We’d like to be able to play with a lead for a while.”

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March 11, 2011

Duke still national champs to Loyola

No. 11 Duke may be 2-2 and have a surprising 7-3 loss to unranked Penn on the schedule, but the Blue Devils are still the reigning NCAA champions in the eyes of Loyola coach Charley Toomey.

“I said to our team in the locker room – and I don’t know if they liked hearing it or not – that I don’t care where they’re ranked, but people are thinking that Duke is probably going to beat Loyola Friday night,” Toomey said before the Greyhounds departed for Durham, N.C., on Tuesday. “This is a Loyola team against Duke. While we are one of the teams that have had success against Duke, they’re terrific. Going down there, it’s going to be a tough place to play. We’re going to play in our first night game, and that’s going to be exciting. I’m not going to put the title of 2011 champs on them yet because they’ve got some growing up just like we do. But it’s going to be a challenge for both of us and an exciting opportunity.”

Blue Devils coach John Danowski has consistently told anyone who will listen that this current squad shouldn’t be tagged with any label related to last year’s national crown because many of the players who contributed to capturing that title have graduated.

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March 8, 2011

Style points don't matter to Loyola

Loyola is one of six teams in The Sun’s Top 20 poll with an unblemished record. But of those teams, the Greyhounds have the lowest margin of victory, having outscored their three opponents, 21-16.

The only thing that matters to coach Charley Toomey is the 3-0 record.

Asked if he cares about style points, Toomey replied Monday, “No, I don’t, and I can say that because I’m on the [NCAA selection] committee. I’ve sat in that room and nobody has asked, ‘What was the score?’ We look at wins. I worry about how we’re playing within those wins. I want to make sure that we’re learning from each game. I do think we’ve left a couple of goals out there on the field, but I have to be excited about the way we’re defending and I have to excited about the way we’re limiting our opponents’ opportunities. I’ve said all year that we’re a team that’s going to build week-to-week. We’re not the team that we’re hopefully going to be in April. So just to get these wins at this time of the year, I think, is very important, and we’re looking forward to a great opportunity this weekend [against No. 11 Duke on Friday night].”

Loyola has been powered by its attack of seniors Matt Langan and D.J. Comer and sophomores Mike Sawyer and Patrick Fanshaw, who have combined for 18 goals and nine assists.

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March 2, 2011

Loyola-Towson game shows need for proper shooting

Towson and Loyola coaches tried to play up the Greyhounds' 3-2 win over the Tigers last Saturday as a defensive game, but it really was a snorefest because neither team could put together an offense.

 Loyola couldn't pitch and catch, and neither team could shoot. But shooting isn't just a problem for the two local teams. If you watch games around the country, the art of shooting has lost its way. The safest place for anybody is in the goal these days because most shots appear off the mark.

 Towson coach Tony Seaman has a theory that is popular among a lot of coaches, and I agree.

 "When kids today practice, they practice with their hands away from the body in shooting, because they are all trying for velocity rather than accuracy," Seaman said. "I think the way they string sticks, the bags in their sticks, prevent them from being really accurate, but they can have a lot more velocity, so they love it when the crowd goes ooooh.... They don't see what the coach is saying on the sideline.

 "It's a problem over the course of time."

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March 1, 2011

Loyola's Hagelin, Salisbury's Tokosch earn weekly honors

Loyola’s Jake Hagelin was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week Monday.

The senior goalkeeper surrendered just two goals in the No. 11 Greyhounds’ one-goal win against Towson last Saturday. The Havre de Grace native and Boys’ Latin graduate made six saves and was part of a defensive effort that gave up just eight shots on net and 21 overall. 

Salisbury’s Collin Tokosch was selected by the Capital Athletic Conference as that league’s Defensive Player of the Week.

The senior defenseman tied a career high with five caused turnovers and collected three ground balls in the No. 3 Sea Gulls’ 7-4 win against Washington & Lee last Wednesday. The Arnold native and Broadneck graduate has helped the defense allow an average of 3.7 goals per game thus far.

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February 28, 2011

Q&A with ESPN's Paul Carcaterra

ESPN analyst and former All-American Syracuse midfielder Paul Carcaterra will have a front-row view of Friday night’s tilt between No. 1 Syracuse and No. 2 Virginia as he provides commentary for ESPN. Carcaterra discussed two surprises of the weekend, a team that may have done itself a huge favor, and the wish for a delete button on Loyola’s 3-2 win against Towson.

Question: What was the most surprising result of the weekend?
Answer: I think it would have to be two. Duke [ranked No. 10 by The Sun] only putting up three goals against Penn, that was shocking to me. Duke is a team right now searching for an offensive identity. They don’t have the dodgers and playmakers that can really create and give some of their shooters an opportunity. Guys like [senior attackman] Zach Howell, who’s a fabulous shooter, they don’t have those other pieces to the offense to get him the ball. Putting up three goals against Penn, a team that towards the bottom of the Ivy [League] last year, in a loss, that was pretty shocking to me – regardless of the deficiencies of Duke, they have a ton of talent still in Durham. It’s just that they’re very young and obviously, it’s going to take longer to develop that talent than expected. And then the other piece was [No. 14] Georgetown getting blown out by [No. 3] Maryland. Maryland was a team that I picked in the preseason to go to the Final Four. After watching Georgetown against Jacksonville last week, I thought, ‘This offense is for real. They’re crafty, they’ve got good dodgers and finishers.’ I thought it was an offense ready to take Georgetown over the hump that they’ve been traveling on the last few years, but apparently not. Maryland just lit them up. I expected Maryland to be a great team, but I didn’t expect Georgetown to be in a position where they wouldn’t be able to compete in that game. They didn’t, so maybe it’s the same old Georgetown.

Q: What team registered the most impressive performance of the weekend?
A: I’d have to go back and probably say Maryland. They dominated all facets of that game and just forced their will on Georgetown. They dictated the tempo of the game, they defeated Georgetown in every facet – ground balls, physical play. They really came out, ands they made a statement yesterday. They didn’t beat a team that doesn’t have talent. Georgetown’s a team that has talent year in and year out. They just completely blew them out. So that was, to me, the most impressive team performance of the weekend.

Q: Was there an individual who stood out with his showing over the weekend?
A: I would say that the most impressive player performance over the weekend was either [Maryland senior] Grant Catalino’s five goals in that game. He’s a fabulous player. He’s big, strong and has the skills of an elite attackman. He’s not a guy that uses his size and strength to create offense all the time, but he’s just skilled. He’s a great shooter and a fabulous offensive player. His performance [Saturday] was just great as well as [Virginia junior attackman] Steele Stanwick’s. Five goals and three assists in a tough game against Stony Brook minus the Brattons, he really put his team on his shoulders. Eight points in a one-goal, overtime game including the game-winner, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better performance than his.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Q&A, Towson
        

February 26, 2011

Loyola at Towson: Three things to watch

These local rivals meet on Saturday, extending the most-played series on both sides. The Tigers own a slight lead with a 27-25 record, but the Greyhounds have won the last three contests. Here are a few factors that could play a role in the outcome in the contest.

 

1) Figuring out Loyola’s Hagelin. One of Towson coach Tony Seaman’s more pressing concerns is finding consistent production from a talented yet unproven offense. That task could be even more difficult against Jake Hagelin. In three starts against the Tigers, the senior goalie has surrendered just 22 goals and registered 38 saves over that same span. “We’ve got to put the ball past Hagelin,” Seaman said. “He’s terrific. He’s always presented problems for us. We’ve always had low-scoring games with him since he’s been the starting goalie. He’s somebody we’ve had trouble putting the ball by.”

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February 25, 2011

Loyola's faceoff success traces back to volunteer

Loyola’s Steve Vaikness likes to joke that he’s got “a little green and gray” in him. As a volunteer assistant coach, he’s certainly not in it for the money.

“Yeah, it doesn’t pay well,” Vaikness quipped.

Don’t let the “volunteer” part of the job title fool you. The Greyhounds who take part on faceoffs point to Vaikness as the primary reason why they have finished in the top six nationally in faceoff percentage.

Vaikness, a former faceoff specialist who won 116-of-191 (.607) of his re-starts as a senior at Loyola, has worked wonders at his alma mater since being hired by coach and former teammate Charley Toomey in the spring of 2006.

Under Vaikness’ guidance, the team has finished fourth in the country in faceoff percentage in 2007, fifth in 2009 and sixth in 2010.

Sophomore midfielder Josh Hawkins said the unit’s success can be traced back to Vaikness.

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February 24, 2011

Navy eager to bury loss to Loyola

There’s probably a strong chance that No. 16 North Carolina will be fired up to rebound from a surprising loss to Ohio State last Saturday.

Join the club, Richie Meade said.

Navy is just as eager to bury the memory of last Saturday’s 9-8 loss to No. 12 Loyola, and the Midshipmen get a crack at that when they meet the host Tar Heels Friday night.

“It would have been a huge win for us – coming off of last season and with the youth of this team,” Meade said ruefully. “We’ve played well most of the time, so it’s disappointing. But we’re focused on playing better. And we’re going to have to be if we want to beat North Carolina. It’s just one of those things where it’s early in the year, and you’re not going to get it back. But I’m not going to say that everything went wrong on Saturday because we lost. We did a lot of really good things, and we’ve got to build on that. So I think we’re disappointed, and we’re looking forward to playing North Carolina, and I think they feel the same way.”

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February 22, 2011

Weekly awards for UMBC, Loyola, Navy

UMBC was one of three area schools to have players recognized by their respective leagues.

Retrievers sophomore Dave Brown was named by the America East as the Player of the Week after he recorded four goals and three assists in the team’s 16-10 victory over Presbyterian last Saturday. The midfielder posted just one assist in 11 contests last year.

UMBC redshirt freshman Matt Gregoire earned the conference’s Rookie of the Week honor for compiling two goals and one assist. The Crofton native and South River graduate scored the game-winning goal in the third quarter.

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February 20, 2011

Postscript from Navy at Loyola

Through the first two quarters of Saturday’s contest against No. 13 Loyola, Navy had split 12 faceoffs – a remarkable showing against Greyhounds senior John Schiavone, who ranked sixth in Division I with a .599 percentage last spring.

But that all changed in the third quarter as Loyola won all five faceoffs, which led to four goals and the score being knotted at seven.

Schiavone was credited with winning 14-of-21 faceoffs, but Midshipmen coach Richie Meade said the Greyhounds’ wing players were the key.

“It wasn’t that we were struggling with the faceoffs at the X,” Meade said after Navy’s 9-8 loss. “Their wings just out-winged us. Their two guys on the wings did a very good job of just getting possession of the ball, and I thought that led to them just chipping away at the lead.”

Schiavone got the best of junior Logan West, who a week ago had outplayed Virginia Military Institute junior Stephen Robarge who had ranked fourth in the country last season. But Schiavone shared the credit with sophomore midfielder Josh Hawkins and sophomore long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff.

“He’s a good faceoff guy,” Schiavone said of West. “He was able to tie me up and let stuff turn into scrums with the wings. That’s not what I want. I’d rather win it to myself every time and be able to go. I’m lucky that I have Hawk and Ratliff on my team because no one’s going to outrun Hawk. He’s a fast guy, a ground ball machine. And same with Ratty. He’s a great when the ball’s on the ground, and they helped me lot. I think I got only two or three ground balls in the second half. They had the rest. Those were their wins.”

Other notes:

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February 19, 2011

Navy at Loyola: Halftime thoughts

A week after the freshmen propelled Navy to a six-goal victory over the Virginia Military Institute, the upperclassmen took control against No. 13 Loyola.

The Midshipmen lead the Greyhounds, 7-3, at halftime Saturday behind performances from several veterans.

Senior midfielder Andy Warner registered a goal and an assist, and senior Brian Striffler, juniors Nikk Davis and Taylor Reynolds and sophomore Cade Norris have each chipped in a goal.
Warner, Davis and Striffler scored three of Navy’s first four goals as the offense pushed the Midshipmen to a 4-0 lead just 65 seconds into the second quarter.

Loyola scored two goals in a 44-second span, but Navy notched three straight to pad the lead.

Other notes:

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Loyola attack nearly at full strength

Loyola is expected to meet Navy Saturday with its almost-full complement of attackmen.

Sophomores Patrick Fanshaw (wrist) and Michael Sawyer (concussion) and senior Eric Lusby (knee surgery) are slated to play for the No. 13 Greyhounds in their season opener.

All three players and sophomore Will Fredericks (ankle) were questionable. Only Fredericks is likely to be sidelined against the Midshipmen.

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Navy at Loyola: Three things to watch

Loyola is 2-5 in the all-time series against Navy, but the Greyhounds own bragging rights after escaping Annapolis with an 8-7 win in overtime last season. Saturday’s contest is the season opener for No. 13 Loyola, but the Midshipmen are 1-0 after a 14-8 victory over the Virginia Military Institute. Here are a few factors that could play a role in the outcome in the contest.

1) Freezing out the freshmen. Navy’s season-opening win was highlighted by a group of freshmen that combined for eight goals and four assists. Their play caught the attention of Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey, who is emphasizing to his players that the plebes are only freshmen in label. “Everybody says they’re freshmen. I’ve been the head coach up at NAPS [the Naval Academy Preparatory School], and they’re not freshmen,” Toomey said, alluding to the first year the lacrosse players spend away from Annapolis. “They’re sophomores playing together. That’s the first thing that our guys need to understand, that they’re playing against sophomores, not freshmen. And they play a college schedule up there. So they’re not new kids to the program. They’ve played together in games. … When you’ve got a junior reading the scouting report and you see that ‘FR’ for ‘freshman,’ you sometimes to tend to lick your chops a little bit. Not only are you playing against a young man who has played with the other two guys before, but you’re also playing a young man who is a service academy kid. So he’s going to get knocked down, he’s going to get up, and he’s going to come back harder than ever. That’s what you saw last weekend.”

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February 17, 2011

Injuries taking a toll on Loyola's attackmen

An attack unit that has long been the foundation of Loyola’s offense could be at less-than-full-strength when the No. 13 Greyhounds open the season Saturday against Navy.

Sophomores Patrick Fanshaw (wrist), Michael Sawyer (concussion) and Will Fredericks (ankle) and senior Eric Lusby (knee surgery) are nursing injuries, leaving senior Matt Langan and freshman Justin Ward as the only healthy attackmen in the rotation.

“We look like a MASH unit on the sideline with our attackmen,” coach Charley Toomey quipped Wednesday. “I’m looking at the trainers’ report every day, just trying to get through practice and knowing full well that we’ve kind of been on the outside looking in with regards to our most talented guys. If we’re healthy, I really feel like we’ve got four attackmen that we’re really comfortable with in Langan, Lusby, Sawyer and Fanshaw. Justin Ward has been lights-out as a freshman, but those are our four guys in the rotation with Justin Ward ready to step in when needed.”

Of the attackmen, Sawyer and Fredericks are the most likely to miss the game against the Midshipmen. Sawyer still hasn’t been cleared by doctor after sustaining a concussion, and Fredericks is wearing a boot around his ankle.

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February 11, 2011

Loyola preview

Friday’s entry is the fifth installment of a week-long series taking a look at each of the seven Division I programs in this state according to their order of finish from last season. Check back on Saturday for a preview of Mount St. Mary’s, and The Sun’s lacrosse preview is slated to be published on Thursday, Feb. 17. Today is Loyola’s turn.

Overview: The Greyhounds enjoyed one of their best starts in the program’s history when they won nine of their first 11 contests. But an 11-10 triple-overtime loss to Cornell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament capped three consecutive setbacks and a disappointing end to the season. Loyola figures to be in the hunt for the first Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament crown, but Denver, last year’s regular-season champion and the host of this spring’s tournament, stands in the way.

Reason for optimism: A defense that tied for third in the country in fewest goals per game surrendered bid farewell to starting defensemen Steve Layne and Kyle Cottrell, but the unit does return starting defenseman Steve Dircks and starting goalie Jake Hagelin. Junior Dylan Grimm and sophomore Reid Acton are poised to join Dircks as starters, and Nick Disimile, a fifth-year senior who made four starts last spring, is a valuable resource. Sophomore long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff is evoking memories of All-American P.T. Ricci, and sophomore Josh Hawkins and freshmen Pat Laconi and Kyle Duffy are battling for time as shor-stick defensive midfielders. “I think we’re going to be a strong team defensively,” coach Charley Toomey said.

Reason for pessimism: The Greyhounds offense ran through the attack last spring, and not much is expected to change this season. The problem is that the midfield is unproven. Senior Eric Lusby registered 20 goals and five assists, but he is still recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee and may move to attack to reduce added stress on the knee. Seniors Stephen Murray and Chris Basler started last year, but they are getting pushed by a group that includes Bucknell transfer and fifth-year senior Chris Palmer, senior D.J. Comer, junior Pat Byrnes and sophomores Davis Butts and Tyler Foley. Toomey is encouraged by what he has seen from the midfielders in the preseason. “I think the knock on us in years past has been, ‘Can their middies score?’” Toomey said. “From what I’ve seen, I believe our middies are capable of scoring.”

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February 2, 2011

Loyola picks up North Carolina transfer

Loyola is focused on the upcoming season, but the program got a hint of what’s in store for the future with the news that Chris Layne will join the program for the 2012 season, the school announced Wednesday.

Layne, a midfielder, played his first two years for North Carolina, totaling six goals, two assists and 18 groundballs for the Tar Heels. Layne, who must sit out this year, will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Layne’s older brother Steve was a stellar starting defenseman for the Greyhounds between 2007 and 2010. In a written statement, Loyola coach Charley Toomey remarked, “We’re happy to welcome the Layne family back to the program.”

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January 26, 2011

An unofficial stab at 2011's preseason poll (Part 1)

Welcome to 2011.
The college lacrosse season is once again nearly upon us, and I hope to blog a few nuggets from Wednesday’s conference call with Patriot League coaches.
But for now, here is a top-20 poll compiled after Duke edged Notre Dame in overtime for the national title on Memorial Day. These rankings could – and probably will – change based on transfers and seniors granted fifth years of eligibility, so please take this with a grain of salt.
Because of the unseemly length of the poll, there will be four installments released every hour.

 

 

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June 28, 2010

Review & preview: Premature 2011 poll part 1

By now, you’ve probably already scoured through several polls for 2011. So what’s another one, right? Here is another attempt at a preseason and premature poll for next season.

The top 20 will be broken up into four installments with Monday’s post involving teams ranked from Nos. 20 to 16. Tuesday will feature Nos. 15 to 11, Wednesday Nos. 10 to 6 and Thursday Nos. 5 to 1. Friday will include three schools not mentioned in the poll that could make some waves.

Unless there are confirmed reports about certain players planning to use fifth years of eligibility, this space will assume that seniors in 2010 will not return next year. Unannounced fifth-year seniors and potential transfers will affect the rankings that come out next February, but here’s a spin anyway.

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June 11, 2010

Review & preview: Loyola

Here is the fifth installment of a series that checks in with the seven Division I programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and the future. The series will resume on Monday, but for Friday, we take a visit with Loyola.

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June 7, 2010

Locals dot Major Lacrosse League draft

The Major Lacrosse League draft took place Sunday night, and a multitude of players with ties to the Baltimore metropolitan area were selected in the six-team draft.

Johns Hopkins midfielder Michael Kimmel was selected with the second overall pick by the Chesapeake Bayhawks, who capped the first round by taking Virginia midfielder Brian Carroll, a Baltimore native and Gilman graduate, with the sixth overall choice.

The last pick of the second round belonged to the Boston Cannons, who grabbed Johns Hopkins attackman Steven Boyle at No. 12.

Chesapeake had two picks in the fourth round and used No. 19 on UMBC midfielder Kyle Wimer and No. 23 on Maryland goalkeeper Brian Phipps.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

June 4, 2010

Loyola adds Mount St. Mary's to schedule

A year after adding Navy to the schedule, Loyola has agreed to play against another local school.

The Greyhounds will travel to Emmitsburg, Md., sometime in March and visit Mount St. Mary’s for the first time since 2003. Loyola has won eight of the previous 11 meetings, including the last seven.

The Mountaineers will replace Loyola’s previous game against Quinnipiac, which is leaving the Eastern College Athletic Conference to join the Northeast Conference – a new league that includes Mount St. Mary’s.

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June 2, 2010

Familiar face on pace to return to Loyola

Michael Sawyer, the Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year in 2009, is slated to return to Loyola for the 2011 season.

Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey confirmed that Sawyer, who sat out the 2010 campaign due to unspecified off-field issues, will be back for his sophomore year and could make a position switch from midfield to attack.

"We’re looking forward to welcoming back Michael Sawyer to the mix," Toomey said. "We might put him down low at attack."

Loyola graduates two starting attackmen in Cooper MacDonnell and Collin Finnerty. Junior Matt Langan and freshman Patrick Fanshaw return, but the addition of Sawyer, who recorded nine goals and four assists as a freshman, could bolster that unit.

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May 27, 2010

Johns Hopkins' Kimmel named first-team All American

Johns Hopkins senior midfielder Michael Kimmel earned a spot on the All-American first team, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association announced Thursday.

The Towson native and Loyola graduate ranked second among the Blue Jays in both assists (16) and points (39). Kimmel joined Paul Rabil and Del Dressel as the only midfielders in school history to record at least 30 points in each of his four seasons.

Syracuse led all programs with three players on the first team. They are junior long-stick midfielder and Tewaaraton Award finalist Joel White, junior defenseman John Lade and junior goalkeeper John Galloway.

Virginia and North Carolina each placed two players on the first team. Senior defenseman and Tewaaraton Award finalist Ken Clausen and junior midfielder Shamel Bratton represented the Cavaliers, while junior attackman Billy Bitter and junior defenseman Ryan Flanagan stood in for the Tar Heels.

Two other Tewaaraton finalists in Duke fifth-year senior attackman Ned Crotty and Stony Brook junior midfielder Kevin Crowley made the first team. Cornell sophomore attackman Rob Pannell was the final member of the first team.

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May 26, 2010

Local players dot All-Star game

The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association announced the rosters for the Division I/II North-South All-Star Game on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Goucher.

UMBC led the state programs with three players on the South team. They are midfielders Kyle Wimer and Maxx Davis and long-stick midfielder Mike Camardo.

Maryland is represented by goalkeeper Brian Phipps and midfielder Adam Sear. Attackmen Collin Finnerty and Cooper MacDonnell were chosen from Loyola, while defensemen Matt Nealis and Russell Moncure were selected for Mount St. Mary’s. Towson midfielder Will Harrington will also play for the South.

The team will also include three players with high school ties to the Baltimore metropolitan area. They are North Carolina midfielder and St. Paul’s graduate Cryder DiPietro, Limestone midfielder and Annapolis graduate Mike Poerstel and Mercyhurst defenseman and Calvert Hall graduate Chris Eline.

The South team will be coached by Mount St. Mary's coach Tom Gravante.

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May 21, 2010

Part 2 of Q&A with ESPN's Mark Dixon

On Wednesday, ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon reviewed the first round of the NCAA tournament and previewed the quarterfinals. He also took a moment to speak on a couple of local topics of interest.

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May 16, 2010

Postscript from Loyola at Cornell

Lacrosse is often referred to as a game of runs. It can also be described as a game of inches.

That’s just one storyline embedded in No. 12 Loyola’s 11-10 triple overtime loss to No. 7 Cornell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon.

Perhaps the most memorable play occurred in the second overtime when senior attackman Cooper MacDonnell took a left-handed jump shot from the right wing that buzzed past Big Red freshman goalkeeper A.J. Fiore but caromed off the right post. A few inches to the right, and the Greyhounds (9-5) -- not Cornell (11-5) -- would be getting ready for a quarterfinal meeting with either No. 1 Syracuse or No. 20 Army.

"I thought as a team, we had a couple chances," Loyola coach Charley Toomey recalled. "Whether it was [senior midfielder] Taylor Ebsary humming one over the pipe or Cooper just off-pipe or [senior attackman] Collin [Finnerty] low-to-high missing one, we had some chances in overtime to put that thing away. But you’ve got to give Cornell credit. They got it done on their end. It was probably a way you didn’t anticipate the game ending. You expected it to probably be in Cooper’s hands or [Big Red sophomore attackman Rob] Pannell’s hands or [Cornell sophomore midfielder Roy] Lang’s hands or Taylor’s hands, and the game ends with a defenseman [junior Max Feely] going all the way."

Toomey, who had just wrapped up a meeting with his players, had mixed emotions about the team’s final game of the season. He appreciated the way the Greyhounds bounced back from a 9-2 deficit in the third quarter to send the game into extra frames, but he pointed out the 25-minute, 25-second stretch when the Big Red scored seven unanswered goals.

Likewise, Toomey said the season left him both satisfied and wanting.

"To be able to open Ridley [Athletic Complex], to be able for this program to go back to the tournament for the third time in four years, that was exciting," he said. "But we certainly didn’t reach all of our goals, and that would be to advance in the tournament and to win the [automatic qualifier] out of our conference [the Eastern College Athletic Conference]. So we’ve got to re-evaluate some things and look to improve and take that next step next season. We fell short in some areas that we’re going to hold ourselves accountable for as coaches, and we’re going to come back and be ready to attain those goals."

Other notes:

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May 15, 2010

Loyola at Cornell: Three things to watch

The last time Loyola played against Cornell, the year was 1962 – nine years before the creation of the NCAA Tournament. The Greyhounds have earned a berth in the tournament for the third time in the last four years, but haven’t advanced to the quarterfinals since 1999. The winner of Saturday’s contest at 2:30 p.m. at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, N.Y., will move onto a quarterfinal game against either No. 2 seed Syracuse (13-1) or Army (10-5) on Sunday, May 23 at either 12 or 2:30 p.m. at Stony Brook.

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May 14, 2010

Loyola gets special visit from Ravens' Cameron

Before Loyola players, coaches and staff piled onto a number of buses for the long road trip to Ithaca, N.Y., on Thursday evening, the Greyhounds got a special visit from Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

Cameron was the guest speaker for the team’s 12 seniors, who will not be able to participate in Saturday’s commencement ceremony because they will be playing against No. 7 seed Cornell in a NCAA Tournament first-round contest.

"It was great," Loyola coach Charley Toomey said. "It was a well-done ceremony honoring our young men. I was just joking around with [WBAL Radio personality] Pete Gilbert on the radio that I might have a hard time getting our kids fired up to play after what he just did. For 35, 40 minutes, he had our team ready to play."

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Loyola's Layne, Basler expected to play Saturday

One might speculate that Loyola’s two-game losing skid to end the regular season was linked to the absence of senior defenseman Steve Layne, who is dealing with a sprained knee.

Layne is expected to return just in time for the Greyhounds’ first-round game in the NCAA Tournament against No. 7 seed Cornell (9-5) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

"I think he’s going to play," coach Charley Toomey said late Thursday as Loyola (9-4) traveled to Ithaca, N.Y. "The swelling is looking good. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t take the field, but to be honest with you, I was shocked when he went through warm-ups against [Johns] Hopkins [last Saturday] and then said he couldn’t play. I think you have to be prepared both ways, and we certainly are. But I know it’s in Steve’s heart to take the field on Saturday. It’s going to be tough to keep him off. But if he feels like he’s going to be a detriment to the team, he’s going to tell us. Nick DiSimile, who is a senior for us, is going to be ready to go."

Even if Layne plays, he may not be 100 percent, which is a less-than-ideal situation when Big Red sophomore attackman Rob Pannell is involved. Pannell has registered 25 goals and 45 assists and demands extra attention.

Toomey wouldn’t say whether Layne or redshirt junior Steve Dircks will be the one providing that attention.

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May 13, 2010

Q&A with ESPN's Mark Dixon

ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon is pulling double duty this weekend, providing commentary for No. 5 seed Duke’s first-round game against Johns Hopkins at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C., this Saturday at 12 p.m. and for No. 4 seed North Carolina’s showdown with Delaware at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C., this Sunday at 5 p.m Dixon addressed the possibility of shifting criteria, the disadvantages of conference tournaments and the one player missing from the list of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award.

Question: Were there any glaring omissions in the make-up of the 16-team field?

Mark Dixon: "I think every Monday, there’s always great discussion. The bottom line is, there’s only 60 men’s lacrosse teams playing Division I ball, and you’re going to have some hurt feelings. As it is, with 16 teams, I think the ratio is already out of proportion with what the NCAA wants. I think for the most part, they got it right. It looked like the criteria was a little inconsistent. In other words, Hopkins with their strength of schedule and their RPI seemed to really benefit, whereas Georgetown didn’t get the same luxury. I think they applied some different criteria when they looked at Georgetown and – let’s say – Notre Dame. Georgetown had a better strength of schedule and a better RPI than Notre Dame, also a better win-loss record, and they beat them head-to-head. But the criteria applied looked more at significant wins – Notre Dame’s significant wins coming against Duke, Loyola and Denver, while Georgetown didn’t possess those same wins with oomph. They didn’t have a win over Duke. They had a win over Delaware, but they lost to Loyola. What’s frustrating for lacrosse fans is the criteria seemed to be on an as-needed basis. There is uniform criteria, but they’re not used in a particular order. It just seems like this year, the criteria was split, whereas in years past, the strict criteria was strength of schedule and RPI. This year, the strict criteria appeared to be quality wins. But it’s a monumental task, being on the NCAA selection committee. I feel for Georgetown. I think they should have gotten a bid into the NCAA Tournament, but at the end, if you look at the criteria and you look at the metrics that are used, Notre Dame is in."

Q: Did the loss to Delaware in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament hurt Drexel, while Hofstra failing to qualify for the CAA Tournament help the Pride get into the NCAA Tournament?

MD: "I actually wrote about this in a piece for Inside Lacrosse this week. I thought the conference tournament hurt both UMass and Drexel. It’s a double-edged sword. It can help you or it can hurt you. Had Drexel beaten Delaware and reached the CAA final, we could be talking about Drexel being in the tournament as opposed to Notre Dame because Drexel beat Notre Dame head-to-head. The conference tournament are built to give teams incentives because if you didn’t have a post-league tournament like they did in the Ivy League, teams like Harvard and Yale have been eliminated in mid-April. Hofstra perhaps did benefit from not making their tournament, but they also had some quality wins outside of the conference, and they were helped out in some other conference tournaments. For example, Army winning the Patriot League. Hofstra had a resounding win over the Black Knights. So that definitely hurt Drexel, but it would have gone in the other direction if Drexel had beaten Delaware and gotten to the CAA final."

Q: Any argument with the top eight seeds?

MD: "I have no beef with the top-8 seeds. I thought they got it right. You could have looked at Denver as maybe being a potential first-round site, but when you look at their numbers compared to Stony Brook, it’s virtually dead even. And even though Denver did beat Stony Brook head-to-head, Stony Brook, I believe, had a better strength of schedule. I think they got it right."

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May 12, 2010

Q&A with ESPN's Paul Carcaterra

ESPN analyst and former Syracuse All-American midfielder Paul Carcaterra will provide commentary for No. 1 seed Virginia’s first-round game at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., against Mount St. Mary’s this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Carcaterra offered his opinion on the omission of Georgetown, the seed with the easiest road to the Final Four, and the local team with the best chance to reach the Final Four.

Question: How would you evaluate the selection committee’s decisions regarding the make-up of the 16-team field?

Paul Carcaterra: "One interesting team that popped out at me was Georgetown. It’s almost unfair to put them head-to-head with another team, but when you look at the Georgetown-Notre Dame situation, it doesn’t make complete sense unless you were in that committee. Georgetown had the better record, a better strength of schedule, a better RPI, and they beat Notre Dame head-to-head. So to me, there’s some kind of discrepancy there. Look, it’s not an easy job because this year – more than ever – so many teams beat each other. For example, Loyola beat Georgetown, Georgetown beat Notre Dame, and Notre Dame beat Loyola. That’s just one example of how it’s so cyclical with all of these teams beating each other. I think there was probably a lot of tension on who should be in and who should be out. If Georgetown got in and Loyola didn’t, then people would be barking that Loyola beat them head-to-head, and something similar could be said for a lot of these situations. It was not an easy situation to be in if you’re on the committee, but that was one team that possibly got a raw deal."

Q: So it sounds like you had Georgetown pegged for the tournament. If that’s the case, which team did you think was out?

PC: "I was kind of debating between four teams for the last two spots, and they were Hopkins, Loyola, Hofstra and Drexel. I thought Drexel had a pretty nice body of work. Drexel beat Notre Dame, beat Hofstra. The other situation that I thought was kind of interesting was that Drexel was almost penalized – in my mind – for going to the conference tournament. Hofstra doesn’t make the conference tournament, but gets in the NCAA Tournament, and Drexel stays home because they lost to Delaware again. When you think about it, Drexel hurt themselves by going to the conference tournament and losing again, whereas Hofstra stayed idle and got to the NCAA Tournament. So those were my four teams, and I felt like it came down to either Hofstra or Drexel and Hopkins or Loyola. I had Georgetown in and Notre Dame in, so it wasn’t necessarily about Georgetown getting in over Notre Dame. Hopkins beat Loyola last weekend, and even though they had a worse record, they also played a much tougher schedule than Loyola. So I thought that Hopkins and Drexel should have gotten in. I think Hofstra’s a better team – top to bottom – than Drexel, but they just didn’t take care of business when they should have. And not making your conference tournament – although that’s not a pre-requisite – to me, that just didn’t add up."

Q: What were your thoughts on Stony Brook getting the No. 8 seed and a home game in the first round?

PC: "I was surprised because when you think of Stony Brook and their body of work – although they have two of the most explosive offensive players in [junior midfielder] Kevin Crowley and [junior attackman] Jordan McBride – what’s their top win? I looked at their schedule, and they had no big wins on that entire schedule. They beat Towson, but Towson’s at home and they’re 7-8. Delaware’s their best win, but you don’t get a No. 8 seed when Delaware’s your best win. I would have given the No. 8 seed to – as crazy as it sounds – Georgetown. Georgetown beat Notre Dame, they played a very difficult schedule, and they didn’t have any bad losses. Georgetown had a top-10 RPI and their strength of schedule was ninth. That’s why when Georgetown didn’t get in, it was like, whoa. With that said, I think Stony Brook can beat Denver because Denver is traveling all the way to the East, and it’s at Stony Brook."

Q: Would you agree or disagree that Virginia has the easist path to the Final Four at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Memorial Day weekend?

PC: "Absolutely. Virginia’s path to the Final Four is drastically easier than the other top seeds. They’re playing a Mount St. Mary’s team that is actually pretty good this year. They’re not a poor team by any stretch, but for the No. 1 team in the country, they will be heavily favored and should win that game without too much trouble. And that quarterfinal game, when you think about it, is normally a bear of a game for every top seed. It’s usually a difficult game more times than not. But to face either Stony Brook or Denver as opposed to [No. 4 seed] North Carolina and [No. 5 seed] Duke potentially squaring off, [No. 2 seed] Syracuse possibly playing [No. 7 seed] Cornell, and [No. 6 seed] Princeton playing [No. 3 seed] Maryland, those are much tougher games than Virginia’s. Unless North Carolina gets healthy, I think Duke is a few goals better than North Carolina right now. Syracuse and Cornell, the last two times those teams have played, it’s come down to the last second, so you can’t tell me that’s an easy game."

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May 11, 2010

Loyola's MacDonnell, Hagelin capture top ECAC awards

Despite finishing what amounts to second place to Denver in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, Loyola took two of the league's five top honors.

Senior attackman Cooper MacDonnell was named the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year, while junior goalie Jake Hagelin was voted as the league's Goalkeeper of the Year.

Despite missing three games with an injured shoulder, MacDonnell has scored 22 goals this season and added seven assists. He has scored a goal in 12 of the Greyhounds' 13 contests and has scored at least twice in seven of those games. MacDonnell has recorded a point in 28 consecutive contests.

Hagelin has registered a 7.86 goals-against average, which tops all goaltenders in the ECAC and ranks third nationally. The Havre de Grace and Boys' Latin was the league's Rookie of the Year in 2008.

Joining MacDonnell and Hagelin on the All-ECAC first team were senior attackman Collin Finnerty, senior defenseman Steve Layne, junior midfielder Eric Lusby and junior face-off specialist John Schiavone

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Loyola's Schiavone wins weekly league award

Loyola senior face-off specialist John Schiavone earned his second Defensive Player of the Week award in as many weeks, the Eastern College Athletic Conference announced Monday.

Schiavone won 12-of-19 face-offs in Saturday's 9-6 loss to Johns Hopkins and collected 10 groundballs in the process.

Schiavone, who has scooped up 83 groundballs this season, ranks eighth on the school's single-season list for groundballs. Two more groundballs will vault him past P.T. Ricci, who collected 84 groundballs in 2008.

Schiavone ranks fifth in Division I in both face-off percentage (.600) and groundballs per game (6.3).

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Categories: Loyola
        

Q&A with ESPN's Quint Kessenich

ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins All-American goalkeeper Quint Kessenich will occupy a spot in ESPNU’s studio in Charlotte, N.C., offering commentary on all eight NCAA Tournament first-round games this weekend. Kessenich broke down his thoughts on the snub of Georgetown, the challenge for Virginia and seed with the toughest path to the Final Four.

Question: What is your assessment of the selection committee’s decisions regarding the make-up of the 16-team field?

Quint Kessenich: "I think in the end, the two teams that were left out were Georgetown and Drexel. I can make a case for both of those teams, and I can make a case for the teams that were selected. So for me, just getting clarity on the selection process – what the mindset was, what the reasoning was – and if the fans are OK with what they’re hearing from [committee chair] Tim Pavlechko and the committee, then I can’t really argue. I thought Georgetown was in. In my mock bracket which we did on Saturday in the studio, I had Georgetown not only in, but I thought they had just as strong a resume as Stony Brook, and I gave them the eighth seed and had them hosting a game. That’s how tight it was in terms of being in and out. There’s not much difference between teams 8 through 16 this year."

Q: So the exclusion of Georgetown was the biggest surprise of Sunday night?

QK: "Yes, that’s the team that has the most to complain about given what they accomplished. One thing that surprised me looking at it this morning is that Mount St. Mary’s moved to 16 in RPI. So Georgetown gets a lot more credit for that Mount St. Mary’s win than I anticipated. I thought their RPI and strength of schedule were tough. They played teams ranked Nos. 2, 3 and 5, so I was surprised when the brackets initially came out. And I thought the Big East was a better conference than the ECAC [Eastern College Athletic Conference]. I think Loyola’s in-conference wins are unimpressive, to say the least. I thought the Big East and the CAA [Colonial Athletic Association] had better years and are much stronger conferences than the ECAC."

Q: So in your mock bracket, which team was out?

QK: "I did not have Loyola in the tournament. Otherwise, the field was the same. The top seven seeds were the same. Most of my match-ups were on. But I had Georgetown in and Loyola not in."

Q: So you had Hofstra in?

QK: "I did. Hofstra and Notre Dame, I thought, were very solid. And if Johns Hopkins got in, I thought Georgetown would get in also."

Q: With Virginia getting the top seed, can returning to lacrosse be cathartic for the Cavaliers?

QK: "I think it is. When we spoke to [coach] Dom Starsia last night, he mentioned meeting with the captains and making sure that they were on board and really willing to do this. I think Dom sat them down and really went over what they’re going to encounter over the next 20 or so days. This is going to be quite a journey for them. The issue is not going to go away. So they’re going to be confronted with it on a daily basis, especially as they near games. Playing lacrosse will be great therapy and will return their lives to – at least for 2½ hours – a little bit of normalcy. When they’re out on the lacrosse field, that will be an oasis away from the off-the-field troubles. That will help get them back to normalcy. They will be surrounded by friends and their teammates in the locker room, traveling to games, through the practices and schedule of their week. I can’t argue with [athletic director] Craig Littlepage and Dom Starsia saying that lacrosse is a vital part of the healing process."

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Q&A
        

May 10, 2010

Toomey's lips were sealed

As a member of the NCAA selection committee for the first time, Loyola coach Charley Toomey was not permitted to be in the room when the team’s resume was being reviewed.

But he still knew the schools in the 16-team field and knew that the Greyhounds were in. So he had to button it up while watching the NCAA Selection Show with his players Sunday night.

"This is a special moment for the student-athletes, so I think this is something you want them to be excited as a team," Toomey said. "You don’t want to steal their thunder of seeing their name come up on TV. I think there was genuine excitement and elation when they saw the Loyola name and knowing that they’ve got another week together."

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May 8, 2010

Johns Hopkins at Loyola: Three things to watch

Much ado has already been made about Saturday’s showdown between No. 20 Johns Hopkins (6-7) and No. 12 Loyola (9-3) at Ridley Athletic Complex at 12 p.m. The winner is probably in the NCAA Tournament, while the loser could be watching the tournament at home.

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May 4, 2010

Revisiting tragedy at Loyola

While working on an article for Wednesday’s edition on how teams deal with tragedy in the midst of a season, I talked to former Loyola coach Dave Cottle, who had a player die in 1997.

Gerry Case, a freshman midfielder who played at Broadneck, died of a meningitis-related blood infection on March 22 -- three days after registering his first collegiate goal and assist and a little more than three weeks after his 19th birthday.

Cottle recalled that Case played against Fairfield on Tuesday night, but called the coach on Wednesday morning complaining of vomiting. Case was admitted to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was on Saturday when the Greyhounds routed Brown, 18-10.

"We all took the game ball over to the hospital that night, and they said that things were turning for the better," remembered Cottle, who is now the head coach at Maryland. "Then at 11 o’clock that night, he passed away, and we heard it on the news."

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Q&A with ESPN analyst Mark Dixon

ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon will be providing commentary on Saturday at noon when No. 20 Johns Hopkins (6-7) visits No. 12 Loyola (9-3) in what will be a pivotal game for both teams. Dixon talks about the Johns Hopkins-Loyola showdown, Towson’s berth in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament and UMBC’s hopes of capturing a third straight America East Tournament crown.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Navy, Q&A, Towson, UMBC
        

May 3, 2010

Second RPI list is in

The NCAA released its second Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) list on Monday, and top of the list remains the same.

Virginia (14-1), Maryland (10-3), North Carolina (11-2), Syracuse (12-1) and Duke (11-4) are Nos. 1-5 as they were last week.

Cornell (9-4), Princeton (9-4), Loyola (9-3), Stony Brook (10-3) and Georgetown (8-5) round out the top 10. Princeton and Loyola each dropped a spot, while Cornell vaulted over them from No. 8.

Locally, Johns Hopkins (6-7) jumped two places to No. 14, Towson (6-7) fell four spots to No. 14, Mount St. Mary's (10-4) dropped one place to No. 24, and UMBC (4-8) moved down four spots to No. 38.

Navy (7-8) fell two places to No. 26, but since the season is over and the team has a sub-.500 record, the Midshipmen are mathematically eliminated from postseason consideration.

The RPI, a rating that accounts for record and strength of schedule in that stronger opponents yield higher RPIs, is one tool that the NCAA selection committee will evaluate prior to finalizing the field for the NCAA Tournament. The 16-team bracket will be unveiled on Sunday, May 9 at 9 p.m.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Towson, UMBC
        

Denver's win has impact in 2011

No. 18 Denver's 12-4 victory over No. 6 Loyola was significant in that it netted the Pioneers the Eastern College Athletic Conference regular-season championship and the league's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.

The win also means that Denver (11-4) will serve as the host for the inaugural ECAC Tournament next season. The winner of the conference tournament, which begins next year, will earn the automatic qualifier.

The Pioneers and No. 20 Army (10-5) became the first teams to punch their tickets to the NCAA Tournament. The Black Knights knocked off Navy, 11-8, in the Patriot League Tournament final to earn that conference's automatic qualifier.

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Categories: Loyola
        

May 1, 2010

Loyola's Toomey a quick study of Denver

Just two days removed from No. 6 Loyola’s 17-12 victory over Eastern College Athletic Conference foe Hobart last Saturday, Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey was already elbow-deep in his study of No. 18 Denver.

That’s because the winner of Sunday’s contest at Invesco Field between Loyola (9-2 overall and 6-0 in the ECAC) and the Pioneers (10-4, 5-0) will capture the conference title and will automatically qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

So by Monday, Toomey sounded like a long-time Denver fan as he talked about that team’s strengths.

"Their first two midfields have just about doubled up our first two midfields," Toomey said. "I think their first two midfields have 68 goals and 43 assists to our first two midfields’ 41 and 27. So they are very balanced. And their attack has scored 67 goals. So they’re getting production from all over the field. It’s a team that really shares the ball offensively, and they can attack you from all different areas. … We’re just going to do what we’ve done the last couple of weeks and do our best to prepare for our opponent and limit those looks that they’re going to get on the offensive end."

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April 30, 2010

Hagelin finds home at Loyola

Friday’s edition of The Sun included an article on Loyola junior Jake Hagelin, who is just one of two Division I goalkeepers to rank in the top five in the country in both save percentage and goals-against average.

Hagelin’s journey to the Greyhounds was somewhat atypical. Despite boasting a 54-4 record as a starter for the Boys’ Latin junior-varsity squad as a freshman and the varsity team for his final three years, Hagelin was not heavily recruited by a Division I school.

"I was actually going to do a prep year," said Hagelin, who did not want to follow his older brother Adam to Towson. "I looked there, but I didn’t really want to go to Towson. I wanted to make a name for myself, I guess."

It just so happened that towards the end of the spring of 2007, Loyola was losing a goalie as Joe Marra transferred to Fairfield.

"It was a win-win situation for certainly Joe Marra and for Loyola University and for Jake," Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey said. "He came in and started as a freshman for us, and by his own admission, he probably had a little bit of a down year during his sophomore year, but this is the Jake we know."

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April 29, 2010

Loyola's Dircks regaining form

Contrary to popular belief and even reports on this blog, Steve Dircks’ 2009 season was not lost because he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. The Loyola redshirt junior defenseman set the record straight by stating that he fractured his kneecap, which cost him all of last year.

That still makes his play this season remarkable.

Despite not regaining his starter’s status until the fourth game of the season, Dircks has collected 25 groundballs and caused seven turnovers for a unit that ranks first among Division I defenses in average goals allowed (7.2).

Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey said Dircks appears to be the same defenseman who was named to the All-Eastern College Athletic Conference second team two years ago, and Dircks didn’t vehemently disagree.

"I’d say that I’m a lot better than what I was," he said. "The injury to my knee probably helped me in helping me overcome adversity. It made me come back stronger. As a sophomore, I dislocated my elbow and I was out for a while, and then I got better from that injury. I got better in my communication and overall defensive awareness. I may have lost a little bit on-ball, but I’m getting that back."

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April 28, 2010

Q&A with ESPN's Paul Carcaterra

ESPN analyst Paul Carcaterra is a former All-American midfielder at Syracuse. In the first of a two-part question-and-answer session, Carcaterra discussed Virginia’s chances for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Loyola’s resume for an at-large bid, and Johns Hopkins’ diminishing hopes for a tournament berth.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland
        

April 26, 2010

Loyola's Schiavone recognized by league

Senior face-off specialist John Schiavone was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Week after winning 18-of-28 face-offs in No. 7 Loyola's 17-12 victory over Hobart on Saturday.

Schaivone out-dueled Statesmen junior Bobby Datillo, who had entered the contest ranked fifth among Division I face-off specialists with a .603 percentage. Schiavone, who collected a game-high 10 groundballs on Saturday, ranks seventh in the country with a .607 face-off percentage.

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Categories: Loyola
        

NCAA releases first RPI list

The NCAA released its first Ratings Percentage Index -- aka RPI -- and four of the top five spots are occupied by teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Virginia (13-1), North Carolina (11-2), Maryland (9-3) and Duke (11-4) are Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 on the list. Only Syracuse (11-1) at No. 4 breaks up the monopoly.

Princeton (9-3), Loyola (9-2), Cornell (8-4), Stony Brook (9-3) and Towson (6-5) round out the top 10. Locally, Johns Hopkins (5-7) sits at No. 14, Mount St. Mary's (8-4) at No. 23,  Navy (6-7) at No. 24 and UMBC (4-7) at No. 34.

The RPI, a rating that accounts for record and strength of schedule in that stronger opponents yield higher RPIs, is one tool that the NCAA selection committee will evaluate prior to finalizing the field for the NCAA Tournament. The 16-team bracket will be unveiled on Sunday, May 9 at 9 p.m.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Navy, Towson, UMBC
        

Loyola preparing for trip to Denver

Even before the start of Saturday’s game against Eastern College Athletic Conference rival Hobart, Loyola players and coaches were aware of No. 19 Denver’s 9-8 victory over Fairfield.

"We heard it on the announcements," coach Charley Toomey said. "And as I had mentioned to you before, that game up there really didn’t matter. Because even with a loss, it was going to come down to the head-to-head with Denver. We knew that we needed to win the game and go in with some momentum, but we knew that the ECAC championship was going to go through Invesco Field."

Indeed, the home of the Denver Broncos will be the site of the showdown between the No. 7 Greyhounds (9-2 overall and 6-0 in the ECAC) and the Pioneers (10-4, 5-0), and the winner on Sunday will have secured the conference’s regular-season championship and the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.

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April 20, 2010

No scoreboard peeks for Loyola

No. 7 Loyola is scheduled to play against Hobart on Saturday at 1 p.m. Two hours before that game, however, No. 19 Denver, which is jockeying with the Greyhounds for first place in the Eastern College Athletic Conference and the league's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament, will meet Fairfield in the opening game of the ESPNU Warrior Lacrosse Classic.

While refraining from instituting an outright ban on scoreboard or television watching, coach Charley Toomey said he hopes his players will focus on the Statesmen.

"We get to the locker room two hours before the game. So unless there’s a TV in there, probably not," Toomey said of watching the Pioneers play against the Stags. "But nowadays, these kids also have cell phones, and they find a way of knowing. I would imagine that since it’s an ECAC game, Hobart might get updates. But it really doesn’t matter. At this point, that game means nothing because it’s coming down to Loyola and Denver."

Toomey is right. Even if the Greyhounds (8-2 overall and 5-0 in the conference) beat Hobart and Denver (9-4, 4-0) falls to Fairfield (8-3, 4-1), the Pioneers could still capture the ECAC title and the automatic qualifier by beating Loyola on May 2 and Air Force on May 8 because they would own the head-to-head tibreaker over the Greyhounds.

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Q&A with ESPN's Matt Ward

Matt Ward is a former All-American attackman who helped Virginia capture NCAA championships in 2003 and 2006 and won the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2006 as the sport’s top player. In the first of a two-part interview, Ward, an analyst for ESPN, discusses – among other topics – No. 5 Maryland’s shelf life, No. 7 Loyola’s at-large resume and No. 20 Towson’s postseason chances.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Navy, Towson, UMBC
        

April 19, 2010

Loyola's Hagelin, MacDonnell earn league awards

Jake Hagelin and Cooper MacDonnell of Loyola claimed the Eastern College Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Week and co-Offensive Player of the week honors, the league announced Monday.

Hagelin, a junior goalkeeper for the No. 7 Greyhounds, stopped 14 shots in the team's 11-6 victory over No. 9 Georgetown Saturday. It was the fourth consecutive game that the Havre de Grace native and Boys' Latin graduate had registered at least 13 saves.

Hagelin leads all Division I goalies with a 6.70 goals-against average and ranks third with a .617 save percentage. This is the third time this season that Hagelin has been recognized by the ECAC.

MacDonnell recorded a game-high four points on three goals and one assist against the Hoyas. MacDonnell, who has scored 19 goals this season, ranks first in the conference in goals per game (2.71) and has scored a point in 25 straight contests.

 

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April 18, 2010

Postscript from Georgetown at Loyola

As usual, Loyola’s attack performed splendidly. The midfield wasn’t too shabby either.

The No. 7 Greyhounds got a combined seven goals and two assists from their attack, but their midfield made contributions as well in the team’s 11-6 defeat of No. 9 Georgetown at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore Saturday afternoon.

The first midfield of juniors Eric Lusby, Chris Basler and Stephen Murray combined for two goals and two assists, while the second unit of seniors Chris Hurst, Taylor Ebsary and freshman Davis Butts totaled two goals and two assists.

Each line outdid the Hoyas’ vaunted first midfield of seniors Andrew Brancaccio and Scott Kocis and junior Max Seligmann (a combined two goals and one assist0>

Lusby, who scored two goals during a critical 4-0 third quarter to snap a 4-4 tie at halftime, said the midfielders are well aware of their responsibilities.

"It just balances the offense a lot better," the Severna Park native and graduate said. "It takes the pressure off of the attack to do more. Sometimes the midfields aren’t producing, and the attack has to take the game over, and sometimes it doesn’t turn out for the best."

Clearly, Loyola’s success is tied to its attack, but the midfield has been nearly as important to the team’s 8-2 record thus far. In fact, the Greyhounds are 8-1 when both midfields combine for at least two goals and three points.

"I think you’re seeing a group that’s growing up," coach Charley Toomey said. "I think you’re a seeing a group that, from game to game, is becoming more confident. We’ve never put handcuffs on them, but I think they’ve kind of undone the handcuffs themselves. If they feel like they’ve got a step in that alley, they’re going to be aggressive, and they’re going to try to get to their look. We’ve always felt like we’ve got an attack that can break you down or get their hands free and shoot it. Now we feel like we can attack you from different areas of the field and certainly in the midfield. That takes a lot of pressure off of the attack if you’ve got to slide upfield to cover one of our middies."

Other notes:

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April 17, 2010

Georgetown at Loyola: Halftime thoughts

No. 7 Loyola and No. 9 Georgetown are tied at 4-4 at halftime, but the Greyhounds need to thank junior goalkeeper Jake Hagelin for keeping the team in the hunt.

Loyola (7-2) led, 3-1, after senior midfielder Chris Hurst converted a feed from senior midfielder Taylor Ebsary with 6:45 left in the first quarter, but the Hoyas (7-3) have maintained possession for a majority of the second quarter.

Georgetown took 16 of its 21 shots in the second period. Hagelin (five saves) absolutely stoned senior attackman Rickey Mirabito on the doorstep during a Hoyas’ extra-man advantage, and Hagelin made a diving stop on freshman attackman Travis Comeau after he intercepted a pass from Greyhounds senior face-off specialist John Schiavone.

The Hoyas have whiffed on four man-up situations, but Loyola has got to avoid giving those kinds of chances to Georgetown, which is ranked 13th in Division I in extra-man efficiency (14 of 33 for .424 percentage).

Other notes:

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Georgetown at Loyola: Three things to watch

For the first time since 2004, No. 7 Loyola and No. 9 Georgetown will meet not as Eastern College Athletic Conference rivals, but as two typical opponents. But that doesn’t diminish what should be an entertaining game at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore Saturday at noon.

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April 15, 2010

Loyola's attackmen helping Layne improve

Steve Layne has developed into No. 7 Loyola’s top defenseman, and the senior credited daily practices against an attack unit of seniors Cooper MacDonnell and Collin Finnerty and junior Matt Langan for his evolution.

“It helps out a lot,” Layne said. “I’ve been going against Cooper for four years now, and Cooper’s obviously a very good player. The good thing about our practices is that those three guys are all very good and all very different. If I’m playing a guy who’s dodging from the ‘X’ and he’s a real quick and shifty guy, then I’ll try to play Matt as much as I can in practice. If I’m playing against a pure scorer who dodges real hard to the cage, then I’ll go with Cooper. Or if it’s someone who’s a little bit more off ball and a good shooter, then I’ll go to Collin. So it’s real helpful becaiuse they’re all good but all different, too. You can get a different look from each of them.”

Layne, who leads the Greyhounds (7-2) in caused turnovers (10) and ranks third in groundballs (24), has shadowed the likes of Navy senior attackman Tim Paul, Notre Dame senior attackman Neal Hicks, Duke junior attackman Zach Howell and Towson junior Tim Stratton. Paul and Howell each scored a goal, while Stratton was shut out.

Layne will likely guard senior attackman Craig Dowd when No. 9 Georgetown visits Ridley Athletic Complex this Saturday and senior attackman Steven Boyle when No. 15 Johns Hopkins visits on May 8.

“I’ve played some good ones, but I’ve also got some tough ones coming up in the future,” Layne said. “I’m looking forward to it. They’re all good players.”
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April 14, 2010

Tewaaraton list narrowed down to 26

The list of candidates in the running to win this year's Tewaaraton Trophy, which is given to college lacrosse's top player, has been narrowed down to 26 players.

No. 5 Maryland has two players on that list in junior attackman Grant Catalino and redshirt junior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell. No. 7 Loyola is represented by junior goalkeeper Jake Hagelin, while Navy has a candidate in sophomore goalie R.J. Wickham.

Also, sophomore defenseman Sam Miller of Salisbury is listed, but I'm thinking that's a mistake. I think the foundation meant to nominate sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman.

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Categories: Loyola, Maryland, Navy
        

April 12, 2010

Loyola's Hagelin wins league award

Jake Hagelin of Loyola claimed the Eastern College Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Week honor after the junior goalkeeper surrendered just four goals in the No. 7 Greyhounds' five-goal victory over Fairfield Saturday.

Hagelin made 13 saves as Loyola (7-2, 5-0 in the ECAC) tagged Fairfield (6-3) with its first conference loss (3-1). The Havre de Grace native and Boys' Latin graduate ranks second in Division I with a 6.78 goals-against average and fourth with a .603 save percentage. This is the second time this season that Hagelin has been cited by the league.

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Categories: Loyola
        

Defense is taking the point for Loyola

Loyola (7-2) has climbed to No. 7 in The Sun’s poll and first in the Eastern College Athletic Conference with an unblemished 5-0 record courtesy of a stifling defense.

The Greyhounds currently rank second in Division I with a defense that has surrendered just 6.8 goals per game this season. Only No. 3 North Carolina, which has allowed and average of 6.4 goals in 11 contests, has been better.

Coach Charley Toomey credited the starting close defense of seniors Steve Layne and Kyle Cottrell and junior Steve Dircks, a rotation of junior Kevin Hinton, sophomore Kevin Moriarty and freshman Scott Ratliffe at long-stick midfielder and junior goalkeeper Jake Hagelin with anchoring Loyola on that side of the field.

“I just think they’re protecting the paint,” Toomey said. “I think they really understand about off-ball responsibilities, dropping down to help each other. They’re playing with a tenacity and physicality right now. They’re trying their best to win their match-ups and if something breaks down, they’re organized enough to make a quick slide. We’re forcing teams to make two or three extra passes to get a good shot.”

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April 9, 2010

Q&A with ESPN's Mark Dixon

ESPN analyst Mark Dixon, a former midfielder at Johns Hopkins, will provide commentary for Saturday's game between No. 20 Navy and No. 5 Maryland and Sunday's contest between No. 14 Notre Dame and No. 10 Georgetown. This is the first of a two-part interview with Dixon, who discussed Maryland's inconsistent midfield, Loyola’s big game against Eastern College Athletic Conference rival Fairfield, and Johns Hopkins’ and Navy’s NCAA Tournament chances.

Question: If you're Maryland coach Dave Cottle, what are you most pleased with about your No. 5 Terps at this point in the season?

Mark Dixon: If I'm Dave Cottle, the thing I'm most pleased with is their energy and level of intensity. I think Maryland is a team that really gets after it. They get up and down the field, they fight and contest every groundball, they fall behind 6-0 to Virginia, the No. 1 team in the country and they fight back.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Navy, Q&A
        

April 7, 2010

Loyola jockeying for ECAC crown and NCAA Tournament bid on Saturday

Saturday’s game against Fairfield is no ordinary contest for No. 7 Loyola.

Not only do the visiting Greyhounds clash with another Eastern College Athletic Conference rival, but they put their undefeated 4-0 record in the league against the Stags’ 3-0 mark.

Loyola coach Charley Toomey said he would not be shy about using both teams’ unbeaten records as a motivational tool.

“We’re going to talk about it all week, and we’ll have something hanging in their locker room,” Toomey said. “We’re going to get them excited about this lacrosse game. They need to hear it because this definitely gives the winner the leg up in the conference, and we need to make sure that it’s Loyola.”

A victory would go a long way towards further securing the team’s bid for the NCAA Tournament. The Greyhounds (6-2 overall) captured the 2008 conference title and shared last year’s crown with Massachusetts. But because the league does not have a season-ending tournament and the Minutemen owned the tiebreaker, Loyola had to hope to receive an at-large bid.

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Q&A with CBS College Sports' Matt Danowski

Matt Danowski is a former four-time All-American attackman at Duke who won the 2007 Tewaaraton Trophy. The newest lacrosse analyst for CBS College Sports, Danowski shared his opinion on a variety of topics. Here is the first of a two-part interview.

 

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland
        

April 6, 2010

Loyola gets contributions from unexpected source

Loyola’s rise to No. 7 in the latest Sun poll has been based on a potent attack and a stingy defense. But what put a smile on the face of coach Charley Toomey was the production from the team’s second midfield.

In Saturday’s 11-9 victory over Eastern College Athletic Conference foe Ohio State, the second midfield of senior Taylor Ebsary, senior Chris Hurst and freshman Davis Butts combined for three goals and three assists, outshining the first line of juniors Chris Basler, Eric Lusby and Stephen Murray (a combined one goal and one assist).

Ebsary recorded career highs in a single game with three assists and four points against the Buckeyes. He also collected two groundballs, caused one turnover, and limited Logan Schuss, Ohio State’s leading scorer, to just two assists. For his efforts, Ebsary was named the ECAC Co-Defensive Player of the Week.

Toomey said he is searching for those kinds of contributions from other players to alleviate some of the pressure on the attack.

“The thing that we were just so excited about was that midfield's production,” he said. “Taylor with three assists and Hurst had two goals, and we hadn't seen that from that midfield. We really challenged them to step up, and I thought they did that.”

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Categories: Loyola
        

April 2, 2010

Area teams involved in some significant games as well

While games involving No. 1 Virginia-No. 5 Maryland, No. 3 North Carolina-No. 12 Johns Hopkins, and No. 2 Salisbury-No. 1 Stevenson have garnered a significant amount of attention, there are several other significant contests involving area teams this weekend. Here’s a brief breakdown of those games according to the times of the games.

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Posted by Edward Lee at 5:15 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Loyola, Mount St. Mary's, Towson, UMBC
        

March 31, 2010

Q&A with ESPN's Paul Carcaterra

Paul Carcaterra, a former All-American midfielder at Syracuse, has made the move to ESPN after working for CBS College Sports. This is the first of a two-part conversation in which Carcaterra shared his thoughts on Johns Hopkins’ troubles, Maryland’s legitimacy and Loyola’s potential.

Question: What is wrong with Johns Hopkins, which has lost three straight and four of its last five?

Paul Carcaterra: "I don’t know if I would necessarily say that something is wrong with them, but last week, watching them play Virginia, they had seven freshmen on the field at one time. That’s a good sign for the future, but in Division I lacrosse, success coincides with seasoned veterans and a core group of leaders. I think they have some nice seniors in [midfielder] Michael Kimmel and [attackman] Steven Boyle, but there seems to be a big drop between that senior class and that freshmen group. There’s not a ton of huge contributors in the sophomore and junior classes, and they’re asking a lot of the freshmen. I think in a few years, you’re not going to want to play Johns Hopkins, but speaking specifically about 2010, it’s going to take some time for those young guys to really catch up to the speed of Division I lacrosse and feel comfortable with what they’re doing. You’re seeing some glimpses of that. I think they have two incredible defenders in [long-stick midfielder Chris] Lightner and [defenseman Tucker] Durkin. Those kids are going to be complete studs. I think they’re catching up to that level a little bit quicker than some of the offensive guys."

Q: So it sounds like you’re saying it’s a case of growing pains.

PC: "It’s growing pains, yes. And I think for this year, they don’t have a ton of speed in the midfield. That was one thing I saw. But they have a couple young freshmen that I was impressed with. I think [Lee] Coppersmith has great speed, and [John] Ranagan can get up and down the field."

Q: What should the Blue Jays do with their goalkeeper situation?

PC: "They’re 4-4, and they’ve been in situations like this. They have one of the best coaching staffs in the country, and they’re going to tap everything they can out of this team. They’re going to get what they can get out of this team. From a goaltending standpoint, I think they just have to go in one direction. You can’t continue to play [senior Michael] Gvozden and then pull him, play Gvozden and pull him. at this point, you might want to ride your future a little bit and go with one of these young guys. But Gvozden is not the reason for them being 4-4. I don’t necessarily think he’s won any games for them, but I don’t think he’s been the reason they’ve lost either. At some point, a spark might be needed and going with one of these young kids, I don’t think you would lose a ton and you could also get in position for some experience in the future."

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Q&A
        

March 30, 2010

Loyola seeking more from Langan

No. 7 Loyola’s 7-6 victory over Towson this past Saturday was punctuated by the return of senior attackman Cooper MacDonnell from a right shoulder injury and the play of linemate Collin Finnerty.

Finnerty scored a game-high three goals, and MacDonnell scored twice, but fellow starter Matt Langan had a quiet afternoon, finishing with just one assist. It was not the kind of outing expected from the junior attackman, who was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week for scoring a career-high four goals and tying a personal-best six points in an 18-3 rout of Air Force.

"We challenged Matt Langan yesterday because he’s deferring a little bit more to Collin and to Cooper," coach Charley Toomey said. "That’s what we’re going to challenge him to be when he was out there with [freshman Patrick] Fanshaw, when he knew he had to create opportunities and let Pat finish. We’re going to get after Matt and say, ‘Hey, we want the same guy we had the last two weeks because we know you can dodge and we know you can handle the ball.’ What happens is with Cooper back in the mix, you probably have a few less touches because he commands the ball and so does Collin and so does Matt. Where Pat Fanshaw is more of a finisher and an off-ball guy, Matty had more opportunities. So we’re still finding our rhythm offensively. We still have about five more weeks to figure it out."

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March 26, 2010

Towson at Loyola: Three things to watch

While No. 5 Maryland and No. 8 Johns Hopkins take to the road for contests at No. 3 North Carolina and No. 1 Virginia, respectively, a game of interest closer to home pits Towson (1-4) against No. 11 Loyola (4-2) at the Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday at 1 p.m. Here are a few factors that could play a role in Saturday’s final score.

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Categories: Loyola, Three things to watch, Towson
        

March 25, 2010

Former Greyhound pulling for Towson

P.T. Ricci will be in an unusual position Saturday when Towson (1-4) visits No. 11 Loyola (4-2) at Ridley Athletic Complex. Ricci, who wrapped up a four-year career for the Greyhounds as a long-stick midfielder with a senior season that included a nation-leading 51 caused turnovers and a team-best 91 groundballs, is now a volunteer assistant coach for the Tigers.

"I’m pretty excited, especially about going to the new field," Ricci said. "I don’t think it has fully hit me yet, but once I step out onto the field on Saturday and hear the first whistle blow, it’ll probably be a little weird for me, but I definitely want our team to go out there and win. I’m a competitor and I don’t like to lose. This is a big game for Towson."

Ricci did acknowledge that it will feel strange to stand on the opponents’ sideline at Loyola.

"It’ll definitely be weird looking over and seeing that Loyola uniform that I was in just a few months ago, and I’m in the black and gold of Towson," he said. "I’ve talked to a bunch of people from Loyola, and I know I’m probably going to be hassled a lot throughout the game, but it’ll be fun, I think."

Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey sounded pleased that he won’t have to see Ricci, who earned honorable mention All-American honors and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year award last spring, on the field.

Continue reading "Former Greyhound pulling for Towson" »

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Categories: Loyola, Towson
        

March 24, 2010

Calvert Hall grad producing for Loyola

With the status of senior attackman Cooper MacDonnell still unclear, Loyola has been leaning on freshman Patrick Fanshaw.

The Glyndon native and Calvert Hall graduate scored a career-high five goals in the No. 11 Greyhounds’ 18-3 rout of Air Force last Saturday. The five goals were the most by a freshman since Chris Georgalas scored five goals against Delaware on April 22, 1995.

In three starts, Fanshaw has scored nine goals and added one assist, and coach Charley Toomey said Fanshaw has lived up to the coaching staff’s expectations.

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March 22, 2010

Loyola's Langan, Fanshaw cited by conference

Loyola attackmen Matt Langan and Patrick Fanshaw were named the Eastern College Athletic Conference’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week respectively for their efforts in Saturday’s 18-3 victory over Air Force.

Langan, who claimed a similar honor on March 1, set a personal best with four goals and added two assists, which matched a career high of six points. Langan’s previous record for three goals occurred in wins against Rutgers in 2008 and Quinnipiac on Feb. 27.

Fanshaw, a Glyndon native and Calvert Hall graduate, led all scorers with five goals against the Falcons, posting a hat trick in the first half and chipping in a goal in each of the last two quarters. The goals were a career-high and were the most by a Greyhounds freshman since Chris Georgalas scored five goals against Delaware on April 22, 1995.

Posted by Edward Lee at 2:42 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola
        

March 19, 2010

Loyola's MacDonnell questionable vs. Air Force

Loyola senior attackman Cooper MacDonnell is still plagued by an injured right shoulder and is listed as day-to-day as the No. 11 Greyhounds prepare for a visit from Eastern College Athletic Conference opponent Air Force on Saturday.

MacDonnell suffered the injury in the team’s ECAC opener against Quinnipiac on Feb. 27 and sat out back-to-back contests against Bellarmine and then-No. 4 Notre Dame.

He started in Loyola’s 8-5 loss to No. 9 Duke last Saturday and scored a goal, but looked a little rusty.

"It was the first time that he actually had a stick in his hand and was able to go full speed," coach Charley Toomey said. "I think what you found is that when a guy doesn’t practice for two weeks, his timing is going to be off. He went 1-of-11 shooting the ball, and I don’t think he played at the level that he’s accustomed to playing. But we’re working on getting that timing back, and we’re hopeful that he’s going to go again this week. We’ve really had to limit what he can do at practice just because of the nature of his injury. So he’ll be day-to-day."

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Categories: Loyola
        

March 18, 2010

Loyola welcomes back five freshmen from three-game suspension

Five Loyola freshmen have returned to the team after serving a three-game suspension for violating an undisclosed team rule.

Coach Charley Toomey confirmed the move without identifying the players or their transgression.

"They’re back on the team," he said. "They’ve received their sanctions and they’ve had a three-game suspension. They’ll be suited up. Whether or not any of them will play, I don’t know, but they’ll be in uniform on Saturday [against Air Force]."

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Categories: Loyola
        

March 12, 2010

Status of Loyola's MacDonnell still uncertain

Cooper MacDonnell is extremely questionable for No. 10 Loyola’s home opener against No. 8 Duke at Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday at 3 p.m.

The senior attackman, who has missed the Greyhounds’ past two games because of a right shoulder injury he suffered in an 11-5 win against Quinnipiac on Feb. 27, returned to practice for the first time on Friday – albeit on a limited basis, according to coach Charley Toomey.

"He was trying to catch and throw a little bit," Toomey said. "No contact. We’re going to make the decision tomorrow. I think he’s going to try and play, but we haven’t made a decision."

Without MacDonnell, who has recorded eight goals and one assist in two games, Loyola has leaned on senior attackman Collin Finnerty, who has scored eight goals in MacDonnel’s absence, and junior midfielder Eric Lusby, who has scored six goals over that same span.

If MacDonnell cannot play, freshman Patrick Fanshaw will make his third consecutive start. Fanshaw scored three goals in a 14-8 victory over Bellarmine, but was shut out in an 11-10 loss to No. 4 Notre Dame.

Posted by Edward Lee at 8:13 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola
        

March 8, 2010

Loyola's Finnerty nabs conference award

Loyola senior attackman Collin Finnerty's eight-goal performance in two games last week earned him co-Offensive Player of the Week honors, the Eastern College Athletic Conference announced Monday.

Finnerty, who shares the award with Ohio State senior attackman Mario Ventiquattro, becomes the third Greyhounds player to be recognized by the league. Senior attackman Cooper MacDonnell won the honor two weeks ago, and junior attackman Matt Langan won last week.

Finnerty scored a career-high five goals in No. 10 Loyola's 14-8 win against Bellarmine last Wednesday and added three goals in an 11-9 loss to No. 4 Notre Dame at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium last Saturday.

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Categories: Loyola
        

March 6, 2010

One uneducated analysis of Tewaaraton Trophy watch list

The Tewaaraton Trophy watch list was released yesterday, and 17 of the names belong to players who currently play for Maryland-based programs or hail from the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Johns Hopkins leads the way locally with three nominees in senior attackman Steven Boyle, senior defenseman Matt Drenan and senior midfielder Michael Kimmel.

Maryland and Navy have two each. The Terps are represented by junior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell and junior attackman Tim Paul, while the Midshipmen include senior attackman Tim Paul and sophomore defenseman Matt Vernam.

Loyola has a nominee in senior attackman Collin Finnerty, while UMBC has senior attackman Kyle Wimer.

In addition, Stevenson is represented by senior attackman Steve Kazimer and junior attackman Jimmy Dailey.

Players with ties to the Baltimore area include Virginia senior midfielder Brian Carroll (Towson/Gilman), Georgetown senior defenseman Barney Ehrmann (Baltimore/Gilman), junior attackman Andrew Feinberg (Owings Mills/McDonogh), Princeton sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Fiorito (Phoenix/McDonogh), Notre Dame senior midfielder Grant Krebs (Annapolis/St. Mary's) and Virginia sophomore attackman Steele Stanwick (Baltimore/Loyola).

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, Stevenson, UMBC
        

March 4, 2010

Loyola waiting on MacDonnell

No. 10 Loyola’s bid to knock off No. 4 Notre Dame in the finale of the Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday could hinge on the availability of Cooper MacDonnell.

The senior attackman is nursing a sore right shoulder that he injured in the Greyhounds’ 11-5 victory over Quinnipiac last Saturday. MacDonnell did not travel with the team, which beat Bellarmine, 14-8, on Wednesday, and he is considered questionable for Saturday’s contest.

"We were hopeful that he might be able to take the field against Bellarmine, but he was unable to do that," coach Charley Toomey said. "… He is absolutely day-to-day. We’ll see. He’s rehabbing and icing, and again, it’s day-to-day."

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Categories: Loyola
        

March 1, 2010

Loyola's Langan cited by ECAC

Thanks to a three-goal, three-assist effort on Saturday, Loyola junior attackman Matt Langan earned the Eastern College Athletic Conference's co-Offensive Player of the Week award.

Langan, who shared the honor with Denver sophomore attackman Alex Demopoulos, set a personal record with his six-point outing in the 11-5 victory over Quinnipiac. The three goals tied a personal best set two years ago against Rutgers, and the three assists were a career high.

Langan leads the No. 10 Greyhounds (2-0) with five assists this season.

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Categories: Loyola
        

February 24, 2010

Loyola's Toomey defends goalie Hagelin

Both goalies from Saturday’s overtime thriller between No. 10 Loyola and No. 11 Navy earned weekly honors from their respective conferences, but the Greyhounds’ Jake Hagelin’s award was somewhat noteworthy.

Hagelin, a Havre de Grace native and Boys’ Latin graduate, made just three saves in Loyola’s 8-7 victory. Although those stops occurred in the waning minutes of regulation and overtime, Hagelin was overshadowed by Midshipmen sophomore R.J. Wickham, who registered 19 saves.

Nonetheless, at a media event in which four Baltimore-area Division I coaches previewed their teams and answered fans' queries during a question-and-answer session at the ESPNZone in the Inner Harbor, Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey reiterated his previous stance that Hagelin is the undisputed starter.

"The one thing I would point to is he’s the co-Defensive Player of the Week in the [Eastern College Athletic Conference], and it wasn’t because he registered 18, 19 saves, which he’s done before for us," Toomey said. "He directed a defense that allowed another team to put just 10 shots on the cage. What Jake does is, he’s a terrific leader, he’s very poised. So anytime we’re clearing the ball, he’s making the right decisions, and he’s getting the guys to their spots. So we really relied on his leadership and not so much his saving ability. The one thing that I gave our defense a hard time about is, we’ve got to give him a chance to make saves. The first couple saves a goalie needs to make shouldn’t be five yards and in. When we had a breakdown, Navy capitalized, and that’s going to be our challenge this week, to let our goalie get going and allow him to be the stopper that we know he is."

If the need arises, Toomey has the luxury of inserting senior Alex Peaty, who started as a freshman. But Toomey said that option was not considered.

"I know the way our team responds to him. I’m looking at him when he’s at the top of the crease and he’s biting a middie’s head off to get down the backside. He’s a leader, and the guys respond to him and they want to play awful hard for him. When the ball’s in his stick, I feel pretty confident that we’re going to clear the ball. Those are the little intangibles that you’ve got to be looking at. When he starts dipping his head and begins thinking about the last shot and not the next shot, then maybe you’re looking at him and wondering, ‘Is it time?’ But in no way, shape or form did I see that glazed look in the young man’s eyes. He wanted the next one."

Other Loyola notes:

Continue reading "Loyola's Toomey defends goalie Hagelin" »

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February 23, 2010

Loyola's MacDonnell, Hagelin honored by ECAC

Loyola senior attackman Cooper MacDonnell and junior goalkeeper Jake Hagelin -- both of whom played a pivotal role in the team's 8-7 overtime win against No. 11 Navy on Saturday -- were named the Offensive and co-Defensive Players of the Week by the Eastern College Athletic Conference on Monday.

MacDonnell notched career highs in goals (six) and points (seven) and scored the game-winning goal with nine seconds left in overtime to propel the No. 10 Greyhounds to their first season-opening victory since 2004. MacDonnell was selected by the league as the Preseason Player of the Year.

Hagelin made just three saves, but two came in the waning minutes of regulation and one occurred when he stopped Midshipmen sophomore attackman Ryan O'Leary with about a minute left in overtime. Hagelin, a Havre de Grace native and Boys' Latin graduate, collected the groundball and began a clear that led to MacDonnell's heroics.

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Categories: Loyola
        

February 22, 2010

Loyola women flying high after upsetting Virginia

Emily Gibson's cell phone burned up with text messages from Loyola alumni Saturday evening after her Greyhounds upset No. 10 Virginia, 15-11, in Charlottesville.

"After the game we found out that we hadn’t beaten Virginia since 1999. It was such an amazing feeling beating a Top 10 team like that. I know I had so many alumni, even going back to the 90s, texting me, congratulating me -- congratulating the whole team. It was such an amazing win for all of our alumni, all of our team and all of our school."

The Greyhounds, who trail the series 21-8, last defeated the Cavaliers on April 28, 1999. Virginia is arguably the highest profile team Loyola has beaten in the coaching tenure of Jen Adams, who took over the program last season and went 11-6 after four losing seasons.

Late last season, the Greyhounds upset Georgetown, which was ranked No. 6 at the time. Even though Virginia is lower ranked this year, it stands as one of the all-time great women's college lacrosse programs with three national championships and six other appearances in the title game, most recently in 2007. Sunday's win boosted the Greyhounds from No. 14 to No. 10 in this week's Inside Lacrosse media poll.

Last spring, the Greyhounds followed that win over Georgetown with a heartbreaking 13-12 loss to Louisville. But could this win over Virginia be a springboard to a bigger and better season in 2010? 

 

Continue reading "Loyola women flying high after upsetting Virginia" »

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Categories: Loyola
        

February 20, 2010

MacDonnell comes up big in Loyola's win over Navy

Senior attackman Cooper MacDonnell scored six goals, including the game-winner with nine seconds left in the five-minute sudden death overtime period, to lift No. 13 Loyola to an 8-7 win over No. 6 Navy in Annapolis.


MacDonnell, from Darien, Conn, scored from the left of the goal after initially beating Navy defensive midfielder Michael Hirsch, then overcoming a late slide by sophomore midfielder Nikk Davis.

-- Mike Preston

Posted by Steve Gould at 3:05 PM | | Comments (0)
        

February 19, 2010

Adams to assist sister with Australia's U-19 team

If you read the previous blog about Krystin Porcella being named the head coach for the United States U-19 women’s national team, you read her speculation that Jen Adams might be coaching Australia’s Under-19 team. That is true. She will assist her sister Trish Adams, the team’s head coach.

With Trish living in Australia, where she runs STX Australia, and Jen living here, where she coaches Loyola and is also involved with STX, the sisters relish the chance to work together.

"She got the job first and then she called to see if I would be interested," Jen said. "The opportunity to work with her and coach Australia is pretty incredible."

This could be bad news for the United States, because the last time the Adams sisters teamed up at the Under-19 world championships, Australia won the gold medal. That was in 1995 at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. Since that 5-4 win over the U.S., America has won all three world championships – each time over Australia in the final.

If little girls with lacrosse sticks in America want to grow up to be Jen Adams, little girls in Australia certainly must feel the same way.

Continue reading "Adams to assist sister with Australia's U-19 team" »

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Loyola at Navy: Three things to watch

These two teams meet in a regular-season contest for the first time since April 3, 1943. The Midshipmen own a 3-1 advantage in the series. Here are a few game developments that could determine the outcome of Saturday's game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at noon.

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Categories: Loyola, Navy, Three things to watch
        

February 8, 2010

Loyola preview

Today’s entry is the fourth of a week-long series taking a look at each of the seven Division I programs in this state according to their order of finish from last season. Tune in Tuesday for a preview of Navy, and The Sun’s lacrosse preview is slated to be published on Friday, Feb. 12. Today is Loyola’s turn.

Overview: The Greyhounds missed out on a third consecutive NCAA Tournament bid by the thinnest of margins, and the objective this fall and spring has been to take their future from the hands of the selection committee and into their own. To that end, Loyola is taking aim at winning the Eastern College Athletic Conference regular-season title, which would secure the team the league’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament and home-field advantage in next year’s season-ending ECAC Tournament.

Reason for optimism: Despite graduating two defensive starters and perhaps one of the best long-stick midfielders in recent memory (more on P.T. Ricci later), the defense is still solid. Senior Steve Layne registered 48 groundballs and 24 caused turnovers last season, junior Steve Dircks was poised to start last spring until he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, and senior Kyle Cottrell got some valuable experience last year. Junior Nick Disimile, sophomore Dylan Grimm and freshman Reid Acton will also contribute. "We’re going to be as good as our defense is," coach Charley Toomey said. "… We feel like we’ve got the strength of our team down low with our poles. They’re going to be able to match up pretty doggone well with attackmen from around the country."

Continue reading "Loyola preview" »

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Categories: Loyola, Review & preview
        

February 7, 2010

Loyola player's father elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Washington Redskins guard Russ Grimm was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday. His son, Dylan, is a sophomore defenseman for Loyola.

In 11 seasons in Washington, Russ Grimm helped the Redskins win three Super Bowls and was a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1980s. Dylan Grimm played in two games for the Greyhounds in his freshman campaign.

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February 2, 2010

Loyola, ECAC to begin conference tournament in 2011

For years, the Eastern College Athletic Conference awarded its NCAA Tournament automatic qualifier (AQ) to the regular-season champion. That will change.

The league announced earlier Tuesday that beginning in 2011, the ECAC season will end with a tournament pitting the top four teams to determine which school should get the AQ to the NCAA Tournament.

"We are delighted to have this opportunity to showcase our league, which contains some of the top teams in the country," commissioner Rudy Keeling said in a statement posted on the conference's website. "We're also pleased that we can avoid deciding our automatic bid recipient through a tiebreaker formula, as has sometimes been the case, and instead have the student-athletes have an opportunity to earn the NCAA bid on the field."

Continue reading "Loyola, ECAC to begin conference tournament in 2011" »

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January 21, 2010

Finnerty, Layne, Ebsary and Federici named Loyola captains

Loyola announced its team captains for the upcoming 2010 season and they are attackers Collin Finnerty and Nick Federici, defenseman Steve Layne and midfielder Taylor Ebsary.
 
Finnerty has started all 28 games over the last two seasons on attack for the Greyhounds. Last season, he recorded 24 goals and 13 assists for 37 points, which ranked third on the team.

Layne, a preseason All-American Honorable Mention from Inside Lacrosse and a member of the preseason All-Eastern College Athletic Conference first team, caused 24 turnovers and picked up 48 groundballs last year. With Layne as a starter, Loyola's defense has held ECAC opponents to under seven goals per game over the last two seasons.
 
Ebsary set career highs last season with 46 groundballs and nine caused turnovers. Federici is a member of the Greyhounds’ attack that led the ECAC in scoring last year.
 
Loyola opens the season on Feb. 20 with a road game against Navy. 

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:38 AM | | Comments (0)
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June 9, 2009

Review & preview: Premature 2010 poll Part 2

Yesterday, I released the first installment of a preseason and premature poll for the 2010 season, publishing the teams ranked from Nos. 15 to 11. Wednesday will feature Nos. 10 to 6 and Thursday, Nos. 5 to 1.

Unless there are confirmed reports about certain players planning to use fifth years of eligibility, this space will assume that seniors in 2009 will not be back next season. Unannounced fifth-year seniors and potential transfers will affect the rankings that come out next February, but here are the teams that I think will fall between Nos. 15 and 11.

Continue reading "Review & preview: Premature 2010 poll Part 2" »

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Categories: Loyola, Review & preview
        

June 2, 2009

Navy and Loyola to meet in regular season for first time since 1943

In addition to scheduling a regular-season contest against Towson for the first time since April 12, 1997, the Midshipmen agreed to renew a series with Loyola. The two programs have not played against each other since a playoff game on May 15, 1993 and a regular-season contest on April 3, 1943.

The Greyhounds will replace Navy’s game against Ohio State in the middle of February, and Midshipmen coach Richie Meade joked that it only took him 10 years to figure out that a trip to Baltimore is more economically feasible and less physically taxing than visiting Columbus, Ohio.

"Loyola is right down the block," he said. "It made a lot of sense. I think we’re a good game for them, and they’re certainly a good game for us. I think the games will draw great crowds, and I think there will be a lot of local interest. They will be big games. We play in some big games, but we need to play in more big games. I think that helps you."

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:28 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola, Navy
        

May 28, 2009

Loyola taking to the skies next season

With Ohio State, Denver, Air Force, Quinnipiac and Bellarmine migrating from the Great Western Lacrosse League, playing in the Eastern College Athletic Conference figures to be a boon for the Greyhounds in terms of inflating their air miles.

But unlike his East Coast counterparts, Loyola coach Charley Toomey said he has asked his administration to schedule a home game against Denver and an away game against Air Force (or vice versa) and a home game against Ohio State and an away game against Bellarmine (or vice versa).

"I just think these conference games are too doggone important to try to play two of them in one weekend," he said. "… You’re dealing with travel, you’re dealing with the altitude. For me, those games are too doggone important to take lightly."

There will be no conference tournament in 2010, but the league is expected to discuss implementing a four-team tourney in 2011 and beyond. The dilemma for the Greyhounds is that the final weekend of the regular season is usually reserved for their annual tilt with Johns Hopkins.

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Categories: Loyola
        

Maryland well-represented in MLL Draft

The Major Lacrosse League held its annual college draft Wednesday night, and fair number of players with connections to the Baltimore area were selected. The first player from Baltimore to be drafted was North Carolina face-off specialist and Boys’ Latin graduate Shane Walterhoefer, who was taken by the Denver Outlaws with the seventh overall pick in the first round.

In the second round, the Washington Bayhawks selected Loyola long-stick midfielder P.T. Ricci with the 11th overall pick and Denver drafted Johns Hopkins midfielder Brian Christopher at No. 14.

In the third round, Notre Dame attackman and Dulaney graduate Ryan Hoff went to the Chicago Machine at No. 17, Johns Hopkins defenseman Michael Evans to Washington at No. 18, and UMBC midfielder Peet Poillon to the Boston Cannons at No. 20. The Outlaws took Loyola attackman Shane Koppens at No. 21 before the Bayhawks selected Maryland midfielders Jeff Reynolds and Dan Groot at Nos. 23 and 26, respectively.

In the fourth round, North Carolina midfielder and Severna Park graduate Ben Hunt went to Washington at No. 28 and Denver drafted UMBC midfielder Alex Hopmann and UMBC goalkeeper Jeremy Blevins at Nos. 35 and 36, respectively.

In the fifth and final round, the Bayhawks took Salisbury midfielder Kylor Berkman with the 38th overall pick, and the Outlaws selected Cornell midfielder and Boys’ Latin graduate Rocco Romero at No. 41.

Syracuse, which became the first school to win back-to-back national championships since Princeton won three straight between 1996 and 1998, had the most players drafted with midfielders Dan Hardy and Matt Abbott, attackman Kenny Nims and defenseman Sid Smith taken in the first round. Nims was the first overall pick by Chicago.

UMBC, Cornell and Virginia were next with three players each.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Salisbury, UMBC
        

Review & preview: Loyola

Here’s the third installment of a new series that checks in with the seven Division I programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and a look into the future. Next Monday, we’ll take a look at the teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament. Today, we take a spin with Loyola.

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Categories: Loyola, Review & preview
        

May 21, 2009

Division I All-American teams announced

The All-American teams for Division I have been released and the area’s lone representative on the first team is Johns Hopkins senior defenseman Michael Evans. Evans is joined by fellow defensemen Ken Clausen of Virginia (his second selection) and Matt Moyer of Cornell.

Cornell midfielder Max Seibald makes his third consecutive appearance on the first team, joining a group that includes Matt Abbott of Syracuse, Shamel Bratton of Virginia and Mark Kovler of Princeton.

The attackmen are Billy Bitter of North Carolina, Brandon Corp of Colgate, Ned Crotty of Duke, Danny Glading of Virginia and Kenny Nims of Syracuse. The goalie is Jordan Burke of Brown.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

May 7, 2009

ESPN's Matt Ward on the NCAA tournament field

Check in Friday for "Three things to watch" on all four games involving area teams. Until then, here’s a Q&A with ESPN analyst and 2006 Tewaaraton Trophy winner Matt Ward on the omission of Loyola, easiest and toughest paths to the Final Four and possible first-round upsets.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

CBS College Sports' Paul Carcaterra evaluates the NCAA tournament field

CBS College Sports analyst and former Syracuse All-American midfielder Paul Carcaterra helped me out with a feature in Thursday’s paper on Navy junior attackman Tim Paul, who is expected to play in the Midshipmen’s first-round NCAA tournament game against No. 3 seed Duke despite a sprained left ankle. He also took the time to discuss Loyola’s absence, easiest and toughest paths to the Final Four and possible first-round upsets.

Continue reading "CBS College Sports' Paul Carcaterra evaluates the NCAA tournament field" »

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

May 6, 2009

ECAC honors for six Loyola players

The Greyhounds placed a league-high six players on the All-Eastern College Athletic Conference teams, and senior long-stick midfielder P.T. Ricci was named Defensive Player of the Year and freshman midfielder Mike Sawyer earned Rookie of the Year.

Ricci, an ECAC first-team honoree for the second consecutive season, routinely shadowed opponents’ most potent offensive midfielders, but he also chipped in two goals and five assists. He led the nation in caused turnovers with 51 and ranked second by averaging 6.36 groundballs per game. He finished the season with 91 groundballs, which ranks fifth on the school’s single-season list. His career totals include 232 groundballs and 115 caused turnovers.

Ricci was joined on the first team by teammate Shane Koppens, the 2008 conference Offensive Player of the Year. Despite missing the first two games of the year, the senior attackman led Loyola for the second straight year with 41 points on 22 goals and a team-high 19 assists. Koppens ranks fourth on the program’s all-time assists list with 80 and eighth on the career points list with 151.

Sawyer heads the second team after ranking fourth on the team in scoring with nine goals and four assists in 12 games. He was ECAC Rookie of the Week twice and is the second consecutive Greyhound to be named ECAC Rookie of the Year after goalie Jake Hagelin collected the award in 2008.

Loyola also put junior attackman Cooper MacDonnell, junior defenseman Steve Layne and junior face-off specialist John Schiavone on the second team.

"This is obviously very exciting to have six players be named All-ECAC and I think that it’s a testament to how well our team has worked together this season," said coach Charley Toomey, 22-6 against conference opponents during his tenure.

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Categories: Loyola
        

May 5, 2009

ESPN's Dixon on NCAA tournament field

ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon was kind enough to talk to me about some topics I am working on, and the conversation naturally turned to the NCAA tournament’s 16-team field. The following is a Q&A with Dixon that touches on Loyola’s absence, the easiest and toughest paths to the final four and possible first-round upsets.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

May 4, 2009

A conversation with selection committee chair Tim Pavlechko

Just talked to Tim Pavlechko, who chairs the selection committee for the NCAA tournament, and he laid out the panel’s process for selecting Brown over Loyola for the ninth and final at-large bid.

Essentially, both teams had impressive records. Although the Greyhounds’ strength of schedule was superior to Brown’s (No. 3 for Loyola compared to No. 32 for the Bears, according to laxpower.com), the gap in their RPIs wasn’t as dramatic (No. 9 for the Greyhounds compared to No. 12 for Brown, according to the NCAA).

The clincher was that the Bears had wins against two tournament teams in Cornell and Massachusetts, while Loyola did not.

"Loyola played a very strong schedule. They had a great year," Pavlechko said. "But they had some losses. They lost to a common opponent – UMass – with Brown. There are some of those other quality wins as you mentioned. There was a quality win [against Cornell] that wasn’t on Loyola’s resume. I’m not saying that’s the ultimate thing. It was the total breadth of work, scope of the season, and all the selection tools of trying to differentiate teams for that last slot."

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Categories: Loyola
        

May 3, 2009

Postscript from Loyola at Johns Hopkins

The No. 18 Greyhounds have to wait until Sunday to learn of their postseason fate, but they certainly feel as if they’ve done enough to warrant an invitation to their third consecutive NCAA Tournament, which begins Saturday.

"We should be in this tournament," senior attackman Shane Koppens said. "We have the record, we have the strength of schedule. You never know what can happen though. I don’t know what the [selection] committee does to choose who makes it or who doesn’t. We’re going to be praying they choose us to play somebody. I don’t care who it is. We can play anybody. Just praying that they give us a shot."

Loyola is thought to be competing with No. 5 Brown (12-3) and No. 13 Maryland (9-6) for one of two coveted at-large bids.

The Terps have won just three of their last seven games and have the lowest RPI of the three (No. 14), but they have beaten two teams ranked in the top 10 in RPI in Duke (No. 2) and North Carolina (No. 8). The Bears’ RPI is just slightly better (No. 12) and they missed out on a chance to win the Ivy League title and the automatic qualifier, but they beat Cornell (No. 10).

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Postscript
        

May 1, 2009

Loyola at Johns Hopkins: Three things to watch

The Charles Street rivalry is renewed with significant ramifications at stake depending on the outcome.

Here are a few game developments that could help determine the result:

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Three things to watch
        

April 30, 2009

Hofstra's loss is no gain for Loyola, Maryland

If anything, the No. 10 Pride’s shocking 9-7 loss Wednesday night to a Villanova squad that Hofstra had whipped, 10-3, just five days ago has narrowed the possibility of both the No. 13 Terps and the No. 18 Greyhounds making the 16-team NCAA tournament.

Despite the setback in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament semifinal, the Pride are 11-3, have a Rating Percentage Index of five, and boast quality wins against No. 5 Brown, No. 7 Princeton and No. 17 Massachusetts.

So in addition to either Towson or Villanova getting the automatic qualifier for winning the CAA tournament championship Saturday night, Hofstra is virtually assured of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. That means that either Maryland or Loyola will not get one of the remaining eight at-large cards.

The Terps and Greyhounds present interesting cases for an invitation. Loyola’s RPI of nine is superior to Maryland’s RPI of 14, and the Greyhounds (9-4) have no bad losses on their resume, dropping one-goal decisions to No. 1 Syracuse and No. 3 Notre Dame and two-goal contests to No. 2 Duke and Massachusetts.

The Terps (8-6) have lost four of their last six games, but they have two quality wins against Duke and No. 8 North Carolina. The Blue Devils have a RPI of two, while the Tar Heels have a RPI of eight.

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Categories: Loyola, Maryland
        

April 28, 2009

Weekly awards for Loyola, UMBC, Salisbury

Two Loyola players earned weekly awards from the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

Loyola junior attackman Collin Finnerty shared Offensive Player of the Week honors with Penn State sophomore midfielder Chris Hogan. Finnerty matched a career high with four goals – all in the first quarter – in the No. 18 Greyhounds’ 16-7 win against Hobart.

Sophomore goalkeeper Jake Hagelin made eight saves and surrendered just five goals to the Statesmen. The reigning ECAC Rookie of the Year split the Defensive Player of the Week award with Georgetown senior defenseman Steve Bauer.

UMBC’s Ryan Smith was named by the America East as the league’s Player of the Week. The senior attackman posted seven points on four goals and three assists in the No. 11 Retrievers’ 18-5 victory over Vermont to help the school clinch a share of the regular-season championship for the fifth consecutive season.

In Division III news, Salisbury senior midfielder Kylor Berkman collected Capital Athletic Conference’s Player of the Week honors for registering four goals and one assist in the No. 5 Sea Gulls’ 12-11 victory over Washington. Berkman was recently named the conference’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Posted by Edward Lee at 2:41 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola, Salisbury, UMBC
        

April 27, 2009

Paul Carcaterra's take on the NCAA tournament field

During halftime of the Syracuse-Massachusetts contest Saturday, former Syracuse All-America midfielder and current CBS college sports analyst Paul Carcaterra offered his take on the projected 16-team field for the NCAA tournament.

That field underwent some changes Monday after Navy beat Bucknell for the Patriot League tournament crown and automatic qualifier. During an extensive conversation that I have broken up into two posts, Carcaterra thinks Bucknell is out and a local school is the most immediate beneficiary.

"I think that opens the door for Maryland as that last at-large bid," Carcaterra said. "I don’t think there are too many of those other bubble teams. I don’t think you can say with a straight face that Georgetown has a shot because Loyola beat them head to head. There aren’t too many others that are on the fence."

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

The wait begins for Loyola

The winner of the Eastern College Athletic Conference's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament won't be determined until after No. 18 Massachusetts plays Rutgers, but if you think the Greyhounds are sitting around and twiddling their thumbs, guess again.

No. 19 Loyola (6-1 in the ECAC) would win the automatic qualifier if the Minutemen (5-1) lose on Saturday, but the Greyhounds are gearing up for another installment in their rivalry with No. 8 Johns Hopkins on Saturday. And as far as coach Charley Toomey is concerned, that game is just as important as a conference tournament final.

"That is our conference championship," Toomey said. "It’s certainly a way to play your way into the tournament. Playing Johns Hopkins at the end of the year is a great opportunity for us. So we’ll let Rutgers play UMass and let the league play its way out. We know we’re sitting at 6-1 [in the ECAC], and it’s a great opportunity on Saturday to put a good number in front of our record for the committee to look at."

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Categories: Loyola
        

April 23, 2009

Awards rundown for Navy and Loyola

The Midshipmen put a Patriot League-high seven players on the All-Conference first and second teams earlier this week.

Senior defenseman Andy Tormey, senior defensive midfielder Geoff Leone and junior midfielder Patrick Moran (Severn) were named to the first team. Leone and Moran earned their second consecutive appearances on the first team, while Tormey made his debut.

Junior attackman Tim Paul (Loyola), junior midfielder Joe Lennon (Loyola), junior faceoff specialist Frankie Coppola and junior defenseman Jaren Woeppel were placed on the second team. Paul and Woeppel are two-time second-team honorees, while Lennon and Coppola are making their first appearance.

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Categories: Loyola, Navy
        

April 19, 2009

Postcript from Fairfield at Loyola

When queried earlier in the season about what appeared to be the team's inability to settle on either sophomore Jake Hagelin or senior Alex Peaty as the starting goalkeeper, Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey would -- without fail -- point out that the defense had to give either goalie a chance to succeed.

Toomey and Hagelin got that wish Saturday in No. 19 Loyola's 12-7 rout of the visiting Stags. Fairfield took just 29 shots (16 were on net) and was shut out for a span of 21 minutes, 29 seconds in the second half -- during which the Greyhounds turned a slim 7-5 lead into a 12-5 advantage.

Loyola was especially tough against the Stags' top three scorers of freshman midfielder Brent Adams, senior midfielder Chris Ajemian and freshman attackman John Snellman. Senior long-stick midfielder P.T. Ricci didn't surrender a point to Adams, who entered the contest as Fairfield's most productive player with 23 points on 13 goals and 10 assists, until he scored with 1:04 left in the fourth quarter.

Snellman, who led the team in goals with 14, scored just once and added an assist as junior Steve Layne didn't seem affected by giving up six inches and 30 pounds to the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Snellman. Ajemian scored twice, but one was on an extra-man opportunity.

While predicting that Adams would develop into a dangerous player, Ricci said the game plan entailed forcing the midfielder to get rid of the ball. "We shut him down in the first half and caused them to do a lot of inverts," said Ricci, who recorded a game-high four caused turnovers and six groundballs. "I think that really took away from what he could do because if I took him away on his first few dodges, they would go to someone else."

Other notes:

Continue reading "Postcript from Fairfield at Loyola" »

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Categories: Loyola, Postscript
        

April 18, 2009

Fairfield at Loyola: Three things to watch

The No. 19 Greyhounds are just a half-game behind No. 13 Massachusetts in the race for the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship and automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament. Here are a few things Loyola must do against the Stags to stay in contention.

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Categories: Loyola, Three things to watch
        

April 15, 2009

Tewaaraton Trophy finalists announced

The Tewaaraton Foundation, which awards the Tewaaraton Trophy to the country’s best lacrosse player, has announced the finalists, and only two with Baltimore-area connections are among the pool of 21.

UMBC’s Jeremy Blevins is one of four goalkeepers, joining Brown’s Jordan Burke, Massachusetts’ Doc Schneider and Notre Dame’s Scott Rodgers. Loyola’s Shane Koppens is one of 10 attackmen, joining Virginia’s Garrett Billings and Danny Glading, Bryant’s Zack Greer, Colgate’s Brandon Corp, Duke’s Ned Crotty, Hofstra’s Jay Card, North Carolina’s Billy Bitter, Princeton’s Jack McBride and Syracuse’s Kenny Nims.

The midfielders are Cornell’s John Glynn and Max Seibald, Syracuse’s Matt Abbott and Dan Hardy, Princeton’s Mark Kovler and Virginia’s Shamel Bratton. The only defenseman on the list is Virginia’s Mike Timms.

In other news, UMBC swept America East honors as Peet Poillon and Justin Radebaugh were named the league’s Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively. Poillon scored four goals in the No. 7 Retrievers’ 15-7 win against No. 17 Albany on Saturday. The four goals tied a career and season high, which the senior midfielder has notched three times this year. Radebaugh, a freshman faceoff specialist, recorded season highs with 16 faceoff wins (out of 24) and 10 groundballs. He also posted his first career point, an assist.

Navy’s Tommy Phelan earned Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week accolades for the second consecutive week after making 16 saves in the No. 11 Midshipmen’s 8-4 victory over Army. The senior produced his third straight game of at least 15 saves.

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:37 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Loyola, Navy, UMBC
        

April 8, 2009

Pivotal weekend matchups

A lot of attention has been devoted to Saturday’s Smartlink Days of Rivals, which features Army against No. 12 Navy at 11:30 a.m. and No. 11 Johns Hopkins against No. 15 Maryland at about 2 p.m.

But there are some critical games involving other local teams Saturday.

* Since UMBC joined the America East conference in 2004, the Retrievers and Albany have split the league titles with UMBC winning in 2006 and 2008. The two schools will tangle Saturday, and with both teams undefeated (2-0) in conference play, the winner will likely sit in the driver’s seat to host the season-ending league tournament. The No. 7 Retrievers are just 1-2 when playing the Great Danes on their home turf, but UMBC boasts one of the most prolific midfields in Peet Poillon, Kyle Wimer and Alex Hopmann. No. 17 Albany is hopeful that senior attackman Corey Small will play for the first time since undergoing leg surgery last month.

* Despite Georgetown’s troubles this season, Loyola coach Charley Toomey has consistently held to his theory that the road to the Eastern College Athletic Conference title runs through the Hoyas. The No. 19 Greyhounds are the reigning league champions and with a 3-1 record in the ECAC, they are a half-game behind current leader Massachusetts (3-0 in the conference). But Loyola is 0-3 at Georgetown, which has won seven ECAC championships since the league was formed in 2000. The Hoyas, who upset then-No. 20 Fairfield last Saturday to improve to 1-2 in the conference, would love to play spoiler again. The Greyhounds could use another big outing from attackman Shane Koppens, who has posted six goals and four assists in his past two games against Georgetown.

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Categories: Loyola, Mount St. Mary's, Towson, UMBC
        

April 7, 2009

UMBC's Jeremy Blevins and Loyola's Mike Sawyer honored

Jeremy Blevins, a senior goalkeeper for No. 7 UMBC, was named the America East Player of the Week for his performance last week.

In the Retrievers' wins against Towson on Tuesday night and Binghamton on Saturday night, Blevins surrendered just four goals in each game. He made 11 saves against the Tigers and 10 saves against Binghamton. Blevins scooped up a career-best and UMBC season-high eight groundballs against Towson.

Mike Sawyer, a freshman midfielder for No. 19 Loyola, was selected as the Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week for scoring a career-high four goals in the Greyhounds' 12-9 victory over Rutgers on Saturday.

With eight goals this season, Sawyer is tied with senior Jimmy Daly for most goals by a Loyola midfielder. Sawyer was named Rookie of the Week on March 16 after posting three goals and one assist in wins over Bryant and St. John's.

Posted by Edward Lee at 3:17 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola, UMBC
        

April 2, 2009

Goalie dilemma solved for Loyola and Navy

Both Loyola and Navy are staying the course and going with the goalies who started in their respective cages last Saturday.

Senior Alex Peaty will start for the No. 19 Greyhounds in Saturday’s game against Rutgers. Even though he was tagged with the 14-13 loss to No. 2 Syracuse, Peaty made 10 saves, seven of which came in the second half and allowed Loyola to enjoy a four-goal lead early in the fourth quarter.

"Coming away from that second half against Syracuse, I thought that Alex made some very good saves that allowed us to stay in the game," Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey said. "That was the decision. He didn’t do anything in that game that would warrant going back to [sophomore] Jake [Hagelin]. We’re going to give him the start against Rutgers."

The No. 15 Midshipmen will give senior Tommy Phelan his second consecutive start after he made 15 saves in a 10-8 victory over Georgetown. Phelan, who will try to contain No. 9 Maryland’s offense, impressed Navy coach Richie Meade with his performance and exuberance.

"He just came in and gave us a lift and did a great job," Meade said. "He stopped the ball. I thought he was very vocal in terms of helping the guy on the ball and communication-wise. He played very well."

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:02 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Loyola, Navy
        

March 26, 2009

Syracuse at Loyola: Three things to watch

While the No. 19 Greyhounds’ goalie dilemma involving Jake Hagelin and Alex Peaty will be a significant story line Saturday, here are a few more factors that could help determine the final outcome.

1) Although Loyola has allowed a modest 8.4 goals per game, the unit has not faced an offensive juggernaut like the one the No. 2 Orange brings to town. Syracuse is averaging 14.1 goals per contest, which ranks second in the nation behind No. 1 Virginia’s unit (14.2). While mindful of the Orange’s offense, Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey pointed out that a good portion of Syracuse’s success is rooted in the team’s ability to score goals and maintain momentum by going on runs. The Orange has recorded a 3-0 run in each of its seven games this season and bursts of 6-0 in five contests. "One thing that Syracuse thrives on is three- and four-goal runs," Toomey said. "You don’t want to get into an up-and-down when you’re playing from behind."

 

Continue reading "Syracuse at Loyola: Three things to watch" »

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Categories: Loyola, Three things to watch
        

March 25, 2009

Loyola's goalie forecast: hazy and cloudy

This season, Loyola coach Charley Toomey has not budged from his assertion that sophomore Jake Hagelin has earned the right to start over senior Alex Peaty in the net.

Today, Toomey acknowledged that the line that separated Hagelin and Peaty may not be as clear as it was before, and the fourth-year coach is uncertain whom will start against No. 2 Syracuse on Saturday.

"We haven’t made that decision yet," Toomey said. "We’ve watched some film, and the one thing I would say about both of these guys is they’ve played against Syracuse, and they both have played in big situations. [Their teammates] will tell you that we have a tremendous amount of confidence in both of them. What we’ve got to do is we’ve got to figure over the next three days which goalie gives us the best opportunity not only in the type of shots that they’re going to see from Syracuse but also in managing the game."

The dilemma began during the then-No. 16 Greyhounds’ 8-6 loss to unranked Massachusetts last Saturday. Hagelin surrendered six goals and made just three saves in 42 minutes of play. Hagelin was replaced by Peaty, who allowed just two goals and registered five saves.

Toomey even went as far as to venture that he might emulate Maryland’s Dave Cottle and Princeton’s Bill Tierney and rotate his goalies.

"Quite honestly, we might see a platoon," Toomey said. "That’s something that I’m not against either. My challenge as a coach right now is, whoever we put in there, defensively, we’ve got to give him a chance to see the ball from 10 or 15 feet. That’s been our focus."

Posted by Edward Lee at 2:34 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Loyola
        

March 16, 2009

Loyola's Koppens, Sawyer earn awards

The Greyhounds collected two Eastern College Athletic Conference weekly awards when Shane Koppens was named Offensive Player of the Week and Mike Sawyer earned co-Rookie of the Week recognition.

Koppens, a fifth-year attackman, registered nine points on three goals and a career-high six assists in a 15-11 victory over Bryant on Tuesday. The showing was a first for a Loyola player since Gavin Prout posted nine points (six goals and three assists) in a 16-12 win against Hofstra on March 4, 2000. Koppens' six assists in a single game are a Division I-high this season. He also added two goals and two assists in a 10-7 victory over No. 19 St. John's on Saturday.

Sawyer started both games in the midfield and recorded three goals, one assist and five groundballs. He shares co-Rookie of the Week honors with Penn State's Jack Forster.

In addition, senior long-stick midfielder P.T. Ricci was named to the Conference Honor Roll. He collected one goal, two assists, 22 groundballs and 11 caused turnovers last week.

Posted by Edward Lee at 5:15 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola
        

March 12, 2009

Loyola's new goalie is ...

Sophomore goalkeeper Jake Hagelin will start in the net when the No. 18 Greyhounds play host to No. 19 St. John's on Saturday.

That might not qualify as news considering that Hagelin had started all six games this season and that coach Charley Toomey stated earlier in the season that Hagelin earned the role over senior Alex Peaty. But that was before Hagelin made just one save and surrendered six goals in the first half of Tuesday's contest against Bryant.

Still, Toomey affirmed earlier this evening Hagelin would start over Peaty, who replaced Hagelin after halftime and registered two saves in Loyola's 15-11 victory on Tuesday.

"We're going to start Jake Hagelin. He's our guy," Toomey said. "I felt like in both goalies' cases, we didn't give either of them a chance to really be great goaltenders. All the shots they had to see were six yards and in. We have to give both of those guys a better opportunity to see shots."

When asked if the decision was difficult to make, Toomey said no.

"I feel -- as I've said many times -- that we do have two very good goalies," he said. "If things aren't going in a direction we'd like to see -- whether it's the defense letting us down or in the goal -- I feel we have another guy who can come in and give us a spark and be a stopper. Again, it wasn't something that Jake did as much as it was the defense. But I felt like you don't lose your job when it's out of your control like that. We just weren't able to give the kid a fair shot in goal."

Hagelin and the rest of the Greyhounds must play well against a Red Storm team that is 4-0 overall and beat Georgetown to get to 1-0 in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. One factor in Loyola's favor: the Greyhounds are 11-0 at home against ECAC opponents under Toomey.

"For us, I think it's a real shot in the arm to get this game at home, where traditionally we have been very tough," Toomey said. "We need to come home and defend the home turf, especially in-league. That's where our guys have excelled, and I'm going to count on them to do that this Saturday."

Posted by Edward Lee at 8:57 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Loyola
        

March 3, 2009

Loyola welcomes back Shane Koppens

Just in case people forgot how good Shane Koppens is, the senior attackman for No. 19 Loyola scored three goals in an 8-7 win against Eastern College Athletic Conference foe Penn State on Saturday. It was his first contest of the season after serving a two-game suspension as part of gaining a fifth year of eligibility.

Koppens' tally with 3:55 left in the fourth quarter capped the fifth hat trick of his career and proved to be the winning goal for the Greyhounds (2-1 overall and 1-0 in the ECAC), who are tied with St. John's for the conference lead.

"He didn't waste much time getting into the mix," Loyola coach Charley Toomey marveled. "He's a kid who -- as I've always said -- is going to have the ball go through his stick every time down [the field]. He's our offensive leader, he's our decision maker. I think he really cherishes that role and embraces it. He just makes people around him better."

Koppens' presence benefited junior attackman Cooper MacDonnell, who also scored three goals. Prior to Saturday, MacDonnell, who led the team in goals with 22 last season, had found the net just twice. But Toomey refused to buy into an early-season slump as an explanation for MacDonnell's slow start.

"I don't know that he was ever out of the groove other than he was taking on the [opposing] team's best defender," Toomey said. "Now with Shane Koppens coming back into the mix, you've got to make some decisions. I think it all goes hand-in-hand. Shane takes a lot of pressure off of Cooper as well as [junior attackman] Collin [Finnerty]. So now, you've really got make some decisions as to how you want to guard Loyola's attack."

As the reigning ECAC champions, the Greyhounds have a one-game lead on No. 20 Georgetown, which lost to St. John's last Saturday and had captured six titles prior to last season. Just don't tell Toomey that.

"It's such a long season, and there are so many games to be played that you just can't look up right now," he said. "You've got to continue to take care of your own business. In fact, I wouldn't even say Loyola's in first place. I would say St. John's is. They're 3-0 [overall], and we're 2-1. I think you've got to give St. John's a lot of credit for doing what they've done so far."

Posted by Edward Lee at 12:44 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola
        

February 23, 2009

Finnerty honored

I'm a few hours late, but just found an e-mail announcing that Loyola's Collin Finnerty has been named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

The junior attackman from Garden City, N.Y., recorded his second straight four-goal, one-assist performance in the No. 16 Greyhounds' 11-8 victory over No. 20 Towson on Saturday. Finnerty leads the ECAC with 10 points on eight goals and two assists.

"Collin has really been playing with a lot of confidence lately, and that's showing in his performance," Loyola coach Charley Toomey told the team's Web site. "When he gets his hands set to shoot, he is certainly very tough to defend."

Former Gilman star and current Georgetown junior defenseman Barney Ehrmann shared Defensive Player of the Week honors with Fairfield freshman goalkeeper Charlie Cipriano. Ehrmann helped the No. 17 Hoyas upend No. 3 Maryland, 13-10, on Saturday by surrendering zero goals and zero points to Terps junior attackman Will Yeatman.

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:33 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Loyola
        

February 17, 2009

Hagelin's still the one at Loyola

If there was any doubt about whom should be the starting goalkeeper for No. 16 Loyola, Jake Hagelin put those questions to rest with his performance Saturday.

The sophomore made 15 saves in the Greyhounds' season-opening 10-9 loss to No. 14 Notre Dame. Hagelin was especially tough in the second quarter when he faced 12 shots, turned away five, and helped Loyola claw its way back to a 6-6 tie at halftime.

Coach Charley Toomey knew he faced a tough decision when senior Alex Peaty returned to the team in the fall. Peaty had been the starting goalie in 2007, recording a .547 save percentage and a 10.00 goals-against average (GAA). But when Peaty took some time off last spring, Hagelin stepped in as a freshman and posted a .575 percentage and 8.10 GAA.

While insisting that he would not be opposed to getting Peaty some time in the net, Toomey said the job is Hagelin's to lose. "What I saw in that game was a kid making a lot of saves early on in that game and playing very consistently throughout the game," Toomey said. "I just had a hard time looking to [Peaty on] the sidelines and saying, ‘OK, it’s your turn.’ I feel like we’ve got two very good goaltenders, and I don’t want anybody looking over their shoulders this season. Right now, it’s Jake’s job, and Alex knows that he’s ready to step in at any time when he’s called on."

Another bright spot in the defeat was the emergence of junior midfielder John Schiavone, who replaced Tim McDermott as the team's faceoff specialist. McDermott ranked ninth in the country last season, winning 58.6 percent (109 of 186) of his faceoffs.

Schiavone appears to a worthy successor. He won 14 of 20 faceoffs (60 percent) against the Fighting Irish and might have shocked everyone, including Toomey.

"It’s kind of hard to look at somebody and say, ‘He’s going to go 14 of 20 at the X.’ We thought we could [win] 55 percent," Toomey said. "That’s our goal going into any game. This obviously was a special effort, and you’d obviously like to have that type of effort every weekend, but you can’t expect it."

Posted by Edward Lee at 2:58 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Loyola
        
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