BaltimoreLacrosseNews.com, Posted 5/28/12
From Press Release
Loyola University will play for the NCAA Championship for the third time in the school’s 73 seasons of lacrosse history when it takes on the University of Maryland at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 28.
Despite just 30.67 miles (as the crow flies according to DaftLogic.com) separating the campuses, the game will be played 338 miles from Loyola’s campus at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
On The Tube, Web And Radio
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN with Eamon McAnaney and Quint Kessenich calling the action. Paul Carcaterra will be the sideline analyst.
The action can also be seen worldwide on ESPN3, the broadband arm of the ESPN, and on the WatchESPN app on mobile devices. Click here for an ESPN3 access guide, and here to watch the broadcast.
Westwood One Sports/Dial Global will provide the NCAA Radio Network broadcast of the Championships with Dave Ryan on the play-by-play and Steve Panarelli on analysis. It can be heard on ESPN 1300 AM in Baltimore and Sirius/XM 91 worldwide. A complete list of stations can be found at dialglobalsports.com.
Loyola and Maryland will meet for the 21st time in series history – the Terrapins hold an 19-1 lead in the previous 20 games – and the second time in NCAA Championships play.
The teams have not squared off since Maryland won a 19-8 decision on May 23, 1998, in the NCAA Semifinals at Rutgers University. Monday’s game will be just the third meeting of the teams since 1989 and the third since Loyola joined NCAA Division I in 1982.
The Terrapins won 17 games in a row in the series before the Greyhounds scored a 10-8 victory on March 19, 1989.
NCAA Championships History
Loyola is making its 20th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 18th at the Division I level. The Greyhounds are 11-19 all-time in Championships play, 11-17 at the Division I level.
Monday’s game will be Loyola third appearance in an NCAA Championship Game and second at the Division I level.
Loyola, with current Head Coach Charley Toomey as the team co-captain and goalkeeper, last played in the title game on May 28, 1990, when Syracuse defeated the Greyhounds, 21-9.
The Greyhounds also took part in the NCAA Division II Championship Game on May 17, 1981, when it lost to Adelphi, 17-14.
As an institution, Loyola has won one national title, the 1976 NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer crown.
Five, Twice In A Row
Eric Lusby scored five goals in the NCAA Semifinal against Notre Dame, duplicating a performance he had in the Quarterfinal round against Denver. Lusby is the first Loyola player to score five in consecutive games since Mike Sawyer did it against Bellarmine (March 5) and Duke (March 11) during the 2011 season.
Eric Lusby is thus far the leading scorer in this year’s NCAA Tournament, tallying 13 goals and five assists for 18 points. He is three goals shy of tying the tournament record of 16 set in 2006 by Matt Ward and matched in 2007 by Duke’s Zach Greer.
His 13 are tied for seventh all-time. Loyola’s Chris Colbeck scored 14 in the 1990 tournament and is tied for fourth with Paul Rabil (Johns Hopkins, 2008) and Gary Gait (Syracuse, 1988). Gait is also third with 15 in 1990.
He has hat tricks in all three games Loyola has played after scoring three in the First Round against Canisius and five in both sequential games.
Runkel Stops 15
Loyola goalkeeper Jack Runkel set a career-high in the NCAA Semifinals with 15 saves against Notre Dame, setting a career-high. He narrowly eclipsed his previous best of 14 set on April 28 against Johns Hopkins.
The game was Runkel’s seventh this season with 10 or more saves in goal. The others came against Duke (12), at UMBC (13), at Fairfield (12), Johns Hopkins (14), at Denver in the ECAC Semifinals (10) and versus Denver in the Quarterfinals (11).
Runkel has played to a 5.97 goals against average and .622 saves percentage in three NCAA Tournament games.
Defense Limits Chances
Loyola’s defense held Notre Dame to just 28 shots, four below the Fighting Irish’s season average of 32.3 heading into the game, and the Greyhounds’ unit helped goalkeeper Jack Runkel make 15 saves by limiting inside chances.
As a unit, Loyola forced Notre Dame into 14 turnovers, although the team was credited with just seven caused turnovers.
Joe Fletcher caused three of the turnovers and picked up a career-high seven ground balls, while Reid Acton, Scott Ratliff, Josh Hawkins and Runkel each had a caused turnover.
Eric Lusby and Mike Sawyer became the first duo in Loyola history with 50 goals each in the same season. Sawyer now stands with 51 goals, a Loyola single-season record, while Lusby has 50, tied with Tim Goettelmann for second in season history at the school.
They are two of three players in the NCAA this season to score 50 or more goals, joining Colgate’s Peter Baum (67). Last season, just one player (Robert Morris’ Trevor Moore, 50) had 50 or more.
The last time a pair of Division I teammates had 50 or more goals was 2010 when Duke’s Max Quinzani finished the year with 68, and Zach Howell tallied 51.
Lusby and Sawyer are also the only Loyola players to reach 60 points in the same season.
With his six-point effort on Saturday afternoon, Lusby set the school Division I record for points in a season with 67, eclipsing the 66 (29g, 37a) Brian Duffy had during the 1995 season.
Gary Hanley has the top three points marks in school history with 89 in 1981, 86 in 1980 and 83 in 1979 when Loyola played Division II lacrosse.
Seven Earn All-America Honors
Attacker Mike Sawyer was named to the USILA All-America Second Team, and long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff earned Third Team honors earlier this week from the coaches’ association.
Five other Greyhounds – attacker Eric Lusby, midfielders Davis Butts and Josh Hawkins and defenders Reid Acton and Joe Fletcher – received honorable mention.
The seven honorees are the most for Loyola since seven received plaudits following the 1999 season. Sawyer and Ratliff are also the first Loyola players to receive All-America nods other than honorable mention since Gavin Prout was a first teamer in 2001.
Sawyer Sets Goals Record
Mike Sawyer scored the first goal of Loyola’s NCAA Quarterfinal game against Denver and broke the school single-season record for goals in the process.
Sawyer now has 51 goals this season, breaking the previous best of 50 set by Tim Goettelmann in 2000. Goettelmann went on to become Major League Lacrosse’s all-time leading goal scorer.
Earlier this season, against Hobart, he became the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000. They are the only three Loyola players to top 40 this century.
In the ECAC Semifinal against Denver, Sawyer pushed his season point total to 50, a number that is now at 60, making him the first Greyhound to reach 50 in a season since Prout had 58 (37g, 21a) in 2001. It is the fourth time this century that a Loyola player has scored 50 or more points in a season. Goettelmann (65) and Prout (53) both reached the mark in 2000, and Prout did it again the following season. Sawyer’s teammate, Eric Lusby, has since joined him with more than 50 points (more later).
Loyola completed a three-game sweep of Denver with its 10-9 NCAA Quarterfinal victory last Saturday, marking the first time in school history the Greyhounds had ever played a team three times in a season.
It is the third time a team has beaten another three times in a season (thanks to Patrick Stevens of The Washington Times for the research). Loyola joins the 1992 Maryland (vs. Duke), 2007 Duke (vs. North Carolina) and 2009 Duke (vs. North Carolina) teams to have accomplished the feat.
Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem
Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the nation this season, combining for 101 goals in 18 games this season, an average of 5.61 per game.
Sawyer has scored 51 goals, and his 2.83 goals per game average is sixth-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 50 goals and a 2.78 goals per game mark, a number that is eighth in the country. Loyola is the only school to have two players in top 10 nationally.
The Greyhounds have not had two players score 40 or more goals in the same season since 2000 when Tim Goettelmann set the school single-season record with 50, and Gavin Prout tallied 41. As a side note, the Goettelmann-Prout duo has gone on to highly successful professional careers. Goettelman recently retired from Major League Lacrosse as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 268 goals in 11 seasons. Prout has been an MLL Champion and has scored 314 National Lacrosse League goals to go with 625 assists as a multiple-time all-star.
The duo is now the top goal-scoring tandem in Loyola single-season history, eclipsing the performance in 2000 by Goettelmann and Prout.
A Lot Of Everything
The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola junior does a lot, as he leads the team in ground balls (83) and caused turnovers (35), is fifth in goals (12) and is seventh in assists (7). His 34 caused turnovers are second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official that year.
A Tewaaraton Award nominee earlier in the year, Ratliff was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Championships after scoring three goals, one a game-winner, and recording two assists and 16 ground balls.
He had two goals, including the winner just eight seconds into overtime, and an assist versus Denver while picking up a career-high nine ground balls.
Ratliff, who was also an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, then scored twice in the first quarter against Canisius to go along with six ground balls and three faceoff wins in the game.
Scott Ratliff had his third multi-goal game of the season in the NCAA First Round against Canisius, and he then added a goal in the Quarterfinal against Denver, raising his season totals to 12 goals and seven assists.
With his game-opening goal against the Golden Griffins, he set the Loyola single-season record for long-pole scoring, surpassing the record of 16 points set by current assistant coach Matt Dwan his senior season in 1995 when he tallied 11 goals and five assists and earned All-America honors.
Ratliff is second nationally this season in goals and points by a long pole, and his seven assists are tops in the country. Bryant’s Mason Poli leads all long poles this year with 19 goals and 24 points.
Ward Dishes Out Assists
Justin Ward was credited an assist on an Eric Lusby goal against Notre Dame raising his season total to 31, and his 1.72 assists per game are 21st nationally. Those numbers are tops among the players on the four teams in the NCAA Semifinals.
Ward is the first Loyola player this century to reach 30 assists, and his total is the most since Brian Duffy had 34 in 1996.
Loyola entered the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seed for the third time in school history. The Greyhounds were also the top seed in 1998 when they defeated Georgetown, 12-11, in the Quarterfinals to move on to the Final Four for the second time in school history. There, the Greyhounds lost, 19-8, to Maryland. They were then the No. 1 seed in 1999 when they fell in the Quarterfinals to Syracuse, 17-12.
School Record In Wins
Loyola’s victory over Notre Dame in the NCAA Semifinals was its 17th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.
This is Loyola’s 15th season all-time with 10 or more wins with 12 coming since the Greyhounds joined Division I in 1982.
The Hardware Department
In the span of seven days, three teams in Loyola’s Department of Athletics advanced to their respective NCAA Championships by winning titles in three different conferences.
The men’s golf team started the trend with its fifth-straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference crown on April 29, and the men’s lacrosse team followed by taking the ECAC title on May 4. The women’s lacrosse team completed the trifecta on May 5 when it defeated then-No. 2 Syracuse to win its second-straight BIG EAST Championship. Also, in March, Loyola’s men’s basketball team won its first MAAC title in 18 years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994.
Sawyer Named One Of Five Tewaaraton Finalists
Mike Sawyer was named one of five Tewaaraton Award finalists on Thursday, joining Colgate A Peter Baum, Duke LSM C.J. Costabile, Massachusetts A Will Manny and Virginia A Steele Stanwick.
Sawyer is the first Loyola men’s player to be named a finalist, and he is also the first player from to hail the State of North Carolina to be so honored. He was one of three Greyhounds on the Tewaaraton Watch List where he was joined by Eric Lusby and Scott Ratliff, and Ratliff was a fellow semifinalist. The Award, which is given annually to the top player in college lacrosse, will be presented on May 31 at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Loyola’s first midfield line of Davis Butts (20g, 33p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 27) and Chris Layne (11, 22) has combined for 47 goals and 35 assists this season, while the second midfield unit of Pat Byrnes (9, 7), J.P. Dalton (9, 4) and Phil Dobson (7, 2) has added 25 and 13. Additionally, Nikko Pontrello has started to mix in with the second midfield, allowing Loyola’s attackers the opportunity to invert, and he has four goals and six assists.
Twelve In A Row Ties Mark
Loyola’s 12-straight to start the season tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (3/14-3/17) and 1999 (3/6-3/8).
It also matched the best start to a season, equaling the 1999 team that finished the regular-season unblemished at 12-0.
Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year
Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey has guided the Greyhounds to a 17-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play. The NCAA Championship Game will be Toomey’s 100th as a head coach.
The Greyhounds became the second team in USILA Coaches Poll history to start a season unranked and ascend to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The only other team was Duke in 2007 – a year after the Blue Devils had their season suspended in March – which accomplished the feat after being unranked in the first poll, moving to second in the next version and first in the third. Duke was knocked from its perch as No. 1 that season when it lost to the Greyhounds at the First Four in San Diego.
The win over Canisius in the First Round was the 60th victory of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 60 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982). Toomey’s .626 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.
Five Loyola players earned All-ECAC Lacrosse League honors form the conference’s coaches. Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff, who was also named ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, earned a spot as a defender on the First Team, where he was joined by Mike Sawyer on attack and Davis Butts in the midfield.
Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and is now second nationally, in goals (51). Butts has scored 20 goals and assisted on 13 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also regularly playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 39 ground balls.
Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and is third nationally with 50 goals, and he also has 17 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 39 ground balls and 25 caused turnovers entering the NCAA title game.
Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 18 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 36 occasions this season.
Loyola scored the first four goals of the ECAC Semifinal game against Denver and then tallied three-straight after the Pioneers pulled within 4-2. The Greyhounds then reeled off five in a row during the third quarter to take a 13-6 lead.
The Greyhounds used two 3-0 runs against Notre Dame in the NCAA Semifinal to advance to the title game.
On The Flip Side
Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just 12 times this year, with the most recent coming when Canisius scored three in the second quarter. Only Denver (seven in ECAC Semifinal), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.
The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 65-22 in the third quarters of games and 119-63 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).
The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.