April 2, 2010

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No. 12 Greyhounds Entertain Buckeyes

from press release

Game No. 8
#12 Loyola Greyhounds (5-2, 3-0) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-4, 1-1)
Saturday, April 3, 2010 • 2 p.m. • Comcast Network (Ch. 8)/ECAC TV
Baltimore, Maryland • Ridley Athletic Complex

Game Data
Loyola wraps up a four-game homestand on Saturday, April 3, 2010, when it hosts Ohio State in a televised ECAC Lacrosse League game on Awalt Field at Ridley Athletic Complex. Faceoff is slated for 2 p.m. The game immediately follows the Loyola-Cincinnati women's lacrosse game, which starts at 12 p.m. Tickets for both games are valid for the other.

Turn On The Television
Saturday's game will be Loyola's third-straight appearance on national television, one of five the Greyhounds will make this season. The game is being broadcast as part of the ECAC Game of the Week package and is slated to be shown on many cable networks nationwide. In Baltimore and the Mid-Atlantic area, the Greyhounds-Buckeyes contest can be seen on The Comcast Network (Ch. 8), live at 2 p.m. For a complete list of affiliates around the country, check out LoyolaGreyhounds.com.

Series History
Loyola and Ohio State will meet for the first time when they take the field on Saturday. The Buckeyes are a first-year member of the ECAC Lacrosse League and are the second of three teams (Bellarmine, Denver) that Loyola will play for the first time this season.

Defensive Stalwarts
Loyola's defense has allowed just 5.67 goals per game in its last three, dropping its season goals allowed per game to 6.86. The Greyhounds are now third in all of NCAA Division I with a 6.79 goals against average. Jake Hagelin moved up to second nationally with a 6.86 goals against average through seven games.

'X' Marks The Spot
Loyola has won 71.4-percent of faceoffs (40-of-56) in its last three games, it's best two-game success rate since winning 72.9-percent (43-of-59) from March 6-20, 2004, in games against Hofstra, Duke and Notre Dame. John Schiavone has been even better, winning 73.9-percent (34-of-46) of the restarts he's taken against Duke, Air Force and Towson. In that stretch Schiavone has picked up 23 ground balls, as well. This season, Steve Vaikness' faceoff unit is winning restarts at a 57.6-percent clip, while Schiavone is 74-of-127 (.583).

In The Polls
Loyola moved up to No. 12 in both the USILA Coaches' Poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll following the Towson game.

Another Attacker Shut Down
Towson's Tim Stratton entered last Saturday's game against Loyola second on the Tigers with 13 points, and 13 points is what he finished the contest with. Greyhounds' defender Steve Layne put the clamps on another opponent, holding Stratton without a goal or assist in the game. Layne is tied for the team lead with seven caused turnovers this season, and he is third on the Greyhounds with 21 ground balls. While the statistics are nice, Layne's presence has been felt mostly in ways that don't show up on the scoresheet, namely in opponents' goals and assists.

Saves In Critical Situations
Goalkeeper Jake Hagelin has consistently been sharp this season when games are on the line in the fourth quarter. Last Saturday against Towson, Hagelin made four saves against the Tigers in the final frame, including one on a hard one-hopper by Matt Lamon with time expiring. Earlier this year, Hagelin made two saves with less than two minutes to play at Navy, preserving a tie and forcing overtime where he made a save against the Midshipmen and started a clear that led to Cooper MacDonnell's game-winning goal. Including the fourth quarter against Air Force when Alex Peaty and Eric Tillman saw time in the cage, Loyola goalies have posted a .639 saves percentage in the final period.

Killing Penalties
Loyola's opponents have scored just twice on extra-man opportunities in the Greyhounds' last five games, converting on just 11.7-percent (2-of-17) of man-up chances since the beginning of March. Air Force and Duke each scored an EMO goal versus Loyola, but the Greyhounds then shutout Towson, holding them scoreless on four man-up possessions last Saturday. On the Tigers' EMOs, Jake Hagelin made three saves on shots, and the defense blocked two other Towson shots. For the season, opponents are converting just 20.8-percent of the time against Loyola on EMOs. Navy is the only team to score more than one man-up goal in a game, tallying a pair in the season-opener. Loyola is seventh nationally in penalty killing and first in the ECAC.

On The Other Side Of EMOs
Loyola's man-up unit has been solid through six games this season, and the Greyhounds are already ahead of last year's EMO numbers. In 2009, the Greyhounds scored 10 extra-man goals and converted on 35.5-percent of EMOs. This year, however, Loyola is scoring on over 40-percent of EMOs with 12 man-up goals. Eric Lusby leads Loyola with four man-up goals, while Matt Langan has three and Collin Finnerty each have three.

MacDonnell's Back
Cooper MacDonnell returned to the starting lineup last week against Towson, scoring two goals for the Greyhounds. The Preseason ECAC Player of the Year missed the Bellarmine, Notre Dame and Air Force games with a shoulder injury, but he is still tied for second on the team with 11 goals this season. MacDonnell leads the ECAC in goals per game (2.75) and points per game (3.25). The senior kicked his season off in fine fashion, scoring a career-high six goals at Navy. His final score was the game-winner with nine seconds to go in overtime against the Midshipmen.

Steady Stephen
Since joining the first midfield at the start of the season, Stephen Murray has been a steady contributor for the Greyhounds on offense. The junior has at least one point in six of Loyola's seven games this season with totals of five goals and three assists. As a freshman and sophomore, Murray was a member of Loyola's second midfield and scored three goals in each of his first two years.

Defending Home Turf
Whether in previous years at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field or this season at the new Awalt Field at Ridley Athletic Complex, Loyola has been outstanding at defending its home field in ECAC Lacrosse League games. Since joining the conference in 2005, Loyola is 17-1 against league foes at home.

Sharing The Ball
Loyola had its second 10-plus assist game of the season on March 20 against Air Force. Seven Greyhounds recorded 12 assists, eclipsing the team's previous season-high of 11 assists at Quinnipiac on February 27. Collin Finnerty led the way with a career-high four assists, while Matt Langan and Taylor Ebsary also had multi-assist games with two each. In the Greyhounds' five wins this season, they have recorded assists on 62-percent of their goals (36-of-58). Meanwhile in two losses, they have assisted on just half of their goals (7-of-14).

Listen In
The Loyola-Ohio State game will be broadcast live in the Baltimore area on WNST-AM 1570 with Chris Gunkel '90 calling the play-by-play action. For those outside of the WNST listening area, the broadcast can also be heard for free on LoyolaGreyhounds.com.

ECAC Honors
Matt Langan picked up his second ECAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week award on March 22, and Patrick Fanshaw was named the ECAC Rookie of the Week, as well. The awards mark the fifth and sixth of the season for the Greyhounds: Cooper MacDonnell (Off., Feb. 22), Jake Hagelin (Co-Def., Feb. 22), Langan (Co-Off., March 1), Collin Finnerty (Co-Off., March 8), Langan (Co-Off, March 22), Fanshaw (Rookie, March 22).

Fanshaw's Five
Patrick Fanshaw became the first Loyola freshman in 15 years to score five goals. The Glyndon, Md., native scored five times and added an assist for a career-high six points on March 20 against Air Force. Chris Georgalas was the last Greyhounds' player to accomplish the task as a freshman, scoring five goals twice during his first season, April 7, 1995, against Hofstra, and April 22, 1995, versus Delaware.

Many Ways To Contribute
Taylor Ebsary continues to do all of the small things for Loyola, but his contributions are becoming more visible on the stat sheet every game. He had a career-high three points (1 goal, 2 assists) against Air Force, and he also caused a turnover and grabbed three ground balls. This season, the senior midfielder is second on the team in ground balls (22), tied for first in caused turnovers (7), while contributing three goals and five assists in seven games.

Multiple Multi-Point Games
Collin Finnerty scored once and tied his career-high with four assists on March 20 against Air Force, giving him five-straight multi-point games since February 27. The senior attacker leads Loyola with 13 goals and 20 points this season and has scored three or more points since having just one assist in a season-opening win at Navy. During the last five games, Finnerty has averaged 2.6 goals and 3.8 points.

Lusby Steps Up Production
With an increased role this season in the offense, Eric Lusby has made his scoring ability known from Loyola's first midfield. He tallied 11 goals last season, scoring one in eight contests and three against Hobart. This year, however, Lusby has recorded three multi-goal games – three against both Bellarmine and Notre Dame and two versus Air Force – and is tied for second on the Greyhounds with 11 total. He has scored at least one point in every game this season, and his four man-up goals lead Loyola.

Teawaaraton Watch List
Collin Finnerty was named to the 2010 Tewaaraton Award Watch List in March. The award is presented annually to the top collegiate lacrosse player across all NCAA divisions.

Second-Half Success
Loyola has outscored its opponents 42-26 this season after halftime (including one overtime goal). The Greyhounds hold a 21-11 scoring advantage in the third quarter and an 20-13 lead in fourth-quarter goals.

Dircks A Starter Again
After missing the entire 2009 season with a knee injury, Steve Dircks has come all the way back, earning his first insertion to the Greyhounds' starting lineup in 2010. Dircks was on the field nearly the entire game against Notre Dame and Duke, finishing with a season-high three caused turnovers versus the Fighting Irish and five ground balls and two caused turnovers against Duke. Dircks earned All-ECAC Second Team honors as a sophomore in 2008 after becoming a starter early in the season.

Preseason Prognostications
Loyola received accolades – as a team and individually – from several outlets before the season started. The Greyhounds were picked to win the ECAC Lacrosse Conference by the league's coaches, while senior attacker Cooper MacDonnell was tabbed the ECAC Preseason Player of the Year. Senior defender Steve Layne joined MacDonnell on the Preseason All-ECAC team. Inside Lacrosse tabbed Loyola to win the ECAC, as well, and three Greyhounds earned Preseason All-America honors from the publication. Junior faceoff middie John Schiavone was named to the Third Team, while MacDonnell and Layne earned honorable mention.

Back For More
Loyola returns 60-percent of its goal-scoring from last season and 58.7-percent of its assists. Senior attackers Cooper MacDonnell and Collin Finnerty were the teams' top two goal scorers last season, recording 30 and 24, respectively, while Finnerty was second on the squad with 13 assists. Senior midfielder Chris Basler is back after finishing third a year ago with 10 assists.

Designation Change
As of September 25, 2009, Loyola is officially known as 'Loyola University Maryland.' Since its founding in 1852, it was recognized as 'Loyola College,' but it was approved for a designation change by the Maryland Higher Education Council in September.

Up Next
Loyola hits the road for the first time in over a month when it travels to Fairfield, Conn., for an ECAC Lacrosse League game against No. 19 Fairfield. The Greyhounds will take on the Stags at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 10. Following the game against the Stags, Loyola returns to Awalt Field at Ridley Athletic Complex for a 12 p.m. game against No. 13 Georgetown. The game will be televised live on WMAR/ABC-2 and ESPNU.


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