Game Notes: Navy at Loyola
from press release
Loyola opens the 2011 men's lacrosse season on Saturday, February 19, at 2 p.m. when it hosts the U.S. Naval Academy at Ridley Athletic Complex. The game is the second of a Loyola lacrosse doubleheader, following the women's game against Virginia at 12 p.m.
The Midshipmen are the opening game of the season for the Greyhounds for the second-straight year. Loyola played in Annapolis on February 20, 2010, beginning its campaign with an 8-7 overtime victory.
Navy enters the contest with a 1-0 record after defeating Virginia Military Institute, 14-8, last Saturday.
The game will be broadcast live on the radio with Chris Gunkel calling the action on WNST-AM 1570.
In The Polls
The Greyhounds are ranked 14th in both the USILA Coaches Poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Rankings to start 2011. They finished 2010 ranked 11th and 12th, respectively, in the two polls.
Navy is receiving votes in the USILA poll.
Loyola started 2010 tabbed 15th in the coaches, and 16th in the media, poll. They rose as high as No. 6 nationally during the week of April 26, which was the highest Loyola has been ranked since it was fifth on April 8, 2002.
Loyola and Navy will meet for the eighth time in series history but just the second since during the regular season since 1943. The Midshipmen hold a 5-2 advantage in the previous seven games.
Last year, the teams needed overtime to settle the outcome as Loyola's Cooper MacDonnell scored his sixth goal of the game with nine ticks left in the first extra period. His goal came shortly after goalkeeper Jake Hagelin made a point-blank save on a Navy shot.
Looking Back At 2010
Loyola wrapped up the 2010 season with a 9-5 overall record and its 17th all-time bid to the NCAA Division I Championships.
The Greyhounds had a season-long six-game winning streak from March 20-April 24, and they finished second in the ECAC.
Jake Hagelin was named the ECAC Goalkeeper of the Year, and Cooper MacDonnell earned ECAC Offensive Player of the Year honors. The pair were two of a league-high six players to earn All-ECAC First Team honors, joining attacker Collin Finnerty, defender Steve Layne, midfielder Eric Lusby and faceoff specialist John Schiavone. Midfielder Taylor Ebsary earned All-ECAC Second Team laurels.
The Greyhounds' May 15, 2010, game at Cornell in the NCAA Championships First Round marked the 17th time in school history that the Greyhounds have reached the NCAA Division I Championships and the 19th time overall that they have played in the postseason.
Loyola was the recipient of an at large bid to the tournament.
The appearance was Loyola's third in the last four years to the NCAA Championships.
Back For More
Loyola returns a strong core of players on both the offensive and defensive ends of the field with 26 of 39 letterwinners from 2010 returning.
The offense maintains 55-percent of its goal scoring from a year ago, 58-percent of assists and 56-percent of total points.
Eric Lusby is the top returning goal-scorer after scoring 20 in 2010, and Matt Langan is the returning leader in both points and assists with 34 and 18, respectively. Also back on the offense are Stephen Murray (9g, 5a), Patrick Fanshaw (11g, 1a) and Chris Basler (2g, 8a), among others.
On the defensive side, goalkeeper Jake Hagelin is back for his
fourth year as a starter between the pipes. He finished 2010 with
an 8.24 goals against average and 54.4 save percentage.
Steve Dircks anchors the close defense after finishing last season with 34 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers. Short-stick midfielder Josh Hawkins is also back after picking up 31 ground balls in 12 games as a freshman.
Five Greyhounds earned Preseason All-ECAC honors from the league's coaches, and Loyola was picked to finish second behind Denver in the conference. Defender Steve Dircks, goalkeeper Jake Hagelin, midfielder Josh Hawkins, midfielder Eric Lusby and face-off specialist John Schiavone were all named to the team.
Dircks and Schiavone also earned Preseason All-America Honorable Mention from Face-off Yearbook.
Graduate School Guys
Three Greyhounds will take the field this season while enrolled in graduate programs at Loyola. Chris Basler and Nick Disimile both earned their bachelor degrees from the school in May 2010, two days before Loyola played Cornell in the NCAA First Round.
The third graduate student, Chris Palmer, joined the program in the fall of 2010 after playing three seasons and graduating last year from Bucknell University.
Last Time Out
Loyola ended its season on May 15 in the NCAA Championships First Round at Cornell. Despite the Greyhounds' 11-10 loss, the triple overtime game was one of the most exciting during the entire season of lacrosse throughout the country.
The Big Red took a 9-2 lead early in the third quarter, but the
Greyhounds mounted a furious comeback, scoring six unanswered goals
and eight of the next nine to tie the game at 10-10.
Cooper MacDonnell fed Stephen Murray, who scored the game-winner with seven ticks left in regulation, sending it to overtime.
The teams battled through two scoreless four-minute extra periods before Cornell broke through with a goal 2:05 before the end of the third overtime.
Collin Finnerty, Davis Butts and Josh Hawkins each scored two goals for Loyola in the game, and Alex Peaty came off the bench to make eight saves against just three goals allowed in over 45 minutes of action.
Faceoff Unit Success
Steve Vaikness' faceoff unit had another outstanding season at the 'X' for the Greyhounds. Led by John Schivaone, Loyola won 59.5-perecnt of its faceoffs this year, third-best in NCAA Division I.
Schiavone won 166-of-277 faceoffs, a .599 clip good for first in
the ECAC and sixth in the NCAA.
Over the last 10 games of the season (beginning March 13 against Duke), Schiavone won 126-of-196 restarts (.643), and the Greyhounds won 136-of-213 (.638) as a team.
Scoring Out Of The Locker Room
Loyola outscored opponents 32-24 in the first quarter of games last season, but the Greyhounds were even better coming out of the locker room at halftime. Loyola outscored opponents, 41-24, in the third quarters of games in 2010.
Picking Up & Moving Up
With 17 ground balls in the final two games of 2010, John Schiavone moved into sixth-place on Loyola's single-season chart with 90. He eclipsed his previous season-high of 76, which is now 10th in a single season. Schiavone is sixth in the NCAA and tops in the ECAC with 6.36 ground balls per game.
Schiavone came up one ground ball short of tying former teammate P.T. Ricci for fifth-place on the single-season list and three short of current Loyola Assistant Coach Matt Dwan's 93 in 1995.
Defense Near The Top
Loyola's defense finished the year by yielding just 7.93 goals per game to opponents. The mark was good for fourth-best in the nation, behind only Syracuse, Virginia and Notre Dame.
Jake Hagelin was sixth in the NCAA in goals against average at 8.25.
Loyola was most successful last season when building a lead. The Greyhounds were 7-1 when leading after the first quarter with the only loss coming against Notre Dame. They were 7-0 when in front at the half and 9-0 when on top at the start of the fourth quarter.
Spreading The Scoring
Loyola's offense, which averaged 10.00 goals per game this season, had been a balanced attack throughout the year. Five players – Collin Finnerty (22), Cooper MacDonnell (22), Eric Lusby (19), Matt Langan (15) and Patrick Fanshaw (11) – scored 10 or more goals this year, and another three – Chris Hurst (9), Stephen Murray (9) and Taylor Ebsary (8) – had five or more out of the midfield.
Part of the balanced offense is the distribution of assists. The Greyhounds recorded assists on over 57-percent of their goals this season.
Langan led the team with 18 assists, while Finnerty and Ebsary each had 12.
The Greyhounds play their first road game of the season on February 26 when they travel to nearby Towson University for a 12 p.m. contest against the Tigers. The game will be televised live on ABC-2 in the Baltimore area and ESPN3.com nationally.