CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Loyola University Maryland will have plenty of hardware to hand out when they host the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Championships this week, as the Greyhounds were well represented on the All-Patriot League teams and major awards announced on Monday by the League office.
In their first year competing as a member of the Patriot League in men’s lacrosse, Loyola soared to the top of the national rankings in March and boasted a perfect 8-0 regular season in League play. The Greyhounds have won 12 straight games overall after opening the season with an overtime loss at Virginia.
Loyola was recognized with three major awards in voting of the nine Patriot League head coaches who could not cast a ballot for themselves or their own student-athletes.
Attack Justin Ward, who is 10th nationally with 4.23 points per game and second with 3.23 assists per game, was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. The senior from Glen Burnie, Md. now has 109 career assists which is second all-time in program history.
Loyola defenseman Joe Fletcher, the only college player on the 30-man roster for the Team USA Lacrosse national training team, was a unanimous choice for the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year. The senior from Syracuse, N.Y. leads all close defenders nationwide in ground balls (61) and ground balls per game (4.69) this season.
Finally, the Greyhounds Jack Runkel parlayed a strong senior campaign into a Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year Award. The Fairfield, Conn. native is fourth nationally with a .619 save percentage and third in the nation with a 6.86 goals against average.
Colgate freshman goalkeeper Brandon Burke was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year and Army Coach Joe Alberici was named the Patriot League William Lawson Coach of the Year Award recipient.
In his first season in net for the Raiders, Burke is currently 6th in the nation at 7.82 goals against average and has a .551 save percentage (16th in latest NCAA statistics. Alberici was recognized as Coach of the Year for the second time (2008) after leading the Black Knights to a No. 2 seed in the Patriot League tournament and a No. 14/15 ranking in the latest polls.
Loyola earned the most All-League selections with seven, followed by Colgate, Lehigh and Army with five apiece. Army was next with four All-League players, Bucknell had three and Holy Cross one.
Twelve of the 30 All-Leaguers are seniors, along with a dozen juniors, four sophomores and a pair of freshmen.
Joining Fletcher, Runkel and Ward on the first team for Loyola are senior attack Nikko Pontrello, freshman midfield Brian Sherlock and senior SSDM Pat Laconi. The Greyhounds Kevin Ryan, a senior, was also recognized as a second-team midfielder.
Lehigh, the No. 3 seed in the Patriot League postseason, had a pair of first team honorees. Dan Taylor, a junior attack, was named to the first unit along with sophomore Tripp Telesco, a defenseman. The Mountain Hawks also placed three players on the second team with senior attack Ty Souders, junior goalkeeper Matt Poillon and junior midfielder Kurtis Kaunus all earning recognition.
A pair of Colgate juniors, midfielder Matt Clarkson and defenseman Bobby Lawrence were selected to the All-Patriot League first team. The Raiders also landed junior attack Ryan Walsh, sophomore midfielder Eric Foote and junior face-off specialist Alex Kinnealey on the second team.
Gabe Vournard, a junior midfielder, was the lone Navy player on the first team, but a quartet of Mids received second-team honors. Seniors Sam Jones (attack), Nik Mullen (defense) and Pat Kiernan (LSM) earned second team honors along with freshman faceoff specialist Brady Dove.
Army junior attack John Glesener, the 2013 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, was joined on the first unit by teammate Alex Daly, a sophomore faceoff specialist. The Black Knights also landed senior defenseman Pat Hart on the second team along with junior goalkeeper Sam Somers.
Bucknell sophomore Thomas Flibotte, a midfielder, and senior defenseman Jackson Place were name as first team selections and junior attack David Dickson made the second team. Terry McKenna, a second team selection at midfield, was the lone All-Patriot League player from Holy Cross.
The 2014 Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Tournament starts Tuesday with two quarterfinal contests that will be streamed live on the Patriot League Network. No. 5 seed Bucknell will play at No. 4 Colgate in a 4 p.m. contest and No. 3 Lehigh will host No. 6 Navy at 7 p.m. The winners advance to Friday’s semifinal round at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore, Md. Both semifinal games and the Patriot League Championship at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 27 will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.
2014 All-Patriot League Team and Major Awards in Men’s Lacrosse
Offensive Player of the Year - Justin Ward, Loyola, Sr., A
Defensive Player of the Year - Joe Fletcher, Loyola, Sr., D
Rookie of the Year - Brandon Burke, Colgate, Fr., GK
Goalkeeper of the Year - Jack Runkel, Loyola, Sr.
Coach of the Year - Joe Alberici, Army
John Glesener, Army, Jr., A
Dan Taylor, Lehigh, Jr., A
Justin Ward, Loyola, Sr., A
Nikko Pontrello, Loyola, Sr., A
Thomas Flibotte, Bucknell, So., M
Matt Clarkson, Colgate, Jr. M
Brian Sherlock, Loyola, Fr., M
Gabe Vournard, Navy, Jr., M
Jackson Place, Bucknell, Sr., D
Bobby Lawrence, Colgate, Jr., D
Tripp Telesco, Lehigh, So., D
Joe Fletcher, Loyola, Sr., D
Pat Laconi, Loyola, Sr., SSDM
Alex Daly, Army, So., FOS
Jack Runkel, Loyola, Sr., GK
David Dickson, Bucknell, Jr., A
Ryan Walsh, Colgate, Jr., A
Sam Jones, Navy, Sr., A
Eric Foote, Colgate, So., M
Terry McKenna, Holy Cross, Jr., M
Kurtis Kaunus, Lehigh, Jr., M
Kevin Ryan, Loyola, Sr., M
Pat Hart, Army, Sr., D
Ty Souders, Lehigh, Sr., D
Nik Mullen, Navy, Sr., D
Pat Kiernan, Navy, Sr., LSM
Alex Kinnealey, Colgate, Jr., FOS
Brady Dove, Navy, Fr., FOS
Sam Somers, Army, Jr., GK
Matt Poillon, Lehigh, Jr., GK