As you are well aware, the Loyola Men’s Lacrosse team won the NCAA National Championship last year. The team had an amazing season and finished in class. It was a true underdog story that has given hope to teams who aren’t Hopkins, Syracuse, or in the ACC.
Along the way to Championship weekend, a well-known name made a visit to Loyola. Ray Lewis is an animal on the field, but inspires further by giving emotionally charged speeches. May 20th, we wrote:
Unlike Johns Hopkins, who had New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick give a speech prior to this weekend’s NCAA Quarterfinal game, the Greyhounds sought inspiration from their backyard.
His words sunk in deep.
It might have been that extra inch of inspiration from Lewis that propelled Loyola on Saturday afternoon to advance to next weekend’s NCAA Semifinals for the first time since 1998. Eric Lusby scored five goals and had a career-high seven points, while J.P. Dalton won 17-of-22 faceoffs, as the top-seeded Loyola University Maryland Men’s Lacrosse team defeated the University of Denver, 10-9.
I’ve included the video for you. More information about the team on ESPN NFL Countdown to follow.
BALTIMORE – The road to the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship was paved with many milestones, victories and pep talks for the Loyola University Maryland Greyhounds. One pre-practice speech on aWednesday afternoon stands out for the players.
Baltimore Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis stopped by Ridley Athletic Complex on May 16 as the team was concluding a film session. Head Coach Charley Toomey only said that the coaches were bringing someone in who needed no introduction, and he was right.
Lewis stepped from an adjoining conference room to a chorus of gasps and applause, and he delivered a 12-minute pep talk about preparation, what it takes to be a champion and having the back of teammates.
The 17-year National Football League veteran has made it a habit to deliver speeches similar to the one he gave the Greyhounds the week before they defeated the University of Denver in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
“We were fortunate to have the father of (then-senior) Kevin Moriarty (Ravens’ Vice President of Football Administration Pat Moriarty) who served as a liaison between the team and us,” Toomey said. “We talked to the team about how with each step through the (NCAA) Tournament, special thingswould continue to happen, and to have Ray Lewis was absolutely amazing. Hismessage was on-point, and I know our players will remember it as long as they remember the championship.”
A camera crew from ESPN’s NFL Countdown visited Ridley this summer and talked to several Loyola players about the experience. This Sunday, October 7, the segment will air on the ESPN show that runs from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Eastern Time).
Junior Pat Laconi featured in the piece that will feature some of Lewis’ speeches and an interview from the two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
The Greyhounds, who will receive their NCAA Championship rings in a ceremony this evening, will play their only contest of the fall on Saturday, October 13, when they host Villanova University at 1 p.m.