The 2012 national champion Greyhounds were 18-1 last season and return eight of 10 starters for coach Charley Toomey. Their transition offense and stingy half-field defense set them apart. How do the 'Hounds react to the pressure and expectations of winning the school's first NCAA title?
Strength: Attackmen Mike Sawyer and Justin Ward (Old Mill) form a potent one-two punch. Defensive midfielders Scott Ratliff, Josh Hawkins and Pat Laconi might be the nation's best trio at that spot.
Weakness: Faceoffs. Blake Burkhardt and Brendan Donovan (Loyola) are untested.
X-factor: Loyola's previous offensive coordinator, Dan Chemotti, is now the head coach at Richmond. Dave Metzbower calls the shots now. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun /May 12, 2012)
Top-ranked Loyola expended a considerable amount of energy in Wednesday night’s 14-9 victory over host Towson. But the Greyhounds insisted that they will have plenty of gas in the tank for Saturday’s showdown with No. 3 Maryland at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore.
“I don’t think so,” senior attackman Mike Sawyer said when asked if there’s any concern over not being able to match the Terps’ emotions. “We’ve got two days, and I think we can regroup and work on the things we need to and come out with some energy. There will be no lack of energy. I think everyone’s minds are right.”
Loyola last lost on a Saturday after a midweek game in 2011 when the team followed a Wednesday setback to Denver with a Saturday loss to Air Force. Coach Charley Toomey has a knack for grabbing his players’ attention, and junior defenseman Joe Fletcher said the swell of excitement sweeping through the campus has infected the players.
“The team’s very excited,” he said. “I think we had a good fall and especially the first two weeks of the spring semester to get us in shape for this.”
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