Loyola Maryland has released its schedule for the 2014 season. Here is a breakdown of the slate that awaits the Greyhounds, who went 11-5 last year and lost to eventual national champion Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
10: Loyola won 10 of 11 games last spring when limiting opponents to fewer than 10 goals. Conversely, the team was 1-4 when surrendering 10 goals or more.
9: The Greyhounds will make their debut in the Patriot League this spring after nine years as a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference. They will not face a team from their former league this spring.
8: Loyola will clash with eight league opponents this season: Army, Boston, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy.
7: The Greyhounds will play seven games at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore and seven on the road. That does not include the Patriot League tournament, where the quarterfinals will be hosted by the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds and the semifinals and final will be hosted by the regular-season champion.
6: Loyola graduated six players who had at least 10 points last season. In addition to attackman Mike Sawyer and midfielders Chris Layne, Sean O’Sullivan and David Butts, that group included long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff (18 points) and short-stick defensive midfielder Josh Hawkins (13).
5: The Greyhounds graduated five starters and return five starters. The biggest hit occurred at midfield, where the team will have to replace all three starters, but the defense appears to be in good hands with senior defenseman Joe Fletcher, junior defenseman Pat Frazier and senior goalkeeper Jack Runkel.
4: Loyola will face four teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament in 2013. Curiously, those four games – against Penn State on Feb. 15, Towson on Feb. 19, Lehigh on March 1 and reigning national champion Duke on March 9 – are scheduled are scheduled for the team’s first six of the 2014 campaign.
3: The Greyhounds will have consecutive road games three times next spring. They have two straight home games at Ridley Athletic Complex twice.
2: Loyola has added two new nonconference opponents to the schedule; it opens the season against Virginia (the two sides haven’t played since 1991) on Feb. 6 and then will meet Penn State for the first time since 2009.
1: The Greyhounds finished last spring ranked in the top 12 in offense (11th at 11.8 goals per game) and defense (12th at 8.8 goals). They were the only team to achieve top-12 rankings in both departments.
2014 Loyola Maryland schedule
DateOpponentLocationTime02/06/14at VirginiaCharlottesville, Va.TBA02/15/14at Penn StateState College, Pa.TBA02/19/14vs. TowsonRidley Athletic ComplexTBA02/22/14at Holy Cross *Worcester, Mass.TBA03/01/14at Lehigh *Bethlehem, Pa.TBA03/09/14vs. DukeRidley Athletic ComplexTBA03/15/14vs. Army *Ridley Athletic ComplexTBA03/19/14at GeorgetownWashingtonTBA03/22/14vs. Lafayette *Ridley Athletic ComplexTBA03/29/14at Colgate *Hamilton, N.Y.TBA04/05/14at Navy *AnnapolisTBA04/12/14vs. Boston University *Ridley Athletic ComplexTBA04/17/14vs. Bucknell *Ridley Athletic ComplexTBAPatriot League Tournament04/22/14Patriot League QuarterfinalsTBDTBA04/25/14Patriot League SemifinalsTBDTBA04/27/14Patriot League Championship GameTBDTBA05/03/14vs. Johns HopkinsRidley Athletic ComplexTBA
*Patriot League game