Loyola Maryland has released its schedule for the 2018 season. Here is a breakdown of the slate that awaits the Greyhounds, who went 11-5 last spring, collected their second straight Patriot League championship, and lost 7-4 to eventual national finalist Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
10: Loyola’s offense featured eight players who scored at least 10 goals last spring. Four of those players in junior midfielders Alex McGovern and John Duffy, senior midfielder Jay Drapeau, and junior attackman Pat Spencer are expected to return this season.
9: The Greyhounds finished last season ranked in the Top 10 in nine major categories tabulated by the NCAA. They were clearing percentage (second), ground balls per game (third), assists per game (fourth), caused turnovers per game, man-down defense, and scoring margin (fifth), turnovers per game (ninth), and points per game and defense (10th).
8: Last year’s team missed the eight-win mark in the Patriot League for only the second time since the program joined the conference in 2014. But that squad still went 6-2 and captured its third league tournament crown in four seasons.
6: Loyola is scheduled to play six games in the month of March – including four road contests – for the sixth time in the last seven years. The 2015 squad played only five times in March.
5: Five other teams joined the Greyhounds in ranking in the Top 20 in both offense and defense last spring. They were Denver (fifth on offense and 13th on defense), Maryland (10th, 15th), Loyola (11th, 10th), Rutgers (14th, 18th), Hofstra (17th, 14th) and Ohio State (19th, 11th).
4: Loyola has lost three of its last four season openers, and all occurred against Virginia. The team last began a campaign with a victory on Feb. 13, 2016, via an 11-4 win against the Cavaliers.
3: The Greyhounds will clash with three opposing teams that advanced to last year’s NCAA tournament, and those contests will take place at home. They will face Johns Hopkins on Feb. 17, Towson 11 days later, and Duke on March 10.
2: Among Spencer’s many accomplishments thus far, the Davidsonville native and Boys’ Latin graduate became the first player in Patriot League history to be named the Offensive Player of the Year in his first two seasons. He was also the program’s first first-team All-American attackman since Jim Blanding in 1990.
1: Although he was not a starter, faceoff specialist Graham Savio departed as the program’s and Patriot League’s No. 1 career leader in faceoff wins with 710. Whether senior Mike Orefice or freshman Bailey Savio, Graham’s younger brother, can fill the void will be one of the bigger questions in the preseason.