For four years, the No. 28 jersey for the Loyola Maryland men's lacrosse team was worn by Graham Savio until he graduated last spring. This spring, the jersey still belongs to a Savio.

Bailey Savio, a freshman who is Graham's brother, wears No. 28 and, like his brother, is a faceoff specialist. For the past six games, Savio has overtaken senior Mike Orefice as the Greyhounds' starter as he did in the team's 11-8 win at Georgetown on Cooper Field in Washington.

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"From the beginning of the year, especially since I have my brother's number, I have to back up the name," Savio said. "From the beginning of the year, me and Mikey battled, and I got my shot, and I took it. I'm happy with how we're doing right now, but we've got a long way to go. We've got BU [Boston University] and Army and then the [Patriot League] tournament coming up. It's time to peak right now and grind and practice."

Defense takes center stage in No. 10 Loyola Maryland’s 11-8 men's lacrosse win at Georgetown

Usually in the background, the defense for the No. 10 Loyola Maryland men’s lacrosse team had a significant role in Tuesday afternoon’s 11-8 win at Georgetown.

Savio, who was Orefice's backup through the first five games, has won 45.5 percent (65 of 143) of his faceoffs and scooped up 31 ground balls. He posted the best performance of his fledgling career when he went 17 of 25 with seven ground balls in Saturday's 16-10 victory at No. 18 Lehigh. Against the Hoyas, Savio won 11 of 22 draws and picked up seven ground balls.

Coach Charley Toomey said volunteer assistant coach Steve Vaikness has informed Orefice (39.7 percent on 50-of-126, 25 ground balls) to be ready to replace Savio at a moment's notice.

"But we love seeing Bailey playing with such confidence right now," Toomey said. "He's not only winning the clamp, but he's also able to get it in his stick and get away from pressure. To go 50-50 is all we're ever asking for."

Savio said he had several jersey numbers to choose from when he joined Loyola (8-3, 5-1) in the fall, but went with his brother's old one. He said he has talked to Graham — the school's and Patriot League's all-time leader in faceoff wins with 710 — after nearly every game this season.

"He tells me just to relax and see what you did wrong and improve and go out there next time and do better," the younger Savio said. "There's not much else you can do."

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