Loyola's Jack Runkel
CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- Loyola University Maryland student-athletes swept all four Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Awards following their performances in a pair of victories by the Greyhounds in the week ending Sunday, Feb. 23.
Senior defenseman Joe Fletcher was recognized as Defensive Player of the Week, for No. 7/8 Loyola, while goalkeeper Jack Runkel was named Goalkeeper of the Week after a pair of dominant performances in victories over Towson and Holy Cross. The Greyhounds defense only surrendered four goals in each of the decisive wins.
The Loyola offense was equally effective, erupting for 36 goals in the two contests. Junior attack Nikko Pontrello (10 goals, 1 assist) was named Offensive Player of the Week and freshman midfielder Brian Sherlock (four goals, two assists) was named Rookie of the Week as Loyola improved to 3-1 on the season.
Honorable mention went to Bucknell's Sean Doyle, Jackson Place and Sam Grinberg as well as Colgate's Ryan Walsh and Lehigh's Tripp Telesco.
Patriot League Weekly Awards (2.24.14)
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
NIKKO PONTRELLO, LOYOLA Jr., A, Marlton, N.J.
Pontrello put up 10 goals and a total of 11 points in Loyola wins over Towson and Holy Cross. The Marlton, N.J. native tied a career-high with four goals in 20-4 win over Towson on Wednesday afternoon before setting a new best with six in Loyola's Patriot League debut against Holy Cross on Saturday. Pontrello picked up five ground balls and converted on 52.6 percent of his shot attempts during the week, scoring the 11 points without a turnover.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
JOE FLETCHER, LOYOLA Sr., D, Syracuse, N.Y.
Fletcher led a Greyhounds' defense that allowed just eight total goals in two games last week against Towson, a 2013 NCAA Tournament team, and Holy Cross. The senior defender was credited with 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers in the victories. Against the Crusaders, he set a career-high with eight ground balls.
GOALKEEPER OF THE WEEK
JACK RUNKEL, LOYOLA Sr., GK, Fairfield, Conn.
Runkel directed a Loyola defense that was stout in two wins last week, as Loyola yielded just five goals in the more than 107 minutes that the senior from Fairfield, Conn., played in goal against Towson and Holy Cross. Runkel made saves on 80 percent of shots he faced in the two games, stopping eight Tigers attempts and 12 by the Crusaders. In all, he played to a 2.79 goals against average.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
BRIAN SHERLOCK, LOYOLA Fr., M, Nissequogue, N.Y.
Sherlock continued to excel on the Greyhounds' first midfield line, helping Loyola to a pair of victories last week over Towson and Holy Cross. The Nissequogue, N.Y., native scored twice in each game, and he also had two assists in the Towson contest. He picked up three ground balls, as well, as a wing player on faceoffs for the Greyhounds.
SEAN DOYLE, BUCKNELL So., A, Lloyd Harbor, N.Y.
Doyle scored four of Bucknell's nine goals in a 9-6 win over Navy in the Patriot League opener on Saturday. The Bison trailed 2-1 in the second quarter until Doyle scored twice in succession to give them the lead for good.
JACKSON PLACE, BUCKNELL Sr., D, Wayne, Pa.
Place had the primary marking responsibility on Navy attackman Sam Jones, who came into the game leading the league with 14 points in two games. Jones was held without a point on two shots in the contest. Place tallied two caused turnovers and two ground balls in the game, a 9-6 Bison win.
SAM GRINBERG, BUCKNELLJr., GK, New York, N.Y.
Grinberg tallied three of his nine saves in the fourth quarter of Bucknell's 9-6 win over Navy. He also spearheaded a perfect 18-for-18 day on clears.
RYAN WALSH, COLGATE Jr. A, Wantagh, N.Y.
Scored five second-half goals as Colgate tried to rally from a 5-1 halftime deficit at Lafayette. Scored a natural hat trick in a 3:25 span of the third period to pull the Raiders within 5-4. Tied career highs for goals with five and points with seven. It was his 15th career hat trick. Also extended his nation's best streak of consecutive games with a goal scored to 34.
TRIPP TELESCO, LEHIGH So., D, Ridgewood, N.J.
Continued strong individual play, posting three groundballs and two caused turnovers at Boston University Saturday to lead a defense that's allowed just 25 goals over its first four games (6.25 per game).