Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Tournament Semifinals Preview

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April 24, 2014

Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Semifinals Preview Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Undefeated during the Patriot League regular season and winners of 12 straight games, Loyola University Maryland earned the top seed in the League Tournament and will host the semifinals and championship this week at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Greyhounds will face No. 4 seed Colgate on Friday at 4:30 p.m., with No. 2 seed Army facing No. 3 Lehigh in the 7:30 p.m. nightcap. The winners will meet in the Patriot League Championship Sunday at 1 p.m. Both semifinal games and the title match will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. Colgate and Lehigh advanced to the semifinals by winning home quarterfinal games on Tuesday.

Patriot League Semifinal Tournament Notebook

Lehigh Tries For Third Straight Patriot League Title
Lehigh has won six of seven since losing 6-5 at Army on March 22. The Mountain Hawks will get another crack at the Black Knights on Friday as they try to capture a third consecutive Patriot League Tournament title. Lehigh defeated Colgate 16-14 in 2012 and Bucknell 11-5 in 2013 to secure the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Army and Colgate Round Out the `Final Four'
Army has not reached the Patriot League Championship game since winning the tournament in 2010. The Black Knights went on to surprise defending champion Syracuse 9-8 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Cornell in the second round. Colgate won its only League crown in 2008 with a 13-9 win over Bucknell in the final. The Raiders lost 8-7 in overtime to Notre Dame in the NCAA postseason.

2014 Men's Lacrosse Major Award Winners
Offensive Player of the Year: Justin Ward, Loyola, Sr., A
Defensive Player of the Year: Joe Fletcher, Loyola, Sr., D
Defensive Player of the Year: Jack Runkel, Loyola, Sr., GK
Rookie of the Year: Brandon Burke, Colgate, Fr., GK
Coach of the Year: Joe Alberici, Army
Men's Lacrosse Student-Athlete: Joe Fletcher, Loyola, Sr., D

First-Team All-Patriot League
Alex Daly, Army, So., FOS; John Glesener, Army, Jr., A; Thomas Flibotte, Bucknell, So., M; Jackson Place, Bucknell, Sr., D; Matt Clarkson, Colgate, Jr. M; Bobby Lawrence, Colgate, Jr., D; Dan Taylor, Lehigh, Jr., A; Tripp Telesco, Lehigh, So., D; Joe Fletcher, Loyola, Sr., D; Pat Laconi, Loyola, Sr., SSDM; Nikko Pontrello, Loyola, Sr., A; Jack Runkel, Loyola, Sr., GK; Brian Sherlock, Loyola, Fr., M; Justin Ward, Loyola, Sr., A; Gabe Voumard, Navy, Jr., M.

Second-Team All-Patriot League
Pat Hart, Army, Sr., D; Sam Somers, Army, Jr., GK; David Dickson, Bucknell, Jr., A; Eric Foote, Colgate, So., M; Alex Kinnealey, Colgate, Jr., FOS; Ryan Walsh, Colgate, Jr., A; Terry McKenna, Holy Cross, Jr., M; Kurtis Kaunus, Lehigh, Jr., M; Matt Poillon, Lehigh, Jr., GK; Ty Souders, Lehigh, Sr., D; Kevin Ryan, Loyola, Sr., M; Brady Dove, Navy, Fr., FOS; Sam Jones, Navy, Sr., A; Pat Kiernan, Navy, Sr., LSM; Nik Mullen, Navy, Sr., D.

Academic All-Patriot League
So. Austin Schultz, Army; Jr. Sam Somers, Army; Jr. Sam Grinberg, Bucknell; Sr. Todd Heritage, Bucknell; Sr. Justin Kirchner, Colgate; Jr. Terry McKenna, Holy Cross; Sr. Jake Hyatt, Lafayette; Sr. Ty Souders, Lehigh; Sr. Kyle Duffy, Loyola; Sr. Joe Fletcher, Loyola; Sr. Justin Ward, Loyola; Sr. Erik Hoffstadt, Navy.

2014 Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Tournament

Semifinals - Friday - Ridley Athletic Complex, Baltimore, Md.
No. 4 Colgate Raiders (9-5, 4-4 PL) at No. 1 Loyola Greyhounds (12-1, 8-0 PL), 4:30 p.m.

Justin Ward and Nikko Pontrello combined for five goals as Loyola Maryland defeated then-No. 17 Colgate 10-8 back on March 29 in its first contest since being voted the number one team in the country -- a position they have held since March 24, 2014. Earning the top seed has not meant a lock for the Patriot League title as only six of the last 10 No. 1 seeds have won the postseason crown. Colgate has made the postseason field each of the past four seasons, losing twice in the finals and once in the semifinals.

Colgate The Raiders advanced to the semifinal round with an exciting 10-9 double-overtime win over Bucknell in a quarterfinal round game on Tuesday in Hamilton, N.Y. Matt Clarkson netted the game-winner when he followed up his own shot with 1:48 left in the second overtime. Clarkson was named a All-Patriot League first team performer on Monday. Kevin Adams recorded a hat trick in the win over the Bison and Brendon McCann and Clarkson added two goals apiece.

Loyola Maryland Two teams that tested the Greyhounds during the Patriot League regular season (Army and Colgate) are among those in the field for the Patriot League postseason. One of the keys to Loyola's 10-8 win over semifinal opponent Colgate back on March 29 was the Hounds ability to stifle Raiders' Ryan Walsh. Defenseman Joe Fletcher and the Loyola defense held Walsh without a point for the first time in his career (42 games). Fletcher led the Loyola haul of postseason awards this week after being named Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Scholar Athlete and Defensive Player of the Year. Teammates Justin Ward and Jack Runkel were named Offensive Player and Goalkeeper of the Year, respectively.

No. 3 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (12-4, 6-2 PL) vs. No. 2 Army Black Knights (9-3, 7-1 PL), 7:30 p.m.

Playing without Ryan Buttenbaum, Lehigh struggled in the faceoff X losing 12-of-15 draws in a 6-5 loss to Army at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y. The Black Knights rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 5-3 and scored the last three goals to pull out the victory. Henry White scored what proved to be the game-winner on an assist from John Glesener midway through the fourth quarter. In the rematch, Army may be without second-team All-Patriot League goalkeeper Sam Somers who has missed the Black Knights last two games due to injury. If Somers can't go, senior Bobby Sincero has been in net for Army in wins over Navy and Colgate.

Lehigh The Mountain Hawks have won six of seven since the 6-5 setback to Army on March 22. Junior Dan Taylor has scored in nine straight games for Lehigh and has 18 goals in the four games in being named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week award winner each of the last three weeks. The Mountain Hawks defense, led by All-Patriot League performers Tripp Telesco, Ty Souders and Matt Poillon have held opponents to single digit goals in eight of the last nine contests.

Army Patriot League Coach of the Year Joe Alberici has guided the Black Knights to a second place finish in the Patriot League regular season and a No. 14/15 ranking in the national polls. The Black Knights have a well-deserved reputation as one of the toughest defensive teams in the nation, yielding only 5.92 goals per game. This is number one in the nation, more than a half-goal a game better than the second best team -- today's opponent Lehigh (6.47 goals allowed per game).