The honors are pouring in for the Loyola men's lacrosse team. After victories against in-state opponent Towson and Patriot League foe Holy Cross, the eighth-ranked Greyhounds swept all four Patriot League weekly awards this week.
Junior attackman Nikko Pontrello was named Offensive Player of the Week, senior defenseman Joe Fletcher earned Defensive Player of the Week honors, senior goalie Jack Runkel was tapped as Goalkeeper of the Week and redshirt freshman midfielder Brian Sherlock was recognized as Rookie of the Week Feb. 24.
Pontrello matched his career-best output with four goals during Loyola's 20-4 defeat of Towson Feb. 19, and he set another career high with six goals during the Greyhounds' Patriot League debut, a 16-4 win against the Crusaders Feb. 22.
Thanks largely to Fletcher and Runkel, Loyola (3-1 overall, 1-0 Patriot League) surrendered four goals during each of its last two wins while stringing together four total shutout quarters of lacrosse. Fletcher, the Patriot League's Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, averaged 5.5 ground balls and 1.5 caused turnovers per game during the two games. He leads the team with 18 ground balls.
Playing more than 107 minutes, Runkel allowed five goals combined against Towson and Holy Cross, while repelling 20 shots.
Sherlock became the second Greyhound named Rookie of the Week this season -- midfielder Romar Dennis received the honor Feb. 10. Sherlock scored twice during each of Loyola's last two wins and also had a pair of assists against Towson.
The Greyhounds will travel to Bethlehem, Pa., March 1 for a meeting with No. 14 Lehigh.
Senior CLASS Award Nominations
In addition to the conference honors Loyola received, two Greyhounds got national acclaim, as Fletcher and senior attackman Justin Ward were also named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award Feb. 19.
Towson attackman Thomas DeNapoli; Maryland defenseman Michael Ehrhardt; and Ohio State defender Joe Meurer, a McDonogh School alum, were also nominated for the Senior CLASS Award.