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Loyola Men's Lacrosse Not Concerned About Rankings

February 20, 2019
Loyola men's lacrosse coach Charley Toomey would not get caught up in the hype surrounding his team following an 18-12 victory against Johns Hopkins Feb. 16.

The Greyhounds were headed to the top spot in the Division I polls after Yale was upset by Villanova, 11-10, in overtime earlier that day. 

"You watched the game, right? You think that's the No. 1 team out there right now? No way, no way," Toomey said moments after the game. "We have work to do. I don't think anybody is putting stock into the rankings. I know my team is not." 

Despite Toomey's reservations, No. 1 Loyola has been the nation's most impressive team out of the gate.

The Greyhounds opened the season with a dominant 17-9 victory against then-No. 6 Virginia. The offense continued to role against the Blue Jays, who fell to 0-2 for the first time since 1971. 

Senior Pat Spencer has been the catalyst for Loyola's high-powered attack. The Boys' Latin alum already has eight goals and six assists during the opening two games. 

He had a couple of highlight-reel, behind-the-back feeds to Kevin Lindley against Johns Hopkins that were featured on ESPN as some of the best plays of the day.

"I am not doing it to be flashy. I am just making the right pass," Spencer said. "It's harder to throw across your body. It's also a little less noticeable for the defender to get his stick in the way." 

Next up. the Greyhounds face No. 19 Rutgers, which is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 10-9 loss to No. 13 Army. That game is set for 2 p.m. Feb. 23 in Piscataway, N.J. 

Navy Reaches Milestone

The Midshipmen earned the 800th win of the 112-year history of their program by knocking off UMBC, 11-6, Feb. 15. 

Navy joined Johns Hopkins, Syracuse and Maryland as the only Division I programs with at least 800 victories.

"It speaks to the tradition of a great program," Navy head coach Rick Sowell said. "I've only been a small part of it, but it's pretty cool to play a part in an incredible achievement. It's an honor to be the head coach here and hopefully there are plenty more wins ahead for this program."

Navy was impressive at both ends of the field during a pair of season-opening victories. 

One week after knocking off Vermont, 13-8, the Mids were equally balanced against the Retrievers, who were limited to just two goals in the second half. 

Christian Daniel paced the attack with five goals. The sophomore from Northern leads the team with seven goals and three assists, followed by fellow attacker Ryan Wade (three goals, six assists). 

"It was a heck of a performance by Christian," Sowell said following the UMBC game. "We all know what Christian is capable of and I have to allow him to be creative. I challenged him this week and he certainly answered. He's fun to watch and his energy gets the rest of the team going."

Navy, which got votes in this week's top-25 poll, has a showdown with No. 3 Maryland Feb. 23 in Annapolis, Md.

Towson Keeps Rolling

The Tigers held steady at No. 7 in the Men's Division I Media Poll after knocking off in-state rival Mount St. Mary's, 12-7, Feb. 15. 

Brody McLean had a career-high six points (five goals, one assist) and Luke Fromert scored three times for the Tigers, who improved to 2-0 for the second time in three years. Alex Woodall (St. Mary's) won 12 of 20 faceoffs, while backup faceoff man Jack McNallen won the first opportunity of his career. 

Towson goalie Tyler Canto had 13 of his 18 saves in the second half to earn his second career win.

The Tigers travel to No. 18 Georgetown Feb. 23. 

Around The Crease

Johns Hopkins attackman Kyle Marr scored five times and had an assist against Loyola, extending his goal-scoring streak to 16 games The senior has 85 goals and 41 assists during his career … Maryland senior Jared Bernhardt had four goals and added an assist, leading the No. 3 Maryland to an 11-6 victory against No. 16 Colgate Feb. 19. Bernhardt now has more than 100 points for his career. … Salisbury junior attackman Josh Melton was named to the Warrior/New Balance Team of the Week after finishing with four goals and six assists in a 16-3 win against Widener University. … Washington College sophomore goalie Chris Del Rosario (Bullis School) was named the Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week after finishing with a career-high 21 saves in his first career start in a 21-12 season-opening win against Berry. ... Johns Hopkins attackman Joey Epstein (Landon) was named the Big Ten Men's Lacrosse Freshman of the Week after scoring three goals and notching three assists in the loss to Loyola.

Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer/PressBox