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US Lacrosse Magazine released the Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Men’s Preseason Top 20 on Dec. 17. Team-by-team previews will be unveiled on through the end of the month and will also appear as part of the magazine’s NCAA preview edition in February.

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No. 15 Loyola

2019 Record: 12-5 (7-1, Patriot League)
Coach: Charlie Toomey (15th year)
Assistants: Matt Dwan, Marc Van Arsdale, Steve Vaikness
All-Time Record: 533-406-7
NCAA Appearances: 24
Final Fours: 4
Championships: 1

2020 Schedule

Feb. 8 @ Virginia
Feb. 15 Johns Hopkins
Feb. 22 Rutgers
Feb. 26 Towson
Feb. 29 @ Lafayette
March 7 Duke
March 14 Bucknell
March 22 Army
March 28 @ Holy Cross
April 4 @ Navy
April 7 @ Georgetown
April 11 Boston U.
April 18 @ Colgate
April 24 Lehigh

Save the Date
Feb. 8

Life comes at you fast when you lose a Tewaaraton winner to graduation. The Greyhounds open the post-Pat Spencer era on the road against the 2019 national champion Virginia, who happened to begin last season on the wrong end of a 17-9 drubbing against the Greyhounds. Any way you slice it, it’s a tough opening test.

Greyhounds Look to Replace Program Staple ... Jacob Stover

For pretty much four full seasons, Loyola coach Charley Toomey knew what he was getting from one of the most important positions on the field. He could trust a player who started on a national semifinalist as a freshman and eventually developed into a first team All-American for the Greyhounds.

This, of course, describes graduated goalie Jacob Stover, who led the country in saves (250) and made at least 10 stops in every game as a senior. (Yes, it also describes Tewaaraton winner Pat Spencer, a four-year mainstay on attack now playing basketball at Northwestern). Perhaps most impressive was his ability to secure clean stops and effectively turn them around into transition opportunities.

For his eventual successor — whoever it might be — that skillset will be vital.

“The most important thing I’m looking for on Jan. 7 [when practice started] is who can catch the ball — not stop it, catch it,” Toomey said. “There’s a premium on getting the ball on offense. We can’t have rebounds. We’ve got to make clean saves. Whoever is catching the ball is going to be our starter.”

If there is a favorite, it is junior Sam Shafer, who has logged less than 24 minutes over the last two seasons. Sophomore Freeman Whitaker got into one game last season.

Then there’s freshman Colton Teitelbaum, a competitive and athletic option who was shelved by injury in the fall.

“If we were to have a game tomorrow, Sam would be in the nets,” Toomey said in early December. “But I would add there’s also competition there. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He looked good against Villanova in the fall, when he was the first guy in the nets every day.”

Loyola will have a bit of a role reversal this spring. Stover shepherded along a largely inexperienced defense last season, pairing with a potent offense to provide some wiggle room as the young guys in front of him developed.

Cam Wyers quickly emerged as a long-term cornerstone, and he and the close group will be asked to repay the favor as a new goalie acclimates to the job.

Meanwhile, Toomey will bring the perspective of a former goalie — one who deftly reads the body language and understand the game day routines of someone else at the position — as he begins building a relationship with a new starter in the cage.

“[Stover] had more rope every year that he was here,” Toomey said. “What I would say as we’re going into the year is that I’m back to where I’ve got to do a little more reading between the lines. Not that I have a short leash; I don’t want people playing to look over their shoulder. But the trust factor has to be developed between coach and goalie, and it will.”

Projected Starters

A – Kevin Lindley – Jr. – 60 G, 4 A
A – Aidan Olmstead – Jr. – 25 G, 21 A
A – Joey Kamish – Fr. – 85 G, 42 A (high school)
M – Peter Swindell – Sr. – 7 G, 8 A
M – Dan Wigley – Jr. – 7 G, 1 A
M – Riley Seay – So. – 30 G, 9 A (at Bellarmine)
FO – Bailey Savio – Jr. – 52.2 FO%, 141 GB
LSM – Ryan McNulty – Sr. – 65 GB, 25 CT
SSDM – Matt Higgins – Sr. – 7 GB, 9 CT
D – Cam Wyers – So. – 34 GB, 17 CT
D – Alex Johnson – Sr. – 20 GB, 6 CT
D – Matt Hughes – Jr. – 28 GB, 31 CT (at Mercer in 2018)
G –Sam Shafer – Jr. – 6.77 GAA, 75.0 SV%, 17:44 minutes

Tewaaraton Watch
Kevin Lindley, A, Jr.

It’s really Nos. 1 and 1A for the Greyhounds with Lindley and fellow junior Aidan Olmstead, who have been lineup mainstays since arriving two years ago. Lindley warrants attention for his 60-goal season last year, but Olmstead will have the ball in his stick a lot — much as he did in high school.

X Factor
Bailey Savio, FO, Jr.

Savio was a solid option last season (.522 faceoff percentage), and his priority was working in tandem with his wings. Toomey is optimistic Savio can collect more clean wins this year. “It’s finding the escape route and making the right decision with the ball in your stick,” Toomey said. “He did an incredible job of that this fall. We’re hoping the faceoff X becomes a little more of a weapon for us.”

National Rankings

Offense 8th 14.06 GPG
Defense 14th 10.65 GAA
Faceoffs 29th 52.2%
Ground Balls 16th 34.12/game
Caused TO 42nd 7.35/game
Shooting 6th 33.5%
Man-Up 14th 42.1%
Man-Down 4th 76.4%


Loyola loses 60 percent of its points from last season’s NCAA quarterfinalists (231 of 385), with attackman Pat Spencer (114 points) and midfielder John Duffy (28) among the noteworthy graduation departures and midfielder Chase Scanlan (58) transferring after one year to Syracuse. Overall, five of the Greyhounds’ top eight points producers have left.

Enemy Lines

“I think Loyola is going to be particularly dangerous. I'm sure their coaching staff is pounding them about what everybody is saying about what isn't there than what is there. What I can tell is that what is there is still extremely talented. I'm sure their coaching staff is hitting them over the head with what everybody is saying, so I would anticipate a really hungry team that is not short on talent.”

“I think a lot of people expect Loyola to take a step back. I’m not foolish enough to buy into that. They have a stable of really good players and have had great recruiting classes. They’ll be less reliant on one player and might play even better as a team. Their big question is who steps into the goal for them. Stover is someone who quietly put together some high-level seasons for them. That’ll be a question.”