Freshman Trio are the Future of Men's Basketball
By: Alex Thumm
The Loyola men’s basketball team has been having a successful season so far with a 7-2 record. Three freshmen, Tyler Hubbard, Franz Rassman and Jarred Jones have stepped up and become huge contributors to the Hounds’ success. They’re referred to as the Freshman Trio on campus because all three players have become key players this season and are now viewed as the future of the team. Hubbard is a sophomore academically and a freshman athletically due to a redshirt season. When asked about the situation, Hubbard said he was glad to have a year to ease him into the program. “Watching the upperclassmen play helped me learn about the game and helped me grow as a player,” said Hubbard.
Some of the players that are looked up to include, junior Dylon Cormier, and seniors Julius Brooks, Robert Olson, Erik Etherly and Luke Wandrusk. Despite losses against Washington and Florida Gulf Coast, the Hounds feel that they have had a rather successful season. The Hounds attribute that success to their chemistry and team camaraderie.
“The team is really gellin’,” said Hubbard. There are not just one or two valuable players that their strategy revolves around. Everybody contributes something specific to the team. Despite their tough schedule and a couple losses, the boys have faith that they will be contenders for another MAAC championship.
Upon the closing of this season, the Hounds will face many changes, including the loss of key seniors. In addition, they are also making the transition out of the MAAC and into the Patriot League. Since the Hounds are losing three valuable players, Brooks, Olson and Wandrusk, there has been talk that the Hounds’ future seasons may not be as promising as the one they are currently in.
A few fans question the future of the team. “I wonder if we’ll be as good next year losing Eric, Robby and Julius. I think the Patriot League is more competitive, isn’t it? This may be the last good season we have for a while,” said junior Superfan Katrina Centanni. But, the players themselves do not share the same concerns.
“Losing so many key seniors is going to be tough, but we have a few impact players coming in next year that will help us in the long run,” said Hubbard.
In fact, the Hounds are viewing the transition in the Patriot League, a more competitive league than the MAAC, as a great opportunity for the team and the school.
“I think it’s good for the school as far as academically and athletically, definitely bringing more exposure to the school and bringing more money into the school,” said Hubbard. The Hounds are looking forward to the rest of the season and have high hopes for their future.
“Losing the seniors will be tough, but that Freshman Trio is what is going to make the difference in the future,” said Superfan Christin Campbell. “I don’t expect anything less than success. I actually expect a lot more.”
The Importance and Impact of Loyola Fans
By Justin Thomas
The Loyola Men’s Basketball team lost a heartbreaker on Wednesday at home to Niagara University, falling to the Purple Eagles 61-60. In Loyola’s close loss at home, the one thing missing that could’ve helped was the home field advantage, the fans.
After losing their first game at home all season on Wednesday, the Hounds and their fans searched for a reason for the loss. It all seemed to come back to the lack of fans at the game. The game started off very slow and quiet for the Greyhounds, matching the quiet crowd there.
For a school as small as Loyola University Maryland, with just about 4,000 undergraduate students, having the fans there for home games makes a big difference, and the overall fan experience is very unique.
The fan section at Loyola home games is a unit that is very close knit and intimate with each other, and with the home team. There is rarely a dull moment in the stands when the seats reach capacity.
In the school’s recent big wins, the fan impact was very clearly seen. From the Men’s Basketball game against the heavily favored Iona Gaels last season, to the National Championship lacrosse game against instate rivals Maryland Terrapins, the Loyola fans have made a clear impact on the game, and on the way the Hounds play.
“The players go out and really get to know their Loyola community,” said sophomore class president Oscar Cisternas. “It’s a more personal level type of thing.”
The Men’s National Championship lacrosse game took place at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The “large” fan presence for Loyola quickly made the game feel more like a true home game for the Hounds. Even the ESPN commentators of the game praised the Loyola fan section during the game, calling them the most spirited fan section they had ever seen for their size.
Commentators and students are not the only ones who take notice of the dramatic impact the fans at Loyola seem to have. Coaches from all of the athletic teams constantly marvel at the fan involvement at the school, and in some cases, even go so far as to communicate with fans to get them going during a game. Men’s Basketball Head Coach, Jimmy Patsos, is well known for doing his best to interact with the crowd to pump them up during key moments in the game.
Loyola University has a specific fan section that makes their presence known at every game. The Loyola Superfans are a collection of students that leads cheers at every game, and get everyone involved and into the atmosphere of the game.
Sophomore Will Trainer Jr. put it well when he said, “It’s a small school, but I feel like at that level, the mid-major level, fans are very important,” and the Loyola fans have proven they are just that, important.
From Loyola to London Connor Thompson's soccer journey
From London to Loyola
Loyola men’s soccer starting forward Connor Thompson grew up in Swindon, England, just an hour outside of London. Like any English boy, he grew up playing football, or soccer, as Americans call it. He would eagerly watch his favorite player, Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona, play on the pitch every week online, dreaming of one day being like him.
Connor kick started his career when he started playing at the age of four. Everyone in Swindon played soccer, so he was almost forced into it said Thompson. Connor’s career took off when he played in high school for Firencester Academy. He was rewarded with Player of the Season honors his senior year He also served as captain for the Wiltshire County Under-18 team that reached the F.A. County Cup quarterfinals in 2009. Thompson would go on to compete for the Under-18 England School Football Association team. All of these accomplishments led to an intense recruiting process for the young Englishman.
Connor was recruited by James Madison University, High Point University, the University of Florida and Loyola Maryland University. When it came to his decision, Thompson made it blindly.
“I’ve never been to America before, so I’ve never seen the campuses. I made my decision to come to Loyola strictly off what I saw on the website. I love Loyola, I’m so happy with my decision,” said Thompson.
Connor won over the Loyola student body with his freshman play on the pitch. Wearing number nine, the forward played in all 18 games, starting 16. He finished tied for third on the team with six points on two goals and two assists. With his stellar performance his freshman season he was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team, a prestigious honor for freshman in the MAAC conference. Thompson also stared in a Loyola Greyhounds commercial with coach Mark Mettrick highlighting Thompson’s hair. Connor thanks the student body for their wonderful support over the past two years.
(Connor Thompson left with Sophmore friend Joe Wise)
(Connor Thompson left with Sophmore friend Joe Wise)
“It’s really cool to look up during a match and see the student section going crazy. The team wouldn’t perform as well in front of an empty stadium. The team and I just love the support. It makes us feel loved. “ Said Thompson
Connor not only repeated his stellar rookie season, he played even better his sophomore season. Thompson started all 20 games this past season at midfield. Connor’s seven goals and six assists made him one of the best on the Loyola soccer team as well as the MAAC conference. Thompson even knocked in a game winner in overtime against Saint Peter’s. This goal helped him achieve Offensive player of the week for October 29th. Connor Thompson was one of only three underclassmen to be named to 11- person All MAAC First Team. Freshmen teammate Larry Ndjock was also named to the team.
When asked about the accolades Thompson said, “ it’s really nice to be recognized and rewarded for my play, but I didn’t reach my goal, the team didn’t reach our goal. So individual success means nothing. Our team lives by a motto with team success comes individual success.”
Connor is not only one of the best soccer players in the MAAC conference; he is one of the best students in the conference. Thompson as named to the 2012 MAAC All-Academic Team,
Connor off the pitch likes to listen to his favorite hometown English bands Coldplay and Mumford and Sons. If you ever see Connor walking around campus don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with him. He is class act, one of the nicest guys around. Connor said he brings flair to the team, if you know him you know he brings flair from London to Loyola.
Loyola Greyhounds Close Win Over American University
By: Marc J. Lukianczuk
The Loyola Maryland Greyhounds Women’s Basketball hosted the American University Eagles on Saturday at Reitz Arena for a non-conference showdown for a battle of the beltway.
The first half was a sloppy one for the Greyhounds. The Eagles forced the Greyhounds to turn the ball over 17 times in the first half. Turnovers and errant shots from the Greyhounds was the reason American led for most of the first half. It was not until Senior Guard Katie Sheahin hit a three-pointer as time expired to end the first half with Loyola leading the Eagles 20 to 19.
Dobbs was tough a tough competitor for the Greyhounds throughout the game as Dobbs hit four three-pointers in the second half, adding to her team’s game high 14 points.
The Greyhounds are back home at Reitz arena on Monday December 3rd as the Greyhounds take on the two and four Lehigh Mountain Hawks.
Women's Basketball Defeats Lehigh
By: Michael Neidhardt
The Loyola women's basketball team defeated the Lehigh Mountain Hawks 60-48 Monday night at Reitz Arena after going on a 22-0 run that spanned over six minutes in the second half.
The 22-0 run Loyola run was led by their aggressive defense. After finding themselves down 28-24 at the end of the first half, their defense allowed only three points in the next nine minutes. The Greyhounds went to a full court press for the majority of the second half that led to a turnover spree for the Mountain Hawks. Loyola junior guard, Nicole Krusen thought it was their run and jump full court pressure that helped the Greyhounds to get more scoring opportunities. "I think our run and jump, it definitely helped us to get more energy, get everyone fired up and they turned it over, so we got easy layups," said Krusen. Krusen finished the night with nine points and two assists.
After scoring no points off of turnovers in the first half, the Greyhounds scored 18 points off turnovers in the second half. Lehigh committed 12 of their 19 turnovers in the second half alone, a testament to the effect of Loyola's full court pressure. Reigning MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, Katie Sheahin led the defense for Loyola with four steals, while junior forward, Nneka Offodile contributed two steals and three blocks. Sheahin also led the Greyhounds in scoring, finishing with a game-high 19 points, six rebounds, three assists and three blocks.
At one point during their 22-0 run, the Greyhounds found themselves up 50-33, their largest lead of the night. Lehigh made a small run in the final minutes, but wasn't able to make up for the turnovers they committed throughout the game. Loyola Head Coach, Joe Logan was pleased with his team's overall defensive effort against the Mountain Hawks. He was quoted on the Loyola Athletics site as saying "Lehigh's a great program, great coaching and to hold them to 48 points is, I think, a really good accomplishment." The Greyhounds also held Lehigh to a mere 30 percent shooting, while Loyola shot at a much higher clip of 40 percent.
After defeating the Mountain Hawks, the Greyhounds improve to an even 4-4 on the season, and 3-1 at Reitz Arena. Next, they face a tough stretch of three road games in five days, as they travel to Pittsburg, Syracuse and Army. After that, the Greyhounds will begin conference play at Fairfield, January 4, at 7 p.m.
- Loyola H2ounds Swim Meet 2012
- New Season New Expectations
- Greyhounds Men's Lacrosse Preview
- Meet Loyola’s Physical Therapist Ray Moore
- Loyola Athletes Embrace Challenge of the Patriot League
- Men's Soccer MAAC Tournament Recap
- Senior Day Loyola Women's Volleyball
- Loyola Women's Volleyball to the Patriot League
- Loyola Men's Basketball Preview
- Loyola Upsets 'Cuse To Capture Second Straight BIG EAST Title
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