Loyola taking new adoration in stride

No. 8 Greyhounds rising in rankings and looking for first 6-0 start since 2002

March 15, 2012|By Edward Lee

After handling then-No. 8 Duke, 13-8, last Saturday, Loyola has become this week’s darling in the media, rising in many rankings, including The Sun’s version where the Greyhounds moved from 17th to eighth.

It’s a testament to the team’s play in opening the season with five consecutive wins, but it hasn’t dominated the conversation among the players, according to coach Charley Toomey.

“Obviously, the guys are excited,” he said Wednesday. “They’re playing well, but that’s why they’re excited. They’re having some success because our seniors and our captains have kept us very grounded. Quite honestly, I have yet to hear anything about the polls. What I’ve heard is the excitement about the pace of our play and how well the guys are playing. … I’ve really enjoyed this group of kids because of the way they’ve come out to practice every day prepared and excited to get better.”

Athletics has become a popular vocation on Loyola’s campus. The men’s basketball team is the No. 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will meet No. 2 seed Ohio State. The women’s lacrosse team has been a perennial resident in the nation’s top 20 programs.

The men’s lacrosse team is 5-0 for the first time since 2002 when that squad opened the year with seven straight victories.

But Toomey emphasized that all of those good vibes will evaporate if the Greyhounds drop Saturday’s contest to Eastern College Athletic Conference rival Air Force.

“They’ve been very grounded, and for us, the most important thing is we’ve got a league game coming in on Saturday,” he said. “If that league game means 6-0, that’s great, but it means 2-0 in the ECAC, and that’s the most important number we’re going to look at. Every time you win, that’s a good thing, but right now, we’re trying to keep our heads down and not worry about what our opponents are doing, but worry more about what we can control, and that’s our effort on Saturday.”

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