If Josh Hawkins were to pull up his shirt, you might notice a pair of wings tattooed on his upper body. It’s a fitting mark for the junior short-stick defensive midfielder who may be the fastest player for Loyola.
An example of that burst of speed was provided when Hawkins scored a goal in the top-seeded Greyhounds’ 7-5 victory over No. 4 seed Notre Dame in Saturday’s NCAA tournament semifinal at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
The Fighting Irish had scored twice in a span of six seconds to trim a three-goal deficit to just one with 2:04 left in the second quarter, but Hawkins went end-to-end and bounced a shot over junior goalkeeper John Kemp and under the crossbar to give Loyola a 5-3 lead at halftime.
“I like to get up and down between the lines and use my speed and athleticism to get the ball from defense to the offense,” he said. “Scoring yesterday was pretty special. I hadn’t put one in for a while. It was overdue, and it came at a great time. I’m just happy I came up big, and it gave us a spark going into the third quarter.”
It was another reminder of what Hawkins has done for the Greyhounds as he starts as a short-stick defensive midfielder, mans wings on faceoffs, and scores goals in transition.
Hawkins was being recruited by both Loyola and former Maryland coach Dave Cottle – who had coached current Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey – but Hawkins said his decision to commit to Loyola was sealed when he visited the school’s campus in Baltimore.
Toomey said he’s grateful for Hawkins’ decision.
“He is a ball hawk on the ground,” he said. “He flies around the field. I think he’s tenacious and we’re just so fortunate that he’s in our locker room.”