Dec. 12, 2007
Baltimore, Md. - It was a banner fall for the Loyola Greyhounds, no exceptions.
Of the men's and women's soccer, volleyball, and cross country teams, not one can claim to have ended their season unsuccessfully, as each advanced to MAAC postseason competition -- a true mark of distinction for the fall of 2007.
Leading the way was the men's soccer team, who finished with 19-3-1 record and won an NCAA Tournament game at home against Liberty before falling to Maryland on penalty kicks in heartbreaking fashion.
The Hounds were powered by a core of freshmen and sophomores that provided an offensive spark led by Jamie Darvill and Phil Bannister and stout defensive performances keyed by Tennant McVea (MAAC Defensive Player of the Year). Junior Milos Kocic put together one of the most impressive campaigns from a Loyola goalkeeper, putting up 17 shutouts and an NCAA-best .470 goals against average.
"Obviously 19 wins made for a remarkable 2007 season for both our team and program," said Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "Winning the MAAC Championship and then playing at home in the National Tournament was a special achievement for our program and a special experience for our players. Although we were ultimately disappointed to lose on penalties in the second round to Maryland that too was a memorable performance down at College Park ... All in all a season to remember."
On the women's side, Loyola's 10-6-6 finish belies the Greyhounds' late peak, which bestowed upon them a MAAC Championship and a competitive first round NCAA Tournament game with Virginia.
"I think we handled ourselves well, we focused on peaking late in the season, and with nearly our entire staring lineup returning, we're in good shape for next year," Head Coach John Byford said.
Like the men's side, the women were powered by impressive, and consistent, play in goal, for which sophomore Brittney Henderson was honored with the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year award. Senior Brynn McGrath and junior Sarra Moller earned first-team All-MAAC marks in support of Henderson, and the `Hounds' return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 marked a goal achieved this fall.
Kristina Hernandez's volleyball squad finished, by nearly every measure, their most successful season in program history with a 22-10 record and a loss in the MAAC semifinals.
"I can't say a disappointed word about this team," Hernandez said. "In fact, everyone is already set to start next season and it's not even January. It was a long season, but it was so fun I'm sorry to see it end. We know we had a good year where we showed we've learned to win, but we still didn't win the MAAC, so there's room for improvement."
Though the `Hounds were ultimately cut short by Fairfield, the conference tournament host, this was the program's first 20-win season since 1992 and the first time the Greyounds notched 10 wins in the conference.
The men's and women's cross country teams finished 4th and 3rd at the MAAC Championship meet, and junior Chris Heibell set a school record while finishing 42nd overall at the NCAA Regional meet in Bethlehem, Pa.