Aug. 25, 2006
Baltimore, Md. - Delaware used a 15-second spurt in which it scored two goals to edge Loyola 3-2 in the season opener for both teams on Friday afternoon at the Towson Soccer Invitational. The Greyhounds had the upper hand on the stat sheet, but a 3-1 second-half deficit proved too much to overcome.
Loyola set the tempo in the match's opening stages and nearly converted on a goal in the eighth minute when senior Rade Kokovic send a beautiful through-ball to sophomore Ziggy Kamara, who was unable to control. Kamara, however, quickly made amends when Omar Alfonso crossed to his head in the 12th for the game's first goal.
Delaware caught the game's first break when Loyola keeper Justin Chelland was carded for a tackle outside the box. Chelland responded with a diving save on the ensuing penalty kick to keep the game scoreless after 20 minutes. The Blue Hens did, however, come up with an equalizer in the 22nd minute when Matt Laudeman followed up a Chelland chest-save for Delaware's first goal of the season.
The Blue Hens broke open the 1-1 tie with a pair of goals at 59:22 and 59:37 to take a commanding 3-1 lead. The Greyhounds pressed, but were unable to convert until a direct kick in the 77th minute. Kokovic kept the ball low to the ground and curved it around the Delaware wall to bring Loyola within one goal.
With new life, Kokovic nearly tied the match with a rocket off a free kick in the 82nd minute. The shot, which sailed inches wide right, was maybe the best of several attempts on goal in the final 10 minutes of play.
Loyola ended the game with 19 shots to Delaware's 13 and took six corner kicks to Delaware's one. Chelland finished the game with four saves for Loyola while Delaware goalkeeper Taylor Thames made seven saves for the Blue Hens.
Buster Wiand and Mike McTigue made their Loyola College debuts in the loss and played all 90 minutes. The Greyhounds, 0-1 this season, conclude action at the Towson Invitational against host Towson on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
"This is not the result we wanted," said Wiand, a graduate transfer from Lafayette. "But the way a team responds from a game like shows a lot about its character."