Aug. 29, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - Sophomore Daniel Ankrah and junior Jamie Darvill scored 3:30 apart midway through the first half and Loyola's defense held Fordham without a shot on goal in the second half as the Greyhounds opened the 2008 campaign with a 2-0 victory over the Rams in the first game for both teams of the 2008 Black & Decker Soccer Classic Friday afternoon on Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.
Ankrah scored from the left flank on a shot to the left bottom corner past a diving Ryan Meara in the Rams' goal 30:14 into the contest to give Loyola a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Eddie Dines assisted on the tally. Darvill followed that a few minutes later with a shot from the left side that curved past Meara into the right side of the net for what proved to be the final tally of the game with 10:13 remaining in the first half.
"I'm pleased that we got off to a winning start," Greyhounds ninth-year head coach Mark Mettrick said following the win. "At this level, it's a fine line. I was happy to get some quality goals. It was just a fabulous goal by Darvill and Daniel had a fine goal to get us started. It was a great way to open the season."
The match could have taken a completely different turn had the Rams had a little luck early. Just three minutes in, Rams senior Steve Woicik clanged a ball off the right post and Fordham spent much of the game's first 20 minutes with the ball in Loyola territory. But the Greyhounds' tallies settled Loyola and the defense was able to significantly limit the Fordham opportunities in the second half. The shutout was Loyola's 15th in its last 16 contests.
As important as Ankrah's goal was to jump start the Greyhounds offense, Darvill's was a thing of beauty. Leitch's free kick got the ball to Darvill whose shot sailed from outside of the 18-yard box and into the right side of the net.
"The shot set up nicely for me," Darvill said of his tally. "Sometimes you have to improvise. I saw it was open for me and it was nice because we hadn't had the better of the play to that point. We want to keep doing the things we do. We take a lot of pride in winning at home."
The win was the 11th straight at home for the Greyhounds and 14th in their last 15 contests. The victory also keeps Loyola unbeaten in the event after winning a pair of games in the first Black & Decker Soccer Classic last season.
"I've been here a long time and getting that first victory doesn't come easily so it is very important to get it," Mettrick commented. "We played a very spirited game with Fordham last year [a 2-1 Greyhounds win]. It was a pretty even contest for much of it."
In the first game of the Classic, Drexel posted a 2-1 victory over Hartwick. The Dragons will meet Fordham in the first game of the event's final day on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Loyola will host Hartwick at 2 o'clock to wrap things up.