Sept. 1, 2006
Baltimore, Md. - Freshmen Jamie Darvill and Tennant McVea made splashing college debuts for the Greyhounds, but three unanswered goals from Syracuse left the Greyhounds brokenhearted and on the wrong end of a 3-2 overtime decision at Loyola's Diane Geppi-Aikens Field on Friday afternoon.
"I thought that we played well," says Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "I'm encouraged we were able to match up with Syracuse, but we have to learn how to win these games."
Playing in the driving rain, the Greyhounds made the most of their early chances and connected in the 37th minute when a shot from sophomore Josh Taylor deflected to the right foot of Darville. The defense weathered a Syracuse flurry in the closing minutes of the half and after 45 minutes, Loyola led 1-nil.
That margin would double in the 51st when McVea, with his back to the goal, scored a brilliant header off a 35-yard free kick from senior Rade Kokovic.
"I didn't have a good angle and wanted to get as much on the shot as I could," said McVea. "I didn't mean to curve it under the top post, but it felt great."
Loyola's celebration, however, was short lived as the Orange converted a broken play in front of the cage into a Kyle Hall goal at 58:14. Syracuse scored the equalizer two minutes later the knot to game at 2-2 with less than 30 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Greyhounds responded positively and challenged the Orange down the stretch. Junior Omar Alfonso turned a tough angle into a great strike and nearly put the ball on goal in the 72nd minute, and again barely missed with a strong shot in the 81st. Senior Gabriel Ortega hit the post off Kokovic's corner in the 82nd, and despite a strong final effort from the Greyhound attack, the match went into overtime.
In the extra session, Hall was able to counter and challenge Loyola goalkeeper Justin Chelland one-on-one. His shot sailed inside the far post and ended the game 1:09 into the period.
"Obviously this was a very, very disappointing result," adds Mettrick. "But I'm pleased with our team and expect us to grow and mature as the season goes on."
The Greyhounds fall to 0-2-1 on the season and host Princeton at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field on Sunday at 1 p.m. Loyola is 2-3-4 all time against the Tigers and last season opened the year with a 2-1 win at Princeton.