Sept. 10, 2004
Fairfax, Va. - Sophomore Rade Kokovic matched his offensive output from 2003 with a goal and an assist as Loyola earned a 3-0 win over Robert Morris on Friday evening at the George Mason Tournament in Fairfax, Va. Kokovic, who had one goal and one assist last season, has a goal and two assists this season as Loyola improves to 2-1 on the year.
An aggressive Robert Morris side threatened early, but solid Loyola defense kept the Colonials off the board in the first period. Freshman Janson Blake, who made his third consecutive start at back, knocked away a potential Robert Morris goal in the 12th minute and swung the momentum Loyola's way.
In the 18th minute, sophomore Kokovic sent a corner kick that was pushed away from the Robert Morris cage. Junior John Dalziel was there and scored the deflection to give the `Hounds a 1-0 advantage.
Senior Chase Franklin would double the Loyola lead at 38:10, heading in a perfect lob from Kokovic, who took a direct kick from 30 yards out. The goal was the second of Franklin's career, and the Greyhounds, with five first-half shots compared to Robert Morris' six, led 2-0 at intermission.
"We were very fortunate to be up 2-0 in the first half," says Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "I think both teams were a bit fatigued, but I'm happy with the way our defense closed out the game."
Loyola set the tempo in the second half, controlling the ball with touch passing across the field. A nice offensive exchange at 69:54 would result in the game's third goal. Junior Vinnie Piscopo, who brought the ball inside the box, found sophomore Omar Alfonso in front of the net. Alfonso tapped a soft pass out to Kokovic, who drilled a shot into the upper right corner of the cage.
A patient Greyhound defense minimized Robert Morris' second-half chances, making a comeback virtually impossible. Peters, who had one save in the first half, would end the game with one save as Loyola earned its first shutout of the season. The `Hounds had nine second-half shots and finished the game with 10 shots-on-goal.
"We need to get a win today," says Loyola co-captain Jim Gottermeyer. "We have two very tough games coming up with Santa Clara and Maryland and we couldn't afford to be 1-2 going into those games."
Loyola will face No. 5 Santa Clara this Sunday as it concludes play at the George Mason Tournament. Game time is 12 p.m. and admission is $5 adult and $2 student.