Sept. 18, 2005
Princeton, N.J. - The Loyola men's soccer team was one minute and 47 seconds away from defeating No. 7 Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday evening at the Princeton Soccer Classic in Princeton, N.J. The Knights, however, forced overtime and despite a few near misses from an inspired Loyola squad, the sides ended 110 minutes of play with a 1-1 final.
Playing 24 hours after facing No. 9 Akron in Game One of the Princeton Soccer Classic, it didn't take long for the Greyhounds to grab a lead on Sunday. Senior Vinnie Piscopo, who scored his first goal of the season at Lourie-Love Field back on September 2, was back on the Princeton turf and struck again with his goal in the 28th minute.
With an assist from Mark Donnelly, Piscopo sailed a long right-footer into the back of the cage for his second goal of the season. The Loyola defense, meanwhile, continued its strong play, allowing zero shots-on-goal in the first half as the `Hounds took a 1-nil lead into the intermission.
Loyola's 1-0 advantage looked like it would hold up with three second-half saves from junior Justin Chelland, but with less than two minutes left in regulation Matt Squarcia headed home a corner kick from Mirza Rusevic and extra time would be needed to settle the match.
"Our team really battled today," says Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "We were obviously fighting for the win and were a bit disappointed not to get it. But we regrouped nicely and had three good chances in overtime."
The Greyhounds came out as the aggressor in the first overtime and nearly scored when sophomore Ray Hassett's header in the 95th minute was deflected by FDU keeper Elvis Prasovic. Senior Brian O'Connor had a chance off the ensuing corner, but saw his shot sail right of the far post.
Loyola would have one last chance to get the win when Donnelly found himself one-on-one with Prasovic with about 12 seconds left in the second overtime. Donnelly's shot just missed right and the first tie of 2005 moves Loyola to 1-4-1 and FDU to 5-0-1.
`We played two very good teams this weekend with both Fairleigh Dickinson and Akron ranked in the Top-10," adds Mettrick. "It was a somewhat cruel ending today, but still a good result."
Mettrick continues his amazing overtime streak at Loyola, having never lost in 28 chances. His Greyhounds are idle during the week and face Hofstra this Saturday night at the Germantown Soccerplex in Germantown, Md.