Sept. 21, 2003
PRINCETON, NJ - Freshmen Omar Alfonso and Danny Wheelan each scored goals to rally Loyola back from a two-goal deficit against Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon. The Greyhounds fought back to tie the Quakers, 2-2, at the Princeton Soccer Invitational.
Penn's Stephen Kroculick scored both Quaker goals and Loyola was down 2-0 less than 30 minutes into the contest. The Greyhounds never gave up, however, and at 32:17 they got their first break.
A handball inside the 18 set up Alfonso's penalty kick. The freshman knocked it home with a kick in the upper left corner of the cage and the lead was cut in half. The score would remain 2-1 until the 77th minute, when Wheelan made the play of the day.
"The best goal I've ever seen while I've been on a field," says Alfonso, who saw the play unfold before him.
Senior Jay Joyce crossed the ball from the left side and Wheelan made an athletic side volley into the upper right corner of the net, tying the game at 2-2.
"It's not something I've ever practiced or done before," says Wheelan. "I just hit it good and really got lucky."
Loyola was able to regain the momentum and had opportunities to score the game-winner, but came away empty handed. Freshman Justin Chelland made his first career start in goal and finished the game with 12 saves.
"I'm really proud of the way our guys battled back," says Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "We showed a lot of guts coming back from 2-0 and we had opportunities to win the game. That's all you can ask for in that situation."
The Greyhounds end the weekend with two ties at the Princeton Invitational. They run their record to 3-2-2 while Penn is now 1-2-1. Loyola returns home and opens conference play with a game versus MAAC foe Rider on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.