Oct. 8, 2004
New Rochelle, N.Y. - Sophomore Rade Kokovic picked a good time to score the first game-winning goal of his career. With 11 seconds left in the first overtime period, Kokovic nailed his penalty kick from 15 yards out to give the Greyhounds a 2-1 win over Iona on Friday afternoon in New Rochelle, N.Y.
The win, which evens Loyola's overall record to 4-4-1, moves the `Hounds' impressive overtime unbeaten streak to 26 games and improves Head Coach Mark Mettrick's overtime record to 15-0-8 at Evergreen.
"Anytime you can get three points on the road against a conference opponent, it's a quality win," says Mettrick. "We played in a very tough environment today and came away with a good result."
A very rough match that featured five yellow cards in the first half was scoreless after the first 45 minute period. The Greyhounds and Gaels each took six first-half shots with a corner kick apiece. The tie, however, was quickly broken in the second period when Kokovic found senior Chase Franklin, who blasted a shot past Iona keeper Patrick McAllen.
Franklin's goal, his second of the year, came at the 49-minute mark and gave the `Hounds a one-goal lead on the road. Iona continued to play physical and scored the equalizer at 72:37, forcing Loyola into its second consecutive overtime.
The Greyhounds, coming off a 1-1 tie with Pennsylvania, felt comfortable in overtime for very good reason. Mettrick's squad had never lost in the extra period and Kokovic would continue that trend with his game-winner at 99:49.
"Rade [Kokovic] has had a very good sophomore season," says Mettrick. "After Vinnie [Piscopo] was pulled down inside the box, we had Rade, who strikes a good ball, take the penalty. He won the game."
The `Hounds took 13 shots, one more than Iona. Loyola also had one more corner kick (3-2) while senior Greg Peter's earned the win in goal with two saves. Iona had six of the game's seven yellow cards and with the loss falls to 0-2 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Loyola is now 2-0 in the MAAC and plays at conference rival Fairfield this Sunday. That game is slated for a 2 p.m. kick off.