Oct. 10, 2003
BALTIMORE, MD - When Loyola and Fairfield get together on the men's soccer field - overtime is a definite. This was the case on Friday afternoon at Curley Field, and the Greyhounds came away with a 1-0 overtime win, defeating the Stags for the fifth straight time, all five games won in overtime.
After a hard-fought 99 minutes, the Greyhounds had a breakaway with junior Kevin Nash and freshman Omar Alfonso ahead of the pack. Nash dribbled the ball down the left sideline and crossed it out front. Fairfield's Mike Calabrese got his foot on the ball, surprising Stag goalkeeper Andrew Fankel, who watched the game-winner roll past his outstretched arms.
"It wasn't the prettiest game or the even a great way to win," says Loyola senior Jay Joyce. "But this is a big win for our team."
Loyola was held without a shot in the first half despite holding a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks. The Greyhounds controlled the tempo in the second half, going toe-to-toe with a very physical Fairfield squad.
"This was a very tough, rugged game," says Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "We'll take the win, but it wasn't the best match to watch."
Freshman Justin Chelland had himself a very solid day in goal, registering six saves in the shutout. Chelland, who started his second consecutive game, has 14 saves and no goals allowed in those contests.
"Justin [Chelland] is playing phenomenal right now," says Loyola sophomore John Dalziel. "He's really stepped up in the last couple games."
The Greyhounds improve to 6-3-2 overall and to 3-1-0 in the MAAC. They drop Fairfield to 3-5-1 overall and to 2-2-0 in the conference. Mettrick, who loves overtime, improves to 14-0-8 in overtime at Loyola. He has now defeated Fairfield in the extra period all five times he has faced them.
"Overtime is our time," adds Joyce. "Especially when we play Fairfield."
The Greyhounds continue to fight for seeding in the MAAC tournament and take on the Gaels of Iona on Sunday. Iona handed Fairfield its first conference loss this season. Sunday's game is slated for 1 p.m. on Curley Field.