Oct. 12, 2003
BALTIMORE, MD - Freshman Omar Alfonso scored two goals and added two assists as Loyola's men's soccer team rolled to a 5-0 win over Iona at Curley Field on Sunday afternoon. The Greyhounds scored all five goals in the first half and cruised to their seventh win of the season.
It didn't take long for Alfonso to get started either. The Loyola freshman quickly gave the Greyhounds a 1-0 advantage, scoring only 90 seconds into the contest.
"Kevin [Nash] crossed the ball and I saw the defender try to stop it," says Alfonso. "I ran for the rebound and knew I had to get a shot of quickly because I didn't have an angle. It was two touches and a goal."
Just as fast as he made it 1-0, Alfonso struck again with his second goal of the game at the 3:30 mark. Again, it was junior Kevin Nash with the feed, but this time on a breakaway. Alfonso composed the ball and with a finesse shot, scored his league-high 10th goal of the season.
"Omar deserves every goal he gets because of his effort," says Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "The guy works his tail off and puts in the time to be successful."
The Greyhounds, however, were only warming up. The Alfonso-Nash combination would strike again at 20:22 when Alfonso passed the ball to Nash in front of the net and Nash sent home his fifth goal of the year.
"I really enjoy playing with Kevin," says Alfonso. "I think we've been able to gel and finally get comfortable with each other."
The 3-0 lead would change to 4-0 only 30 seconds later with indirect kick by sophomore John Dalziel. The 'Hounds continued to keep the pressure on and the final blow would come with 1:14 left on the first half clock. Freshman Rade Kokovic scored his first career goal, taking a penalty kick and placing it past a diving Iona goalkeeper.
Loyola led 5-0 at intermission, controlling both ends of the field. Iona did get eight shots off in the first period, but freshman goalkeeper Justin Chelland had two saves to keep the Gaels off the board.
"We came out flying," says Mettrick. "The first 20 minutes were very important and our guys did a good job of pressuring Iona and taking advantage of opportunities."
Chelland finished the game with five saves, earning his third straight shutout in goal. The freshman is 3-0-1 in his four starts and has a total of 31 saves on the season.
Loyola improves to 7-3-2 overall and to 4-1-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The win keeps alive Loyola's 32-game home unbeaten streak, currently the longest streak in the country. Alfonso's 10 goals leads the team, the MAAC and the South Atlantic Region. The freshman has 23 total points this season.
"All I do is put the ball in the net," says Alfonso. "It's a total team effort. It's my job to score goals when I get a chance, but I get all my chances because of the guys who work hard behind me."
The Greyhounds will be back at work next weekend. They play at Manhattan on Friday and at Saint Peter's on Sunday. Friday's game is at 3 p.m.