Oct. 21, 2005
Baltimore, Md. - Senior Vinnie Piscopo had two goals, sophomore Ray Hassett had two goals and junior Rade Kokovic had two assists to lead the Greyhounds to a 4-1 victory over Iona on Friday afternoon at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. Loyola, which trailed early, responded with three second-half goals to improve its conference-leading mark to 4-1-0.
"This was an important win for us," says Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "We're fighting for a playoff spot and have some very tough conference matches coming up. We trailed early, but responded well."
Iona took its early lead on a goal from Felipe Faundez, who slid across the wet pitch to connect with Paul Racines cross in the 27th minute of play. The Gaels, who did a good job of containing the Loyola attack early on, surrendered the game-tying goal in the 36th minute when junior Danny Wheelan sent a bending cross to Piscopo's chest. Piscopo controlled the ball and pushed it past keeper Robert Blake to leave the sides tied at halftime.
Despite its limited chances in the first half, the Greyhounds seemed to have seized control if not momentum going into the lockeroom, The second half was marked by intensity and Hassett answered the charge with identical-looking goals to give Loyola a two-goal edge.
Scoring the go-ahead goal in the 65th minute, Kokovic started a Loyola counterattack, passing the ball to Hassett on the right side. Hassett was able to elude Blake, leaving an empty net for him to tap the ball into. Kokovic and Hassett repeated the whole process over again in the 84th minute, giving Kokovic his team-leading fifth assist of the season and Hassett his fourth goal and first-career multiple-goal game.
Piscopo would put the game away with his team-leading fifth goal of the season, scoring off his own rebound in the 86th minute, heading the ball just past Blake's outstretched hand.
"It's nice when you can score goal, but it's more important to get the win," says Piscopo in reference to his fourth and fifth goals of the season. "I'd rather score zero goal and win than be the leading scorer in a losing effort."
The Greyhound defense, which allowed a season-high four goals in its last outing at Siena, stepped up behind a solid effort from keeper Justin Chelland, who made six saves in the win.
Loyola improves its overall record to 6-7-1 and holds onto its points lead in the MAAC standings with 12 points on four wins. The `Hounds will have a day off and return to action on Sunday, hosting Fairfield in a televised game at noon.
"Fairfield is a good team," says Piscopo. "I'm looking forward to a great game on Sunday."
Sunday's match can be seen on Comcast's CN8.