Oct. 27, 2006
Baltimore, Md. - Freshman Jamie Darvill scored the overtime game-winning goal in Loyola's 2-1 win over Manhattan on Friday afternoon. Darvill's golden goal also lifted the `Hounds to 6-2 in the league and clinched a MAAC playoff berth at Fairfield next weekend.
"We've never taken the MAAC Championships for granted," says Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "Only the top four teams [out of 10] make the tournament and every game is important."
Friday's match looked as if it would go Loyola's way with the Greyhounds clearly the aggressor in the game's early stages. Senior Buster Wiand had a nice touch in the fourth and one-timed a shot right at Jasper keeper John Ciano, who finished the game with seven saves.
A free kick in the 35th set the Greyhounds up for another challenge, but Manhattan cleared to keep the game scoreless. After a counter from senior Danny Wheelan, where the team captain's attempt at the far post sailed inches wide, Manhattan answered with a strike with just over two minutes to play in the first half. The goal was Manhattan's first shot on goal and gave the Jaspers a halftime lead.
"We've been down at the half before, but deteriorating weather conditions put a lot of pressure on our forwards," says Mettrick.
With steady rain falling, Coach Mettrick switched to three forwards and scored the equalizer in the 60th minute. Sophomore Josh Taylor, who scored last week's game-winner at Fairfield, evened the game with a perfect setup from Wheelan.
The Greyhounds, trying to end the game in regulation, had their opportunities down the stretch. A counter started by Wheelan at midfield ended with another beautiful pass to Taylor, whose shot was blocked in the 76th minute. A few minutes later, Darvill found himself open in front of the goal and pushed his shot wide.
Unable to end the game in 90 minutes, the Greyhounds entered overtime for only the third time this season. With 1:40 left in the first extra session, Darvill punched home his second game-winner of the year and his sixth goal of the season.
"Right place at the right time," says Darvill. "It feels great to get this win and clinch a spot in the MAAC Tournament. It wasn't easy, but perseverance has become a theme with this team."
The Greyhounds are now 7-9-1 overall and will be one of four teams playing for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA College Cup next weekend at Fairfield. Loyola will host Saint Peter's at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field this Sunday in a game that will determine their seed in the tournament.
Sunday's match with Saint Peter's will be televised on CN8. Game time is 1 p.m.