Oct. 30, 2009
BALTIMORE - Danny Ankrah and Jamie Darvill scored goals, and the Loyola University Maryland men's soccer side put together strong play on both ends of the field, defeating 22nd-ranked Iona, 2-0, Friday afternoon in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action on Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.
"This was a good all-around performance, and we played well," Head Coach Mark Mettrick said. "Offensively, we made some good chances. Defensively, we played well against a very good Iona team."
Ankrah gave Loyola (8-6-2 overall, 5-0-1 MAAC) the lead in the 35th minute after a flurry of activity at the top of the 18-yard box.
The junior midfielder took a pass from the right wing and struck a low shot that was blocked by an Iona (11-2-2, 5-1-0) defender. The rebound bounced directly back to Ankrah, however, and he settled it quickly then blasted a hard, rising shot into the upper right side of the goal.
Loyola nearly scored minutes later, as Phil Bannister redirected a cross with a header, but Gaels goalkeeper Nils Binstock punched it over the net for a Greyhounds' corner kick. Loyola played the corner short, and Kevin Curran hit a shot from the top of the 18 that went just high.
Iona put pressure on the Greyhounds' defense quickly in the second half, as Mario Di Miceli took a shot from 12 yards out that Kyle Wittman saved, and Fernando Liserra had a shot on the near right side blocked.
In the 56th minute, Rob Hernandez-Raeen directed a header at goal from near the top of the 18, but Wittman again made a save for the Greyhounds.
Loyola's counterattack provided opportunities throughout the match. In the 60th minute, Mike Deasel gained possession deep 20 yards outside the Iona goal. Deasel carried the ball deep into Loyola's offensive end, but a through ball skidded just past a racing Bannister.
Iona had its best scoring chance of the second half in the 65th minute when Alvaro Torrecilla found himself in space and struck a hard shot from just outside the 18, but it curved a few feet left of the post.
Bannister put a shot on goal in the 70th minute from the right side, but Binstock made the save for Iona.
Loyola broke through quickly after that, however. Iona's took the ball into its offensive end, but the Greyhounds defense created a turnover.
Wade McHugh carried the ball and fed a perfect through pass to an onside Darvill who had beaten his defender. Darvill went one-on-one against Binstock and chipped a ball over the goalkeeper's head into the right side of the net, giving Loyola a 2-0 lead at the 70:11 mark.
Bannister and Darvill continued to put pressure on Iona's defense, each taking shots in the next few minutes, but neither were on frame.
Despite several attacking chances by Iona, the Greyhounds' defense held the Gaels without a shot for the rest of the game.
Iona recorded three shots in the game's first 22 minutes before Loyola took its first attempt.
Liserra had a low strike saved by Wittman, who made another save against a shot from the far right side by Torrecilla. The Gaels' best chance of the game came in the 22nd minute when Torrecilla was well inside the 18 and appeared to have an angle on the far post, but his shot squibbed wide of the frame.
Loyola returns to action on Sunday, November 1, 2009, when it hosts Fairfield at 1 p.m. in the final regular-season match on Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. The Greyhounds will celebrate Senior Day before the match when they honor their four seniors - Darvill, Joey Dussault, Tennant McVea and Jonathan Navas - approximately 15 minutes before the match.