Nov. 1, 2003
BALTIMORE, MD - Two goals from freshman Omar Alfonso, a goal apiece from sophomore John Dalziel and junior Kevin Nash resulted in a 4-0 win for the men's soccer team on Saturday afternoon at Curley Field. The Greyhounds defeat MAAC foe Niagara to close the regular season with a 9-6-3 overall record.
Just like the day before, Alfonso set the pace with an early goal. Only 1:19 into the contest, freshman Danny Wheelan's corner kick, re-directed by senior Jay Joyce, led to Alfonso's team-leading 14th goal of the season.
"Jay Joyce hit a good corner," says Alfonso. "The ball bounced on the six and I just put it in."
Alfonso would double the lead 10 minutes later when the Greyhounds, on a counter attack from the left side, connected with senior John Alecci finding sophomore Vinnie Piscopo, who sent a beautiful pass to Alfonso, who did the rest.
"Vinnie gave me a true ball and I hit it one time," says Alfonso, who also scored twice in yesterday's 2-0 win over Canisius. He wraps up the regular season with 15 goals and four assists.
Behind Alfonso's goals, the Greyhounds led 2-0 at halftime, outshooting the Purple Eagles 11-3. The second half saw two more goals and 10 Loyola shots to Niagara's two.
At 52:20, Dalziel scored on a play similar to Alfonso's second goal. With passes from Nate Lyden and Nash, Dalziel notched his third goal of the season.
"It wasn't a pretty goal," says Dalziel. "I didn't even hit it that good, but was lucky enough to get past the goalkeeper."
Alfonso and Nash crossed signals on a few scoring opportunities in the second half, but finally connected with each other to put the game away at 69:43. Alfonso's touch-pass to a wide-open Nash resulted in Loyola's fourth score of the day.
Freshman goalkeeper Justin Chelland, now 5-2-2 as a starter, picked up his second straight shutout in the win. Chelland has four shutouts this season.
"Every time I play, I feel more comfortable than the last time," says Chelland. "These last two games we've been playing as a team, working real hard for each other. It makes it a lot easier to get wins when we play like that."
Loyola closes the season with a 6-2-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference record. The Greyhound clinch at least a second-place finish and a No. 2 seed at next week's conference tournament with 19 points. A St. Peter's win over Siena on Sunday; however, would give the Greyhounds the regular season MAAC title and a No. 1 seed in Orlando.
"We're playing good as a team right now," says Alecci. "I guess we'll see at the MAAC tournament, but I'm pretty happy with where we are."
The 2003 MAAC Championships run from Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 5-8 at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.