Nov. 1, 2009
BALTIMORE - Loyola's defense held Fairfield to just one shot on goal as the teams played to a 0-0 double-overtime draw on Senior Day at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action Sunday.
With the tie, which extended the Greyhounds' season-long seven match unbeaten streak, Loyola clinched a spot in the MAAC Championships for the 21st straight season. The Greyhounds have played in every conference tournament since joining the league in 1989.
The Greyhounds (8-6-2 overall, 5-0-2 MAAC) denied the Stags (8-5-2, 4-1-2) a shot attempt for the final 38 minutes, including both overtime periods.
"As with many Loyola and Fairfield games of the past, this was a very tough, tightly contested game," Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick said. "I thought we played well today, in particular in the second half and in the overtimes.."
Loyola nearly ended the game early in the first overtime after Wade McHugh put a header from the top of the six on target. The shot, however, went off the crossbar.
The rebound came directly to Jamie Darvill on the left side of the six, but his header was high of the frame.
The Greyhounds had another chance late in the second overtime as Eddie Dines' header off a Phil Bannister cross was saved by a full-extension dive from Stags goalkeeper Michael O'Keeffe.
While Loyola's defense kept Fairfield from shooting in the second half and overtime, the same was not true in the first.
Fairfield recorded the first two shots of the match, each appearing to have a line on the goal. Jonny Raj redirected a cross with a header in the fourth minute, but his shot was just high. Less than 40 seconds later, Jack Burridge found himself in space at the top of the box, 25 yards from the goal. He ripped a line-drive shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and away from harm.
The Stags then reeled off four consecutive shots in a span of six minutes, midway through the period.
Brothers Christian and Matthew Uy each had two shots, each from dangerous positions, but none were on goal.
Eddie Dines looked to put Loyola on the board in the 31st minute, but his header was saved by O'Keeffe.
Darvill took a free kick from inches outside the 18 seconds into the second half, but it curled over the bar after a Fairfield foul.
Fairfield's Todd Rutledge sent a shot from the far left wing in the 62nd minute that appeared at first to be a cross. However, the ball skidded low on the wet turf, forcing Loyola's Kyle Wittman to make a save on the attempt.
Shortly thereafter, Christian Uy ripped a shot from the top of the box that went just left of the frame past a diving Wittman.
Erik Ilisije pushed a header from the top of the six wide right in the 73rd minute, but it would be Fairfield's last shot attempt of the match.
In the 75th minute, Darvill beat his defender to the right side of the box and had a one-on-one chance with O'Keeffe, but the Fairfield goalkeeper made a save on Darvill's shot. Glenn Leitch took a shot from the top of the box off the rebound, but it was blocked away from harm by a Stags defender.
Loyola continues MAAC play on Friday, November 6, when they travel to Jersey City, N.J., to face Saint Peter's at 2 p.m.