Nov. 5, 2005
Baltimore, Md. - Seniors Nate Lyden and Vinnie Piscopo scored in their final collegiate home match as Loyola earned a 3-1 win over Rider in Saturday's regular season finale. With the win, the Greyhounds improve to 6-2-1 in the MAAC and secure the No. 2 seed in next weekend's conference tournament.
"It was very important to end the regular season on a good note," says Piscopo. "I thought we played well as team and as a senior class. There are mixed emotions about this being our final game at Loyola - going out with a win is great."
Lyden was the first senior to answer the call, scoring in the 23rd minute of play. After a penalty on the Broncs led to a free kick at 22:54, Lyden controlled the long rebound and fired from 10 yards out. His shot ricocheted off two Rider players and past Bronc keeper Daniel Riverso.
"We knew that Rider, being eliminated from the postseason, had nothing to lose," says Lyden. "By scoring early, we hoped to deflate them, but they battled back and played hard the whole game."
The Broncs would even the score in the 27th minute when Dylan Matlack tallied a goal from the top of the box. The `Hounds tried to answer seconds later with Piscopo, who made a nice one-on-one move to beat his mark, lining a shot at Riverso. The Rider defense would hold firm and at the intermission, the game was tied at 1-1.
Senior goalkeeper Dan Mulcahy took over at halftime, and behind a rock-solid Loyola defense, would hold the Broncs scoreless. On the offensive end, however, the Greyhounds continued to have opportunities.
After what looked to be a pull-down in front of the cage in the 47th minute, Piscopo bounced back up and missed wide with his go-ahead tap-in. With the scored still tied at 1-1, sophomore Frank Spanos weaved through traffic and put a good shot on goal. Riverso deflected the ball and sophomore Ray Hassett missed high with his follow.
It would only be a matter of time before the `Hounds broke through and in the 76th minute, it was Piscopo from Spanos for the lead.
"I saw that Frank [Spanos] went wide," says Piscopo. "He got the ball to me and all of a sudden there was an opening."
Piscopo's goal was his team leading seventh of the season. Hassett, who scored an insurance goal in the 82nd minute, kept pace with Piscopo with his sixth goal of the year. Mulcahy, meanwhile, made one save and picked up the win in goal.
"The team really shut Rider down in the second half," says Mulcahy. "The defense was great, the offense was awesome. It's easy to be a goalkeeper when the team plays so well."
The Greyhounds close the regular season with an 8-8-2 overall record. They will face either Marist or Niagara next Friday in the MAAC Semifinals at Fairfield.