Nov. 7, 2004
Baltimore, Md. - In his final regular season match, senior Brian O'Connor scored his first collegiate goal, capping a 2-0 win over Siena at Alumnae Field on Sunday afternoon. With goals from O'Connor and sophomore Omar Alfonso, the Greyhounds finish the regular season with an 11-5-1 overall record and a perfect 9-0 conference mark.
"We struggled a bit in the first half," says Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "But two beautiful goals in the second half helped us close the year with a win."
Loyola entered Sunday's match already knowing it had clinched the top seed in next weekend's MAAC tournament. The Greyhounds came very close to scoring in their first few attempts, hitting the post twice in the eighth minute.
In the 23rd minute, sophomore Danny Wheelan dribbled into the 18 and took a shot that curved outside the near post. Near misses like Wheelan's told the first-half story as the Greyhounds took 10 shots with no points at intermission.
The first shot of the second half, however, changed everything with a familiar give-and-go between last season's potent offensive combination.
"I gave the ball to Kevin Nash and he passed it back to me," says Alfonso. "The goalie came out and somehow my shot went in."
Alfonso and Nash, who combined for 24 goals and 12 assists last season, completed the beautiful give-and-go and the Greyhounds led 1-0 in the 53rd minute.
The insurance would come from O'Connor in the 68th minute when Alfonso's pass left the senior one-on-one with goalkeeper Patrick Henry. O'Connor gathered after a nervous first touch and fooled Henry with a nice juke, leaving an open net for the score.
The win is Loyola's second straight 2-nil victory and gives the Greyhounds eight wins in their last nine contests. Senior Greg Peters, who started in goal, earns his second shutout of the season with two saves while Loyola picks up its fourth shutout of the year.
Loyola, the top seed in next weekend's MAAC tournament, will face host Rider on Friday at 1:30 p.m. The Broncs claimed the No. 4 seed with a 2-1 victory over third-seeded Marist in Lawrenceville today. Marist will face Saint Peter's in the first game scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday.