MSOC Drops Heartbreaker To Niagara In 2OT Of MAAC Title Game

Nov. 10, 2012

Final Stats

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.J. - The Loyola University Maryland men’s soccer team dropped a heartbreaker to Niagara University Saturday night in the title game of the 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships at Marist’s Tenney Stadium. Niagara’s Bryan Da Cruz scored the game winner in the 102nd minute.

Seniors Hector Arellano, Kevin Curran and Zach Tweddell represented Loyola (13-6-1, 7-1-0 MAAC) on the All-Tournament Team for their play defensively.

In the 26th minute, Tweddell played a corner kick into the box, but the Greyhounds just missed finding the back of the net as the ball fell in front of the goal and Niagara goalkeeper Brett Petricek scooped it up.

Loyola had another corner kick in the 57th minute that Curran sent into the box. Arellano was able to get a good touch on the ball, but saw his shot go just left of the goal.

Niagara (13-1-4) turned up its offensive pressure throughout the second half, but the Greyhounds’ backline kept the Purple Eagles scoreless throughout the period.

In the 60th minute, Da Cruz went one-on-one with junior Jamie Libby, but Libby managed to deflect Da Cruz’ shot just enough for junior goalkeeper Thurman Van Riper to jump up and secure the ball.

Da Cruz had another opportunity to win it for the Purple Eagles in the first overtime after the Greyhounds were called for a penalty just outside of the box. Da Cruz’s free kick sailed just over the crossbar though.

Sophomore Connor Thompson then countered for the Greyhounds, but Petricek collected his sixth save of the night on Thompson’s shot to keep Loyola scoreless.

Da Cruz then capitalized on a broken play less than two minutes into the second overtime period, sending the game-winning shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.

The win marks the first-ever conference title for Niagara while it was the league-best 17th time that the Greyhounds have played in the championship game. Loyola won 12 conference crowns in its time in the MAAC and posted a 32-12 record in 24-straight years of tournament appearances.