Nov. 18, 2007
Orlando, Fla. - Sophomore goalkeeper Milos Kocic made nine saves and senior Janson Blake scored his second goal of the season as Loyola earned a 1-0 win over Saint Peter's in the MAAC Championship Game on Sunday in Orlando, Fla.
"This is a great achievement for this team," said Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "They showed a lot of character in a very tough tournament and I'm proud of them."
Kocic, a first-team All-MAAC selection, kept the Peacocks off the board with four solid saves in the first half; and after three saves in the game's first seven minutes, the Greyhounds would strike on offense.
The score came off a corner kick in the 26th minute. Senior Camilo Correa sent the ball into the box and senior Janson Blake was on the receiving end. Blake headed the ball past Peacock keeper Matthew Lawlor to give the `Hounds a one-goal advantage at the break.
The second half would turn into a physical battle, and with 24 combined fouls and seven combined yellow cards and a red card in the period, each side was fighting to the end for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA College Cup.
The Loyola defense, however, would remain firm and earned its 15th shutout of the season. Kocic, who has been in goal for all 15 shutouts, also has six straight shutouts and 12 in Loyola's last 13 games.
The win also avenges the Greyhounds' only defeat in MAAC play this season - a 4-0 loss at Saint Peter's on October 21. The Loyola defense, ranked first in the league, held the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year to one shot in the match.
The win advances Loyola to the NCAA College Cup for the first time since 2002. The Greyhounds have played in 13 NCAA Postseason Tournaments, six in Division I and are in for the third time under Head Coach Mark Mettrick.
"The NCAA Tournament is a lifetime experience," said Mettrick. "This team has worked hard all year long and I am very pleased for the players and the program."
This 2007 squad is 18-3 overall and ranked 28th in the College Soccer News National Poll. The Greyhounds are also ranked first in the North Atlantic Region.
The NCAA College Cup Selection Show will be aired on ESPNews on Monday at 5:30 p.m. The first round of the NCAA Tournament will take place at home sites on November 23 and 24.