May 27, 2009
BALTIMORE - Just a year removed from completing the program's first unbeaten regular season in 22 years, the Loyola College men's soccer team can now officially shift attention to the 2009 season, as Head Coach Mark Mettrick announced today his team's schedule for the upcoming fall season which will include 10 home games at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.
The Greyhounds, ranked as high as No. 6 last season, are hoping to duplicate their success from 2008, when they went 17-0-1 (9-0 MAAC) in the regular season against the nation's 11th toughest schedule according to the RPI rankings. They tied Wake Forest as the only perfect team in the country and posted the program's first undefeated regular season since 1986. Loyola will also be vying for a school-record third straight NCAA College Cup Tournament appearance in 2009 after advancing to the second round of the tournament the last two seasons.
The 2009 schedule should present a difficult challenge against what should be one of the country's toughest out-of-conference schedules. It includes games against Big East foes Syracuse and Villanova, a tough slate against local rivals Towson, UMBC and William and Mary, and matchups against Monmouth and Quinnipiac, two teams annually among the top 5 in the North Atlantic Region. The Greyhounds begin defense of their 2008 regular-season league MAAC title against Rider on October 10.
"We are excited about a competitive and challenging schedule that will put us in a position to hopefully earn a place in the National Tournament," said Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick, entering his 10th season at the helm of the program.
Big-East opponent Villanova opens the season for Loyola at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 5 p.m. That Friday, Sept. 4, the Greyhounds will host Mount St. Mary's at 2 p.m.
A trip to Hamden, Conn., on Monday, September 7 to play Quinnipiac opens road play for the Greyhounds. Two tough road games come next, as Loyola faces Hartwick at the Mayors Cup on Friday, September 11, at 7 p.m. Then, the Greyhounds will battle Syracuse that Sunday in the tournament.
Loyola will play a pair of Baltimore rivals over its next two games. First, Towson makes the short trip to Diane Geppi-Aikens Field on Saturday, September 19 at 1 p.m. The next Tuesday, Loyola plays at rival UMBC for a 7 p.m. start.
The Greyhounds will host Monmouth, the NEC regular season winner a year ago, on Saturday, Sept. 26, with Homecoming festivities slated for that weekend. A trip to William and Mary follows that Wednesday. Last season the Tribe advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to top-seeded Wake Forest.
The month of October opens with four straight home games for Loyola. Nonconference opponent Navy kicks off the homestand on Tuesday, October 6, at 5 p.m. That Saturday, October 10, Loyola will begin defense of its 2008 MAAC regular season title when they host Rider at 1 p.m. in the league season opener. For the second straight season in 2008, the MAAC sent two teams to the NCAA Tournament and will again field a slew of quality teams. Home games against Niagara on Friday, October 16 and Canisius on October 18 follow.
A trip to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to face Marist opens up league road play on Friday, October 23 for a 7 p.m. start. Two days later, Loyola will play at Siena.
Loyola returns home on Friday, October 30, for a 3 p.m. start against Iona and the team concludes its home schedule on November 1 against Fairfield at 1 p.m.The Greyhounds close their regular-season with two road games, Friday, November 6, and Sunday, November 8, against Saint Peter's and Manhattan.
The MAAC Tournament will be played on Fairfield's campus in Fairfield, Conn. The Semifinals will be played on Friday, November 13, with the finals that Sunday, November 15.