Aug. 7, 2008
EDISON, N.J. - The Loyola College men's soccer team was a nearly unanimous pick to repeat as Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Champions heading into the 2008 season.
The Greyhounds, who finished the 2007 season with a 19-3-1 overall record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA College Cup, picked up nine of 10 first-place votes for a total of 99 points in the poll of the league's coaches.
Sophomore forward Phil Bannister was one of four Loyola players named to the Preseason All-MAAC Team and was tabbed Preseason MAAC Player of the Year.
As a freshman, the Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, native scored 13 goals and had seven assists for 33 points, tying for first in the conference in scoring. He was named to the All-MAAC First Team last season, picked up MAAC Rookie of the Year honors and earned Freshman All-America honors from College Soccer News.
Fairfield was second with 86 points, while 2007 runner-up Saint Peter's was third with 77 points. Canisius is picked fourth with 60 points, and Iona rounds out the top five with 58. Marist was sixth with 56, while Niagara (49), Siena (26), Rider (24) and Manhattan (15) round out the rest of the conference.
Joining Bannister on the Preseason All-MAAC First Team were sophomore midfielder Eddie Dines (Newcastle Upon Tyne, England), junior back Tennant McVea (Belfast, Northern Ireland) and junior goalkeeper Milos Kocic (Leskovac, Serbia).
Kocic led all NCAA Division I goalkeepers with a 0.47 goals against average. He and McVea spearheaded the Greyhounds' defense to a school record-tying 17 shutouts. McVea earned MAAC Defensive Player of the Year honors following the season.
Dines was second on the team with nine goals and 21 points.
Loyola opens the season on August 29 when it hosts Fordham in the Black and Decker Soccer Classic at 5 p.m.