Aug. 19, 2003
Towson, Md. - Four of the top NCAA Division I men's soccer teams in the Baltimore area will compete in the third annual Battle of Baltimore Tournament which will be hosted by Towson University on Friday and Sunday, September 5 and 7.
Two-time defending champion Loyola College was scheduled to host this year's tournament. However, the Greyhounds' new field will not be ready in time for the tournament which was moved to the Tigers' home field.
Joining the Tigers and Loyola in the four-team tournament field will be UMBC and Navy.
The tournament gets underway on Friday, September 5 at 1:00 when Loyola faces Navy in a semi-final game. In the second semi-final, the Tigers play UMBC at 4:00. The tournament resumes on Sunday, September 7 with a high school game between Calvert Hall and Loyola at 11:00 a.m. The third place game of the tournament will be played at 2:00 while the championship game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion, Loyola beat Towson in last year's championship game, 2-0. The Greyhounds, who beat Mount St. Mary's for the tournament title in 2001, have won two MAAC championships in a row, earning two straight NCAA Tournament bids. Coach Mark Mettrick starts his fourth season at Loyola and has compiled a 42-11-6 record with the Greyhounds. Sophomore Vinnie Piscopo (Ocean Township H.S./Oakhurst, N.J.) was the Greyhounds' top scorer last year with seven goals and six assists.
The Tigers, who were 10-8-2 last season, may have their youngest team ever. After graduating 15 seniors over the last two years, Coach Frank Olszewski has just one senior on the roster. Seeking their ninth straight winning season, the Tigers will be led by juniors Steve Fell (Stephen Decatur H.S./Berlin, Md.) and Nate Zachmann (Centennial H.S./Ellicott City, Md.).
UMBC brings the most experienced team into the Battle of Baltimore. The Retrievers have nine starters back from last year's squad which posted an 11-6-3 overall record. Coach Pete Caringi's team tied for first place in the Northeast Conference with an 8-1-1 NEC record but fell in the NEC semi-finals to Fairleigh Dickinson in a penalty kick shootout. The Retrievers will be led by a pair of first team All-NEC performers, senior defender Justin Nall (Midlothian H.S./Midlothian, Va.) and forward Derek McElligott (Greater Grace Christian Academy/Baltimore, Md.). McElligott led the Retrievers in scoring with 12 goals and four assists last year.
Navy will be trying to bounce back from its first losing season in four years as the Midshipmen struggled to a 5-10-3 record last season. Despite the loss of nine seniors, Coach Greg Myers has high hopes as he starts his 28th season as the Middies' coach. Myers is one of the winningest active coaches in NCAA Division I soccer with 321 victories.