Sept. 2, 2004
Baltimore, Md. - Eager to start a very promising year for Loyola soccer, the Greyhound men finally open the season this Friday when they host Ivy power Princeton at Alumnae Field. Both teams enter 2004 with great expectations and hope to get off on the right foot with a 4 p.m. kickoff to 2004.Although Friday's opener will the be first time the two schools begin their seasons against one another, the programs know each other very well. Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick has played Princeton in each of his first four seasons at Evergeen and has four ties against the Tigers.In 2000, a 1-1 draw against Princeton was Loyola's only tie on the season. The next year, the schools met in a scoreless match and have tied each other with the same 1-1 score each of the last two seasons. In fact, the schools have met seven times and five of those games went to overtime.This season, Mettrick hopes his offensive firepower clicks early and often with the Greyhounds returning a solid and deep forward corps. The return of last season's leading scorer and MAAC Offensive Player of the Year Omar Alfonso, along with his counterpart Kevin Nash, give the `Hounds plenty of confidence on offense. Alfonso scored 17 goals as a freshman while Nash posted seven goals, including two game-winning tallies as a junior last season.At Princeton last season, Jay Joyce, a senior co-captain this year, scored off a nice feed from Nate Lyden. The Tigers answered with a goal 1:23 later and after 440 minutes of competition, the series saw its fourth straight tie.Like Loyola, the Tigers ended the year with three ties, but a 6-8-3 overall record left Princeton disappointed. This year, the Tigers are a veteran side and will depend on their upperclassmen on both ends of the field.The Greyhounds have won their last five home openers and are 19-0-4 at Alumnae Field since 1999. Friday's game is the first of two weekend matches at Alumnae Field for Loyola. The `Hounds also host George Mason on Sunday, September 5 at 1 p.m.