Oct. 20, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - Loyola junior defender Tennant McVea and junior striker Phil Bannister were both recognized Monday after leading the Greyhounds to a perfect 2-0 homestand to remain one of just three unbeatens in Division-I. McVea was selected by the College Soccer News as a National Team Selection of the Week, while Bannister received the nod for MAAC Offensive Player of the Week. On Monday, College Soccer News also moved up Loyola a spot to No. 8 in its weekly poll.
McVea, the Greyhounds' versatile sweeper, heads a fierce defensive unit that entered the weekend second nationally in shutout percentage (0.73) and sixth in goals-against average (0.53). In Sunday's 3-1 win over Siena, he put the eighth-ranked Greyhounds on the board early with a goal at the 3:07 mark. Standing near the top of the 18-yard line, he received a back-angle pass and buried a shot past the goalkeeper.
A native of Belfast, No. Ireland, McVea also made a pair of fine individual defensive plays in the contest to halt the Saints attack. In the 15th minute, he ran down a streaking forward on the left side of the pitch and made an impressive sliding tackle to prevent a breakaway. In the 29th minute, he deflected a shot right in front of the goal mouth to preserve a 2-0 Greyhounds' lead.
For Bannister, the award marks the second consecutive week he has earned the accolade. The forward from Newcastle, England, scored six points in Loyola's two victories, including five points in Friday's 4-1 defeat of Marist. It is the second time in as many weeks he has scored five points in a single contest.
In the second half of the Marist game, Bannister broke a 1-1 tie in the 60th minute off a cross that proved to be the game-winner. He also assisted on Loyola's first goal and netted a goal in the 86th minute for his fifth point of the game on a shot from the left side of the 18-yard box.
In the victory over Siena, he assisted on the team's second goal by receiving a ball in traffic and playing a gorgeous back-heeled flick into a streaking Daniel Ankrah, who buried his shot from 20 yards out into the left side of the netting. He is tied with Jamie Darvill for the team lead in goals (8) and is second in team points with 21.
At 12-0-1 (4-0 MAAC), the Greyhounds remain just one of three unbeaten teams in Division-I, with the other two being top-ranked Wake Forest (13-0-1) and fourth-ranked Northwestern (10-0-2). The Greyhounds will hope to continue their momentum on the road this weekend, as they travel to Iona and Fairfield.