Men's Soccer Faces Iona In Semifinals Of MAAC Championship Thursday

Nov. 6, 2012

Game Information
Opponent Iona Gaels - MAAC Semifinals
Date Thursday, November 8, 2012
Time 9 p.m.
Location Poughkeepsie, New York | Marist's Tenney Stadium
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Game Program MAAC

MAAC Championships
• This marks the 24th-straight year that Loyola has advanced to the MAAC Championships.
• The Greyhounds hold an overall record of 31-11 in the tournament, including winning a league-best 12 tournament titles. 

Regular Season MAAC Champions
• The Greyhounds claimed the regular-season MAAC title for the first time since 2008, after finishing the conference schedule with a 7-1-0 record.
• The title marks the eighth regular-season crown the Greyhounds have captured under head coach Mark Mettrick in his 13 years at the helm of the program.
• Loyola outscored by its league opponents, 19-6, throughout the eight games, although the Greyhounds were outshot, 132-100. 
• The defense stepped up to collect a league-best four shutouts, while the offense found its stride and knocked in three goals in each of its last five outings to lead the MAAC with 56 points in conference games. 

Hot Streak
• After dropping their first MAAC contest at Niagara, the Greyhounds have responded to win seven straight, their longest win streak since winning 13 consecutive in 2008.

Loyola Greyhounds
• Twelve different Greyhounds have contributed to the offense this season, including eight that have scored goals. 
• Freshman Larry Ndjock leads the way - and is ranked eighth in the NCAA - with 13 goals this year. He is also ranked 10th nationally with 29 points, while being the top-ranked freshman in each category.
• Junior Stephen Dooley is second on the team with 18 points on six goals and six assists, while sophomore Connor Thompson has 17 points on six goals and five assists. 
• Senior Kevin Curran leads the MAAC with seven assists.
• In goal, Thurman Van Riper is ranked second in the MAAC with a 0.91 goals-against average and a .817 save percentage. He also leads the league with 6.1 shutouts, including 3.1 in MAAC play.

Iona Gaels
• Otto Ansger leads the Gaels with 18 points and seven goals this year.
• In goal, Borja Barbero has 69 saves, a .670 save percentage, a 1.99 goals-against average and one shutout this year. 

Series Vs. The Gaels
Loyola holds a 24-4-1 advantage over Iona in the all-time series. 
• In the meeting earlier this year, freshman Larry Ndjock scored twice in a three-minute span to lead Loyola to a 3-1 win at Iona.
• In the MAAC Championships, the Greyhounds won the 1992 match-up, 7-0, marking the lone meeting between the two programs in the conference tournament. 

Academic All-District
• Junior goalkeeper Thurman Van Riper was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District II First Team, his first academic all-district honor.
• Van Riper is an accounting major that maintains a 3.92 GPA.
• The Groton, Mass., native is a member of Loyola’s Business Schools’ Sellinger Scholars program, a small honors group that recognizes the top students in the department.
• He was also named a Magis Scholar Leader, an award that recognizes students who complement superior academic performance with co-curricular involvement.
• At the end of last year, he received the business department’s sophomore achievement award for his work in the classroom.
• Van Riper is the first men’s soccer player to earn Academic All-District honors since Phil Bannister received first-team accolades in 2010.

Regional Rankings
• The Greyhounds have continually moved up the North Atlantic Region rankings this year, beginning the season tied for 10th and now sit second - behind Niagara.
• Tied with Central Connecticut State and New Jersey Institute of Technology for 10th place in the first week, Loyola improved to sixth place in the second week’s rankings and then jumped to fourth in the third week, a ranking they held for three weeks. 
• The Greyhounds moved into second place last week after sitting third for three-straight weeks. In the most recent poll, Loyola is second for the second-straight week. 
• The Greyhounds have beaten Siena, Canisius, Saint Francis (Pa.) and Quinnipiac this year, all teams ranked in this week’s North Atlantic Region ranking.

Up Next
• The winner Thursday night will advance to Saturday’s finals (8 p.m.) and face the winner of No. 2 seed Siena vs. No. 3 seed Niagara.