Nov. 9, 2005
Baltimore, Md. - After a 6-2-1 record in conference play, the Loyola men's soccer team takes a No. 2 seed into this weekend's MAAC Tournament in Fairfield, Conn. The Greyhounds will be playing for their third trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last five seasons with only two wins separating the team from the 2005 College Cup.
The Greyhounds will open the 2005 MAAC Tournament with a match against defending tournament champion Marist. During the regular season, Loyola defeated Marist at Marist with a goal from sophomore Ray Hassett. With the 1-nil victory, the Greyhounds ran their win streak against the Red Foxes to six games and enter Friday's match with a 14-2-0 series record against the men from Poughkeepsie.
In the second semifinal game, No. 1 seed Fairfield will host No. 4 Niagara. Fairfield defeated the Purple Eagles by a 1-0 score in the regular season and finished the year with an 8-0-1 MAAC record. Niagara, meanwhile, finished 4-4 in the league to earn the final tournament bid.
Loyola played both Niagara and Fairfield at home this season, defeating the Purple Eagles 2-1 and falling to the Stages, 1-0. Junior Rade Kokovic, who had a goal and assist in the win over Niagara, led Loyola in the regular season with six assists while senior Vinnie Piscopo led the team in scoring with seven goals and 16 points.
The Greyhounds enter the tournament unbeaten in eight of their final 10 regular season games. They closed the year with an overall record of 8-8-2 and a 2-1 mark against tournament teams. Loyola did not play at Fairfield in the regular season, but earned a 4-0 victory over the Stags in their last trip to Alumni Stadium (2004).
Friday's match with Marist begins at 3 p.m. Fairfield is slated to take on Niagara at 6 p.m. Sunday's championship game will be broadcast on ESPNU and kicks off at noon.