Nov. 10, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - The top-seeded Loyola men's soccer team commences postseason play on Friday, as it travels to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to take on Niagara in the Semifinal Round of the MAAC Tournament at 4 o'clock p.m.
Sixth-ranked Loyola (17-0-1 overall, 9-0 MAAC) closed out the program's first unbeaten regular-season since 1986 on Saturday with a 5-nil win at Rider. Sophomore midfielder Wade McHugh spearheaded the Loyola attack with two goals, while junior striker Jamie Darvill dished out a couple of assists. A pair of sophomore defenders- Glenn Leitch and Charlie Hutton - also got in on the scoring effort, as did sophomore striker Phil Bannister.
With the victory, the Greyhounds claimed their second consecutive MAAC Regular-Season Title and eighth in the past 10 seasons. Loyola remains just one of two remaining unbeatens in the country, with the other being top-ranked Wake Forest. On Monday, College Soccer News retained the Greyhounds at No. 6 in the publication's weekly national rankings.
Carrying a national-high 26 game unbeaten streak into this weekend, Loyola will be seeking its second MAAC Tournament Title in as many years and fourth under Head Coach Mark Mettrick. Last year, Loyola beat Canisius, 3-nil, in the Semifinals and then blanked Saint Peter's, 1-nil, in the Championship Match.
Earning their 13th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history in 2007, the Greyhounds beat Liberty, 2-nil, at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field in the First Round before falling to Maryland in penalty kicks in the Second Round.
Niagara (11-5-3 overall, 5-3-1 MAAC) solidified a four-spot in this weekend's Tournament with a scoreless draw against Manhattan on Friday. The Purple Eagles came out on the short end of a 2-1 Tournament tune-up on Sunday against Saint Peter's.
The Greyhounds and Purple Eagles opened conference play against each other back on October 10th, with Loyola earning a tough, 1-nil victory. Sophomore Daniel Ankrah scored the game's only goal with a putaway in the 89th minute. While only one goal was scored in the match, the two teams combined for 38 shots, with 18 of those being put on frame.
The Purple Eagles have outscored their opponents, 42-25, over the season, and average 2.12 goals-a-game. Forward Matthew Durand has been the team's central scorer, notching team-highs of 13 goals and eight assists. Carl Haworth and Eric Brodfeuhrer have contributed nine goals apiece for Niagara.
No. 2 Siena will play No. 3 Fairfield in the other Semifinal match on Friday at 7 p.m. The Championship Match is scheduled for Sunday at noon and will be shown on ESPN U.