Nov. 12, 2007
Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola College men's soccer team will begin its quest for a MAAC Tournament Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA College Cup in the conference quarterfinals against Thursday in Orlando, Fla. The Greyhounds, who won the regular season MAAC title and hold the No. 1 seed in the tournament, need to win three matches this weekend to punch their ticket to the NCAA postseason.
Loyola finished the regular season with a 15-3 overall record and an 8-1 record in the league. The Greyhounds, who went 9-0 at home, won nine of their last 10 games with all nine victories coming via shutout. Sophomore goalkeeper Milos Kocic finished the regular season with 12 shutouts and a goals-against average of 0.61.
The Greyhounds will open MAAC Tournament play against Siena. Loyola defeated the Saints, 2-0 in Upstate New York on Oct. 5.
Freshman Phil Bannister, who registered three points in Loyola's wins over Rider and Siena, finished the regular season as the team's top scorer with 11 goals and 26 points. He posted six game-winners for the `Hounds, while freshman teammate Eddie Dines chipped in with seven goals and 17 points with two game-winning goals to his credit.
Overall, Loyola enters the weekend ranked first in the North Atlantic Region, 28th in the College Soccer News national poll, and is receiving votes in the NSCAA national poll. The Greyhounds are also ranked second in the NCAA in shutout percentage with a mark of .670 this season.
Loyola has won the MAAC regular season title six times in the last eight years, but has only won the MAAC tournament in two of those seasons. The Greyhounds have 13 appearances in the NCAA Tournament with the most recent appearance coming in 2002. Loyola's 15 wins this season, however, are the most since 2001 when then Greyhounds advanced to the NCAA Round of 16.
Thursday's quarterfinal match is slated for 1:45 p.m., while the MAAC semifinals are scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The conference's title match will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m. All MAAC Tournament matches will take place at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.