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Men's Soccer Takes On Niagara Sunday In MAAC Championship Game

Nov. 14, 2009

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Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Game
Loyola Greyhounds (10-7-3) vs. Niagara Purple Eagles (8-9-2)
Sunday, November 15, 2009 • 12 p.m. • ESPNU
Fairfield, Connecticut • Lessing Field


Game Data

  • Loyola takes on Niagara in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Game on Sunday, November 15, 2009, at 12 p.m. The game will be played at Fairfield University on Lessing Field.
  • ESPNU will broadcast the game nationally, and it can be seen at ESPN360.com, as well. ESPN360 is available free of charge to many people, including anyone on the Loyola campus, and through many home internet service providers. Visit ESPN360.com for more details.
  • Justin Kutcher will handle the play-by-play for ESPNU with Wendy Gebauer Palladino providing the color analysis.


Back In The Championship Game

  • Loyola, which is making its 21st consecutive appearance in the MAAC Championships, will play in its third-straight MAAC title game on Sunday. It will also be the Greyhounds' league record 16th appearance in the MAAC Championship Game. Loyola has qualified for the tournament every year since joining the league in 1989 and won 11 conference titles.
  • The Greyhounds are 16-4-0 all-time in MAAC Semifinal matches, 30-9-0 overall in the tournament. Loyola has won 11 MAAC Championship titles.
  • Loyola is 31-9-0 in MAAC Championships contests, 11-5-0 in the finals.


Series History

  • Loyola and Niagara will play for the 22nd time in series history on Sunday. The Greyhounds, who defeated the Purple Eagles, 4-0, in Baltimore on October 16, lead the all-time series 19-2-0.
  • The teams met for the first time in MAAC Championships play last season with Loyola coming out on top, 3-0, in the semifinals.
  • The all-time series is listed on page four.
  • Getting Here
  • The Greyhounds advanced to the Championship Game with a 3-0 victory in Friday's semifinal against tournament host and No. 3 seed Fairfield.
  • Danny Ankrah scored the eventual game-winner in the 21st minute off a Phil Bannister free kick, and Wade McHugh tacked on a pair of goals to seal the win. Kyle Wittman made eight saves for his eight clean sheet of 2009.


Making Them Count

  • Danny Ankrah has scored three goals for Loyola this season, and all of them have come against MAAC opponents. Furthermore, each of his scores have been of the game-winning variety, tying him for third in the MAAC this season in that category. Ankrah also added an assist on the Greyhounds' second goal of the semifinals, raising his 2009 point total to eight.


Creating Chances

  • Phil Bannister scored 13 goals in each of his first two seasons at Loyola, 2007-2008. Due to injury early in the season, Bannister's 2009 goal total is just three, but that has not diminished his importance to the team's attack.
  • With two assists in the MAAC Semifinal, Bannister increased his MAAC-leading total to 12. Bannister's 12 assists are tied for fifth all-time on the MAAC single-season charts. He is two short of the Loyola record of 14, set in 1976 by Ian Reid.
  • Bannister is now tied for fifth, with teammate Jamie Darvill, on the career assists chart at Loyola with 27. Reid and Rob Elliott are tied for third with 28 assists, while Marc Harrison and Stan Koziol are tied for the school record with 29.
  • Harrison's 29 career assists are also the MAAC record.


Top Of The Nation

  • Bannister was tied for first in NCAA Division I with 0.67 assists per game, matching that of UMBC's Levi Houapeu. In the America East semifinal on Wednesday, Houapeu had one assist, lifting his season average to 0.68. Bannister's two versus Fairfield pushed his total to 0.75, tops in the nation entering the MAAC Championship Game.
  • Through 20 games, Bannister's 0.75 assists per game would be a MAAC single-season record. Todd Moore of Rider set the current record in 1997 with 0.68 assists per game.


McVea, Darvill Win Top Honors

  • For the second consecutive year, Loyola student-athletes earned the MAAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honors from the league's coaches.
  • Tennant McVea became the first three-time winner of the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year award, earning the award as a sophomore, junior and senior.
  • Jamie Darvill was named the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and is the first player to win the award twice after earning the honors last season, as well. Prior to 2003, the MAAC awarded Player and Goalkeeper of the Year honors before renaming the honors Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in 2003.
  • McVea and Darvill, the team's 2009 co-captains, were named the All-MAAC First Team, while Mike Deasel and Phil Bannister earned All-MAAC Second Team laurels. Gerwyn Jones was tabbed to the MAAC All-Rookie Team.
  • Bannister, Eddie Dines, Alex Garcev, Mark Jaskolski and Glenn Leitch earned MAAC All-Academic honors.


Two For McHugh

  • Wade McHugh scored a pair of goals Friday against Fairfield, adding a cushion on the scoreboard for the Greyhounds.
  • The goals were McHugh's second and third of the season. It also represented McHugh's first collegiate multi-goal game.


Trying For Three

  • A MAAC Championships title will give Loyola its third NCAA College Cup appearance in as many seasons. Last year, the Greyhounds lost to Fairfield in the Championship Match, but they earned an at-large big and first-round bye. Two seasons ago, they won the title and hosted a first-round game.


On Point

  • Phil Bannister scored a goal and assisted on two others in the regular-season finale at Manhattan. The points were his first since October 25 when he had a goal and assist at Siena.
  • The Greyhounds are 3-0 this season when Bannister scores a goal, 7-1 when he has at least one point.
  • In Bannister's three-year career at Loyola, the Greyhounds are 23-1 when Bannister scores at least one goal and 32-2 when he has at least one point. The two losses came when he scored a goal in last year's NCAA College Cup Second Round (a loss to UNC Greensboro) and when Bannister assisted on a goal this season versus Navy.


Cleaning The Sheets

  • Junior goalkeeper Kyle Wittman put together a pair of clean sheets in his last regular-season action, recording 200 minutes of scoreless soccer for the Greyhounds against Iona and Fairfield.
  • Prior those games, the Gaels and Stags were 1-2 in the MAAC in goals per game, but Wittman and his defense held them without a tally.
  • For his efforts, Wittman was named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week. He was given the weekend off in the final regular-season games in preparation for the MAAC Championships.
  • This season, Wittman, a first-year starter has a 0.75 goals against average. His 0.54 GAA in MAAC regular-season action was best in the league.
  • After making eight saves on Friday against Fairfield for his eighth shutout of the year, Wittman has played 309:51 of scoreless soccer.


No Shot

  • Loyola's defense was at its best in the second half and both overtimes against Fairfield on November 1, as it held the Stags without a shot for the match's final 38 minutes. Fairfield managed only one shot on goal in the entire match.


All-Around Athlete

  • With shifts in the Loyola lineup to provide players rest prior to the MAAC Championships, Glenn Leitch played at forward, in the outside midfield and as a center back last weekend versus Saint Peter's and Manhattan.
  • The junior, who has started 17 of 19 games in which he's played this season, scored his sixth goal of the season Sunday against the Jaspers. Leitch is second on the team this year in goals, matching his season-high total from a year ago. He has 14 goals and 33 total points in his three years at Loyola.


Curran Connects Twice

  • Freshman left back Kevin Curran scored the first two points of his collegiate career against Manhattan, assisting on the Greyhounds' first two goals. Curran assisted on a Glenn Leitch goal off a corner kick and a Phil Bannister tally with a cross from the left side.


Academic Honors

  • Junior forward Phil Bannister earned Academic All-District II honors for the second year in a row from ESPN The Magazine and CoSIDA. Bannister carries a 3.44 grade point average in marketing, and he leads the MAAC with an 0.62 assists per game average.
  • Bannister is now eligible for Academic All-America recognition.


In The Pros

  • Former Loyola All-American Goalkeeper Zach Thornton '94 was named the Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year for the second time in his professional career. Thornton helped Chivas USA reach the MLS Conference Semifinals, posting a 0.87 goals against average, the second lowest in league history.
  • Thornton, who earned his sixth MLS All-Star Game appearance this year, was also named the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 1998.
  • Thornton was one of two former Loyola players to start in goal this season in the MLS. Last year's All-MAAC First Team goalkeeper, Milos Kocic '09, started several U.S. Open Cup matches and late-season MLS games for D.C. United. He was a second-round draft pick of United.


Nearing the Top

  • Jamie Darvill's four-assist weekend in late October - one versus Marist and three against Siena - lifted him to fifth place all-time at Loyola with 27 career assists. With his next assist, Darvill will move into a three-way tie with Ian Reid (1973-76) and Rob Elliott (1989-91) for third place with 28 assists. The senior forward is just two back of tying Marc Harrison (1992-95) and Stan Koziol (1983-87) for the school record with 29.


Sharing Strikers

  • Jamie Darvill assisted on Phil Bannister's late goal at Siena, marking the 22nd time one has assisted on the other's goal during their two-plus years playing together.
  • Darvill, who is fifth all-time at Loyola with 27 assists, has recorded the helper 11 times when Bannister has scored. Bannister, who has 25 career assists has 11 on Darvill's goals.


CLASS Final

  • Loyola senior back Tennant McVea was named one of 10 finalists in NCAA Division I men's soccer for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, presented to a student-athlete who exemplifies high standards in character, community, competition and the classroom. Before the season began, he was one of 30 candidates for the award, a list that was pared to 10.
  • Loyola University Maryland was the only school to have both a men's and women's soccer student-athlete named finalists this season. Theresa Ferraina is one of 10 finalists on the women's side.


First Team To Score Wins

  • In 17 of Loyola's games this season - not counting the Greyhounds' three ties - the team to score first has been victorious.


Designation Change

  • As of September 25, 2009, Loyola is officially known as `Loyola University Maryland.' Since its founding in 1852, it was recognized as `Loyola College,' but it was approved for a designation change by the Maryland Higher Education Council, a move that took effect that day.





Loyola Player Notes

#0 - Zach Kane
Fr. • GK • 6'3" • 187 • Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall

  • Made his collegiate debut against Mount St. Mary's (9/4).
  • Started the Greyhounds' final two regular-season games at Saint Peter's (11/6) and Manhattan (11/8).
  • Made six saves against the Peacocks, seven versus the Jaspers.


#1 - Kyle Wittman
Jr. • GK • 6'1" • 197 • Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall College

  • Started his first collegiate game against Villanova (9/1).
  • Assisted on a goal against Mount St. Mary's (9/4) off a long goal-kick.
  • Recorded back-to-back clean sheets, the first of his career, at Quinnipiac (9/7) and versus Syracuse (9/11).
  • Earned MAAC Defensive Player of the Week honors after a shutout against Towson (9/19).
  • Made a career-high 10 saves versus William & Mary (9/30).
  • Strung together 200 minutes of shutout soccer against then-No. 22 Iona (10/30) and Fairfield (11/1) to earn his second MAAC Defensive Player of the Week award.
  • Recorded his eighth clean sheet of the season in the MAAC Semifinals, making eight saves versus Fairfield (11/13).


#2 - Chase West
Fr. • F • 5'11" • 155 • Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle

  • Made his collegiate debut versus Niagara (10/16).
  • Played both overtimes against Fairfield (11/1).
  • Started the first two games of his collegiate career against Saint Peter's (11/6) and Manhattan (11/8). Recorded a total of three shots, two versus the Jaspers.


#4 - Joey Dussault
Sr. • D • 5'11" • 165 • Fort Worth, Texas/Nolan Catholic

  • Took a shot on goal against Mount St. Mary's (9/4).
  • Made his first collegiate start in the season finale against Manhattan (11/8).


#5 - Tennant McVea
Sr. • D • 6'3" • 205 • Belfast, Northern Ireland/Regent House

  • Three-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and All-MAAC First Team (2007, 2008, 2009).
  • Finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
  • Member of the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List.
  • Preseason All-America Second Team by College Soccer News.
  • First Loyola player since 1993 (Zach Thornton, now starting GK for Chivas U.S.A. in the MLS) to earn NSCAA/adidas All-America First Team honors.
  • Assisted on a Wade McHugh goal versus Canisius (10/18).
  • Named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week on October 19.


#6 - Glenn Leitch
Jr. • M • 6'1" • 180 • Downingtown, Pa./Bishop Shanahan

  • MAAC All-Academic Team.
  • Versatile player who can play forward, central or outside midfield or on the back line. Has started up top, in the outside midfield and as a defensive midfielder this season.
  • Has primarily started at right outside midfield.
  • Came off the bench against Mount St. Mary's (9/4) and scored two goals, including the game-winner, during the first half.
  • Added another goal at William & Mary (9/30).
  • Scored in back-to-back MAAC road games at Marist (10/23) and Siena (10/25).
  • Scored Loyola's first goal with a header off a Kevin Curran corner kick in the first half against Manhattan (11/8).


#7 - Danny Ankrah
Jr. • M • 5'5" • 150 • Gaithersburg, Md. • Watkins Mill

  • Has provided a spark off the bench in the outside midfield after starting five of the first seven games.
  • Scored the game-winning goals against Niagara (10/16) and then-No. 22 Iona (10/30).
  • Had the game-winner in the MAAC Semifinals versus Fairfield (11/13) and assisted on Loyola's second goal.


#8 - Eddie Dines
Jr. • M • 5'11" • 166 • Newcastle Upon Tyne, England/Monkseaton

  • MAAC All-Academic Team.
  • Starter in the central midfield on the offensive end.
  • Scored his first points of the year against Niagara (10/16), recording a goal and an assist.
  • Added goals in back-to-back MAAC road games at Marist (10/23) and Siena (10/25).
  • His goal at Marist tied the match in the 87th minute, and the marker versus Siena was the game-winner.


#10 - Jamie Darvill
Sr. • F • 5'11" • 170 • London, England/Meephan Sports College

  • 2009 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and All-MAAC First Team.
  • Leads the MAAC with 29 total points. Tied for the conference lead with 10 goals. Second in the league with nine assists
  • Member of the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List.
  • 2008 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and All-MAAC First Team.
  • 2008 Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Year Third Team.
  • Scored on a PK and added two assist on Glenn Leitch's goals against Mount St. Mary's (9/4).
  • Recorded the second hat trick of his career (first 11/2/08 vs. Manhattan) against Rider (10/10).
  • Followed that performance with two goals against Niagara (10/16) and one versus Canisius (10/18).
  • Earned MAAC Offensive Player of the Week honors after both of those weekends and was named the ECAC Co-Defensive Player of the Week on October 20.
  • Had four assist in a MAAC road weekend, one versus Marist (10/23) and three against Siena (10/25).
  • Added a second-half goal versus then-No. 22 Iona (10/30).
  • 11th all-time at Loyola in career goals (36), fifth in career assists (27) and tied for eighth in career points (99).


#11 - Phil Bannister
Jr. • F • 5'11" • 167 • Wallsend, England/Monkseaton

  • 2009 All-MAAC Second Team and MAAC All-Academic
  • Leads the MAAC during the regular-season with 12 assists and an 0.75 assists per game average.
  • Member of the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List.
  • Preseason All-MAAC.
  • All-MAAC First Team in 2008, Second Team in 2007.
  • Suffered an ankle injury against Mount St. Mary's (9/4) and missed the next three games. Also sat out against William & Mary (9/30) with a leg ailment.
  • Scored the game-winner versus Towson (9/19).
  • Assisted on two goals against Rider (10/6) and then had three assists versus Niagara (10/16).
  • Named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week on October 19.
  • Scored a goal and assisted on another at Siena (10/25).
  • Tallied a goal and two assists in the season finale against Manhattan (11/8).
  • Earned Academic All-District II honors from ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA for the second year in a row. Was an Academic All-America Third Teamer in 2008 from the organization.


#12 - Karl Digbeu
Jr. • M • 5'11" • 157 • Abidjan, cote d'Ivoire/Watkins Mill

  • Made his season debut at Hartwick (9/13).
  • Saw significant playing time against Saint Peter's (11/6) and Manhattan (11/8).


#14 - Alex Garcev
Jr. • M • 5'11" • 168 • London, England/Alleyn's School

  • Started five of the first six games as an outside midfielder and has since come off the bench in that position.


#15 - Matt Tyrie
Fr. • F • 6'0" • 150 • Kingsville, Md./Redeemer Classical Christian

  • Has seen action in 12 of Loyola's 19 games, making his collegiate debut versus Mount St. Mary's (9/4).
  • Plays at forward and in the outside midfield.
  • Made his debut in the starting lineup at William & Mary (9/30).


#16 - Mike Deasel
Jr. • M • 5'9" 173 • Kingsville, Md./Loyola Blakefield

  • All-MAAC Second Team in 2008 and 2009.
  • One of the nation's best defensive midfielders. Has been a key part of Loyola's defense and counterattack from his spot.
  • Missed the season opener with illness but has started every game since.
  • Has a powerful leg and has attempted four shots this season.


#17 - Kevin Curran
Fr. • D • 5'10" • 155 • Upper Township, N.J./Ocean City

  • Freshman left back has started 18 of 19 games this season.
  • Recorded his first career points in the win over Manhattan (11/8). Assisted on the Greyhounds' first two goals of the match.
  • Excellent service and ability to carry ball from the back. Also takes most Loyola corner kicks.


#18 - Mark Jaskolski
So. • F • 5'7" • 155 • Gaithersburg, Md./Northwest

  • Reserve forward who has played in five games this season, providing energy and technical ability off the bench.
  • Had his first collegiate multi-goal game against Manhattan (11/8). Scored two second-half goals, his first and second of 2009.
  • MAAC All-Rookie Team in 2008.


#19 - Wade McHugh
Jr. • M • 5'8" • 140 • Baldwin, Md./The McDonogh School

  • Has started 16 of 20 games as the left outside midfielder this season.
  • Steady player with excellent ability to cross balls or play them from the wings. Scored the game's first goal off a header against Canisius (10/18).
  • Later made a saving clear off the goal line on a Golden Griffins' corner kick, preserving the 2-1 tie with less than nine minutes to play.
  • Assisted on a goal at Marist (10/23) and assisted on Jamie Darvill's second-half goal versus then-No. 22 Iona (10/30).
  • Recorded a career-high two goals in the MAAC Semifinals versus Fairfield (11/13).


#20 - Greg DiNardo
Fr. • M • 5'10" • 167 • Salisbury, Md./Episcopal (Va.)

  • Made his collegiate debut against Mount St. Mary's (9/4).
  • Came off the bench against Manhattan (11/8).


#22 - Fayek Bseiso
RS-Fr. • M • 5'8" • 150 • Raleigh, N.C./St. David's

  • Made his collegiate debut at Manhattan (11/8).


#23 - Vince DiPino
RS-Fr. • D • 5'10" • 170 • Baltimore, Md./Dulaney

  • Saw his first action for Loyola at Manhattan (11/8).


#24 - Hector Arellano
Fr. • M • 5'11" • 185 • Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam

  • Has seen time in the central midfield off the bench for Loyola.
  • Made his collegiate debut against Mount St. Mary's (9/4).
  • Started his first game at Loyola at Manhattan (11/8).


#25 - Gerwyn Jones
Fr. • D • 6'1" • 183 • Caernarfon, Wales/Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen

  • Started 10-straight games in the central defense for Loyola since William & Mary (9/30). Did not play in the season finale versus Manhattan (11/8).
  • Big player with ability to get up for headers on Loyola corner kicks.


#27 - Charlie Hutton
Jr. • D • 5'9" • 168 • Shipley, England/Guisley

  • Starting right back has been a solid player in the defense for Loyola.
  • Assisted on a Glenn Leitch goal against Mount St. Mary's (9/4).
  • Strong service and ability to carry the ball forward.


#28 - Zach Tweddell
Fr. • D • 6'1" • 161 • Newcastle, England/Monkseaton

  • Started the first nine games of the season in the central defense before suffering a season-ending foot injury.
  • Played at the same school in England as Loyola teammates Phil Bannister and Eddie Dines.