Nov. 17, 2008
The Loyola men's soccer team earned a first-round bye in the NCAA College Cup, it was announced on Monday evening on ESPN News, garnering the ninth seed nationally and an opportunity to host a second-round match at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field.
The Greyhounds (18-1-1) will host the winner of Saturday's Duke-UNC Greensboro contest on Tuesday, November 25. The game time will is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Loyola earned one of just 16 seeds in the 48-team field.
"I'm really excited for our players, first off," Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick said. "We've had a remarkable season and to earn a first -round bye is a testament to our hard work and our dedication. We're very excited to host and it's great for our program."
Loyola will be making its second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Greyhounds beat Liberty last year at home in the first round of the tournament, 2-nil, before falling in the second to Maryland on penalty kicks at College Park.
This will mark the 15th NCAA Tournament appearance in Loyola's prestigious history, eighth at the Division-I level.
"It's a great feeling to get a bye, knowing that we've worked so hard," Loyola junior forward and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year Jamie Darvill said. "It's a reward and a great achievement. We look forward to the challenge."
Loyola went 17-0-1 in the regular season, going undefeated for the first time since 1986. The Greyhounds claimed their second consecutive MAAC regular-season title, and garnered the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Fairfield snapped their national-best 27-match unbeaten streak in the MAAC Finals on Sunday with a 1-nil setback.
The Greyhounds will await the winner of a first round match that will take place in Durham, N.C. on Saturday, November 22.
No. 23 Duke (10-7-2, 3-3-2 ACC) fell in the ACC Quarterfinals to eventual ACC-runner-up Virginia, 4-2.
UNC Greensboro (8-11-2 overall, 2-5-0 Southern Conference) won their conference tournament as a No. 7 seed, earning an automatic berth in the College Cup.
Loyola recorded nine All-MAAC selections, including five nods to the First Team. Junior back Tennant McVea earned his second consecutive MAAC Defensive Player of the Year award, while Darvill was tabbed as Offensive Player of the Year. In addition to those two earning First-Team nominations, sophomore striker Phil Bannister, sophomore midfielder Daniel Ankrah and junior keeper Milos Kocic received the accolade.
"It feels like we have gotten what we deserved," Kocic said. "It is a lot of pressure but I think with the fan's support and the school's support, we will do well.
"Yesterday was a very disappointing day for us, but I feel the total opposite right now. It is a great achievement."