Nov. 20, 2007
Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola College men's soccer team will host a Liberty in the First Round of the NCAA College Cup this Saturday at 1 p.m. The Greyhounds, who earned the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's automatic bid, welcome the Flames, the Big South Conference tournament champions to Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased day of game beginning at 11 a.m. Live Audio.
Loyola enters the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 18-3, and are the North Atlantic Region's top ranked team. The Greyhounds, who have won six straight games, have shutout 12 of their last 13 opponents. Overall, they have 15 shutouts this season and rank No. 1 in the NCAA in shutout percentage as a team.
Last Sunday, the Greyhounds avenged their only conference defeat of the year by earning a 1-0 win over Saint Peter's in the MAAC Championship Game. The strength of the conference, however, earned both teams a bid to the NCAA College Cup with Saint Peter's (the No. 2 seed in the MAAC) earning an at-large berth.
This Saturday, Loyola will host a Liberty squad that posted a 13-4-2 record this season. The Flames are playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time after defeating Radford in the Big South title game last Sunday.
Loyola, meanwhile, is playing in its 14th NCAA Tournament and sixth as a Division I program. Head Coach Mark Mettrick, who was named the MAAC Coach of the Year for the fourth time, has accounted for three of Loyola's six NCAA College Cup appearances at the Division I level, and in eight seasons at Loyola, his teams have won six regular season MAAC titles.
This year, sophomore co-captain Tennant McVea was named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, while freshman Phil Bannister is the MAAC Rookie of the Year. Sophomore Milos Kocic is also a first-team All-MAAC selection, while Josh Taylor, Camilo Correa and Eddie Dines are second-team honorees.
The Greyhounds have not hosted an NCAA College Cup match since 1993. Loyola won that game, defeating James Madison, 1-0, in the First Round. This year, the Greyhounds are a perfect 9-0 at home with eight of those wins coming via shutout.
The winner of Saturday's First Round match will travel to the University of Maryland for a Second Round match on Wednesday, November 28.