Oct. 1, 2011
BALTIMORE - Junior forward Nichole Schiro scored twice, including the eventual game-winner, as the Loyola University Maryland women's soccer team grabbed a win in their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opening match on Saturday, shutting out Rider, 3-0, at Ridley Athletic Complex.
It was the second shutout of the season for the Greyhounds (3-8-0, 1-0-0 MAAC), who improved to 17-1-2 all-time against Rider and 16-2-2 in MAAC openers.
Rider (7-3-2, 0-1-0 MAAC) entered the match as the top-scoring offense in the conference, totaling 25 goals and averaging 2.27 per game, but were shut down by an outstanding team defensive effort by Loyola.
"I was pleased with the performance today, mostly defensively because they have three very dangerous frontrunners," said head coach Katherine Remy Vettori. "The back four of Taylor Bryant, Kelsey Rene, Joie McLaughlin and Jenny Thornton really stepped-up today. They won a lot of balls and helped keep possession for us which allowed us to attack in numbers."
It was the second-straight shutout for sophomore keeper Didi Haracic, who made four saves in net. Haracic made one spectacular stop, diving to her left to save a header from Abi Cottam in the 38th minute to keep the match scoreless. Cottam entered the match as the leading scorer in the MAAC with eight goals.
"Didi was a difference maker," said Vettori. "She made one huge save and did well with her distribution. We played a lot through her today, so I was pleased with that."
The Greyhounds took a 1-0 advantage in the 40th minute, when McLaughlin played a long outlet pass down the middle of the field to Schiro who out-sprinted three Broncs defenders and fired a shot with her left foot into the left side of the net for her third goal of the year. The goal would prove to be the game-winner and gave the home side a one goal lead at halftime.
Loyola wasted no time in notching an insurance goal in the second half, scoring less than two minutes into the frame to make the score 2-0. Junior Lauren Norcia got the play started when she launched a corner kick into the box. The ball was deflected around before being headed up in the air by freshman Kelly Santangelo, allowing Rene to settle under it and finish with a shot into the top of the net. It was the first career assist for Santangelo and second career goal for Rene.
The Greyhounds tallied for a third time 20 minutes later, giving the team its second-best offensive output this season.
Freshman Gabrielle Tana was able to win the ball off a Rider goal kick and find classmate Amanda Reverberi in the middle of the field. Reverberi turned and played a pass to Norcia on the right side of the field, who chipped a ball on her first touch to Schiro. The captain finished her second goal of the game with a one-touch shot that went over the head of Broncs' keeper Jenn Nichols and into the left-side netting.
It was the sixth multi-goal game of Schiro's career and the first for a Greyhound since October, 17, 2010 against Iona when the junior accomplished the same feat.
The goals were the 27th and 28th of Schiro's career, moving her into a tie for third place on the Greyhound all-time career goals list. The Okemos, Mich., native also moved into a tie for third in career points with 65.
The Greyhounds continue MAAC play next weekend when they travel to play Canisius on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.