Oct. 26, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - Senior Theresa Ferraina scored twice and senior goalkeeper Amanda Piccirilli received the Senior Day start and notched her first win of the season to lead the Loyola women's soccer team to a 2-1 MAAC victory over the Canisius Golden Griffins on Diane Geppi-Aikens Field to remain unbeaten in conference play and in its last 10 contests.
The win completes a weekend sweep and vaults the Greyhounds (7-5-4, 5-0-2 MAAC) into first place in the conference standings with just two league games remaining. The defending MAAC Tournament Champions, Loyola will clinch a spot in this year's four-team competition with a win in either of next week's games.
"Our goal has been to go to the conference tournament and these two wins have helped us get closer to that goal," Greyhounds first-year coach Katherine Vettori said in summarizing the weekend's results.
Loyola jumped on top at the 14 minute mark of the first half when Ferraina jumped on a loose ball in front of the Canisius net, scoring her sixth marker of the season. Senior defense Sarra Moller received an assist on the play when her shot was blocked and no control of the ball was gained.
Piccirilli and Moller combined to keep the match scoreless at halftime, both making saves of shots by Canisius' Rebecca Shupe. Gaining advance of the ball, Shupe carried the ball past the Loyola defense and took a hard shot at Piccirilli. The Loyola goalkeeper's save bounced right back to Shupe, who tried to redirect a shot toward the net, only to have Moller sweep in and clear the ball away from the net.
The Greyhounds built a two-goal advantage at the 48:04 mark on a header from Ferraina following an outstanding cross from sophomore Kelly Farrell. Gaining control of the ball from the left-hand side, Farrell maneuvered her way around a Golden Griffins defender and found Ferraina in front of the net where the senior cleanly headed the ball into the back of the goal.
Canisius (10-4-3, 5-3 MAAC) rebounded to cut the lead to a single goal when Jenny Griffin headed in a corner kick sent in by Kasey Makowski with 24:26 remaining in the contest. The shot would be the Golden Griffins' final one of the contest as the Loyola defense stiffened in protection of the one-goal lead.
Piccirilli, who had logged less than 300 minutes thus far this season, showed no signs of rust in picking up the victory, recording three saves. Canisius' goalkeeper Caroline Robert stopped five Greyhounds shots.
The contest was the final one at home for seniors Ferraina, Piccirilli, Moller, Lea Day, Kristina Balfoort and Ashley Lunemann. All six received starts, representing a class that has lost just one regular-season conference contest in four years (27-1-6) heading into the final weekend of play that gets started Friday at Marist.
"I feel honored to be here on Senior Day," Vettori reflected on the class' achievement. "It is a very special class. They are the most amazing individuals that I have had the pleasure to be around."