Oct. 31, 2008
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Seniors Lea Day and Theresa Ferraina each scored goals, and the Loyola women's soccer team defeated host Marist, 2-0, Friday night, securing a spot for the Greyhounds in next weekend's Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships.
The win sets up a Sunday match against Siena that will be for the MAAC regular-season title. The winner of the match will win the crown and garner the No. 1 seed in the MAAC Championships.
Kelly Thomas played a ball from the left side at midfield diagonally to Colleen Kinealy. After getting past a Red Foxes' defender, Kinealy crossed a pass to Day who drilled a shot past Marist goalkeeper Jamie Balazarini to give Loyola (8-5-4 overall, 6-0-2 MAAC) a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute.
"Lea's goal was just beautiful," Head Coach Katherine Vettori said. "Colleen played an incredible through ball, and Lea finished it off."
Marist, which had a 6-4 second-half shots advantage, did not quit despite trailing.
The Red Foxes garnered corner kicks in the 71st and 72nd minutes. On the first attempt, the ball was loose in front of the goal before Loyola defender Amanda Meehan cleared it off the goal line and away from harm.
Ferraina added an insurance goal in the second half following a Red Foxes (4-14, 2-6) foul.
Thomas took a direct kick from about 40-yards out, and her shot banged of the cross bar and straight up in the air.
Ferraina went to the ball and out-jumped Balazarini, heading the ball into the goal at the 78:05 mark.
"'T's' goal was just sheer, pure desire," Vettori said. "It was an incredible individual effort after a great free kick by Kelly Thomas."
The goal was Ferraina's team-leading eight of the season.
Despite Marist's lead in shots, the Greyhounds' defense allowed Marist only two second-half shots on goal. Goalkeeper Brittany Henderson made saves on both of those attempts.
Henderson finished the match with three total saves.
"Brittany Henderson had a big game tonight," Vettori said. "She made a couple of great saves, and she helped lead the defense against a very tough offense."
The win gives the Greyhounds 20 points in the MAAC standings (three points are awarded for conference wins, one for a tie) and guarantees them a spot in the four-team conference championship.
Loyola closes its regular-season on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Siena in Loudonville, N.Y. The Saints are currently in second-place in the MAAC with 19 points.
"All season long, our goal has been to make the MAAC tournament," Vettori said. "But our regular-season is far from done. Sunday's game is a huge one for us."