Nov. 1, 2009
Lake Buena Vista, Fla. - The top-seeded Loyola Greyhounds advanced to their third straight MAAC Championship Game with a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over fifth-seeded Canisius Sunday afternoon at the Disney Wide World of Sports. This will be the third straight appearance in conference championship game for the Greyhounds.
"We played much better today than we did on Friday," said MAAC Coach of the Year Katherine Remy Vettori. "We had a really good warm-up and I was very pleased with their focus today. Manhattan and Canisius are two very tough teams and we look forward to the winner of the Niagara/Marist game."
With the win, Loyola is now undefeated in its last 13 games (11-0-2), which ties a program record.
For the second straight game, and for just the fourth time against a MAAC opponent this season, Loyola was forced to come from behind as Canisius got on the board first. Sylvia Kowalski was credited with the goal at 21:51 as a ball was played into the box, and deflected off a defender. Kowalski was able to get a one-time shot off for her 14th goal of the season.
Canisius also took an early lead in the first meeting between the two teams this season.
The Greyhounds, who outshot the Griffins, 13-5, in the first half, were not able to win a corner kick until late in the first half. When they finally did 37 minutes in, Loyola made the most of it.
Junior Kelly Farrell sliced in a corner kick and the Greyhounds used their height to its advantage as freshman Tessa McClenahan headed it far post to Heather Cooke. Cooke also headed it and freshman Gianna Mangione headed a shot past Caroline Robert for the score. The score was Mangione's first collegiate goal after recording an assist earlier this season.
Loyola kept up the pressure through the first half of the second half and took the lead at 68:10. Mangione was involved once again as she sent in a ball from 25-yards out, and it was deflected off a Griffins defender and into the back of the net.
MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and Lowe's Senior CLASS Award finalist Theresa Ferraina would add an insurance goal just over eight minutes later to give Loyola a two-goal-lead at 3-1. Farrell was credited with the assist on the play as she sent a pass from the right side and Ferraina recovered the rebound for the score. The score and the two points give Ferraina 25 goals and 65 career points, ranking her alone at fourth in goals and third in points all-time at Loyola. She is now one of just two players in Loyola history with 25 goals and 15 assists (Carolyn Kennington 2003-06).
Despite having to rally, the Greyhounds controlled time of possession throughout the game, outshooting the high-powered Griffins, 23-9. Canisius came into the MAAC Championship ranked 25th nationally in scoring offense and forward Sylvia Kowalski was ninth in the country with 2.0 points per game.
"All over, everyone played really well today," said Vettori. "GG (Gianna Mangione) did a great job to lift us. She played well on both sides creating things offensively for us and stirring up a lot of things defensively. She had a great game."
Loyola freshman goalkeeper Danielle Ippolito kept up her "solid" play in net, making three saves and anchoring the defense.
Canisius netminder Caroline Robert made six saves, but after allowing a third goal, she was replaced by Lesley Ivinac.
Loyola (14-4-3, 9-0-0 MAAC) will face Niagara in the Championship Game at 12:00 pm on Monday, November 2 for the right to advance to the NCAA College Cup. The Greyhounds defeated the Purple Eagles on the road, 2-1, earlier this season. Loyola is 2-1-0 all-time against Niagara in the MAAC Championship, 1-0-0 against the Puple Eagles in the Championship Game.