Nov. 2, 2008
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Lea Day scored both Loyola goals, and the Greyhounds' women's soccer team won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season title with a 2-1 victory over host Siena on Sunday.
The win marks the 10th time that Loyola (9-5-4 overall, 7-0-2 MAAC) has won the MAAC regular-season crown in 17 seasons of play in the league.
"Winning the conference, and getting the number one seed, has been a goal of ours since the beginning," Head Coach Katherine Vettori said. "It is great to achieve that, but now we are back to work to prepare for the semifinal on Friday."
After a both teams played to a scoreless draw in the first 50 minutes, a flurry of offensive action put all three of the match's goals on the scoreboard.
Day opened the scoring at 50:23 when she headed in a Kelly Farrell cross from the right side at the near post, staking the Greyhounds to a 1-0 lead.
Siena (13-2-3, 6-2-1), however, responded with a tally of its own less than seven minutes later.
The Saints, who entered the game as the top scoring team in the conference this season, evened the score at 1-1 when Lindsay Tegas took an Ashleigh Barone cross and drove in a header of her own, 57:06 into the match.
The tie would not last for long, though, as Day put in her sixth goal of the season in the 61st minute.
She found space on the left side and blasted a 35-yard shot into the upper right corner of the goal, providing the game-winner at the 61:11 mark.
"We got a lot of space outside the 18, and at halftime, we talked about taking shots from outside," Vettori said. "Lea ripped one, and it went into the upper 90."
Day has scored a goal in three of Loyola's last four matches. She has also recorded the game-winner in those three contests.
"Lea has figured out how, as an outside midfielder, to get herself into the attack," Vettori said. "She knows now how to take advantage of her one-versus-one battles on the outside. She is hungry for the goal from the outside position."
Following Day's second goal, Siena had several chances to tie the score. Cara Riley had a shot saved by Loyola goalkeeper Brittany Henderson in the 71st minute, and the Saints garnered two corner kicks shortly thereafter.
Stephanie DiMari had a header go high off the first corner, and Maren Serafine put a header wide in the 77th minute off the second corner.
Loyola's defense then held the Saints without a shot for the final 12-plus minutes of the victory. The Greyhounds finished the match with a 18-12 advantage in shots and a 9-4 lead in shots on goal.
Henderson made three saves in goal for the Greyhounds, while Siena's Laura Ettinger had seven.
With the win, the Greyhounds also earned the No. 1 seed in next weekend's MAAC Championships, which Siena will host. Loyola enters the tournament on a 12-match unbeaten streak. Combined with the Greyhounds' men's soccer team, Loyola has a 37-match soccer unbeaten streak, the longest combined streak in the nation.
Loyola will take on the fourth seed, Canisius, on Friday, November 7, at 11 a.m. Second-seeded Fairfield plays the host, third-seeded Siena, at 2 p.m.
The winners of the matches will meet at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 9, in the MAAC Championship Game.