Nov. 9, 2008
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Fairfield's Ahna Johnson scored all three goals, and the Stags defeated Loyola, 3-0, Sunday afternoon at Siena to win the 2008 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship.
Loyola (10-6-4 overall) had two chances early in the game, but the Greyhounds could not capitalize on either opportunity.
Lea Day beat two Fairfield (15-4-3) players to the endline and played a ball directly across the mouth of the goal. Loyola had players crashing to the ball, but none could get a touch on it, and Fairfield cleared it away from harm.
Lina Staropoli then played a ball into the box that Theresa Ferraina took past a Stags defender. Ferraina had a one-on-one opportunity against Fairfield goalkeeper Kelly Boudreau, but her shot slid just wide.
Johnson put Fairfield ahead in the 36th minute with a header off a corner kick. Nicole Cavallaro played the ball into the box where Johnson put a head on the ball, directing it into the net.
"We set a tone early in the game, but we couldn't capitalize on those chances," Loyola Head Coach Katherine Vettori said. "Then, we made some mistakes that were uncharacteristic for us, and (Fairfield) made us pay for them."
The Greyhounds opened the second half with a flurry of activity on the offensive end. Kelly Farrell had a shot in the 55th minute blocked by the Fairfield defense.
Shortly thereafter, Loyola garnered a corner kick opportunity. Staropoli swung the ball into the box where Colleen Kinealy took a shot that was also blocked by a defender.
Christina Gomez collected the rebound for Loyola, only to have her shot blocked by Boudreau.
In transition off Gomez's shot, Fairifled a scoring chance of its own, but Spenser Allaway had her show saved by Loyola goalkeeper Brittany Henderson.
After Boudreau saved a Day shot in the 63rd minute, a series of three Greyhounds' fouls set up a Fairfield free kick outside the box.
Adrienne Boyer played the ball in, and Johnson delivered another header for her second goal of the game, giving the Stags a 2-0 advantage in the 66th minute.
Less than four minutes later, Boyer took a corner kick for Fairfield. Jasmin Corniel headed it to Johnson on the far post who capped her hat trick with the game's final goal in the 70th minute.
Loyola finished with a 12-8 lead in shots, but Boudreau saved all seven shots that were on goal. Henderson had three saves for the Greyhounds.
The loss culminates Loyola's season, one in which the Greyhounds won their 10th MAAC Regular-Season Championship.
"This team overcame a lot of adversity during the season," Vettori said. "We went from being 0-5-2 to start the year to finishing with a 10-6-4 record. To get from the point where we started to where we are now, the coaches couldn't be more proud of them. We never stopped fighting, especially today."
Johnson was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Day, Staropoli and Heather Cooke were named to the All-Tournament Team for Loyola.