Women's Soccer Picked Second In Preseason MAAC Poll

July 28, 2009

EDISON, N.J. -- The Loyola College women's soccer team was picked to finish second in the 2009 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference poll by the league's 10 head coaches.

The Greyhounds, who won the 2008 MAAC regular-season crown with a 7-0-2 record in conference play, garnered 91 points in the poll, six behind Fairfield. The Stags, who won the conference tournament a season ago, were first in the preseason with 97 points.

Three Loyola players - senior defender Heather Cooke, junior midfielder Kelly Farrell and graduate student forward Theresa Ferraina - earned spots on the Preseason All-MAAC Team.

"I'm pleased for our players who were recognized on the All-MAAC Preseason team," Loyola Head Coach Katherine Vettori said. "They have been key players for us, and we are looking for them to make big contributions this season. Fairfield is an excellent team, and we had two terrific matches with them last year, each winning one. We are excited for a great season of strong MAAC competition."

Cooke will guide the Greyhounds back line this season, her fourth as a starter. She earned All-MAAC Second Team laurels for the second consecutive year last season after helping the Greyhounds allow just four goals during conference play.

Farrell also picked up All-MAAC Second Team honors in 2008 when she started all 20 games in the midfield as a sophomore. She tallied three goals and four assists during the season, while her timing of goals and assists were important. She had a game-winning goal and two game-winning assists during MAAC play.

Ferraina earned All-MAAC First Team honors last year after leading the Greyhounds in goals (9), assists (8) and total points (26). She also topped the conference in assists and was fifth in the MAAC in both goals and points. Entering the 2009 season, Ferraina is fourth all-time at Loyola with 48 career points, tied for fourth with 18 career goals and fifth with 12 career assists. Her eight assists in 2008 tied the school single-season record. She also has been a standout in the classroom, earning ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team and NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-East Region honors.

The Greyhounds return nine starters and 20 letterwinners from last year's team that finished with a 10-6-4 overall record in Vettori's first season on the Evergreen campus.

Siena was picked to finish third in the conference with 82 points, followed by Canisius (58), Niagara (56), Manhattan (54), Marist (45), Rider (30), Iona (26) and Saint Peter's (11). Fairfield forward Nicole Cavallaro was selected as the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year.

Loyola opens its 2009 campaign with a 4 p.m. game on Sunday, August 23, at Mount St. Mary's in Emmittsburg, Md. The Greyhounds start MAAC competition with a trip to the Buffalo area for games at Niagara and Canisius on September 25 and 27.