Aug. 25, 2005
The Loyola College women's soccer team compiled its most successful season to date in 2004 but the `Hounds aren't content to let those records stand. The 2005 squad is poised and determined to continue its winning ways while building a program that will soon become a powerhouse in women's soccer.
"This season promises to be very exciting," first year head coach John Byford said. "It has been the intention of this program for the past few years not just to reach the NCAA Tournament but to be successful in it. I believe this squad of players gives us the best chance this program has had to do just that."
Byford takes over a talented and experienced squad with 17 upperclassmen and nine starters from last season's team that won its fifth straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title and earned a berth into its fifth straight NCAA College Cup. Each position of the field returns a great deal of depth and experience as well as added new players.
"We have a very talented and experienced group of returning players along with a quality group of incoming players that, barring injury, gives our roster a great deal of depth," Byford said. "The majority of our players have been to the tournament before, and know the heartbreak of playing well but not getting the result that we would like and I believe this will make them even more determined to break through this year."
Here's a look at this season's team, position-by-position:
After several years as a heavily defense oriented team, the Greyhound offense developed into a force to be reckoned with in 2004 and with the core returning in 2005, Byford hopes that his offense will continue to develop.
"We have four returning forwards, all of whom pose a very real goal scoring threat," Byford said. "Ali Andrzejewski and Carolyn Kennington have been the leading scorers on the team the past two years and now that Ty Glenn is getting back to full fitness and Katelyn Woods continues to improve, we have a very dangerous front line."
After transferring from Maryland, Andrzejewski made quite an impact on the Greyhounds record book after just one season. In 2004, she posted Loyola records for goals in a season with 18 and points in a season with 43. She already ranks seventh all-time in scoring and is tied for fifth all-time in goals. In 2004 she was named the conference Offensive Player of the Year, first-team all-conference and third-team All-Mid-Atlantic Region.
Andrzejewski isn't the only `Hound making a mark in the record book. Kennington, as a junior, ranks third all-time for Loyola in goals, seventh in assists and fourth in points after recording eight goals and eight assists in 2004. She finished third on the team in goals and second in points and has earned first-team all-MAAC in both 2003 and 2004.
Glenn, a sophomore, spent the early part of the 2004 recovering from a lingering injury but was able to appear in 14 games while starting in one. She earned a spot on the conference all-rookie squad after scoring four goals and dishing out five assists. Glenn recorded her first collegiate goal over then third-ranked Washington.
Woods, a junior has gained valuable experience in her first two seasons as a Greyhound appearing in a total of 29 games.
Midfield returns the most players from 2005 and also adds the two newcomers this season. This group is an excellent complement to both the offense and defense with its ability to score goals as well as aide in defending the cage.
"Our midfield players, this year, are an outstanding group," Byford said. "We have a great mixture of experience, technical ability and athleticism together with a depth of personnel that makes this a very strong group of players."
Senior captain Ashley Kramer returns to midfield after three successful season as a Greyhound. Kramer adds a wealth of experience with three stints as a starting midfielder with 10 goals and nine assists to her credit.
Also adding experience is classmate Naomi Daniels. One of the most technically gifted players on the squad, Daniels has recorded 16 goals and 13 assists in her career. Last season, she finished second on the team in scoring with nine goals and six assists. Daniels also ranks amongst Loyola's all-time leaders with a year left in her career. She is currently tied for eighth in all time scoring and goals while ranking eighth in assists.
Kaitlin Klar is a junior midfielder who has seen action in every game Loyola has played since her rookie season and started in all but three of those contests. Her leadership and experience make her a true asset to the Loyola squad.
Fellow junior Courtney Arikian has also returns to midfield as one of the leading scorers from 2004. Arikian tallied eight goals to rank tied for third on the team in goal scoring. She provides a threat to the goal as well as the ability to find her teammates.
Known for their strength on defense, this season will be no different for the Greyhounds.
"Our defensive unit has been strengthened this year by the transfer of Brynn McGrath and two incoming freshman who, together with our returning players, makes us stronger and deeper," Byford said.
Senior two-time captain Lisa Jaffa will be the core of this season's defensive group. Jaffa was named first-team all-conference as well as the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. Along with Andrzejewski, she also earned a spot on the All-Mid-Atlantic third-team after helping Loyola to a 0.792 goals-against average and a shutout percentage of 65%.
McGrath, a sophomore transfer from national runner-up UCLA, will add a wealth of experience and will fill a void left to the graduation of Lindsay Tracey.
Also returning to the defensive group is junior Caitlin McCusker. McCusker, who often guarded the opponent's top scoring threat, appeared in and started in 19-of-20 games played in 2004.
Junior Ali Hartrick as well as freshmen Sarra Moler and Christy Mazzola will contribute to the defensive effort. Both Moller and Mazzola are expected to contribute early in their careers.
In goal, the Greyhounds return senior Kate Gilfillan, who started in 13 of the final 14 games of the 2005 season. Gilfillan, after earning the starting spot allowed just six total goals including merely one goal in conference play.
"Kate brings a lot of experience to the team," Byford said. "She has great composure under pressure and we are looking forward to a great season for her."
Joining Gilfillan at goal will be freshman Amanda Picirrilli.
"Amanda is a great athlete with excellent footwork," Byford said. "She gives us great depth in goal."