Aug. 27, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - After opening the season last week at sixth-ranked Virginia, Greyhounds women's soccer coach Katherine Vettori is looking forward to showcasing her team on the friendly home confines and return to the style of play she has preached since her arrival. That opportunity comes Sunday when Loyola hosts Old Dominion in the final match of a soccer tripleheader to take place on Diane Geppi Aikens Field.
"Obviously, we were playing sixth-ranked Virginia so we had to be a little more defensive minded," Vettori reflected on the season-opening 4-0 loss to the nationally ranked Cavaliers. "We will be able to play more the way we have been training (Sunday). We have been working on attacking scenarios all week in practice."
The task at Virginia was daunting, but Vettori and her staff were able to gain positives from the experience, one which should benefit the Greyhounds should they advance to where they would like - a MAAC Championship and an appearance in the 2008 College Cup.
"We came in on Monday morning ready to go back to work," she commented. "We refined some things and fixed some of the breakdowns that occurred against UVA."
The 4-0 score and lopsided shot-on-goal totals were not indicative of how the Greyhounds played. The goal with just 14 seconds remaining in the half came off a scramble and Loyola held the quick-striking Cavaliers off the board in the second half until less than seven minutes remained in the match.
Despite the opportunity to change to a more offensive style, Vettori knows the next game finds another quality opponent in the Monarchs.
"We will be able to play a more offensive system than we did (at Virginia)," Vettori said. "But ODU is a very good team. They have speed, are talented and play very physical."
Nonetheless, the opportunity for the team to play a home match is welcome as it has not performed in front of the home crowd since the last weekend of October. And home was good to Loyola last year as it carries a six-match home undefeated streak into Sunday, a stretch which includes five straight contests in October in which the Greyhounds did not allow a goal.
"The players are excited about playing their first game at home and seeing some of their friends," the first-year coach said. "With school starting next week, we can start to get a rhythm to the season. We're all looking forward to it."
The Old Dominion contest concludes a tripleheader of soccer action Sunday at Loyola. In the final day of competition for the second annual Black & Decker Soccer Classic, the men's teams from Drexel and Fordham meet at 10:30 a.m. followed by the Loyola men hosting Hartwick at 2 o'clock.