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Loyola Women's Soccer Opens 2007 Slate Against Dukes

Aug. 28, 2007

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For Starters: Loyola opens its 2007 schedule with a 4 p.m. home match against James Madison on Friday, August 31, 2007. The Greyhounds then start a month-long road swing with a 1 p.m. contest in Norfolk, Va., against Old Dominion. The Greyhounds' game against the Dukes will be played on Diane Geppi-Aikens Field on the Evergreen campus, and admission is free.

Just Like Being There: For those who can't make it to Diane Geppi-Aikens Field for the game against James Madison, it's still possible to be part of the action. For the first time, Loyola will offer streaming audio and live stats of its home women's soccer games the web. Go to loyolagreyhounds.com for information. Dave Gerrity and Bill Wnek will handle the audio call.

The Last Time: Loyola is 1-3 all-time against James Madison. The teams last played in 2005 with the Dukes winning at home, 4-2. The Greyhounds' only win was a 3-2 triumph in 2004. James Madison was the first-ever varsity opponent of Loyola, defeating the Greyhounds, 8-0, Sept. 5, 1992. Old Dominion and the Greyhounds have played twice with each team winning once. The Monarchs won 3-1 in 1999, and Loyola was victorious, 1-0, in 1996.

The Dukes: Friday's match will be the first of the season, as well for James Madison. The Dukes finished 2006 with an 11-9-2 mark, 5-4-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association. They advanced to the CAA Tournament final where they lost in overtime to Loyola's second 2007 opponent, Old Dominion. Senior forward Annie Lowry is the Dukes' top returning scorer after tallying eight goals and six assists last season. She is joined on the Preseason All-CAA First Team by junior defender Teri Maykoski. Lowry is a two-time All-CAA First Team pick, while Maykoski was an All-CAA Second Team selection a year ago. James Madison was picked to finish second in the CAA by the league's coaches prior to the 2007 season.

The Monarchs: Old Dominion returns nine starters from its 2006 team that won the school's first-ever Colonial Athletic Association title and advanced to the NCAA Championships for the first time. The Monarchs were picked to finish third in the CAA this season behind William & Mary and James Madison. Old Dominion's top three scorers are among the returners, senior forward Katie Watson and junior forwards Shavon Knight and Janna Pearson. Watson, who scored 13 goals and had seven assists a year ago, was named to the Preseason All-CAA First Team after earning All-CAA First Team and All-Region Second Team honors last year.

All The Buzz: Loyola opens the 2007 season ranked 15th in the Mid-Atlantic Region by SoccerBuzz Magazine. The Greyhounds are slated to play five teams also regionally ranked by the publications including both on the opening weekend. James Madison is picked 12th in the Mid-Atlantic Region, while Old Dominion checks in at 10th. Virginia Tech is ranked ninth in the region, while Wake Forest is seventh in the Southeast Region. Colorado College is 10th in the Central, and Fairfield, the only other MAAC team to be regionally ranked is 13th in the Northeast.

Preseason Picks: The Greyhounds were picked by MAAC coaches to win the conference title this year. Loyola received 93 votes, while Niagara and Fairfield were close behind with 87 and 86, respectively. Three Loyola players were named to the Preseason All-MAAC Team, backs Brynn McGrath and Sarra Moller and midfielder Lea Day.

Looking Back: Loyola finished the 2007 season with a 10-7-2 record and regular-season Metro Atlantic Conference crown. The Greyhounds, however, lost in the MAAC Semifinals to Siena, 1-0. Carolyn Kennington led the Loyola offense with 17 total points (6 goals, 5 assists), while Courtney Arikian had seven goals and two assists. Christina Gomez scored six goals and had four assists during her freshman season. Head Coach John Byford was named MAAC Coach of the Year, and 11 players earned postseason recognition from the conference. Arikian and Sarra Moller were named to the All-MAAC First Team.

Head Coach John Byford: The 2007 season will be John Byford's third as head women's soccer coach at Loyola. He has compiled a 25-12-2 record since taking over as head coach and is 17-1 in MAAC competition, winning conference regular-season crowns in each of the last two years. In 2006, Byford was honored by his peers as the MAAC Coach of the Year. Prior to his role as head coach, Byford was an assistant coach at Loyola for two seasons.