Sept. 8, 2004
Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola College women's soccer team improved its regional rankings this week, jumping from 12th to ninth in the Soccer Buzz polls and ranking ninth in the first National Soccer Coaches of Association of America Mid-Atlantic region poll of the 2004 season. The Greyhounds are 2-2 so far this season."At this stage in the season, we're pretty pleased with our performances," said head coach Joe Mallia. "I don't think there is a time a coach says that they are happy with a loss but we are pleased with our efforts in both our losses against nationally ranked opponents."Loyola started the season with a 3-2 win over William & Mary, the favorite to win the Colonial Athletic Association in Williamsburg, Va. Junior transfer Ali Andrzejewski scored all three goals in the win and was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week for her efforts."It was a great result for our program in beating William & Mary 3-2 and their place," said Mallia.Against No. 22 Villanova, the Greyhounds played a brutal, physical game with the Wildcats but where unable to score a goal. Villanova tallied its lone goal in the seventh minute of the game."We were a little unfortunate against Villanova, we had some great goal scoring chances and we're just a little unlucky," said Mallia.Loyola rebounded from that lose quickly, visiting Texas State and defeated the Bobcats 5-0. Five different Greyhounds scored goals with Naomi Daniels leading the team in scoring with a goal and two assists."Against Texas State, we knew what we had to do and we took care of business," Mallia said.At Texas, Loyola fought valiantly with an opponent that was ranked 13th in the nation. The Longhorns got on the board late in the first half for a 1-0 halftime score but early in the second half Naomi Daniels changed that, tying the game at 1-1. Texas rallied and scored two more goals but the Greyhounds were not about to give up just yet. Down 3-1 with just seven minutes remaining, Ellen Sroka tallied another Loyola goal of a 3-2 score. Loyola continued to push Texas but was unable to come up with the tying goal in regulation."For us to be in the position of a goal down with seven minutes left in the game against a team of Texas' caliber, it's an encouraging predicament," Mallia said.The Greyhounds now look to build upon their wins and their losses for their final four non-conference games against St. Joseph's (Sept. 11), Washington (Sept. 19), James Madison (Sept. 25) and Maryland (Sept. 28)."We've got to build off the early season success and momentum as our next four non-conference games will be just as difficult as our last four," Mallia said. "The regional ranking by Soccer Buzz and NSCAA is a great reward for our early success. Now as a program we will look to improve upon our position."