Sept. 9, 2009
Game 7: Loyola at VCU - Friday, September 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Game 8: Loyola vs. Eastern Michigan - Sunday, September 13 at 1:00 p.m.
Tournament Preview: Loyola, off to its best six-game start since 1999, makes the three-hour trek to Richmond, Va., to take on the Virginia Commonwealth Rams and Eastern Michigan Eagles. The Richmond Spiders (2-3) are also competing, but will not play the Greyhounds.
On the Rams: VCU has lost three one-goal games to UNC Greensboro, Virginia Tech and East Carolina with its lone victory coming over Wofford, 3-0. Jasmine Riley paces the Rams' attack with eight points on three goals and a pair of assists. June Hartman also has a pair of scores for VCU. Goalkeeper Kate Hudson is 0-3 on the season, giving up seven goals and saving 16 for a .696 save percentage. Chanae Nelson had a shutout victory in goal against Wofford.
On the Eagles: After winning back-to-back one-goal games to start the season, EMU most recently fell at Michigan, 4-1, on September 6. Balanced scoring has been the key to the Eagles' success as a different player has scored each of their four goals this season. Maggie Christensen has a pair of assists for EMU. Maggie Manville and Monique Budani have split time between the posts, both recording one win each. Budani start two of the three games.
Series History: The Rams own a 1-0 series advantage over the Greyhounds. The only previous meeting between the two teams came last season where the Rams were victorious, 3-0, on Loyola's Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. The Greyhounds have never faced Eastern Michigan. It is also the first time Loyola has faced a team from the Mid-American Conference.
Three Straight: With a game-tying goal in the 3-2 overtime victory over Lafayette, senior midfielder Christina Gomez has a goal in three consecutive games. Her three goals lead the Greyhounds this season and she will look to match her career-high with a goal in four straight games Friday night at VCU.
Kelly Kelly: A pair of juniors, midfielder Kelly Farrell and back Kelly Thomas have been vital to the teams' early success this season. Farrell, who has a goal and a pair of assists on the season, recorded the game-winner at High Point and assisted on the game-tying and winning goals vs. Lafayette. Thomas, one of the most consistent backs for Loyola so far this season, leads the MAAC with three assists.
Horn Beater: After consecutive losses to ACC schools, Loyola nearly dropped a 3rd straight, but senior midfielder Christina Gomez' goal with one second in regulation vs. Boston University prevented that. The goal was Gomez' 20th career score and second straight game with a goal.
Just Short: Attempting to start 3-0 for the first time in program history, Loyola fell to then #26 Wake Forest, 2-1 at Wake's Spry Stadium. Despite a game-tying goal by Tessa McClenahan in the 13th minute, Wake took the lead in the 65th minute to hold on to the win. Wake Forest is now #8 in the NSCAA poll as of September 8.
Starting Off With a Bang: With two goals and an assist in her first three games as a collegian, freshman midfielder Tessa McClenahan was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week on August 30. Graduate student forward Theresa Ferraina was named the conference's offensive player of the week that same day with two goals and a pair of assists.
Pair of Goose-Eggs: The Greyhounds got off to a quick 2-0 start behind a pair of shutouts by senior goalkeeper Brittany Henderson. The 2007 MAAC Defensive Player of the Year was not tested often as a stout defensive line held the Mountaineers and Panthers to just eight shots combined.
Gotta Go To Lowe's: Much of Loyola's offense this season will go through graduate student forward Theresa Ferraina. On August 26, Ferraina was named one of 30 women's soccer players around the country to be nominated for this year's Lowe's Senior Class Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: classroom, community, character and competition.
Right Where They Left Off: After fi nishing as the runner-up to Fairfi eld at the MAAC Tournament, the Greyhounds were picked second, behind the defending champion, Stags, in the MAAC Preseason Poll.