Greyhounds Head West for Colorado College Invitational

Sept. 11, 2007

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On the Road Again: Loyola flies to the high altitude of the Rocky Mountains for two matches this weekend at the Colorado College Invitational. The Greyhounds face another opponent that appears in the NSCAA/adidas national rankings, Marquette University, which checked in 28th last week. Loyola plays the Golden Eagles on Friday, September 14, at 1:30 p.m (MDT). The Greyhounds then take on the host Tigers, who have been ranked regionally this season by SoccerBuzz Magazine, Sunday, September 16, at 1:30 p.m. (MDT).

Honored: Sophomore goalkeeper was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for September 3-9, 2007, after leading the Greyhounds to a 2-1 win over then No. 24 Wake Forest and a 1-1 tie against Virginia Tech. Henderson made 19 saves (.905 save percentage) and had a 0.90 goals against average in the two matches.

The First Time: This weekend's games will be the first between Loyola and both Marquette and Colorado College. It is also the Greyhounds first game ever against teams from the states of Colorado or Wisconsin.

Go West Young Women: Loyola is no stranger to playing games west of the Central Time Zone. Last season, the Greyhounds traveled to Tempe, Ariz., and played a game against Arizona State, then competed against Florida State and St. Louis in the Sun Devils' Invitational.

The Golden Eagles: Marquette improved to 4-0 for the third time in school history with wins last week at Michigan and at home against La Salle. The Golden Eagles also face Wisconsin-Green Bay on Wednesday, September 14, prior to traveling to Colorado. All four of their 2007 wins have come by virtue of 2-0 shutouts of their opponents. Junior defender Shannon Cusick was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week, and senior goalkeeper Laura Boyer earned BIG EAST Honor Roll mention for their efforts last week.

The Tigers: Colorado College picked up a pair of wins last week to improve to 2-1-1 in 2007. The Tigers defeated McNeese State, 1-0, and Davidson, 2-0, after going 0-1-1 with a tie against St. Mary's (Calif.) and a loss to Cal-Berkeley at the season-opening Cal Invitational. Emily Beans and Tiffany Brown are tied for the team lead with two goals each, while Geneva Stiles has a 0.69 goals against average.At This Time: Last season, Loyola was 0-3-1 after four games with losses to Arizona State, then No. 1 ranked-Florida State and then-No. 27 St. Louis and a tie against Georgetown.

Fresh Faces: Two newcomers have seen considerable playing time for the Greyhounds in the first four games of the season. Freshmen Kelly Thomas and Lina Staropoli both started and played the majority of every match. Thomas has been a part of the Greyhounds' defense, and she added two assists at the Hokie Invitational. Loyola's lineup was dominated by underclassmen in all four matches. The Greyhounds started five sophomores and two freshmen in both games, along with three juniors and a senior.

Rewind: Loyola claimed its first victory of the 2007 season on Friday, September 7, when it defeated Wake Forest, 2-1. The Demon Deacons were ranked 24th in the NSCAA/adidas poll at the time of the game. The Greyhounds took a 2-0 lead in the game's first 10 minutes after Christina Gomez scored on a penalty kick, and Colleen Kinealy added a goal off assists from Lea Day and Kelly Thomas. Loyola almost made it 4-0 in the first half with two more solid scoring chances that were thwarted by the Wake Forest defense. The Demon Deacons scored their lone goal in the 82nd minute, and Brittany Henderson made two outstanding saves in the waning minutes to secure the victory. On Sunday, September 9, the Greyhounds rallied to tie Virginia Tech on a goal by Day in the 56th minute. Henderson stopped 10 shots in the match, two in the second overtime period.

All The Buzz: Loyola opened the 2007 season ranked 15th in the Mid-Atlantic Region by SoccerBuzz Magazine, and though the Greyhounds fell out of the rankings for the week of September 4, they are back at 15th this week. The Greyhounds are slated to play five teams this year also regionally ranked by the publication in its preseason poll, including both this 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 26-14-3 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.