Sept. 17, 2004
Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola College women's soccer team will face their fourth nationally ranked opponent Sunday, meeting No. 3 Washington at the University of Maryland's Ludwig Field. The Greyhounds have faced nationally ranked Villanova and Texas already this season.
"This is a great opportunity for us," head coach Joe Mallia said. "I think our players will be ready to go. What we ask of them is to put their best effort forth and if they do so, it will be a great game for us."
Loyola, in its previous competitions against nationally ranked teams, has been solid. In their home opener against Villanova, the Greyhounds stuck with the Wildcats in a physical contest, ultimately falling 1-0. Against the Longhorns, Loyola never back down, falling just 3-2.
"We put games like this on our schedule for a reason," Mallia said. "To give us the opportunity to compete against some of the top teams in the country and to prepare us for the national tournament if we are fortunate enough to get there again this season."
The Huskies are currently ranked third in the country by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and eighth by Soccer Buzz. They hold the top spot in the West region in both polls.
The Greyhounds moved up from ninth place last week to eighth in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the NSCAA poll after a dominating 7-0 performance over St. Joseph's. Loyola remained at ninth in Soccer Buzz's regional poll.
"We're in a great position right now," Mallia said. "Over our next three games, we'll be fighting to keep our position facing Washington and regionally ranked teams like James Madison and Maryland. We hope to continue to improve upon our position in the polls."
Here is a complete look at the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Poll: