Greyhounds, Richmond Square Off in Non-Conference Action

Sept. 19, 2007

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On The Road Again: The Greyhounds hit the road for the third straight weekend as they travel down Interstate 95 to face the University of Richmond Spiders. The teams face off on Sunday, September 23, at 1 p.m., at First Market Stadium.

Honored: A Loyola player earned a weekly honor from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the second-straight week. Freshman Lina Staropoli was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week for September 10-16 after scoring her first collegiate points at the Colorado College Invitational. She recorded an assist on Heather Cooke's goal versus Marquette, then she tallied her first collegiate goal in the Colorado College game. Sophomore goalkeeper Brittany Henderson was named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week for September 3-9.

The Last Time: Sunday's match will be the fourth all-time between the teams. Last season, the teams played to a 1-1 draw after two overtimes. Richmond won the previous two meetings, however. The Spiders defeated the Greyhounds, 2-0, in 1999 and 3-2 during the 1998 season.

The Spiders: Richmond posted its first win of the 2007 season with a 2-0 decision over Virginia Military Institute last Sunday at First Market Stadium to improve to 1-4-1 on the year. The Spiders play a game prior to their match against Loyola, facing their crosstown rival, Virginia Commonwealth University on Thursday, September 20. Sophomores led the scoring effort for Richmond in its win over VMI. Kelsey Rdzanek and Jen Ruhe each scored goals in the victory. Ruhe has scored two of the Spiders' six goals this season, while Rdzanek and Jessie Wolfe have the other two. Senior Kate Hudson has played every minute in goal for Richmond, posting a 1.29 goals against average and .784 save percentage.

Dukes in Common: Loyola and Richmond share one common opponent thus far in 2007. Both teams lost by a 1-0 score to James Madison.

Rewind: Loyola lost two close games last weekend at the Colorado College Invitational. The Greyhounds were beaten by then-No. 25 Marquette, 3-1, despite Heather Cooke's first goal of the season off a Lina Staropoli corner kick. In the weekend's second match, the host Tigers edged Loyola, 2-1, with two quick goals in the second half. Staropoli responded with her first collegiate goal, but it was not enough to post a win.

Henderson Highlighted: Loyola sophomore Brittany Henderson earned several accolades for her performance at the September 7-9 Hawthorne Suites Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va., In addition to being named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week, Henderson earned Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC). She was then named to the SoccerBuzz Magazine Elite Team of the Week.

Spreading the Scoring: Six different players have scored goals for the Greyhounds this season. Theresa Ferraina, Christina Gomez, Lea Day, Lina Staropoli, Colleen Kinealy and Heather Cooke have each recorded goals, while Ferraina, Gomez, Day and Staropoli all have one assist. Kelly Thomas leads the team with two assists.

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 25-16-2 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.