Sept. 22, 2009
Opponent: Niagara Purple Eagles (4-4-1)
Date: Friday, September 25
Where: Niagara University, N.Y.
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Media: Niagara Live Stats
Opponent: Canisius Golden Griffins (6-0-1)
Date: Sunday, September 27
Where: Buffalo, N.Y.
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Media: Canisius Video Streaming and Canisius Live Stats
The Greyhounds closed out non-conference play with a 4-4-2 record after shutting out American, 2-0, and tying Old Dominion, 1-1. Loyola kicks off its 18th season of MAAC Conference play with a pair of upstate New York teams, Niagara and Canisius. Loyola has dominated the series against both teams, but the Purple Eagles and Golden Griffins are much improved. Loyola is Niagara's first MAAC opponent of the season, while Canisius hosts Rider Friday night.
On the Purple Eagles
Goalkeeper Ashleigh Bowers anchors a strong Niagara defense as she leads the MAAC in GAA (0.98), Save Percentage (.842, 7th in NCAA), and saves (48). Jenny Raepple leads the attack with four goals and an assist on the season. In last season's meeting, Emily McElroy took a team-high three shots and Erin Baker assisted on a goal.
On the Golden Griffins
Loyola's defense could have its hands full with one of the top scoring offenses in the country in Canisius. The Griffs rank 35th in the nation and lead the conference with 2.43 goals per game. Sylvia Kowalski leads the attack with eight goals and five assists, putting her second in the nation in points per game with 3.0. Her eight goals rank fifth in the NCAA with 1.143 gpg. Kelly Reinwald also has five assists for Canisius and ranks 19th nationally in that category. Jenny Griffin will also take her share of shots and goalkeer Caroline Robert ranks second in the MAAC with a 1.26 GAA.
The Greyhounds are a combined 34-0-1 against Niagara and Canisius. Loyola is 16-0-1 vs Niagara and won 2-1 in their only meeting in 2008. The tie came in 2007 at Niagara as both teams were held scoreless. Loyola is 18-0-0 against the Golden Griffins, sweeping Canisius last season. The `Hounds took the regular season meeting 2-1 in Baltimore, and defeated the Griffs, 4-2 in the MAAC Semifinals.
Henderson Named Player of the Week
After just missing out on the honor in the first weekly release, goalkeeper Brittany Henderson was named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week on September 21. Henderson allowed just one goal as the Greyhounds went 1-0-1 at American and Old Dominion. The 2-0 shutout win over the Eagles was the senior's conference-leading third shutout of the season.
Strength of Schedule
In what has become a fixture at Loyola, the Greyhounds have started the season with a brutal non-conference schedule. Making matters harder is the fact that eight of those first ten games were on the road. Loyola's opponents so far thus season, not including this weekend's games, are a combined 40-38-7 (.512). Taking away games against High Point and Lafayette, Greyhounds' opponents are 37-23-7 (.604). Highlighting the schedule so far has been #7 Wake Forest and #18 Maryland.
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. After 10 games, Ferraina leads the team with nine points on three goals (2nd on team) and three assists (tie for team lead).
Fab Four Freshmen
Freshmen Nichole Schiro, Tessa McClenahan, Lauren Norcia and Jennifer Thornton have all played in all ten games this season for the Greyhounds. The fab four have combined for four goals, five assists and 35 shots. McClenahan won the conference Rookie of the Week honor on August 31.
A pair of juniors, midfielder Kelly Farrell and back Kelly Thomas have been vital to the team's 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 team with three assists.
Different Weekend, Different Result
After a tough weekend at VCU, Loyola closed out the non-conference portion of the schedule with a 2-0 shutout victory over American, and a 1-1 tie at Old Dominion. Nichole Schiro and Theresa Ferraina recorded a goal and an assist on the weekend, while Christina Gomez scored her team-leading fourth goal to put away American.
Long Weekend at VCU
After receiving a red card midway through the second half at VCU, Brittany Henderson was replaced in goal by freshman Danielle Ippolito. As head coach Katherine Vettori gambled, pushing the midfielders forward, the Greyhounds allowed two goals in the final 15 minutes. Ippolito was forced to start for Henderson vs. Eastern Michigan, and while Ippolito played well, the Greyhounds fell, 5-0 to the Eagles.
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.
After falling behind less than a minute into the game, Christina Gomez and Nichole Schiro punched in goals to take a 2-1 lead over Lafayette. The Leopards scored five minutes later, orcing the game into overtime before sophomore Maggie Ebner headed in the game-winner at 97:38.
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.
Two Out of Three
Loyola nearly swept the MAAC Weekly honors as Tessa McClenahan (2 goals, 1 assist) and Theresa Ferraina (2 goals, 2 assists) earned Rookie of the Week and Offensive Play of the Week, respectively, to open the season. Goalkeeper Brittany Henderson just missed a Loyola sweep of the awards after posting a pair of shutouts. That honor went to GK Kelly Mahoney of Iona.
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.
Trio Picked To Preseason Team
Senior defender Heather Cooke, junior midfielder Kelly Farrell and Ferraina were selected to the MAAC Preseason All-Conference team.
Picked Right Where They Left Off After finishing as the runner-up to Fairfield at the MAAC Tournament in 2008, the Greyhounds were picked second, behind the defending champion, Stags, in the MAAC Preseason Poll.