Women's Soccer Prepares For Central Florida, Bucknell

Sept. 24, 2007

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Up Next: Loyola continues its seven-game road swing on Friday, September 28, when it takes on Central Florida, 7 p.m., at the UCF Soccer Complex. The Greyhounds then return home to start a four-match homestand on Sunday, September 30, at 1 p.m. against Bucknell on Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. Admission is free to the Loyola home match.

Offensive Breakout: Loyola scored three goals in its last match, a shutout of the University of Richmond on the road. The three scores were the most by the Greyhounds this season. Loyola took a season-high 10 shots on goal, eclipsing the team's previous 2007 best of six against Virginia Tech.

Make It A Double: Theresa Ferraina notched her first collegiate multi-goal game against the Spiders, scoring twice in the second half. She now leads the team with three goals and seven total points in 2007.

Assisting: Lina Staropoli has done a nice job of distributing the ball to her teammates recently. She has three assists in the Greyhounds' last three matches, two coming against Richmond. Staropoli also had an assist against the then-No. 25 Marquette and recorded her first collegiate goal versus Colorado College.

The Last Time: Friday's match against the Golden Knights will be the second overall meeting between the programs. Loyola took the first contest with a 1-0 victory in Orlando during the 2005 season. The Greyhounds held Central Florida to just three shots on goal, and Courtney Arikian scored the game-winner in the 84th minute off an assist by Brynn McGrath. Sunday's meeting with Bucknell will be the third overall between the teams, but it's the first since the 1993 season. Loyola won a pair of 1-0 decisions in 1992 and 1993 against the Bison.

The Golden Knights: Central Florida (4-2-2) is coming off two ties at home last weekend versus in-state opponents. The Golden Knights tied Miami (Fla.), 2-2, on Friday, then defeated played to a 3-3 draw versus then-No. 11 Florida State on Sunday. Courtney Whidden was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week after tallying two goals, one on a PK with less than five seconds remaining in regulation to tie Miami, in the matches.. She leads the team with seven goals this season, while Becca Thomas tops the Golden Knights with six assists.

The Bison: Bucknell sits at the .500 mark (4-4) heading into this week. The Bison play another Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference team, Marist, at home on Friday prior to meeting the Greyhounds on Diane Geppi-AIkens Field. Kelliann Doherty scored in overtime to lift the Bison over Cornell, 1-0, in their last game. Christa Matlack leads Bucknell with five goals and 12 points. Doherty is second on the squad with 10 points (3g, 4a).

Rewind: The Greyhounds picked up their first shutout of the season, 3-0, on Sunday at Richmond. Theresa Ferraina scored twice, and Christina Gomez hit the eventual game-winner in the 24th minute. Gomez added an assist on Ferraina's last goal, and Lina Staropoli had two assists in the game. Brittany Henderson finished with eight saves, one coming in spectacular fashion on a Spiders' penalty kick just before halftime. Amanda Piccirrili also made a save for the Greyhounds.

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. Ferraina leads the team with three, while Gomez has two. Staropoli tops the team with three assists, while Gomez and Kelly Thomas each have two.

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 26-16-2 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.