Women's Soccer Opens MAAC Championships Against Canisius, Friday, 11 a.m.

Nov. 5, 2008

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BALTIMORE - Last weekend, the Loyola women's soccer team checked two of its preseason goals off with road wins at Marist and Siena.

Friday's 2-0 win at Marist clinched a spot for the Greyhounds in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships, and their 2-1 victory over the Saints earned Loyola the No. 1 seed and regular-season title.

While both goals were important pieces to the puzzle, the most important objective lies ahead: win the MAAC Championship and earn the conference's automatic bid to the 2008 NCAA College Cup for the second year in a row.

The Greyhounds, who finished the regular-season with a 9-5-4 overall record, 7-0-2 in the MAAC, open play in the MAAC Championships with a semifinals match against fourth-seeded Canisius on Friday, November 7, at 11 a.m.

Siena will host the MAAC Championships in Loudonville, N.Y. No. 2 Fairfield will play the host school, the third-seeded Saints, in the other semifinal at 2 p.m. The winners of both matches will meet on Sunday, November 9, at 1 p.m. in the Championship Match.

The regular-season title is the 10th in Loyola women's soccer history. During the Greyhounds 17 years in the MAAC, they have reached the conference tournament every season and have eight MAAC Championship titles to their credit.

Loyola defeated Canisius (2-1 on October 26), Fairfield (1-0, October 5) and Siena (2-1, November 2) earlier this season.

Loyola enters the MAAC Championships on a 12-match unbeaten streak. The Greyhounds are 9-0-3 since losing to Indiana, 2-1, on September 14. Increased offensive output, and an excellent defense, have been the primary attributes of the unbeaten streak.

Beginning with a 2-2 tie at Bucknell on September 21, Loyola has outscored its opponents 23-7 over the 12-game stretch. The scoring has come from nine different players, and the Greyhounds' defense has posted a goals-against average of just 0.55 per game.

Theresa Ferraina, who leads the team with eight goals, eight assists and 24 points this season, has recorded six goals and six assists during the last 12 matches.

Lea Day has also been a tremendous offensive asset during the run. She has scored all six of her goals this season during the stretch, including both in the victory over Siena. Day has four game-winners this season, and her six goals in MAAC play are tied for the conference lead in that department.

The Greyhounds' defense has been stellar during the last half of the season. Led by center backs Sarra Moller and Heather Cooke, and outside backs Kelly Thomas, Ashley Lunemann and Amanda Meehan, Loyola has limited opponents to just seven goals in the last 12 matches.

Goalkeeper Brittany Henderson has posted a 0.42 goals against average while playing in 10 of those matches, and Amanda Piccirilli has a 0.92 goals against mark in four games.

Ferraina, Day and Christina Gomez (three goals, one assist this season) have climbed into the all-time leaders at the College.

Gomez and Ferraina are tied for ninth all-time at Loyola with 17 career goals, while Day is one behind, tied for 12th.

Day's 13 career assists are tied for 10th in the 17-year history of the program, and Ferraina's 46 points are also tied for 10th. Day and Gomez each have 45 career points and are tied for 12th.

Ferraina's eight goals this year are part of a six-way tie for the Loyola single-season record, and her 24 points are good for fifth in a single season.