Nov. 5, 2009
Baltimore, Md. -
After becoming the first automatic qualifier into the NCAA College Cup by winning the MAAC Championships last weekend, Loyola (MD) women's soccer jumped into the NSCAA Northeast Regional rankings for the first time in recent history. The Greyhounds, who are in the midst of a program-record 14 game-unbeaten streak (12-0-2), entered the rankings tied for tenth with Pittsburgh, South Florida and DePaul of the BIG EAST conference.
Just ahead of the Greyhounds was Boston University, who Loyola tied, 1-1, in the Greyhounds home opener on September 4.
In a separate regional poll sponsored by the NCAA, the Greyhounds were selected ninth in the region, sandwiched between the Terriers in eighth and Villanova in tenth. Loyola, now 15-4-3 overall and 9-0-0 in the MAAC, have eight days off before the first round of the NCAA Tournament on November 13. The pairings for the field of 64 will be announced on Monday, November 9 at 8:00 pm. Live coverage of the selection show will be aired on ESPNEWS.
The Greyhounds overcame several obstacles, including coming from behind in every conference tournament game, to win the MAAC Championship. Top-seed Loyola fell behind, 1-0, to Manhattan in the quarterfinals but came back to tie the game in regulation. After two scoreless overtime sessions, freshman goalkeeper Danielle Ippolito made a save in the sixth round of penalty kicks before senior back Amanda Meehan converted for the game-winner.
Loyola faced offensive powerhouse Canisius in the semifinals and fell behind, 1-0, early. A game-tying goal was scored by Tournament MVP Gianna Mangione, and after an own goal and a score by Lowe's Senior CLASS Award finalist Theresa Ferraina, Loyola advanced to its third straight MAAC Championship Game.
For the first time all season, Loyola came back from a two-goal deficit to win the championship game. Senior Christina Gomez cut the lead to one on a penalty kick and within three minutes, Mangione tallied her second goal of the tournament to tie the game at two. Another three minutes later, freshman Tessa McClenahan scored the game-winner.
Joining Mangione on the All-Tournament team was Ippolito, Ferraina and senior back Heather Cooke.