Women's Soccer Faces Marist in MAAC Championship Game with NCAA Bid at Stake

Nov. 10, 2007

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Up Next: Loyola plays Marist for the second time in 15 days, but this time the stakes will be higher, as the teams face off in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Game for a chance to represent the MAAC in the NCAA Championships. The Greyhounds and Red Foxes play on Sunday, November 11, at 12 p.m. on Tenney Stadium in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

TV Time: The MAAC Championship Game will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Sam Gore will provide the play-by-play, and former U.S. Women's National Coach Tony DiCiccio will handle color analyst duties. Jeff Strauss is producing, and Greg Costa is directing, the broadcast.

MAAC Championships History: Loyola has played in every MAAC Championships that has been played, dating back to the 1992 season. The Greyhounds hold a 21-4-6 all-time record in the Championships with a record eight titles to their credit. The match against Marist will be Loyola's MAAC-record 14th appearance in the Championship Game.

Versus Marist in the MAACs: Sunday's Championship Game will be the fourth time Loyola and Marist have meet in the MAAC Championships. The Greyhounds have come out on top all three times, but two of them were only one-goal wins. Loyola defeated Marist, 5-1, in the 1997 semifinals, then beat the Red Foxes, 1-0, in the 1999 semifinals. In the only Championship Game meeting between the programs, the Greyhounds were 1-0 victors in the 2001 finale.

Close Calls: Of Loyola's 31 MAAC Championships contests, 20 have either been ties (6) or one-goal (14) games. Additionally, five games have been two-goal differentials. The Greyhounds have gone to penalty kicks six times in championships history, advancing twice in those match-ups.

This Century: Since the calendar flipped to the 21st century, Loyola has gone 12-2-1 in MAAC Championships competition. The Greyhounds advanced in penalty kicks past Rider in their only tie game (2001). Loyola's two losses came to Fairfield in the 2005 Semifinals (2-1) and against Siena in the 2006 Semifinals (1-0).

Championship Game Experience: < Although the Greyhounds have made 13 previous appearances in the MAAC Championship Game, only one Loyola player on the roster for a title contest. Senior Brittany Marano was on the squad that won the 2004 Championship Game, 2-0, over Rider, however she did not play in the match. Loyola Head Coach John Byford was an assistant to then-Head Coach Joe Mallia that season.

Fit To Be Tied: The Greyhounds' 2-2 tie at Fairfield on Friday, November 2, was the teams' fifth draw of the 2007 season, setting a school record for ties in a season. The 1995 squad finished the year with a 10-6-4 record. Loyola also set a school record with four ties in conference play. Four of the games were 0-0 ties. One was a 1-1 draw, and the other a 2-2 tie.

Semifinals Recap: Colleen Kinealy broke a scoreless tie in the 62nd minute, as she drove a header past Fairfield goalkeeper Brett Maron to put Loyola ahead 1-0. Christina Gomez, who assisted Kinealy's goal, added an insurance goal in the 78th minute. She took a through ball from Brynn McGrath and beat Maron one-on-one to provide the final 2-0 margin. Brittany Henderson made four saves and recorded her seventh solo shutout of the season.

All-MAAC Honors: Five Loyola student-athletes were named to the All-MAAC First or Second Teams at Thursday night's banquet, highlighted by sophomore goalkeeper Brittany Henderson who was named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year. Joining Henderson on the All-MAAC First Team were junior back Sarra Moller and senior midfielder Brynn McGrath. Sophomore back Heather Cooke and junior midfielder Lea Day earned All-MAAC Second Team laurels.

Rookie Awards: Three Loyola first-year players earned spots on the MAAC All-Rookie Team that was also announced at Thursday's banquet, the most of any team in the conference. Redshirt freshman Kelly Farrell, who did not play in 2006 due to injury, was joined on the squad by true freshmen Lina Staropoli and Kelly Thomas.

Brains and Brawn: The Greyhounds have been as good in the classroom as on the pitch, as was demonstrated when the MAAC All-Academic Team was announced on Thursday. Ten Greyhounds - Lea Day, Theresa Ferraina, Christina Gomez, Colleen Kinealy, Brittany Marano, Brynn McGrath, Amanda Meehan, Sarra Moller, Rachel Shuck and Andrea Toro - all earned MAAC All-Academic honors for having grade point averages of 3.2 or higher.

Academic All-District: Two Loyola players earned ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District II Women's Soccer honors. Theresa Ferraina was named to the All-District First Team, while Lea Day earned Second Team mention. Ferraina has a 4.0 grade point average in accounting, while Day is a 3.88 business administration student.

Picking Her Spots: Colleen Kinealy has scored two game-winning goals this season, and each came in big games. The sophomore from Chesterfield, Mo., scored the Greyhounds second goal in a 2-1 win against then-No. 24 ranked Wake Forest on September 9. She then put a header past Fairfield goalkeeper Brett Maron in the 62nd minute of the MAAC Semifinals to score the game winning goal as Loyola advanced to the MAAC Championship Game.

Saving Shutouts: Brittany Henderson has notched seven solo shutouts this season and has contributed in two others with Amanda Picirrilli. In those nine matches, Henderson has recorded an average of 3.4 saves. Taking the Greyhounds' 9-0 win over Saint Peter's, in which the Henderson played only the first half and did not face a shot, out of the equation, and the number goes up to 3.9 saves per game in the shutouts.

Scoreless October: Loyola did not allow its opponents to score a goal in seven matches during the month of October. In all, the Greyhounds recorded 690 scoreless minutes during the month and have not been scored upon in the last 700 minutes, 11 seconds of game action.

Third Best: The Greyhounds' seven consecutive shutouts (October 5-28) marked the third-longest streak of consecutive shutouts in school history. The 2000 team put together 11 shutouts in a row, and the 2004 squad posted eight straight shutouts.

Scoreless Streak Scratch: Fairfield's goal in the second half of Friday's game snapped a 766-minute, 14-second, scoreless streak by the Greyhounds' defense. Loyola had not been scored upon since late in the September 30 match against Bucknell.

The Red Foxes: Loyola and Marist are no strangers to each other after playing to a 0-0 draw on October 28 at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. The Red Foxes are 11-4-3 this year and earned the MAAC regular-season crown with a 7-1-1 conference record. The Greyhounds hold a 9-1-4 record all-time against Marist. The teams have met three times in the MAAC Championships with Loyola coming out on top of all three matches. Katie Zasly and Alexandra Lauterborn each scored in the MAAC Semifinals against Niagara, helping the Red Foxes to a 2-1 win. Marrilynn Esteve and Kate Fox share the team lead in scoring with eight goals, two assists and 18 total points. Allison Lane has allowed just 11 goals in 14 games in goal.

Golden Goalie: Awards are becoming old news for Loyola sophomore goalkeeper Brittany Henderson. She earned her fourth Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week Award on October 22 after putting together 200 minutes of scoreless time in goal against Canisius and Niagara. She stopped all seven shots that were put on goal, including one on a penalty kick against the Purple Eagles.

Assisting the Cause: Loyola's eight assists against Saint Peter's were the most in a single game since having 11 against Howard in 1997.

Looking Back: Loyola finished the 2007 season with a 10-7-2 record and the 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 34-17-7 record since taking over as head coach and is 22-1-5 in MAAC regular-season competition, winning conference regular-season crowns in 2005 and 2006. Byford is 2-0-1 all-time against Marist. 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. He is joined on the bench by Associate Head Coach Peye Garcia and Assistant Coach Carly Draper.

#0 • Amanda Piccirilli • Jr. • 5-5 • GK
Lansdale, Pa./North Penn
• Saw action in three games, starting one, in goal.
• Started the Iona match and made four saves.
• Also saw action against Richmond and Saint Peter's.

#2 • Brittany Marano • Sr. • 5-6 • M
Barnegat, N.J./Southern Regional
• Played in 13 games, starting two, in the central midfield.
• MAAC All-Academic Team member.
• Started the Colorado College and Marist matches.
• Registered two shots at Colorado College, two on goal.

#4 • Marissa Greco • Fr. • 5-4 • M
Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central
• Came off the bench in seven minutes and logged considerable time in the midfield.
• Scored her first, and only, collegiate goal on her first, and only, collegiate shot against Saint Peter's.

#6 • Rachel Shuck • So. • 5-7 • F
Kensington, Md./Academy of the Holy Cross
• Received progressively more playing time as the year went on, playing in 16 games and starting two.
• MAAC All-Academic Team member.
• Her speed adds a great dimension to Loyola's attack.
• Started the Marist and Fairfield matches, the first of her career.
• Has taken eight shots this year.

#7 • Kelly Thomas • Fr. • 5-3 • D
Shaker Heights, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit
• Immediately stepped into the starting lineup as a freshman.
• Started all 19 games at left back.
• Has four assists.
• MAAC All-Rookie Team honoree.
• Notched assists in the win over Wake Forest and in a tie against Virginia Tech.
• Also assisted on goals at home versus Saint Peter's and Siena.
• Has taken eight shots, five on goal.
• Two of her assists were on game-winning goals.

#8 • Sarra Moller • Jr. • 5-3 • D
Manalapan, N.J./St. John Vianney
• Team Co-Captain
• One of the top defenders in the conference.
• Has started all 58 games of her college career as a center back.
• Earned All-MAAC First Team honors.
• MAAC All-Academic Team member.
• All-MAAC First Team as a sophomore and freshman, as well.
• MAAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 as a freshman. Also named to the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region that year.
• Has three career goals.

#9 • Lea Day • Jr. • 5-7 • M
Boulder, Colo./Boulder
• Third on the team with five goals and 14 points.
• Took two shots, one on goal in the MAAC Semifinal.
• All-MAAC Second Team for the second-straight season.
• Tied for third with four assists.
• Has played in all 19 games, starting 16 as an outside midfielder.
• Named to the Academic All-District II Second Team.
• MAAC All-Academic Team member.
• Scored the game-winner in overtime against Iona.
• Had the second goal versus Fairfield.
• Scored the game-tying goal in a 1-1 draw at Virginia Tech.
• Earned All-Tournament Honors at the Colorado CollegeInvitational.
• Scored once and assisted on another goal against Saint Peter's.
• Has played in 57 games, starting 34, in her three years at Loyola.
• Has nine goals, 11 assists and 29 points in her career.

#10 • Theresa Ferraina • Jr. • 5-2 • M
Long Branch, N.J./St. John Vianney
• Leads the team with seven goals this season. Has started all 18 games as an outside midfielder.
• Attempted three shots, one on goal in the MAAC Semifinal.
• Second on the team with 16 points. Also has two assists.
• Earned Academic All-District II First Team honors for her 4.0 grade point average.
• MAAC All-Academic Team member.
• Notched her first career multi-goal game at Richmond with two goals.
• Also scored twice against Saint Peter's.
• Scored game-winners in back-to-back 1-0 contests against Rider and Canisius.
• Walked on to the team during the spring of her freshman year.
• Played in 19 games, starting four, as a sophomore.

#11 • Brynn McGrath • Sr. • 5-3 • M
Old Brookville, N.Y./St. Anthony's/UCLA
• Team Co-Captain.
• Assisted on Loyola's second goal against Fairfield in the MAAC Semifinals, a score by Christina Gomez.
• All-MAAC First Team honoree as a senior after earning Second Team honors as a junior and First Team mention as a sophomore.
• MAAC All-Academic Team member.
• Has played in all 19 games, starting 18, as a central midfielder.
• Taken 14 shots, seven on goal, this season.
• Transferred to Loyola prior to the 2005 season after playing in 12 games, starting six, as a freshman at UCLA.
• Has played in 69 career games, making 62 starts.

#12 • Lina Staropoli • Fr. • 5-7 • M
Raritan, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan
• Started every game as a freshman in the central midfield.
• Leads the team with seven assists.
• MAAC All-Rookie Team.
• Third on team with 13 points. Also has three goals.
• Took three shots, all in the first half, in the MAAC Semifinals.
• Earned All-Tournament honors at the Colorado College Invitational where she recorded her first collegiate goal and assist.
• Assisted on a goal against Marquette, and scored versus Colorado College.
• Also earned MAAC Rookie of the Week honors that week.
• Assisted on two goals at Richmond.
• Scored game-winners for the Greyhounds against Bucknell and Saint Peter's.
• Recorded two assists at Iona.

#13 • Heather Cooke • So. • 5-8 • D
California, Md./Leonardtown
• Has started every game in the central defense.
• All-MAAC Second Team.
• Scored off a Lina Staropoli corner kick against Marquette.
• Played in 18 games, starting nine, as a freshman when she scored a goal and had an assist.

#15 • Taylor Santypal • Fr. • 5-7 • D
Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa
• Played in four games as a defender.
• Recorded two shots versus Iona.

#16 • Brittany Henderson • So • 5-7 • GK
Commack, N.Y./Commack
• Outstanding in goal as a sophomore, starting 18 games.
• MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and All-MAAC First Team.
• Has played 1,672 minutes thus far and has a 0.86 goals against average with an .866 saves percentage.
• Made four saves in shutting out Fairfield in the MAAC Semifinals.
• Has registered seven solo shutouts and combined with Amanda Picirrilli for two others.
• Earned four MAAC Defensive Player of the Week awards.
• Helped the defense post seven-straight shutouts and hold opponents scoreless in October.
• Played 741:14 of shutout ball in goal during that streak.
• Stopped 2-of-3 opponent penalty kick attempts.
• Earned MAAC All-Rookie Team honors last season.

#17 • Kelly Farrell • Fr.-RS • 5-5 • M
Oceanside, N.Y./Oceanside
• Came on late in the year to play in 15 games and make three starts. Speed gives extra dimension in midfield.
• MAAC All-Rookie Team.
• Scored two goals, the first of her collegiate career, against Saint Peter's. Also had an assist against the Peahens.
• Earned MAAC Rookie of the Week honors following that outing.
• Scored the game-winner against Siena, as well.
• Sat out 2006 season with an injury.

#19 • Kristina Balfoort • Jr. • 5-8 • M
Latham, N.Y./Shaker/Northeastern
• Played in eight games, making two starts, in the midfield.
• Saw action in eight of the last 11 games.
• Scored twice and had an assist against Saint Peter's.
• Assisted on Theresa Ferraina's game-winner at Canisius when she made her first collegiate start.
• Scored against Siena, as well.

#20 • Amanda Meehan • So. • 5-4 • D
Frederick, Md./Frederick
• Started every game at right back this year after making 13 starts in 18 games as a freshman.
• MAAC All-Academic Team member.
• Assisted on a goal against Saint Peter's.
• Has taken six shots this year.
• Earned MAAC All-Rookie Team honors last season.

#21 • Colleen Kinealy • So. • 5-7 • M
Chesterfield, Mo./St. Joseph's
• Scored the game-winner in the 62nd minute of the MAAC Semifinal against Fairfield.
• MAAC All-Academic Team member.
• Played in all 19 games, making 16 starts in the midfield.
• Has scored four goals and has an assist for nine points.
• Tallied the game-winner against Wake Forest.
• Added scores at Central Florida and versus Siena.
• Earned MAAC All-Rookie Team honors last year after playing in 19 games, starting 16.

#23 • Christina Gomez • So. • 5-7 • F
Upper Saddle River, N.J./Northern Highlands
• Leads Loyola with 20 points this season.
• Assisted on Colleen Kinealy's game-winning goal in the MAAC Semifinals, then added an insurance goal of her own in the 78th minute.
• MAAC All-Academic Team member.
• Has scored seven goals and assisted on six others.
• Scored twice against Iona and assisted on Lea Day's game-winner in overtime against the Gaels.
• Also scored last weekend at Fairfield.
• Assisted on two goals against Saint Peter's.
• Scored the game-winner and assisted on another at Richmond.
•Earned MAAC All-Rookie Team honors last year after scoring six goals and assisting on four.

#25 • Andrea Toro • So. • 5-9 • M
Darnestown, Md./Connelly School of the Holy Cross
• Has seen action in five games this season.
• MAAC All-Academic Team member.
• Started one game and played in four as a freshman.