Women's Soccer Draws Virginia in NCAA College Cup First Round

Nov. 12, 2007

BALTIMORE - The Loyola women's soccer team will play No. 7 Virginia in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Women's Soccer College Cup on Friday, November 16, in Charlottesville, Va.

The game will be played at 5 p.m. at Klockner Stadium.

The Greyhounds (10-5-5) won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships yesterday, with a 2-0 victory over Marist, to earn their sixth bid to the College Cup. The Cavaliers will make their 20th appearance in the Cup and 14th consecutive.

Virginia (11-3-6) was one of 16 teams seeded in the College Cup, drawing a No. 4 seed. The winner of the match will play the winner of Georgetown and William & Mary on Sunday, November 18, at 2 p.m.

"This is a great experience for our younger players," Head Coach John Byford said after the team watched the announcement on ESPNews in Loyola's Reading Room.. "This will be the first time for our freshmen and sophomores, and actually the only player on the team who has been to an NCAA Tournament (with Loyola) is (senior midfielder) Brittany Marano.

"We're going to be an underdog again, playing Virginia on their home field, but we were the underdog at the MAAC Championships as the third seed. There are no expectations on us."

Virginia lost on penalty kicks in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships to North Carolina.

Loyola played two ACC teams this season, finishing with a 1-0-1 record. The Greyhounds defeated Wake Forest, which is also a No. 4 seed in the tournament and is currently ranked 18th in the nation, 2-1. Loyola also tied Virginia Tech, 1-1.

In addition to Wake Forest, the Greyhounds played three other teams that advanced to the College Cup. They lost the season opener, 1-0, to James Madison, and fell, 3-2, at Central Florida. Loyola also played Georgetown in a preseason exhibition match.

"We have played two ACC teams this year, but when you get to the NCAA Tournament, it's a whole different ballgame," Byford said. "There are no easy games. Teams come out with a whole different mentality, and we will have to do the same."

The Greyhounds began the year with a 1-4-1 record, but finished with a 9-1-4 mark. Only one of their losses was by more than one goal (3-1 versus Marquette). Loyola's defense has allowed only four goals in the team's last 11 matches.

"Early in the year, we were giving up goals. We were scoring goals, but we were giving up too many," Byford said. "We corrected that problem, and now we don't give up many. That has been a big part of our success."

Brittany Henderson, Loyola's sophomore goalkeeper, was named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year last week. She was joined on the All-MAAC First Team by Sarra Moller and Brynn McGrath.

The Greyhounds lost their only previous meeting with Virginia when the Dave Gerrity-led team was edged, 2-1, by the Cavaliers.