Nov. 13, 2007
Up Next: Loyola travels to Charlottesville, Va., for a first round match in the NCAA College Cup against No. 7 Virginia. The Greyhounds and Cavaliers will meet at Klockner Stadium on Friday, November 16, 2007, at 5 p.m. Georgetown and William & Mary meet in the other first round match, and the winners of those games will play on Sunday, November 18, at 2 p.m.
NCAA Championships History: Friday's match will be Loyola's sixth NCAA College Cup appearance in the 16-year history of the program. The Greyhounds made five-consecutive trips to the Championships from 2000-2004 and have a 0-5 record in NCAA events.
Versus UVA: The game will be the second all-time between the programs. Loyola's 1997 team, led by then-Head Coach Dave Gerrity, was edged by Virginia, 2-1. The teams shared two common opponents this season, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers beat the Hokies, 2-0, and tied the Demon Deacons, 0-0, while Loyola edged Wake Forest, 2-1, and tied Virginia Tech, 1-1.
NCAA Experience: Although the Greyhounds have made five previous appearances in the MAAC Championship Game, only one Loyola player on the roster for an NCAA contest. Senior Brittany Marano was on the squad that won the 2004 MAAC title and played Maryland in the NCAA College Cup. Head Coach John Byford was an assistant coach to then-Head Coach Joe Mallia on that team. Brynn McGrath has the most NCAA experience, playing on the UCLA Bruins' squad as a freshman in 2004 that advanced to the NCAA Championship Match. She played in the Bruins' second round match against San Diego.
Dueling Defenses: The match will showcase two of the best defenses in the region, if not the nation. Virginia enters College Cup action as the top-ranked defense in NCAA Division I. The Cavaliers have yielded just seven goals this season for a 0.321 goals against average and have posted 14 shutouts this season, tied for the most in the nation. Freshman goalkeeper Chantel Jones leads the nation with a 0.327 goals against average for the Cavaliers. Meanwhile, the Greyhounds have a 0.849 goals against average, led by Brittany Henderson's conference-leading 0.817 GAA. Henderson is 15th in the nation with a 0.872 saves percentage, helping Loyola post 10 shutouts as a team.
Gomez Goals: Christina Gomez has scored goals in four-straight games for the Greyhounds, raising her team-leading total to eight for the year. She scored once at Fairfield and had two goals and an assist at Iona. She then scored a goal and had an assist against Fairfield in the MAAC Semifinals and added an insurance score versus Marist in the Championship Game.
MAAC Defensive Player of the Year: Loyola sophomore goalkeeper Brittany Henderson received the conference's top defensive honor last week after posting eight solo shutouts this season. She was also named to the All-MAAC team (more later) and received four MAAC Defensive Player of the Week awards this 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.
Championships Chatter: Lea Day and Christina Gomez each scored first-half goals, and Brittany Henderson recorded her eight solo shutout of the year, as Loyola defeated host Marist, 2-0, in the MAAC Championship Game. In the 31st minute, Lina Staropoli beat her defender down the sideline and served a perfect volley to the near post. Day was there to head the ball home for her sixth goal of the season. Just over a minute later, a Marist foul in the box gave the Greyhounds another opportunity to add to their lead. Christina Gomez buried a penalty kick to give Loyola the 2-0 lead. Henderson made five saves in the match, preserving the shutout.
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.
Five Earn All-Tournament Nods: Brittany Henderson was named the MAAC Tournament Most Valuable Player and was one of five Loyola players on the All-Tournament Team. She was joined by Christina Gomez, Lea Day, Brynn McGrath and Sarra Moller.
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 eight solo shutouts this season and has contributed in two others with Amanda Piccirilli. 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.
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 35-17-7 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. This season, he directed the team to a 10-5-5 mark and a 5-0-4 record in the conference. The Greyhounds earned the No. 3 seed in the Championships, but won the tournament title and were the only undefeated team in MAAC play throughout the year. 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.