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Loyola Stuns Syracuse In Season Opener
Aug. 30, 2003
GERMANTOWN, MD - Junior Kevin Nash slipped past Syracuse goalkeeper Alim Karim and knocked in the game-winner with 1:56 showing on the overtime clock on Saturday night at the Germantown Soccerplex. Nash took a corner kick from freshman Danny Wheelan and gave Loyola a season-opening 1-0 victory over the 22nd-ranked Orangemen.
"I didn't play the whole second half and when I got in on the corner kick, I got behind the goalkeeper," says Nash. "I broke early, pretty much guessed, and was able to direct it to the far post."
Defense was the theme of the night and both squads put their best games forward. Loyola posted a 6-2 shot advantage in the first half, and kept it at 11-7 after 60 minutes of play. Both goalkeepers kept their poise; however, and an extra period was needed to decide the winner.
The Greyhounds came out aggressive in overtime, but could not connect of their first two attempts. As the 98th minute rolled over, Wheelan lofted one of four Loyola corner kicks into the air for Nash to head in.
"We showed a lot of emotion and heart," say Loyola Head Coach Mark Mettrick. "The players gave it all they had and they played extremely hard. I'm very proud of them tonight."
Junior Greg Peters, making his first start in goal, registered five saves in picking up the win. Karim finished with six saves for Syracuse. Three Greyhounds had two shots-on-goal, with senior Jay Joyce, sophomore John Dalziel and freshman Omar Alfonso all contributing of the offense end.
"This is just an unbelievable feeling," says Nash. "It's a great way to start the season and big boost for our program."
The Greyhounds open the season at 1-0 and drop Syracuse, ranked No. 22 in the season-opening coaches poll, to 0-1. Loyola, picked to win the MAAC the conference's preseason coaches' poll, is back in action on Friday, Sept. 5 at the 2003 Battle of Baltimore. The 'Hounds face Navy at Towson in a 1 p.m. match.