Men's Soccer Captures First-Ever Patriot League Regular Season Title
Nov. 4, 2017
BALTIMORE - Sophomore Brian Saramago's goal in the 21st minute earned the Loyola University Maryland men's soccer team its first-ever Patriot League regular season title on Saturday afternoon, as the Greyhounds defeated Lafayette, 1-0, at Ridley Athletic Complex.
Loyola (11-5-1 overall, 7-2-0 Patriot League) will host the semifinals and championship game of the 2017 Patriot League Championships next Friday and Sunday, respectively. Loyola will face the lowest seed remaining after Tuesday's quarterfinal round on Friday at 5 p.m.
"First of all, I have to tip my cap to our guys," head coach Steve Nichols said. "I'm hard on them all year, but what we have overcome is unbelievable. These guys have shown incredible heart and grit to get to where we are and I'm proud of them."
Saramago notched his eighth goal of the season in the 21st minute as Barry Sharifi played the ball out wide to Jake Campbell who crossed it into the box for Saramago to finish. With the assist, Sharifi extended his point streak to seven-consecutive games.
Saramago's goal proved to be the difference-maker in the game as Loyola outshot Lafayette, 10-9, and held an advantage in corners, 3-1; six of the shots came from Sharifi.
The Greyhounds had opportunities to add to their lead in the second half when TJ Walker dribbled the ball to Xander Saling who settled it to Josh Fawole. Fawole one-touched the ball just wide of the right goal post in the 48th minute.
Loyola's best chance to extend their lead after that came in the 88th minute as Sharifi turned his breakaway into a hard shot but it was blocked by Lafayette goalkeeper, Brad Seeber, who had five saves on the day.
In goal for the Greyhounds, freshman Chase Vosvick earned four saves and his seventh career shutout.
With the win, this marks Loyola's first regular-season championship since 2008, and its first since joining the Patriot League for the 2013 season.
Prior to the start of the game, the Greyhounds honored their two seniors - Matt Bautista and Joseph Nichols - as they were playing in the final regular-season home game of their careers.
- Torie Smith-Israel '18