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Joe Mallia, now in his seventh season as the Greyhound head coach and 11th season overall with the Loyola women's soccer team, has solidified his program as one of the best in the region and himself as one of the top young coaches in the nation.
Mallia has complied an impressive 73-41-9 (.631) record in his six seasons as Loyola's mentor, leading the Greyhounds to four consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championships and to three NCAA College Cup appearances.
The program's first full-time head coach, Mallia was an assistant coach for the Greyhounds under Dave Gerrity for four seasons before taking over the head job following the 1997 season. His outstanding recruiting efforts both as a head coach and as an assistant have helped attract outstanding classes throughout the last decade, including the impressive 2002 class that was ranked 34th nationally by Soccer Buzz Magazine. Four different Loyola players (Annie DiPalo, Aurda Garucio, Kathleen Shields and Amy Goetzinger) have earned freshman All-America honors, and the Greyhounds have also broken into the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic regional rankings five times in the last eight years. Most recently, Mallia has recuited two MAAC Rookie of the Year winners (Carolyn Kennington and Ashley Kramer).
In 2003, Mallia challenged his team with a tough schedule facing national power houses Florida Atlantic, Miami, Maryland, William & Mary, Rutgers, Penn and Villanova as a part of their non-conference schedule. The young Greyhound squad started the year 1-6 but Mallia was positive that his talented team would come together and learn from the competitive teams they faced. And he was right, with a 1-0 win over regional No. 1 selection, Rutgers, Loyola came together winning 10 of their next 13 meetings. Loyola finished their conference schedule undefeated at 8-0-1. Freshman Carolyn Kennington gave Loyola their second MAAC Rookie of the Year in as many seasons and junior Lindsay Tracey was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Mallia went on to lead his squad to their fourth MAAC championship with a 4-2 win over Rider, the fourth seed and a 2-0 shutout of Niagara, the No. 2 seed in the tournament. With the tournament trophy in hand, Loyola earned an automatic bid to the NCAA College Cup to face sixth seeded West Virginia for the second year in a row. The Greyhounds stuck with the Mountaineers but ultimately fell 4-2 in Morgantown, WV.
Mallia continued his winning ways in 2002, leading Loyola to a 12-6-2 record and yet another MAAC Tournament Championship. The Greyhounds finished the regular season second in the MAAC at 7-0-2 and went on to defeat Rider in the championships game by a final score of 3-0. Loyola visited their second consecutive NCAA Tournament under Mallia's tutelage, falling to fifth-ranked West Virginia, 3-0.
The Greyhounds saved their best for last in 2001, defeating Niagara, Rider and then top-seeded Marist in the MAAC Championship game at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex to earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Greyhounds fell to nationally-ranked Princeton, 3-1, in the first-round game, finishing the season with a respectable 9-9-2 overall record and a 7-2 MAAC regular season mark.
In 2000, Mallia earned the conference's Coach of the Year honors as he guided the Greyhounds to the best season in program history and a 15-5 overall record. Loyola defeated Fairfield in overtime to win the MAAC championship, earning an NCAA play-in berth, and set a team record for victories in a season. The Greyhounds dominated the competition all season long, finishing with a perfect 9-0 record in MAAC play and outscoring the conference opponents 24-0. Loyola also finished second in the nation in shutout percentage, not allowing a goal in 14 of 20 games.
In the 1999 season, the Greyhounds tied a then-team record of 13 victories and earned the program's first ever victory over Top 25 opponents with a win at Tennessee. Loyola finished 13-4-2 overall and 8-0-1 in conference play to earn a share of the MAAC's regular season championship, and the Greyhounds also finished the season ranked sixth nationally in goals allowed per game (0.59).
In 1998, Mallia's first season as head coach, the Greyhounds finished a solid 10-8-3 against a schedule that featured national powerhouses such as Connecticut and UCLA. Loyola also reached the MAAC Championship game for the seventh time in the history of the program.
A 1992 graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA., Mallia spent six seasons as a goalkeeper for various professional soccer teams before concluding his playing career in 1997. He played locally for three seasons with the Baltimore Spirit of the National Professional Soccer league (NPSL), earning the teams Mike Reynolds Unsung Hero Award during the 1994-95 season after posting an outstanding 12-5 record.
Mallia, who recorded a club-record 38 saves in a game at St. Louis during the 1994-95 campaign, solidified himself as the team's top goalkeeper in 1995-96 before a severe ankle injury sidelined him late in the year. He returned in 1996-97 to take over the starting duties late in the season and to lead the Spirit to a first-round playoff victory.
As a member of the Spirit, Mallia was also active in the team's community relations efforts, working in the Spirit's front office, appearing in local television commercials and at various events throughout the Baltimore area. He also played outdoors for the Delaware Wizards of the United State Interregional Soccer League and ran his own goalkeepers camp.
Before joining the Spirit in October, 1994, Mallia was a key member of both the Harrisburg Heat (1991-93) and the Dayton Dynamo (1993-94) of the NPSL. He was named to the NPSL's All-Rookie first team in 1992, finishing 19-10 overall that season, and recorded the league's first ever shutout with the new, larger size goal with a 14-0 victory over Wichita on January 14, 1993.
A native of Syosset, N.Y., Mallia was also an all-conference performer on the men's soccer team at Old Dominion from 1987-91, earning a bachelor's degree in sports medicine. He was named the Monarchs' Most Valuable Player in 1990 and was a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection. In 1991, Mallia received the Alumni Association/Old Dominion Male Athlete-of-the-Year award, and he graduated as the Monarchs' career leader in saves (206) and shutouts (20).
Mallia was the team's leader in goals-against average each year from 1998-90, posting a career-best 0.68 GAA in 1998. He currently ranks among the top players in NCAA history in career-goals against average. For his accomplishments, he was also inducted into the Old Dominion University Sports Hall of Fame in April 1998.
Before matriculating to ODU, Mallia, 33, earned Parade high school All-America honors as a goalkeeper at Syosset High School in Long Island. He also was a member of the United States Under-20 National Team from 1985-87.
Mallia and his wife, Amy, a 1996 Loyola graduate, have two daughters, Kaitlyn and new born Reagan. The Mallia family resides in Ruxton.
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