The Loyola women's soccer team opens the 2010 regular-season on Saturday, August 21, with a match against Towson at Loyola's Ridley Athletic Complex. The Greyhounds and Tigers will take to Awalt Field at 7 p.m.
All youth team players who wear their uniform to the game will receive free admission. General admission tickets are $5 and available at LoyolaGreyhounds.com or at the gate.
A Night Of Firsts
Saturday's game will mark several firsts for the Loyola women's soccer team. In addition to being the first regular-season intercollegiate men's or women's soccer game at Ridley Athletic Complex, it will be the first-ever nighttime home game for the Greyhounds' women.
Loyola played its first 18 seasons of competition at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field and did not play a night game at that venue.
Ridley Athletic Complex is the new home of the Greyhounds soccer and lacrosse programs. A state-of-the-art facility, Ridley seats 6,000 fans and will be a terrific site to watch soccer in coming seasons.
This season's contest will be the 11th all-time between Loyola and Towson, however, it is the first meeting since the 2002 campaign.
Loyola holds a 9-0-1 advantage in the all-time series, however most games have been very close. The Greyhounds have won six of the 10 games by a final score of 1-0, and two other wins came by 2-0 margins.
A win on September 9, 1992, was the first-ever for the Loyola women's soccer program. In the second varsity game in school history, the Greyhounds beat the Tigers, 6-1.
Additionally, the Greyhounds retained 60.5-percent of their goal scoring and 80-percent of assist contributors from last year.
Schiro led all Loyola players in 2009 with nine goals and 24 total points, while Kelly Thomas was the team leader with eight assists. Thomas was also third on Loyola with 14 total points, while McClenahan added three goals and two assists, and Farrell had two goals and three helpers.
On defense, Thomas and Norcia return to anchor the backline, while MAAC All-Tournament Team member Danielle Ippolito returns in goal for the Greyhounds.
In all, 19 letterwinners from the 2009 MAAC title team are back for Loyola.
Loyola advanced to its seventh NCAA College Cup in 2009 and finished the season with a 15-5-3 record, 9-0-0 in MAAC regular-season play.
The Greyhounds traveled to Winston-Salem, N.C., for the first round of the 2009 College Cup and played West Virginia. The Mountaineers came away with a 3-0 victory.
Thomas' eight assists tied the school single-season record.
Loyola put together a 14-game unbeaten streak from September 18-November 1, the longest in program history. The Greyhounds' 15 wins are tied for second-most in the annals of Loyola women's soccer.
Lina Staropoli enters the 2010 season with 15 career assists, tying her with four others for sixth all-time at Loyola in that category.
With her next assist, Staropoli will be all alone in sixth place, and with two more, she'll move into a three-way tie with Ashley Kramer and Katie Elliott with 17.
In The Coaching Box
Katherine Remy Vettori starts her third season as the head coach of the Greyhounds, bringing a 25-11-7 career record to the sidelines at the start of the season. Vettori, who led Loyola to the MAAC regular-season and tournament titles last year, was named Anaconda Sports MAAC Coach of the Year in 2009.
Vettori is assisted by third-year Assistant Coach Erin Konheim, and this year's newcomer to the staff is Amanda Piccirilli. A 2009 graduate of Loyola, Piccirilli was a two-year captain and the 2009 recipient of Loyola Athletics' Fr. Francis McManamin Unsung Hero award.