|Opponent||George Mason Patriots|
|Date||Friday, August 22, 2014|
|Location||Fairfax, Va. | George Mason Stadium|
|Online Media||Live Stats | Video|
|Follow Us||Facebook | Twitter|
Loyola Greyhounds (0-0-0)
• Loyola is beginning its 23rd season as a women’s soccer program, while this marks the Greyhounds’ first year under the direction of Head Coach Naomi Meiburger.
• It is also only Loyola’s second year as a member institution in the Patriot League.
• The Greyhounds return eight starters from a squad that posted an overall record of 2-11-4 last season, finishing ninth in the Patriot League at 1-6-2.
• Charlotte Miller, the Greyhounds’ leading scorer, returns to the lineup for Loyola. The junior forward ended with four goals in 2012, tied for ninth most among the league.
George Mason Patriots (0-0-0)
• George Mason is coming off a season in which it scored 17 goals and finished as the No. 5 seed in the 2013 Atlantic 10 tournament, ultimately falling to St. Bonaventure, 1-0, in the quarterfinals.
• The Patriots return 21 letter winners from a squad that posted a 7-11-1 record, including Atlantic 10 All-Rookie selection defender Sarah Hardison. Leading scorers Emma Starr (4g, 9pts) and Liz Hodges (3g, 7pts) also return.
• George Mason was picked to finish sixth in the 2014 A10 Preseason Poll.
• For the first time in program history, Loyola travels to George Mason Stadium to face the Patriots in non-conference action. Last season marked the first meeting of the two teams, facing off at home for the Greyhounds.
• George Mason escaped Ridley Athletic Complex with a 1-0 double-overtime victory in September last year. In the 102nd minute, a Loyola defender deflected a pass right to the feet of Patriot’s midfielder Emma Stone, who blasted a shot 14 yards out and into the back of the net.
• The Greyhounds best opportunity to score came with six minutes remaining in the first half, when two corner kicks were blocked by George Mason defenders and ultimately called offsides.
• Charlotte Miller came out quick in the second half with a shot to the low corner, but the Patriot’s Lindse Hokanson was there for the save. Miller ended the match with two shots, one on goal.
• With last year’s George Mason victory in double-overtime, the Patriot’s lead the series, 1-0.
• The Greyhounds will remain on the road, heading to Baltimore County to face UMBC in a 7 p.m., match on Monday, August 25.
Meiburger Returns to her Alma Mater
• Head Coach Naomi Meiburger returns to George Mason, but this time at the helm of the Greyhounds.
• Meiburger was a four-year varsity letter winner and standout goalie for the Patriots from 1999-2002.
• She was a NSCAA Regional All-America First Team goalkeeper in 2002, a year she also earned Regional All-America honors from Soccer Buzz. She was named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association First Team in 2002 for the Patriots.
• She graduated with honors, earning her degree in English, was a Colonial Athletic Association Scholar Athlete all four years, and received the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award as a senior.
• Loyola is 12-8-2 in season openers since beginning the program in 1992.
• In last year’s opener, the Greyhounds downed Towson University, 2-1, on the road.
• This marks the second-straight season Loyola has opened the year away from the confines of Ridley Athletic Complex. When kicking off the season on the road, the Greyhounds are 8-4.
• Friday evening’s contest will be the first time Loyola and George Mason will meet in the season opener. The only other Atlantic 10 team to take on Loyola in the first game of the year was Saint Joseph back in 1996. The Greyhounds came away from the matchup with a 2-0 victory over the Hawks.
Patriot League Preseason Poll
• Loyola was picked to finish eighth in the 2014 Patriot League Preseason Poll.
• Boston University was chosen as the favorite to win the Patriot League women’s soccer title, collecting 15 first-place votes and 159 points. The United States Naval Academy received the remaining first-place votes and were predicted to finish second with 148 votes.
• The United States Military Academy polled fourth with 101 points, and American University was fifth with 98. Bucknell University grabbed the sixth spot with 82 points, while Lehigh University came in seventh with 55 points. Loyola took eighth with 46 points, three more than College of the Holy Cross at ninth. Lafayette College finished tenth with 37 points.
Meet the New Faces On The Sidelines
• On February 6, 2014, Naomi Meiburger was named the fifth head coach in the 22-year history of Loyola University Maryland women’s soccer.
• Meiburger recently completed her 11th year at Georgetown where she served as the women’s soccer associate head coach for the last three seasons. She helped the Hoyas reach the NCAA Women’s College Cup for the second year in a row, and the team finished 2013 with a 16-3-2 record.
• Coach Meiburger started her tenure at Georgetown in 2003 as an assistant coach, and was promoted to associate head coach in January 2011 after the Hoyas’ run to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
• She worked specifically with the Hoyas’ goalkeepers and defenders, and was instrumental in the development of National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas Mid-Atlantic Region All-America goalkeeper Jackie DesJardin (2007-2010). Under Meiburger’s leadership, DesJardin and the Georgetown defense ranked 42nd out of 325 NCAA Division I teams in goals against average (0.809) in 2010.
• Assistant Coach Jim McGirr, a veteran to the women’s soccer world, returns to Loyola after spending a year on the Evergreen Campus from 2002-03 as an assistant to then-Head Coach Joe Mallia. During his time, he helped the Greyhounds to a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance.
• Prior to his return, McGirr spent nine seasons as the head coach at Providence College. In his first stint at head coach, he trained and developed five Big East All-Conference players and led the Friars to the 2011 Big East quarterfinals. The next year, the Friars received the 2012 NCAA Public Recognition Award given to the top 10 percent of teams nationally in the Academic Progress Rate report.
• Assistant Coach Stephen McKenna came to Loyola after serving one season as a volunteer assistant coach at Georgetown University with Meiburger. He helped the Hoyas to a 16-3-2 season and the team’s second-consecutive NCAA College Cup appearance.
• The final addition to Meiburger’s staff was former West Virginia University standout and current Western New York Flash player Erica Henderson. The Rochester, New York, native will serve as the volunteer assistant coach for the 2014 season.
• Henderson led West Virginia to two BIG EAST Championships and four-straight NCAA College Cup appearances, earning NSCAA All-Northeast Region honors in 2010 and 2011.
• Professionally, she was drafted to the Western New York Flash in the fourth round of the 2013 Women’s Pro Soccer Draft. In her first year, the squad finished first among teams in the NWSL, going 10-4 during the season.
• Loyola returns three starters on defense - senior Kelly Santangelo and sophomores Morgan Crable and Nicole Wahlig. The defense held opponents to a 1.53 goals-against average in 2013, contributing one shutout victory against American University on October 23.
• Offensively, the Greyhounds return four of their top-five goal scorers in juniors Charlotte Miller, Rosy Hayes, and sophomores Maddie Boccio and Nicole Wahlig.
• The Greyhounds welcome four newcomers to the squad this year - Alyssa Bonnesen (Stirling, N.J.), Lauryn Davidson (Deer Park, N.Y.), Zoe Derrickson (Baltimore, Md.) and Courtney Simpson (Marlton, N.J.).
• Seniors Colleen Folan, Lindsay LeSavage and Kelly Santangelo return
• Folan, the 2014-15 president of Loyola’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, brings leadership and experience to the team. The Downingtown, Pennsylvania, native played in three matches as goalie, twice as the starting keeper for the Greyhounds in 2013. Folan logged 11 saves during her career to go along with an impressive 86.4 save percentage. She set a career-high mark in saves during the season opener at Towson last year, stopping five shots in a win against the Tigers.
• LeSavage returns to Loyola after playing in 14 matches during her collegiate career. The Lithia, Florida, native finished her rookie campaign with three shots, including one on net against Saint Louis University. The following season, Loyola won every game in which LeSavage contributed playing time, boosting the team to an impressive 12-6-4 record and an appearance in the 2012 NCAA College Cup.
• Santangelo, a driving force for the Greyhounds’ defense, returns to Loyola with both playing and leadership experience. The middle back helped Loyola hold teams scoreless for 389 minutes from October 21 - November 4 of her junior year. That same season Santangelo proved to be strong at both ends of the field, recording her first collegiate goal in a 6-0 shutout against Saint Peter’s. She was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Rookie Team as a defender, guiding the Greyhounds to a conference title the following season in Poughkeepsie, New York.