Young Loyola pulls surprise, ties George Mason in opener Greyhounds lead late but slip into 1-1 standoff

September 04, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Because Loyola College is fielding one of its youngest men's soccer teams in recent years, it was supposed to take some time for the Greyhounds to mesh. That's what made yesterday's opener against George Mason so daunting.

And that's why the outcome came as such a surprise.

Fresh off last week's upset of nationally ranked Maryland, the Patriots needed a goal in the last 25 seconds of regulation to secure a 1-1 tie at Curley Field.

Freshman midfielder Christof Lindenmayer had given Loyola the lead with 24: 14 remaining in regulation. Another freshman, Kevin Alvero, took a shot that deflected off a George Mason defender to Lindenmayer, who put the ball inside the right post, setting up the Greyhounds for what would have been an important South Atlantic Region victory.

But Loyola, which started three freshmen and had others on the field at various times, didn't maintain possession long enough toward the end, and George Mason junior Andy Manners took advantage. His header off a crossing pass from sophomore Scott Thelen that was deflected by Loyola senior keeper Joe Schafer forced two 15-minute overtimes.

Schafer made a leaping save in the first extra session, and lunged to smother a loose ball in the second one.

Traditionally, four teams from each of the eight regions are invited to the NCAA tournament, and a win yesterday would have given Loyola an upper hand. Instead, it wound up with a moral victory.

"This was a step up for us and I think we're going to keep getting better," Lindenmayer said.

Loyola coach Bill Sento said he was pleased with the effort, but not the outcome.

"The last couple practices, we were kind of wondering what kind of personality this team was going to take home," he said. "Today gave us an indication. They can be tenacious and they can be feisty and they have an awful lot of heart."

George Mason 0 1 0 0 -- 1

Loyola ......0 1 0 0 -- 1

Goals: GM -- Manners; L -- Lindenmayer. Saves: GM-- Nachtman 6; L -- Schafer 7.

Pub Date: 9/04/96

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