Loyola loses on own goal in OT, 1-0 Miscue gives Fairfield the MAAC tournament title and ends Loyola's season

November 03, 1997|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

As Fairfield received the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference trophy, the Loyola players gazed in disbelief, wiping the falling tears off their cheeks and ultimately questioning their fate from one mistake.

After overwhelming Fairfield for most of the title game, the defending champion Greyhounds proved to be their worst enemy -- giving up an own goal with 11 minutes, 9 seconds left in overtime -- handing the Stags a 1-0 victory and the MAAC tournament championship yesterday at Curley Field.

It was the sixth straight meeting between the schools decided by either one goal or penalty kicks.

"Losing is never easy," Loyola coach Dave Gerrity said. "But we didn't want to lose to Fairfield. We don't like how they carry themselves and we don't think they're a good representation of our conference."

And it didn't help losing by a fluke goal.

Standing 10 yards out, Fairfield midfielder Michele Savage sent the ball into a crowded goalfront. Loyola sophomore sweeper Amy Goetzinger tried to kick the ball out of the box with her left foot, but inadvertently deflected it into the upper right corner of the net after 108 scoreless minutes.

"It hurts really bad," Greyhounds senior goalkeeper Erin Gilroy said. "But it was a tight ball that needed to be cleared out. I think we really dominated them the entire game which makes it hurt that much worse."

Fairfield (17-3), the tournament's top seed, claimed its third conference title and advances to face the winner of the Northeast Conference tournament on Nov. 11 in an NCAA tournament play-in game.

Loyola (13-6-2), the conference tournament champion in 1994 and 1996, lost for only the second time at home this season.

"We knew it was going to be a one or two-goal game," Fairfield coach Maria Piechocki said. "I think when it was all said and done it came down to the team who played the toughest."

The Greyhounds controlled possession throughout the game, outshooting the Stags, 16-4 including 5-1 in overtime.

After giving up the goal, Loyola fired four shots in the final 10 minutes, including one from point-blank range which was saved by Stags goalkeeper Anne Lyons.

The Greyhounds suffered their first shutout since Sept. 18, while holding Fairfield to its lowest shot total of the year.

"I really thought we were going to get something with our goal pressure," Loyola defender Meryl Friedermann said. "But we just needed more time. Maybe another half."

Pub Date: 11/03/97

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