The success that the Loyola men's soccer team enjoyed at the start of the 2013 season has become an almost unfamiliar memory for the program.
After opening 5-0-1, the Greyhounds are 0-5-1 in their past six games. The team has not won since Sept. 18 when it edged Princeton, 2-1, and is 0-3-1 in the Patriot League.
The only bright spot for Loyola was getting a point from a 1-1 double overtime tie against Colgate on Oct. 5.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed with the results, but it’s about focusing on the next game and trying to win that one and trying to get momentum,” coach Mark Mettrick said Monday. “It’s been a difficult period in the last 2½ weeks in terms of results.”
Because of their winless record in the Patriot League, the Greyhounds currently sit in ninth place. Only the top six teams in the standings qualify for the conference tournament, but Mettrick did not sound too worried about Loyola’s chances.
“We’re still alive, and we can make that,” he said. “But we’ve got to take each game game-by-game, and we need to get some results. I think it’s important to focus on the next game and try and get three points and hopefully, that will get us some momentum. So I think it’s all about the next game. Obviously, our goal is to make those playoffs. We’re in a difficult spot, but we can still make it. There’s five games to go, and the bottom line is we can still make it. Obviously, this week is going to be an important week for us to focus on the Lehigh game and then go from there to try to get back on track in terms of getting results. I think the team is capable of doing that, and they’ve shown that they are capable of doing that. I just think we’re at a difficult stretch.”
The team might have caught a break in the schedule as it will meet this Saturday Lehigh (1-8-1, 0-4-0), which is in 10th place in the league. Nevertheless, Mettrick said the coaches and players are not underestimating the Mountain Hawks.
“I think this league has a lot of parity from top to bottom,” he said. “Some of Lehigh’s results have been pretty close affairs. So I expect it to be a difficult game. I’m sure they’re approaching it similarly, that they need to win. Regardless of who it is, we expect a battle, and I think it’s going to be a difficult game, especially away from home. But ultimately, it’s important for us to do everything we can to get these three points and go from there.”