Some disturbing recent history could have played havoc with a young Loyola soccer team, but the Greyhounds forgot the past and beat No. 20 George Mason, 1-0, at Curley Field yesterday.
The visiting Patriots had four wins and a tie over the Greyhounds since losing to Loyola in the 1986 Soccer
NCAA tournament. Coach Bill Sento's current squad opened with five straight victories that had it thinking of its first trip to the NCAAs in five years, but that cause went backward last weekend with two losses in Miami.
George Mason (4-2-2) wasn't the only nationally ranked team from the Colonial Athletic Association to visit Baltimore yesterday. No. 8 James Madison scored with 36 seconds left and escaped Towson State with a 1-0 victory.
At Loyola (6-2), the Greyhounds scored with 39:18 elapsed. Marc Harrison's corner kick was simultaneously reached by teammate Doug Willey and George Mason goalie Ricardo Leite, and when neither could control, David Briles cleaned up the free ball and got his third goal of the season.
Florida native Harrison, Briles (Bowie) and three other freshmen started for Loyola, as Sento restructured his lineup in the wake of a 12-8-2 record in 1991 that was the Greyhounds' worst since 1981, his first season at the college.
Four workmanlike victories followed a season-opening overtime win at Old Dominion, but Loyola came back to earth with a thud at the Golden Panther Invitational, as it lost 3-0 to host Florida International and 4-2 to South Florida.
"Today's significant because we beat George Mason," Sento said. "It's also significant in developing the character of this club. To play as hard as they did after the two losses in Miami, the kids showed me something."
fTC Loyola might be green at midfield and forward, but its experience in the back was a telling factor yesterday. Shawn Boehmcke, a four-year starter in the goal, needed to stop only four shots. Tamir Linhart, a sophomore from Israel who is the nation's leading point-getter, didn't take a single shot, as he was unable to shake marking back Billy Harte.
"The freshmen are coming through, and we've got a lot of maturity in the back," said Harte, a junior from Middletown, N.J. "We were able to build from the back this year."
Vince Moskunas, a senior from Calvert Hall who was a three-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference all-star at sweeper, has moved up to stopper thanks to the steady play of sophomore Mike Konopaski, a transfer who last played at Clemson in 1990.
It was the first of seven straight home games for Loyola, which hosts its 18th annual tournament this weekend.
J. Madison 1, Towson State
Freshman Patrick McSorley headed in a crossing pass from Bob Johnston with just 36 seconds left, spoiling the Tigers' upset bid and their only game at home in an eight-game stretch.
Junior goalie Rich Pellegrini had five saves for Towson State (4-4), which was seeking to beat a nationally ranked foe for the first time since 1981. No. 8 James Madison (8-1), which lost only to No. 1 Virginia, had a 13-9 edge in shots, but the Tigers had several good opportunities at the end of the first half.
Anne Arundel CC 3, Prince George's CC 2
Jody Haslip's goal with four minutes left lifted Anne Arundel Community College (8-1) over Prince George's CC (2-5-2). It was Haslip's second goal of the game.
UMBC 11, Mt. St. Mary's
Kristy Kruger, Kasy Kruger, Denise Schilte and Sue Feliciano scored two goals each, as UMBC women's team (3-5) broke a school record for goals in a game. The previous record of 10 was set earlier this season against Towson State. Schilte's four assists was also a school record.
St. Mary's 11, Goucher
Virginia Leiphauser scored four goals and Katie Cambell and Jennifer Forbes added two each to lead St. Mary's (5-1-1, 1-0-1) in a rout of host Goucher (1-7, 0-3) in a Capital Athletic Conference women's game.