Loyola's men's soccer team can clinch a spot in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference playoffs for the seventh consecutive year -- earning a chance to stretch its six-year run as champion -- with a win today at St. Peter's.
And that's only half the good soccer news from Curley Field.
The Greyhounds women also sit atop the MAAC standings with a game remaining, tomorrow at Iona. They can lock up the No. 1 seed with a victory and gain the opportunity to defend their title.
The men are 10-5 overall and 4-0 in the MAAC. One win in their last three games would give them the No. 1 seeding.
"We're pleased with the progress we're making," said coach Bill Sento, who is 211-78-32 since joining the program in 1980. "We started off slowly, but we're really playing with a great deal of intensity and organization. I think we're right on track now."
If Loyola claims the MAAC title, it would meet the winner of the Patriot League for the right to compete in the NCAA tournament. Last year, the Greyhounds were beaten by Rutgers, 3-1, in the play-in game.
Loyola's women's program has been in the MAAC final in each of its three years of existence, and won its first championship last season. The Greyhounds are 9-6-2 overall this year and 5-1 in the conference.
"We're pretty close to where we thought we'd be," said women's coach Dave Gerrity (44-26-7), who played on Loyola's 1986 men's team that reached the NCAA quarterfinals. "We only graduate three kids this year, and only one is a starter [sweeper Lynn Tasca]. If we get the right pieces next year, I would expect us to do better."
King leads Shoremen
Junior midfielder Andrew King has emerged as the leading scorer in men's soccer at Washington College, which has put together its first back-to-back winning seasons in 16 years and earned its first Mid-Atlantic regional ranking.
King has scored seven goals, and his eight assists are the most by a Washington player since Mike Bishop, an All-Middle Atlantic Conference selection, had that many in 1989. King's 22 points are the most since Bishop accumulated 38 that same season.
King has raised his career totals to 21 goals and 23 assists, but he isn't the only player at No. 10 Washington (11-6-1) to make an impact this fall. So have sophomore Erik Dahlen (Chesapeake-AA) and freshmen Chuck Mullen and Dan Gerbasi (Broadneck). Mullen is the Shoremen's second-leading scorer with five goals and eight assists, Dahlen has six goals and two assists, and Gerbasi has five goals.
Western Maryland marks
One Western Maryland team has set a school record for victories in a season; another is on the verge of it.
The Green Terror's women's soccer squad improved to 9-4-1 with Wednesday's 7-2 rout of Dickinson, as freshman Natalie Hannibal (Liberty) scored her 11th and 12th goals. The team's previous best record was 8-3-1 during the 1987 season, when Western Maryland was in its first year of competition on the varsity level and defeated six club teams.
Meanwhile, the Green Terror field hockey team is 9-4, equaling the school record for victories in a season. It will attempt to set the record today at Washington College.
Towson State's women's tennis team placed sixth among nine squads in the North Atlantic Conference tournament last weekend, with sophomore Nicki Adelman taking fourth at No. 4 singles and the doubles team of freshmen Stephanie Knouse (Centennial) and Lauren Sheedy also coming in fourth. . . . Towson's men's and women's cross country teams will compete for the NAC championship today in Boston. . . . Towson State had never beaten regionally ranked American in women's soccer until last week's 4-1 victory. . . .
UMBC's men's soccer team climbed to No. 9 in the NCAA Division I's South Atlantic Region. . . . UMBC's fifth-year men's soccer coach, Pete Caringi, coached in his 300th career game Tuesday at St. Francis (Pa.). He spent 10 years at Essex Community College before joining the Retrievers. . . . The six wins for Johns Hopkins' football team is one short of the school record, accomplished five times, most recently in 1981.