A Visit To Loyola Greyhounds Soccer


A Visit To Loyola Soccer (Author Photo)

I have been trying to make it to all of the local Division I men’s soccer programs in the area. Next on my list, and probably last for the year, is Loyola University Maryland and their Greyhound soccer team.

Maybe next year I will try to get to Navy Midshipmen soccer, as well as almost local American, Delaware, Georgetown and George Washington. The season is coming to a close quickly.

Richard Awalt Field at the Ridley Athletic Complex is the home stadium for the Greyhound soccer teams, as well as lacrosse, field hockey and rugby teams for the university. The 6,000 seat stands at Awalt Field opened in 2010.

The entire complex is located off campus behind the Northern District Station of the Baltimore City Police at the intersection of the Jones Falls Expressway and Coldspring Lane in the Woodberry neighborhood of Baltimore city. To make finding the stadium easier, the complex is also right behind TV Hill and directly underneath the iconic television antennas.

Since 1965, the team has suffered only five losing seasons. Currently competing in the Patriot League, the team was a consistent winner in its old league, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).

They have been to the NCAA Division I National Tournament seven times since including quarterfinal appearances in 1986 and 1987 and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2001. They were even undefeated in 2008, only to be upset in the tournament.

Former Major League Soccer goalkeeper Zach Thornton is a Greyhound alumnus. Thornton was the starting goalkeeper for the Chicago Fire when it won the MLS Cup in 1998 and won MLS Goalkeeper of the Year awards in 1998 and 2009.

Loyola is currently coached by former McDonogh School coach Steve Nichols. Nichols, who is in his first year at the helm of the Greyhounds, is a former player with the Baltimore Spirit and Baltimore Bays.

After a 7-8-2 overall record (2-6-1 in the Patriot League) last year, Loyola is understandably having to build up their program again. A 4-6-2 start going into Saturday’s game is indicative of a work in progress, although their hard-fought double-overtime draw to powerhouse UMBC shows the team has some potential.

Loyola is led offensively by Connor Thompson, Dylan Engel, Joseph Cahalan and Ryan Tuck. Goalkeeper Matt Sanchez, a sophomore from the McDonogh School, has been the lone goalkeeper for the Greyhounds.

Cahalan, a Senior, headed in the winning goal in the 107th minute of double overtime on Saturday to win 2-1 over visiting Lehigh. They currently stand at 5-6-2.