Buffalo, N.Y. - The Canisius College women's soccer team remains unbeaten in MAAC play as they defeated conference opponent Loyola, 3-2, on Friday evening at the Demske Sports Complex. Senior midfielder Jenny Griffin led the Golden Griffins' offensive attack, recording a career-high five points off a pair of goals and an assist. Senior forward Kelly Reinwald added a pair of assists on Griffin's goals to bring her career point total to 100, joining former Griff Kris Moller as the only players to reach the 100-point milestone in program history.
After a scoreless first half filled with 15 combined fouls, the Golden Griffins (8-4-1, 3-0-0) struck first in the 51st minute to take the 1-0 lead. After Reinwald's original shot was blocked in front of the net, the loose ball landed in front of Jenny Griffin, who tapped in the shot for her third goal of the season.
Close to 20 minutes would lapse before both teams would erupt, scoring a combined three goals in eight minutes, including two goals by the Griffs in less than three minutes.
On a nice connecting pass in the 71st minute, Jenny Griffin slid the ball over to freshman Maria Nelms charging along the leftside. Nelms managed to slice the shot past a charging defender into the opposite corner after pulling Loyola (3-9-0, 1-1-0) goalkeeper Didi Haracic to the leftside. The goal was Nelms' fourth career goal.
Less than three minutes later, the Griffs extended their lead to 3-0 as Jenny Griffin scored her second goal of the game with Reinwald assisting once again. Off a corner kick, Reinwald bent her shot towards the goal with Heracic making the original save. With the Greyhounds unable to clear the ball, Griffin scooped up the rebound and shot the ball through the crowd on the leftside of the net for her fourth goal of the season, 18th of her career. Reinwald's assist on the goal would be her 100th career point and 32nd career assist.
Loyola scored back-to-back goals by leading scorer Nichole Schiro to cut into the Griffs' 3-0 lead, which would be too much to overcome for the Greyhounds.
To begin the contest, Loyola and Canisius physically battled for ball control, committing a combined 14 fouls. The second half was not different with the teams combining for 16 fouls. In the end, the teams combined for 31 fouls with the Greyhounds committing 17 fouls to the Griffs' 14.
"It was a very physical game but I think we held our own. We played a strong game and I thought we deserved to win," stated Wendling.
After holding an 11-3 shot advantage through the first half, Loyola managed to outshoot the Griffs in the contest, 21-13. This marked the first time the Golden Griffins were outshot in a conference matchup this season after outshooting Manhattan (Sept. 30) and Saint Peter's (Oct. 2) in the opening weekend.
Reinwald led the Griffs with five shots followed by Jenny Griffin with three. The Greyhounds were led by a trio of players who recorded four shots each, including Lauren Norcia, Schiro, and Gianna Mangione.
"Very excited win. The girls played a very good game but we have six more games to go though," said Canisius head coach Jim Wendling.
Canisius goalkeeper Caroline Robert recorded seven saves in her eighth win of the season.
The Griffs managed to break Heracic's shutout streak of 247 minutes of action with back-to-back shutouts in wins over American and Rider. The Loyola goalkeeper recorded three saves on the night.
The Griffs will remain at the Demske Sports Complex when they host Rider on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
NOTES: In the win, the Griffs handed Loyola its first loss in program history at the Demske Sports Complex... Canisius head coach Jim Wendling remains unbeaten in conference homeopeners, posting a 4-0-0 record... The Griffs have captured a win in their last seven MAAC regular-season games, dating back to Oct. 22, 2010... After going winless against the Greyhounds in 20 previous matchups, the Griffs have captured a victory in their last two meetings over Loyola, including tonight's victory.