Toledo (1-3-0) returns to action this weekend with a home match against Loyola (IL) (1-2-0) on Friday, Aug. 31. The non-conference matchup with the Ramblers has been tabbed as "High School, Club & Team Night" with the opening whistle slated for 5:30 p.m. at Scott Park. Admission will be $2.00 for a group of 10-or-more people.
The Rockets split a pair of road contests last weekend, claiming a 1-0 victory vs. IPFW on Friday and a 3-0 setback vs. Texas on Sunday. Sophomore Rio James netted the match-winner against the Mastodons to help the two-time reigning Mid-American Conference regular-season champions register their first win of the season.
One reason for UT's slow start this season has been its inability to establish an offensive attack. The Rockets have scored only two goals in their first four matches, signifying their lowest offensive production in the history of the program at this stage of the season.
Junior Rachel MacLeod and James top the UT scoring charts with one goal each, followed by senior Jaimie Morsillo with one assist.
As a unit, Toledo sits seventh in the conference in shots (36) and tied for last in total points (5), tallies (2) and helpers (1).
On the defensive side of the ball, UT continues to finetune things and this group has the potential to be one of the best in school history before it is all said and done. The defensive front of senior Natalia Gaitan, senior Rachael Kravitz, senior Megan Blake and freshman Angelica Hernandez are as skilled as any in the MAC and the entire Great Lakes Region. Between the posts, sophomore Kelsey Borowitz and freshman Sam Tiongson continue to battle it out for playing time. Borowitz (0-3-0 record with 1.67 GAA) has made seven saves in 270:00 minutes and started all four matches this season, while Tiongson (1-0-0 mark with 2.00 GAA) has tallied five stops in 90:00 minutes of competition.
As a unit, UT is 10th in the league in goals against average (1.75), tied for 10th in goals allowed (7) and 11th in total points allowed (21).
The Ramblers enter Friday's matchup on the heels of a pair of 4-0 setbacks at Big Ten members Iowa and Wisconsin over the weekend. Head Coach Barry Bimbi is in his first year with the program, having spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Loyola (IL) is coming off a 6-10-3 overall ledger last fall and a 2-4-2 mark in the Horizon League. They return 10 starters and five of their top six-point scorers, including 2011 leading scorer Ana Claudia Michelini (11 points, five goals and one assist in 2011). The Ramblers lead the all-time series with the Rockets, 2-1, with UT most recently claiming a 1-0 road triumph on Aug. 30, 2009.
Following this weekend's match, Toledo will compete in the Courtyard by Marriott Louisville Airport Cardinal Classic against Samford (Sept. 7) and the host Cardinals (Sept. 9).