A Loyola record has been broken. Loyola’s men’s soccer senior goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski has set the Loyola record for shutouts — a game in which the opponent doesn’t score a goal — in a career. With a 2-0 win against Northwestern, Dobrowolski notched the 23rd clean sheet of his career, breaking former Rambler Brian Byrne’s record of 22.
If you haven’t been paying attention, Loyola’s men’s soccer team is really good. The team sits at 9-3-3 and is primed for a deep postseason run. Winning games is a full team effort. However, in Loyola’s case, the defense led by Dobrowolski is doing something incredible. Not only has he set the record, but he’s also had seven straight shutouts with the win over Northwestern. With a goal against average of .4 goals allowed per game, he ranks fifth in the nation among Division I goalkeepers.
Dobrowolski, an information systems and operations management double major from Rockford, Illinois, said his success is due to good coaching and a team with a “win at all cost” mentality.
“If you ask [head coach Neil Jones], he’ll harp on [defense],” said Dobrowolski. “‘Defense first’ is his motto. To be good as a team, we have to be good defensively. All the guys from me to the forwards know that we’re going to put our bodies on the line to keep that ball out of the net.”
Dobrowolski has stepped into the door of Loyola history, but while he’s confident in himself and the team, he said he knew that he couldn’t afford to get caught up in it all.
“My goalkeeper coach says it pretty well: just play soccer,” Dobrowolski said. “[The record is] pretty cool. [But] if you worry about that stuff during the game, you won’t be focused.”
Loyola sits at third place in the conference. There are two conference games remaining on the team’s schedule, and one of them is against conference leader Drake University. A win against Drake could give the Ramblers a top two seed and bye for the first round of the conference tournament. The Ramblers did not earn a high enough seed in last year’s tournament to get a bye, and they lost in the second round of the tournament. Dobrowolski said he recognizes the importance of the team’s matchup with Drake.
“This is a big game,” Dobrowolski said. “We know we need to step up. We’ve got to prove ourselves to the [conference].”
The Ramblers’ game against Drake is set for Oct. 31 at Loyola Soccer Park at 7 p.m.