Results: Nov. 5 vs. Bradley University (2-0 W)
What went down: The Loyola men’s soccer team beat Bradley University to move to 13-2-1 (6-1-1 MVC) and seal the 2016 Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) men’s soccer regular season championship.
Junior forward Elliot Collier and sophomore forward Alec Lasinski were quick to challenge Bradley’s goalkeeper within the first 12 minutes. After strong offensive pressing, junior midfielder Brody Kraussel rebounded Lasinski’s attempt into the net, to put Loyola up 1-0 in the 19th minute.
First-year midfielder Aidan Megally sent a cross to sophomore forward Connor Stevenson, who kicked a bullet past Bradley’s diving goalkeeper. This goal left the Ramblers with a 2-0 lead heading into the half.
Early in the second half, Lasinski barely missed the goal on two attempts. Junior midfielder Kyle Thompson’s free kick went just wide of the goal in the 59th minute. Shortly after Thompson’s attempt, redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Chekadanov made his only save of the night, solidifying the score at 2-0.
The Loyola men’s soccer team is the first of any program at the University to secure the regular-season title since Loyola moved to the MVC in 2013. This is the first regular-season title for the men’s soccer team since it clinched the 2007 Horizon League title. Head coach Neil Jones is proud of the effort and dedication his team put into the sport.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” said Jones in a press release on Loyola’s athletics website. “I’m really proud of this team. They’re a phenomenal group to work with, they show up every day and they work hard in training. It’s important to understand that it’s not just this group that has been part of this championship and helped us get to this level. There are a lot of guys that have put in the work that weren’t on the team this year that were important to helping this team get to this moment.”
What’s next: The Ramblers head to the MVC Championship in Springfield, Mo., this weekend. They are set to face the winner of the University of Central Arkansas and Missouri State University matchup on Friday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. in the semifinals. If Loyola advances to the championship game, the team will take the field on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. All games will be live-streamed via ESPN3.