Men's Soccer

Men’s Soccer Opens Conference Slate with 1-1 Draw Against Drake

Henry Redman | The PhoenixThe Loyola men's soccer team huddles up between plays.

The Loyola men’s soccer team (3-3-1) started the Missouri Valley Conference portion of its schedule with a 1-1 overtime draw against Drake University at Loyola Soccer Park Saturday night.

Drake got on the board first with a goal in the 24th minute and carried a 1-0 lead into halftime. Loyola first-year defender Oskar Gustafsson scored his first collegiate goal in the 82nd minute to tie the match 1-1.

The game went to two overtime periods and neither team could capitalize. Both squads will pick up a point in the standings.

Loyola had nine shots on goal, but Gustafsson was the only one able to convert.

“[Drake] was good in the first half and put us in a tough situation and obviously got the goal and gave us some big problems, but second half we were much better in energy, effort and intensity,” Loyola head coach Neil Jones said after the game. “We managed to find a goal and grind out a point.”

After Drake’s goal, the Bulldogs didn’t manage to get another shot on goal until the 106th minute. The Ramblers got nine shots on goal for the game, with Drake goalkeeper Jared Brown saving eight of them.

The intensity rose as the game drew on, with Loyola receiving three yellow cards and Drake receiving one. All four cautions came in the second half and overtime.

Jones said he was able to see positives his team can take away as it heads into the last two games of a stretch of five games over 15 days. So far, Loyola is 2-0-1 through three games in the last seven days.

“We’re in a tough stretch right now,”  Jones said. “You see the energy, intensity and effort that these guys put in and now we have to turn around and play another team on Tuesday on the road.”

Next up, Loyola is scheduled to travel to the west loop for a non-conference matchup against University of Illinois at Chicago Sept. 25.

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