The Loyola men’s soccer team (5-4-2, 1-0-2) picked up a non-conference victory 1-0 over Xavier University at Loyola Soccer Park Tuesday night.
“They were a really good team,” Loyola defender Grant Stoneman said after the game. “We worked our butts off and it wasn’t pretty at times, but that’s what needed to be done and it was a good win for us.”
The first half proved uneventful until first-year forward Vasco Cardoso fired in his second goal of the season in the 29th minute. That was the only shot on goal for either team during what was an otherwise quiet first half.
“I just saw Billy get the ball in the wide area and take a guy on to get a great service in and Vasco made a really good, well-timed run,” Loyola head coach Neil Jones said of the play. “That’s why strikers in world soccer make the most money in the world: because scoring the goal is the hardest thing to do and he somehow got his foot on it and finished the play.”
In the second half, Loyola continued to suffocate the Musketeers defensively as they failed to register a shot on goal for the game.
Offensively, the Ramblers also struggled to generate anything after Cardoso’s goal, as their best chance to tack on came in the 64th minute when midfielder Ryan Walker saw his shot fly over the crossbar.
The Ramblers finished the game with six shots with two shots on goal, but the defense stole the show in perhaps its best performance all season, according to Jones.
“Our goalkeeper didn’t make a save tonight, and they’re not gonna score if they don’t get a shot on goal unless we kick it in our own net,” Jones said. “All the guys tonight from goalkeeper all the way up to the strikers were hard-working, defensively.”
The Ramblers are scheduled to face No. 25 Missouri State University Oct. 13 at Loyola Soccer Park.