The Loyola men’s soccer team (6-4-2, 2-0-2) defeated No. 25-ranked Missouri State University 1-0 at Loyola Soccer Park Saturday night. The Ramblers moved into sole possession of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) with the victory.
“We dug in tonight,” Loyola head coach Neil Jones said after the game. “We had a lot of [possession] in the first half — more than we probably thought we’d have … [junior forward] Chase Wright made a huge play and that got us the result tonight.”
The game started off slow as both teams combined for three shots, one of which was on goal. In the second half, Wright got the Ramblers on the board with his first collegiate goal in the 62nd minute.
That proved to be the difference as junior goalkeeper Josh Lagudah picked up his third straight shutout while saving Missouri State’s lone shot on goal in the 82nd minute.
Missouri State came in ranked 25th in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25, marking Loyola’s first over a Top-25 team this year. The Ramblers are now 5-1-2 since falling to Northwestern University 1-0 in overtime at home Sept. 7.
With two games left before the MVC Tournament Nov. 7-11, Wright said he thinks the Ramblers are heating up at the right time.
“I think we’re in a good place … I think we’ve grown a lot as a team over the year,” Wright said. “We started off a little slow, but we’re starting to pick up some steam, and no better time to do so.”
The Ramblers are set to take a break from MVC action when they square off against Moody Bible Institute October 16 at 7 p.m. at Loyola Soccer Park.