The Loyola women’s soccer team (2-4-1) fell to city rival DePaul University 2-0 Thursday night at Loyola Soccer Park as part of the “Red Line Rivalry” — which gets its name because Loyola and DePaul are 10 stops away on the CTA Red Line.
Loyola was fresh off a 2-1, come-from-behind victory over the University of Missouri Sept. 8. The Ramblers were unable to overcome the Blue Demons, falling to DePaul for the second straight year.
“We don’t have to do much before the game to get the girls ready to play,” Loyola head coach Barry Bimbi said. “They know what it means to the city to go up against DePaul. … It is bragging rights for a whole year.”
The score was tied 0-0 at halftime, but the Blue Demons’ early second half goal gave them the lead. The goal came off a rebound from DePaul’s only corner kick of the game. Loyola had six corners in the game, but failed to capitalize on the opportunities — something Bimbi said was a difference maker.
“Our biggest concern coming out is we gave up another set piece goal,” Bimbi said. “It’s becoming a point of emphasis and frustration for us. … Our concentration on defending set pieces has to get better and we’ll continue to work on it.”
Following the first goal, Bimbi said he switched up the game plan to be more offensive in hopes to score the tying goal. He opted to switch the formation of his players, swapping a defender for an extra attacker. The decision didn’t pay off for Loyola as 15 minutes later, the Ramblers gave up possession on offense and the Blue Demons scored off a counter attack to extend their lead to two goals.
“All credit to DePaul, they came in with a great game plan, they’re super organized in the back and they made it difficult on us,” Bimbi said. “They capitalized on a set piece and a counter attack, so credit to them.”
DePaul improved to 3-4 following the victory. The Blue Demons’ most recent game prior to the Red Line Rivalry was a 1-0 loss to No. 7-ranked University of South Carolina. Earlier in the year, DePaul won 1-0 against No. 11-ranked University of Kansas — which beat Loyola 6-0 Aug. 25.
Next up on Loyola’s schedule is a game against Northern Illinois University Sept. 15 in west suburban DeKalb. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.