The stands were filled with 831 fans as the Loyola men’s soccer team (3-2) defeated DePaul University 4-2 in its annual “Hustle to Hoyne” game at Loyola Soccer Park Friday night.
“Hustle to Hoyne” is an annual event Loyola Athletics started in 2015 as a way to kick off the academic year. Students gather at a rally in Ignatius Plaza, located outside de Nobili Residence Hall, and walk a mile down Devon Avenue to Loyola Soccer Park. Last year’s “Hustle to Hoyne” drew 913 fans, The Phoenix reported.
The two teams seemed to be feeling each other at the start of the game with the Loyola having the only shot on goal for the first 30 minutes of the match. The Ramblers scored the first goal of the game in the 31st minute with a nice combination play between senior defender Marius Kullmann with the finish coming from junior midfielder Justin Sukow for his second goal of the season.
DePaul didn’t get a shot off during the first half and trailed 1-0 at the break. But Loyola head coach Neil Jones said he thought the game would open up in the second half.
“I felt a goal coming,” Jones said after the game. “And [I] was hoping it was going to be the back-breaker.”
That goal came in the 77th minute from senior forward Aidan Megally, who found the back of the net from 20 yards out. The Ramblers scored again just 66 seconds later when Megally sent a pass to junior midfielder Billy Hency, who shot it into the corner.
“[It was] just a little combination play with Aidan,” Hency said. “We got a good chemistry going on and we got a lucky bounce, but it went in.”
DePaul responded four minutes later, scoring off a corner kick — its first shot on goal. Less than a minute later, DePaul’s Max de Bruijne was awarded a penalty kick and sent it past Loyola goalkeeper Marcel Kampman to cut the Loyola lead to 3-2 in the 83rd minute.
In the 86th minute, Loyola drew a free kick just outside the 18-yard-box. Sukow passed the ball to Hency, who finished it off for his second goal of the game — and sealed the victory for the Ramblers.
After the game, Hency said the team knew how much it meant to play DePaul as part of the “Red Line Rivalry,” just one day after the Loyola women’s soccer team fell to the Blue Demons at Loyola Soccer Park.
“It’s huge being Chicago and the ‘Red Line Rivalry,’” Hency said. “We wanted to come out and have a huge performance for the students and all the fans.”
Loyola is scheduled to start conference play Sept. 18 at Loyola Soccer Park against University of Evansville.