The Loyola women’s soccer team (11-4-1) clinched the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Tournament with a 2-1 win over Indiana State University (4-11-2) at Loyola Soccer Park Saturday night.
The Ramblers battled through pounding wind and rain for all 90 minutes on senior night to win their ninth straight game — a program record. Now that they’ve clinched the top spot in the MVC Tournament for the second straight year, Loyola head coach Barry Bimbi he’s “very excited for the program.”
“To go back-to-back winning the regular-season championship in the [MVC], I think [it’s] a huge accomplishment,” Bimbi said after the match. “I’m really happy for our senior class. Tonight was their 40th win over their careers.”
“To go back-to-back winning the regular-season championship in the [MVC], I think [it’s] a huge accomplishment.”
— Barry Bimbi, Loyola head coach
Senior goalkeeper Kate Moran was given the start in goal for Loyola and was substituted out for first-year Grace Droessler a few moments into the first half. Moran has been out for the entire season with a torn ACL, but Bimbi let her get one more start before graduation.
Five minutes in, sophomore midfielder Abby Swanson netted a goal for the Ramblers to give them the early lead. But Indiana State came back with a goal in the 23rd minute before senior midfielder Aleksa Tataryn found the back of the net in the 26th minute. That proved to be the game-winning goal as the Ramblers outshot the Sycamores 17-4 en route to a 2-1 victory.
The wind and rain continued throughout the night, and Bimbi said playing through the conditions was “awful.”
“We told the girls basically in pregame warmup, ‘It’s going to be ugly, let’s try to minimize situations where mistakes could happen,’” Bimbi said. “We kind of lost our focus a little bit and gave away the goal but … it’s good for us because it gives them something … at practice.”
One game remains in the regular season before the MVC Tournament kicks off Nov. 3. The Ramblers are set to take on the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana Oct. 31. Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.