Hello friends, and welcome to the second edition of “Brownie Points.” This is still a new concept, so allow me to explain what exactly Brownie Points is. This is a column in which I will award or revoke Brownie Points based on a team or player’s performance. Being awarded Brownie Points is truly an honor unlike any other, but getting Brownie Points revoked is absolutely devastating.
Last time, I gave Brownie Points to men’s soccer’s Andrew Mitchell. Sticking with the soccer trend, this week I will be allocating Brownie Points to women’s soccer, but there’s a catch.
Before we get to that, I have decided I will now be attributing numbers to the allocation or revocation of Brownie Points. While these amounts may seem completely arbitrary and random, they are actually very meaningful and important.
So, onto women’s soccer. The team is 6-4-1, but is riding a four-game win streak after opening conference play with a 3-0 shutout of Drake University Sept. 28. In the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) preseason poll, Loyola was picked as the top team in the MVC, but Drake was a close second to the Ramblers.
During the four-game win streak, the Ramblers out-scored their opponents 10 goals to one. It’s just pure domination. The Phoenix recently wrote about how the defense has improved for Loyola. While that’s certainly true, the offense also deserves recognition. The Ramblers were only the second team to score three goals against Drake’s defense this season.
Maybe the most impressive aspect of the winning streak is that all four games were on the road. It started with a game in DeKalb, Illinois against Northern Illinois University, then a pair in Michigan and finally Iowa for the game against Drake. While none of these games were across the country, the Ramblers still didn’t have the comfort of Loyola Soccer Park.
For the high level of play throughout this winning streak, I award the Loyola women’s soccer team four Brownie Points — one for each consecutive victory.
Now, here’s where the “catch” I mentioned earlier comes into play.
Conference play is underway and head coach Barry Bimbi still hasn’t solidified his starting goalkeeper. This week, The Phoenix gave some insight into Bimbi’s decision-making process. A big takeaway from the article is Bimbi still seems somewhat on the fence about who his best option is for goalkeeper.
During the four-game winning streak, sophomore Maddie Hausmann started two games, both shutout victories with eight combined saves. First-year Grace Droessler started the other two games, including the conference-opener against Drake. In the two games she started, Droessler allowed one total goal while saving a combined six shots.
Both Hausmann and Droessler — who have a pair MVC Defensive Player of the Week awards Sept. 9 and Sept. 30 — have proven to be serviceable in goal for the Ramblers. Now, it’s up to Bimbi to decide who he wants to run with in net.
Honestly, this decision should’ve been made much earlier in the season. Bimbi was put in a difficult situation when last season’s starting goalkeeper Kate Moran went down with a torn ACL right before the season started. Also, it doesn’t help that both Hausmann and Droessler have performed very well this season. I know conference play is really the only part of the season that really matters, but that isn’t an excuse to still be figuring out such an integral part of the team this late in the season.
Whether or not Droessler remains the starter remains to be seen. Regardless, Bimbi’s indecisiveness has forced me to take a singular Brownie Point away from the team. The team has been playing so well so I really didn’t want to take a point away, but I simply had no choice.
Overall, the women’s soccer team is still at a net positive three Brownie Points. The team is clicking, but it hasn’t been a perfect season. Bimbi clearly still has decisions to make, but hopefully for the team’s sake, he solidifies his lineup sooner rather than later.