The Loyola women’s soccer team’s dreams of a deep NCAA Tournament run are over after losing to Hofstra University. The Ramblers’ season came to an end after they fell to Hofstra 1-0 in overtime Saturday afternoon at Hofstra Soccer Stadium in Hempstead, New York.
This is the second year in a row the Ramblers lost 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament after losing to eventual-champion Florida State University in the opening round of last year’s tournament.
Loyola finished the season with a record of 14-5-1, including an undefeated 7-0-0 in conference play. The Ramblers were riding a 12-game win streak and were fresh off a Nov. 10 victory in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Championship over Illinois State University. This was the first time since 2006 and 2007 that Loyola advanced to the NCAA Tournament in two consecutive years.
The Pride and the Ramblers battled to a scoreless tie through the 90 minutes of regulation, and the game headed into overtime. Neither team had lost in overtime this season, with Loyola going 1-0-1 in overtime games and Hofstra going 2-0-2. But the Pride scored in the third minute of the extra period, ending the game and Loyola’s chance at advancing in the NCAA tournament.
Loyola only managed one shot on goal in the first half, but couldn’t find the back of the net. The first half saw a strong performance by first-year goalkeeper Grace Droessler — blocking four shots from Hofstra.
The second half featured three shots on goal by sophomore midfielder Abby Swanson, but Hofstra’s goalkeeper Skylar Kuzmich turned them all away. The 76th minute saw Loyola’s Simone Wark get the only yellow card of the game for either side. With neither team scoring, the game headed into overtime.
Hofstra’s forward Sabrina Bryan scored the game-winning goal in the 94th minute of the match after assists from midfielders Bella Richards and Miri Taylor. It was Bryan’s 11th goal of the season.
Hofstra (16-3-2) is now set to face Stanford University in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Nov. 22.