The Loyola men’s soccer team (11-5-4) saw its season end in dramatic fashion after the University of Kentucky outlasted the Ramblers 2-1 in two overtimes Thursday night in Lexington, Kentucky.
Kentucky advanced after first-year forward Eythor Bjorgolfsson headed a ball past Loyola goalkeeper Marcel Kampman. The goal came less than a minute into the second 10-minute overtime period.
The Wildcats improved to 13-4-3 on the season after the victory. Kentucky was ranked 21st in the country, according to NCAA rating percentage index (RPI), while Loyola was ranked 34th. The RPI is a system that ranks teams based on wins, losses and strength of schedule.
Loyola took an early lead after first-year defender Andrew Mitchell scored off a corner kick in the 36th minute of the first half. The goal was Mitchell’s second of his collegiate career after he scored in the Ramblers’ season-opener against the University of Vermont. Loyola entered halftime up 1-0.
After failing to register a single shot in the first 45 minutes, Kentucky came out firing after break. The Wildcats put up eight shots in the second half, including three shots on goal. Kampman was able to save two of those shots, but the game-tying penalty kick goal slipped past him in the 82nd minute.
Kentucky’s offensive pressure continued in the first overtime period, as the Wildcats put up three shots — all on target and saved by Kampman — in the 10-minute period. The second overtime period only lasted 58 seconds until Bjorgolfsson scored to end the game.
Mitchell’s goal was the only shot on target that Loyola managed the entire game. The Ramblers only registered two shots in the entirety of the second half and overtime periods.
Loyola reached the NCAA Tournament after defeating Missouri State University in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Championship on penalty kicks. The loss to Kentucky was the final game for Loyola seniors, including MVC Player of the Year Aidan Megally.
Kentucky advances to play Indiana University in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Nov. 24 in Bloomington, Indiana.