After winning its third consecutive Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) championship with a 1-0 win over Valparaiso University April 18, the Loyola women’s soccer team is headed back to the NCAA Tournament. The Ramblers are set to play the University of Denver in the first round of the tournament April 27.
“I’m excited to play Denver,” Loyola head coach Barry Bimbi said following the announcement. “They have been a perennial mid-major power, so to get them in the NCAA tournament is pretty exciting. We will do our research on them, develop a game plan for our girls to follow and hopefully have success.”
Due to COVID-19, the entire NCAA Tournament will be played in Cary, North Carolina and the surrounding areas. Loyola was given an automatic bid to the 2021 NCAA Tournament after winning the MVC Tournament. Denver also comes in with an automatic bid after winning its 11th Summit League title with a win over University of Nebraska Omaha April 17.
The Ramblers are ranked at No. 70 in the NCAA’s Rating Percentage Index (RPI) out of 316 Division I teams, whereas the Pioneers check in at No. 33.
The winner of this matchup will go on to play No. 2-seeded University of North Carolina Chapel Hill — the Tar Heels went all the way to the championship game in 2019, but lost to Stanford University on penalties.
Loyola is set to take on the Pioneers in Matthews, North Carolina April 27. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. and broadcast information has yet to be announced.