Men's Soccer

Loyola Men’s Soccer Dominates Red Line Rival DePaul in 3-1 Win

Photo Courtesy of Rudi AyasseFabian Becerra and John Gates led the Ramblers to victory with two goals and two assists, respectively.

The Loyola men’s soccer team beat DePaul University 3-1 at Loyola Soccer Park Sept. 9. A pair of goals by graduate forward Fabian Becerra led the Ramblers’ high-powered offense, to complete a two game sweep of this year’s Red Line rivalry soccer matches. 

Early in the first half, Loyola pushed the ball deep into DePaul’s end, attempting to create a shot opportunity with a through pass. Sophomore forward John Gates received the ball and took the first shot of the game, which was saved by DePaul goalkeeper Gandhi Cruz in the ninth minute of the game.

Keeping up the pressure, the Ramblers’ offensive force continued to create opportunities in DePaul’s end, but Cruz shut down their chances with another save. However, in the 16th minute Depaul’s defense couldn’t contain Loyola’s offense when Becerra received a pass from Gates and booted the ball into the bottom center of the goal, giving Loyola a 1-0 lead.

DePaul tried to strike back quickly, as Cade Hagan took the Blue Demons’ first shot of the game in the 25th minute. Minutes later, DePaul attempted another shot on goal, but graduate goalkeeper Simon Jilson sprang to the left corner of the goal to make the save. 

The first half came to a close with a 1-0 Loyola lead. The Ramblers dominated the game offensively by posting seven shots, compared to DePaul’s two. Gates was crucial in helping the Ramblers’ offense create an early lead, contributing an assist and a shot on goal while playing 44 minutes in the half. 

As fans returned to their seats from halftime, Loyola wasted no time increasing its lead. In the 46th minute, senior midfielder Oscar Dueso passed the ball to redshirt senior midfielder Billy Hency, who blasted a shot into the bottom right corner of the net for a 2-0 Loyola lead.

After scrappy play resulted in a pair of yellow cards for DePaul’s Michael Anderson and Loyola sophomore defender Benni Hofmann, DePaul capitalized on the break in play to recharge and overcome Loyola’s defense. In the 67th minute, Jack Richards won the ball after a corner kick cross and sunk it into the left corner of the goal to cut Loyola’s lead to one. 

In a stretch of just 10 minutes, the match descended into more fouls and bookings, resulting in six fouls and three yellow cards between both teams. Senior midfielder Marc Tolleras and senior defender Andrew Mitchell were given yellow cards for unsporting behavior alongside DePaul’s Diego Benitez. 

Just moments later, fans experienced deja vu as Gates set up Becerra for another goal in the bottom center of the goal with eight minutes left in the match, delivering Loyola a 3-1 victory.

Loyola Head Coach Steve Bode said the win against a Chicago rival was particularly meaningful for his players, adding that he is proud of their offensive performance.

“Tonight was a very mature and disciplined performance from our team,” Bode said. “Scoring three goals tonight was very important for our group. I’m happy for Fabian [Becerra] in particular who scored two goals and worked extremely hard on both sides of the ball.”
Up next, Loyola will host Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Sept. 13. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. and is set to be broadcast on ESPN+.

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