Women’s Soccer Draws 0-0 Against A-10 Opponent Saint Joseph’s

The draw brings Loyola’s record to 4-5-2 and keeps them winless in A-10 competition.

The Loyola women’s soccer team tied 0-0 with Atlantic-10 opponent Saint Joseph’s University in a highly contested match at Loyola Soccer Park Thursday night.

The draw brings Loyola’s record to 4-5-2 and keeps them winless in A-10 competition where they currently sit 0-1-2. It’s the second straight 0-0 tie for the Ramblers after drawing against Duquesne University Sept. 17. 

Saint Joseph’s left Rogers Park with a record of 1-5-5 and picked up another strong result in the A-10 to bring their conference record to 1-0-2. The Hawks came into the game fresh off their first victory of the season Sept. 17 where they beat the University of Richmond 3-2.

Loyola jumped out and maintained consistent ball control in the early going. The Ramblers forwards rarely took their foot off the gas in the first 20 minutes, though they were unable to score despite having several chances. First-year forward Zoe Hevey got a shot in the seventh minute but it went wide of the goal. 

The front-line made sure Saint Joseph’s was uncomfortable even when they wrangled the ball away from the Ramblers. They managed to steal it away several times before the Hawks could get their downfield offense set. The Loyola press continued throughout the game and prevented the Hawks from fully getting in rhythm.

The Ramblers failed to convert on two back-to-back corner kicks in the 11th minute. A series of Loyola fouls around the 16th minute shifted the momentum to the Hawks who failed to capitalize and were quickly silenced by Loyola’s defense.

Fourth-year defender Alaina Abel had another great game on the backline and proved to be a nuisance for the Hawks for the entire 90 minutes. Skyler Bieker, first-year defender, aided Abel and made several huge defensive plays which kept the Saint Joseph’s forwards guessing. Combined, the Ramblers defense held Saint Joseph’s to just one shot in the entire first half. 

Head coach Barry Bimbi said the backline was well-organized and worked well off the front-line press.

“When you have a team kind of pinned in because of our press, that makes the backline a little bit easier,” Bimbi said. “I thought Sky and Alaina did a really good job on their target forward, didn’t really let her receive the ball easily to let them get out.”

The Ramblers continued to push for goals on offense, maintaining the majority of possession throughout the game totalling 57% by the final whistle. Loyola also out-did the Hawks in total shots 15-5 and managed to get off the game’s only shot on goal. 

Fifth-year defender Olivia Knab was working hard all night on both ends. In the 22nd minute, a cross by Knab sailed over a pack of Ramblers in the middle of the field. The Ramblers got several crosses throughout the game but were never able to find anyone in the right place at the right time. 

In the 28th minute, Hevey beat a Hawks defender and found third-year midfielder Taylor Harrison for a shot which ended up wide right. Hevey, who has been enjoying a breakout season in her first year, created opportunities for the Ramblers all night. She made it look easy as she continuously got past defenders and created open space. 

In the 31st minute fourth-year midfielder Olivia Rhodes managed a shot which sailed just above the goal and landed on top of the net. A shot by Harrison in the 35th minute was too strong and flew well over the goal and out-of-bounds. 

Hevey got an arching shot which initially looked like it might dip in by fourth-year Hawks goalkeeper Katie Cappelletti but was a little too strong as it too landed on top of the net. 

Harrison and Hevey tried a few more times to make something happen before halftime but couldn’t get through the Saint Joseph’s defense. The second half started similarly to the first with the Ramblers’ forwards putting pressure on Cappelletti and the Hawks’ defenders. 

A Saint Joseph’s foul in the 53rd minute near the top of the goal box set up fifth-year midfielder Amanda Cassidy for a free kick. Cassidy tried a shot which was well-struck and was outside of Cappelletti’s reach but bounced off the crossbar. Loyola failed to score on the rebound and the Hawks eventually cleared the ball out. 

The Saint Joseph’s offense was able to find more success in the second half as they managed to push downfield more and got off four shots. Fifth-year Ramblers goalkeeper Naya Lipkens didn’t have to work very hard however as the Hawks finished the game with zero shots on goal. 

First-year forward Jadyn Harris came off the bench at the start of the second half and made an impact with her speed as she created opportunities for the Ramblers to score. In the 58th minute fourth-year midfielder Madeleine Barone reared back and got off the match’s lone shot on goal which was saved by Cappelletti. 

The Hawks raced down the field and just a minute later gave Loyola a real scare when the ball ricocheted off Lipkens and hit another Rambler near an unprotected goal before finally rolling out of bounds. Saint Joseph’s failed to capitalize on a subsequent corner kick. 

In the 66th minute, Harris made up for a stolen pass of hers by racing to get the ball back. Almost immediately, she launched a shot which was wide right.

A Loyola corner kick in the 77th minute gave the Ramblers their best opportunity to score late in the game, but they couldn’t find an opening as the ball sailed into heavy traffic where Cappelletti ended the confusion and cleared the ball out. 

Knab found Harrison on a free kick in the 81st, but Harrison’s header had too much gusto and sailed over the net and out of bounds. A series of Rambler fouls gave the Hawks a few chances to score in the last 10 minutes of play, but on both occasions Abel and the defense put an end to the danger quickly. 

In the 86th minute, a pass from Cassidy right in front of the goal was just out of fourth-year forward Sarah Noonan’s reach and rolled out of the box. Loyola maintained possession and managed to set up a corner kick but failed to score. 

The final seconds ticked away as both teams headed to the bench tied nil-nil. After the game, Bimbi said even though a draw can look good, it’s disappointing to drop conference points at home.

“Fifteen shots and we made the goalkeeper make one save tonight —  that’s just not good enough,” he said. “We’re just not dangerous enough in the box, there’s not enough hunger in the box. We have to be more unselfish when we get in that final third and score team goals.”

The Ramblers will get right back at it as they will face George Washington University Sunday, Sept. 24 at Loyola Soccer Park. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the match can be streamed live on ESPN+.

Featured image by Holden Green | The Phoenix

Griffin Krueger

Griffin Krueger

Griffin Krueger is the Editor-in-Chief of The Phoenix. He began working for The Phoenix during his first week at Loyola and previously served as Assistant News Editor and Sports Editor. Krueger is a fourth-year Political Science major with minors in Economics and History. In his free time he enjoys reading and exploring the city on his bike.