Sept. 23, 2012
CHICAGO - Loyola University Chicago women's soccer swept the weekend, defeating conference opponent Cleveland State, 1-0, on Friday, before topping Indiana State on Sunday, 1-0. Junior Tricia Stonebrakerscored the game-winner against the Sycamores in the 68th minute, extending the Ramblers six-game unbeaten streak.
"Six-game unbeaten streaks are always exciting," said head coach Barry Bimbi. "The players are all really excited about the run that we're on especially with this being the fourth win on the road for us."
It was a quiet first half for both teams with a defensive stalemate unfolding on the field. Indiana State edged Loyola in shots, taking a 3-2 advantage while the Ramblers earned the only corner kick of the half.
After the break, Indiana State dominated early, keeping the Ramblers' backline busy and taking four shots. Senior Chelsie Stokesproved a vital asset to Loyola, providing the Ramblers with a strong presence in the backline.
"The first half was 45 minutes of two teams feeling each other out," said Coach Bimbi. "Stokes really changed the game for us. She provided a physical presence in the middle of the field and was definitely a difference maker in the second half."
With the help of Stokes and the defense, the Ramblers began pushing the ball up the field in the 65th minute. Senior Samantha Welcher sent the ball wide to sophomore Moriah Schwarz, who dribbled past a Sycamore challenger. Continuing to control the ball, Schwarz sent a cross from left wing to Stonebraker in the middle who powered a shot to the near post, giving Loyola the lead, 1-0.
Stonebraker and Schwarz continued to challenge Indiana State, adding two shots late in the game. Sophomore goalkeeper Monica Gonyoposted her fourth shutout of the season, making four saves.
"We had a great sequence getting the ball forward on the game-winning goal," said Coach Bimbi. "I thought the intensity was better from our players in the second half. We're definitely making positive strides moving forward."
The Ramblers take the week off before heading to Detroit, Mich. on Sunday, Sept. 30th. It will be the second conference game for Loyola, with kickoff set at 12 p.m. CDT.