Oct. 3, 2012
CHICAGO - The Ramblers suffered a 1-0 setback on the road Wednesday afternoon, falling to Illinois State in the 85th minute. A close first half left the match scoreless at the intermission, and even as Loyola developed chances up top late in the game, it was the Redbirds who found the back of the net.
"At the end of the day I'm really proud of the players," said head coach Barry Bimbi. "We gave everything we had being on the road and playing on a different surface against an NCAA tournament team from last year."
Loyola started the game strong, earning three corner kicks within the first five minutes of play. Freshman Kristin Rodriguez and senior Samantha Welcher took advantage of the set-piece opportunities, posting the first two shots for Loyola.
A corner kick by freshman Mariah Vichich in the second minute allowed Illinois State to clear the ball off the line. Rodriguez regained possession for the Ramblers, however, powering a shot towards the posts that was cleared by a Redbirds' defender.
Even with the early chances, neither team was able to find the back of the net, as the game remained scoreless at halftime. Illinois State managed to outshoot Loyola 6-4, but it was the Ramblers who took the 6-5 advantage on corner kicks.
At the return of play, the teams split possession once again, looking to be the first to score the game-winner. Senior Chelsie Stokes was on the receiving end of a corner kick by senior Kristin Papierski, placing a header on the ball only to have the Redbirds' goalkeeper make the save.
With five minutes left in regulation and the game scoreless, it was Aimee Wronski who finally put Illinois State in the lead, placing a header between the posts with Rachel Tejada and Anna Stinson credited for the assists. The late goal was enough to give the Redbirds the 1-0 win.
"It was a wide open game," said Coach Bimbi. "We built some good pressure on them, but unfortunately we came up short. The team played well and we had some good opportunities, but it just wasn't enough to get the win."
Loyola returns home this weekend, looking to improve its 1-1-0 conference record as it hosts Wright State. The game will be held at Loyola Soccer Park on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.