Nov. 9, 2008
CHICAGO - Visiting Milwaukee took control of the game with two first-half goals and put it out of reach with two more early in the second half as Loyola's quest for a third straight Horizon League title came up short with a 6-2 loss this afternoon in the title match at Loyola Soccer Park. The Ramblers end the season with a 14-9 record, the third straight season they have managed a program-best 14 victories in a season.
"Obviously we are disappointed," said head coach Frank Mateus. "We did not play our best match today and made too many mistakes to beat a good team like Milwaukee. It always hurts to lose, especially when you've worked so hard to make it this far. For our seniors it is especially hard but I want to thank them for all that they have done for the program and their hard work. We will miss them a lot next year."
After an even opening 15 minutes, Loyola nearly got on the board in the 18th minute, as Cynthia Morote-Ariza wiggled free from two defenders and unleashed a blast that slammed against the crossbar after beating the Milwaukee keeper. The Panthers also squandered a chance to open the scoring on the half-hour mark, as Erin Kreuser's shot to an empty net was cleared off the line by LU defender Ashley Funk. However, UWM would get on the board just three minutes later, as Sarah Hagen controlled a pass from Kayla DeJardin, turned and beat Rambler keeper Katie Groesch after 33 minutes. The Panthers would double their lead six minutes later, when Nicole Sperl took a short corner pass and buried a drive into the upper-left corner of the net in the 40th minute to give UWM a 2-0 lead that it would take into intermission.
The onslaught continued in the early minutes of the second half, as Keara Thompson (47th minute) and Hagen (52nd) found the back of the net to make it a 4-0 Panther lead. Loyola pulled one back in the 61st minute when Morote-Ariza finished a nice individual move and beat Kane to the near post but less than two minutes later, Louise Vraney scored from a tight angle to restore UWM's four-goal cushion.
Hagen finished off the hat trick with a gift goal in the 78th minute, dribbling into an empty net from 30 yards after Groesch and a Loyola defender collided going for the ball, and Morote-Ariza nabbed her second less than a minute later to close out the scoring.
For Morote-Ariza, another record-breaking season comes to a close. She finished the season with single-season record totals of 18 goals, 19 assists and 55 points, moving into sole possession of third place on the Horizon League career scoring chart with 125 points.