Loyola Men’s Soccer advances to Horizon League semi-finals

Reed Patterson. Loyola Athletics photo

Cheers for the underdog!

Loyola University Chicago Men’s Soccer, the No. 6 seeded team in the Horizon League turned out a victory against Cleveland State University Tuesday evening. The Ramblers defeated the Vikings 1-0 and will advance to the Horizon League Semi-Finals.

“Just a month ago CSU beat us 4-0 and it’s tough for a team to turn it around and win, especially at their home field, but that’s exactly what we did. We all played for each other and it was great,” said sophomore forward Enrique Garcia.

Ramblers will train hard all week to defeat Valparaiso said Garcia. “More importantly we’ll become mentally focused as a team for the biggest game of the year. Our senior leadership will take care of that.”

Junior forward Eric Nock thinks the Rambers are ready to take on the Valparaiso this Friday. “We are playing the best soccer that we have played all year lately and it is at the perfect time, we have a nice win streak going,” said Nock, “As for Valpo, we are going to take this momentum and confidense there on friday and hopefuly repeat tonights performance.”

Here’s the story from Loyola Ramblers:

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Labeled as the No. 6 seed in the Horizon League Tournament, Loyola University Chicago was the underdog team, but the Ramblers showed up strong when they took to the pitch in Cleveland, Ohio tonight and came away with a win. The Ramblers (6-11-1, 3-5 HL) defeated the Vikings (9-9-1, 5-2-1 HL), 1-0 to advance to the Horizon League Semifinals.

At the 32:41 minute mark, sophomore Reed Patterson capitalized from six yards out and sent a header into the upper left corner. James Howe set up the play with a throw-in to Kyle Spoo. Spoo then sent a pass into the box for the assist.

Patterson’s header held up for the rest of the match as Cleveland State was unable find the equalizer and stay alive in the tournament. As part of their efforts, the Vikings produced four chances in the second half, most notably a strong attempt in the 74th minute, but the Rambler defense continued its impressive streak and booted the ball away.

Cleveland State finished with both an advantage in shots (8-6) and corner kicks (7-1), while Loyola worked to catch the Vikings offsides twice. Junior Eric Nock led the Ramblers on offense with two shots in the match. Patterson, Howe and Spoo also added an attempt apiece to round out the team total of six shots on the night.

Senior goalkeeper Peter McKeown started in between the posts for the Ramblers and finished with three saves on the night to improve to 5-8-1. Cleveland State’s Brad Stuver collected two saves and fell to 9-8-1 on the season.

Loyola now travels to Indiana for the Semifinal match-up against No. 1 Seed Valparaiso on Friday. The time of the contest has yet to be determined.

-Ashton Mitchell