Loyola University’s Women’s soccer team won a hard-fought game against Drake and the chilly November rain at Hoyne Park Sunday, winning the Missouri Valley Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
The game-winning goal came in the 35th minute of the second half, with Kat Stephens knocking it in. The Loyola defense was able to hold the rest of the way, and the boistrous crowd let out a big cheer when the final whistle blew.
Other Rambler goals were scored by Jenna Szczesny and Abby Swanson.
“It was definitely a battle of wills,” Loyola Head Coach Barry Bimbi said after the game. “They (Drake) are so strong defensively … and obviously we are pretty prolific offensively, but it was definitely a great game for the fans.”
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” said Loyola junior defender Madison Laudeman. “You come in, you work so hard you work from the summer, these seniors have been working for four years, this is the moment you always want when you come into play college soccer so to just to get that it’s amazing”.
Stephens said the team is now looking ahead to the NCAA tournament.
“We have enough talent to be able to compete, be able to win the the Valley and now being able to go to the NCAA we can compete with whoever we play agains,” she said.
This will be the Loyola’s women’s soccer team’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2007.