The Loyola University Chicago women's soccer team gave top-seeded Florida State all it could handle, ultimately falling to the Seminoles by a final score of 1-0 this evening at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Tallahassee, Fla. in a First Round matchup of the 2018 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship. Tonight's defeat sees the Ramblers magical season brought to an end with a final record of 11-7-1 (6-1-0 MVC).
How It Happened
Florida State wasted no time in putting the Ramblers under immediate pressure on a muggy evening in the Florida Panhandle. Yujie Zhao forced a stop out of junior goalkeeper Kate Moran
less than five minutes in. Moran came up with a big save just ahead of the quarter-hour mark, turning away Deyna Castellanos' blast from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Moran received key assists from two members of her backline as time wore down in the opening stanza. Junior Madison Laudeman
stepped in front to block Olivia Bergau in the 34th
minute before senior Taylor Lambouris
cleared Natalia Kuikka's headed effort off the line shortly after. The Rambler netminder came up with arguably her top save of the half in the 44th
minute, rushing out to deny a charging Castellanos to ensure a scoreless deadlock at halftime.
Florida State found its breakthrough just seven minutes after the intermission. Anna Patten unleashed a blast that bounced its way through a crowded 18-yard box and in at the far post, giving the Seminoles a 1-0 edge.
Moran continued to shine in goal, keeping the Ramblers' within one as the half wore on. Loyola worked to break down a well-organized Florida State defense, generating a pair of chances in regulation's closing minutes. In the 84th
minute, Lambouris sent a free kick into the box that connected with senior Jenna Szczesny
, who saw her header collected by Caroline Jeffers, the Seminole netminder. The final chance of the night for the Maroon & Gold fell to the right foot of Lambouris, who ripped a lopping shot from 20 yards out that narrowly cleared the crossbar as Florida State held on for a 1-0 victory.
Looking At The Numbers
- Moran was outstanding tonight in goal, racking up a career-high eight saves to lead the Rambler defensive unit.
- Szczesny and Lambouris were credited with Loyola's two lone shots of the evening on the offensive end.
- Tonight's defeat brings an end to the career of Loyola's six-member senior class, who helped lead the Ramblers to 38 wins during their four years in Rogers Park.
Barry Bimbi's Thoughts…
On the game: "I'm very proud of the girls. We came out and we tried to play, obviously they are a very talented team, hard to get the ball from. I thought our girls early in the game were a little nervous with the ball, so they couldn't complete some passes to relieve the pressure, but we battled. I thought Kate was really good in the goal and Madison (Laudeman) in the back was really solid, but just really proud of the effort from everyone."
On the seniors: "I'm so happy for this senior class. They lost in penalty kicks in the tournament final their freshmen year, but kept battling, getting better every day and believing."