The Loyola University Chicago women's soccer team jumped out to an early two-goal advantage en route to picking up a 3-1 win over host CSU Bakersfield this afternoon at the CSU Bakersfield Main Soccer Field in Bakersfield, Calif. Today's result sees the Ramblers climb back to the .500 mark at 2-2-0, while the Roadrunners drop to 0-3-0.
Coach Bimbi's Thoughts…
"Today wasn't our sharpest performance, but I thought CSU Bakersfield had a good plan to get us out of rhythm. We did enough on the day to get a result at the end of a great trip, and that's a credit to the character of this team."
How It Happened
It took Loyola all of seven minutes to take a lead that it would never relinquish on a sweltering afternoon north of Los Angeles. Junior Madison Laudeman
sent a free kick into the box that was cleared out only as far as senior Madison Kimball
. The Fair Oaks, Calif. native unleashed a right-footed volley that snuck under the bar at the near post to put the Maroon & Gold on top, 1-0. CSU Bakersfield wasted little time in searching for a response to Kimball's opening goal, with Sophie Freeman, Claire Nelson and Anesa Sasivarevic all misfiring in the ensuing minutes.
The Ramblers would cash in off another set-piece opportunity in the 20th
minute. Laudeman delivered a dangerous service that connected with freshman Abby Swanson
, who directed her headed attempt from the edge of the six-yard box in at the far post to make it 2-0. Swanson made a bid for a second seven minutes later, forcing a leaping stop out of CSU Bakersfield goalkeeper Jordan Bertram as Loyola took a two-goal edge into halftime.
The Roadrunners came out as the aggressors to open the second half. Junior goalkeeper Kate Moran
turned in her top save of the afternoon in the 64th
minute, making an outstretched stop to deflect Claire Nelson's shot wide of her far post.
Sophomore Kat Stephens
provided Loyola with some added insurance just six minutes after Moran's denial of Nelson. Senior Jenna Szczesny
corralled a ball that deflected off a Roadrunner defender before sending a ball across the face of goal that connected with a sliding Stephens to extend the margin to 3-0 with 20 minutes remaining. Aryana Harvey broke up the shutout in the dying seconds of regulation but that would be as close as the Roadrunners would get before time expired.
Looking At The Numbers
- Today's victory is Loyola's first in the state of California in program history.
- Kimball's goal in the seventh minute was her second of the season and has her tied for the team lead in the category, alongside Szczesny and junior Sienna Cruz
- CSU Bakersfield finished the afternoon with a 15-8 advantage in shots, with each team putting seven attempts on target.
- Despite conceding a late goal, Moran turned in a strong effort between the pipes, turning away a season-high six shots.
Loyola is back home next weekend to host Purdue Fort Wayne (Aug. 31) and Oklahoma State (Sept. 2) at Loyola Soccer Park. Friday's contest against the Mastodons will begin at 5 p.m., while Sunday's matinee with the Cowgirls is set for a 1 p.m. kickoff.