Defense will be Loyola’s strength this season, head coach Rob Snyder said, but the offense was on display in Tuesday’s opener.
The defending state champion Ramblers scored 11 goals in the first quarter on their way to a 25-1 win over St. Laurence in Burbank.
Senior attack Quinn Roddy led the offense with four goals. Freshman attack Kaden Keller followed with three goals, all coming in the first three minutes of the game.
Senior and St. Joseph-bound Billy Jardeleza, who dominated the faceoffs, was one of five Ramblers with two goals. Junior attack Quinn Callahan, junior attack Andrew Forsyth, sophomore midfielder Najee Taylor and freshman attack Branden Tait all scored twice.
In all, 15 players scored for the Ramblers.
“Roddy played a ton of minutes for us last year, but we had a lot of guys out there on offense who played significant minutes for us last year,” Snyder said. “But defense is our strength, for sure. We are deep and talented.”
Senior Kyle Koch is one of the standouts on that side. The Marquette recruit is a four-year starter and a two-time All-American.
“We obviously have talent, but we are humble,” Koch said. “We work hard, we have a great scheme and we trust each other. That’s why we are successful.”
Other defenders include senior Graham Repp, who is back to lacrosse after sitting out his sophomore season, senior Ian Swenson, senior Bryan Giella, junior Luca Lazzaretto, junior Quinn Cashion and sophomore Cooper Prawdzik.
“We are so deep,” Koch said. “Our second- and third-teamers know what to do. We all work really well together.”
The defense rarely was tested Tuesday. The Ramblers controlled possession for nearly the entire first half and didn’t surrender a goal until less than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Dominic Urukalo started in goal, while senior Luke Sheble and senior Jan Szczupak both saw action.
Loyola will be challenged later this week when the Ramblers travel to the East Coast for three games. They play Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Washington D.C. area.
‘We are very excited for the trip,” Koch said. “It’s going to make us a better team. I remember losing to Boys’ Latin [from Maryland] 20-4 my freshman year, but I definitely think it made us a better team. It showed us what we needed to do.”
Snyder said he won’t be too concerned with results this weekend. The biggest priority is the experience of playing against top-level competition. Loyola has 11 sophomores and three freshman on its 43-player roster.
“We will see some heavies out there,” he said. “Even if we get beat up, it’s only going to help us.”
Although Loyola is the defending state champion, Koch said the Ramblers have to prove themselves again this season.
“This is a different year, a new team” he said. “I feel like we are starting over. But our goal is the same.”