Loyola always seeks out the best competition.

That means the eight-time defending state champion Ramblers are going west this year.

After making their annual trip to the East Coast, the Ramblers will play five games in four days at a tournament in the Denver area, starting Wednesday. Included among the opponents are a Colorado state champion and a team from San Francisco that features one of the best players in the country.

“We want to find the best competition we can,” Loyola head coach John Dwyer said. “We go to DC for that, and we are going to Denver this year to sustain that level of top play.”

The Ramblers (9-2) went 3-1 on their East Coast trip. While in the Rocky Mountains, they will face Colorado Academy, a state champion from last season. They also will play St. Ignatius, of San Francisco, which rosters senior Catriona Barry, one of the nation’s best midfielders who plans to play at Duke.

Upon returning to the Chicago area, Loyola’s first game is April 26 against New Trier in Glenview. As usual, the Trevians are one of the top teams in the state.

“New Trier is very good,” Dwyer said. “We will be ready for them.”