Through 10 games this season, the Ramblers have played a who’s who of the state’s top programs.
While they’ve suffered some losses, including ones to Barrington and St. Charles North, the Ramblers have consecutive wins over Glenbrook South and Hinsdale Central, which they beat 3-0 at home Thursday at the North Shore Invitational.
“We’ve grown as a team since the first of the year,” junior forward Stephanie Ramsay said. “Playing these teams has given us an idea of where we are as a team and what we need to work on. I think we’ve taken steps in the right direction this week.”
Loyola (6-4) has its toughest test of the season Saturday when it travels to Northfield to play three-time defending Class 3A state champion New Trier at the North Shore Invitational. Game time is 10 a.m.
“We’ve had to find our way playing against some big-time teams,” Loyola head coach Craig Snower said. “New Trier will be a challenge in every way imaginable. It will be another measuring stick for us.”
After going scoreless in the first six games, Ramsay scored two of Loyola’s three goals against Hinsdale Central and has four goals in the last four games. Ramsay even set up the other goal by drawing a foul in the box. Sophomore midfielder Emily Chrisman (pictured above) connected on the penalty kick. Junior midfielder Cate Shellenback finished with two assists.
The Ramblers have scored at least three goals in five of their last seven games, while junior Maggie Avery was in goal for Loyola’s fourth shutout of the season.
“I’m finding my flow on offense,” said Ramsay, a three-year varsity player. “We are all finding the goal more.”
Offense will be at a premium Saturday against the Trevians, who Snower said has the best backline in the state. The defense is led by senior and Wisconsin-bound Sam Urban.
“It won’t be easy, and we are not going to outrun them,” Snower said. “They are very good. What we hope for is to play better against New Trier than we did against St. Charles North or Barrington. We want to see improvement.”
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola