Even after losing three games by one goal each, senior Billy Jardeleza said the Ramblers came back to Illinois a better team than when they left for Upstate New York.
“We had opportunities to win every game, and that’s frustrating,” he said. “It’s humbling to lose three games like that, but it shows we can hang with any team in the country. We are better prepared to win a state title because of going up there.”
Loyola ended its excursion north with an 8-7 overtime loss to West Genesee on Saturday. The Ramblers led 6-4 in the fourth quarter before the Wildcats scored three in a row to take the lead. Freshman Kaden Keller’s goal tied the score at 7-all.
After a penalty late in regulation, the Ramblers (5-6) went into overtime down a man, and West Genesee took advantage. All six of Loyola’s losses this season have come to teams from out of state.
“What we learned is that we have to play hard all four quarters,” Jardeleza said. “We can’t let up in the fourth quarter. We lost two games because of that. We have to finish games better.”
Sophomore Timothy Hackett scored two goals and had one assist against West Genesse, while Keller finished with two goals. Senior Chris Mancini had two assists. Junior Andrew Forsyth, sophomore Najee Taylor and sophomore Nolan Chows each scored one goal apiece.
Sophomore goalie Dominic Urukalo made 11 saves, while junior defensive middie Kyle McGarvey starred for the defense.
Loyola has a busy week. It plays St. Ignatius at home Tuesday, St. Rita at home Thursday and New Trier on the road Saturday.
GIRLS: Loyola capped off its trip to the Rocky Mountains with two more wins Saturday to finish 5-0 out west.
The Ramblers defeated Cherry Creek 12-8 in the morning before beating Arapahoe 16-7 in the afternoon. Loyola head coach John Dwyer said Cherry Creek was the best team the Ramblers played in four days.
Senior Madison Kane scored five goals and had two assists against Cherry Creek, while senior Brennan Dwyer added four goals and one assist.
In the win over Arapahoe, Dwyer finished with five goals. Senior Colleen Huffman contributed three goals, and Kane had one goal and four assists.
The Ramblers (14-2) host New Trier on Wednesday.