Loyola couldn’t capitalize on its chances Saturday, and it resulted in a 4-2 loss to Evanston in the sectional final at Glenbrook South.
“You have to tip your cap to Evanston,” Loyola head coach Dan Hengelmann said. “They had their backs against the wall [Friday] against New Trier, and it seemed like that momentum never stopped.”
The top-seeded Ramblers controlled most of the first quarter, but the No. 2 Wildkits were the ones with a 1-0 lead. After Loyola tied it up 1-all with 36 seconds remaining in the second quarter on a goal by junior Kenny Sanjaj, Evanston answered 17 seconds later to go into the half ahead 2-1.
The Wildkits added two more goals early in the third to take a 4-1 lead at the 5:40 mark of the quarter. Loyola got a goal from senior John Merucci with 4:23 to go in the fourth, but that ended the scoring.
“We didn’t recognize opportunities, and our shots weren’t falling,” Hengelmann said. “But Evanston is a very good defensive team.”
Sophomore Jake Carr was a standout in goal. His biggest highlight came when he saved two shots during a man-down situation in the third quarter and Loyola trailing 4-1.
“When the lights are the brightest, he tends to shine,” Hengelmann said. “He’s been nothing short of sensational this season. I hope he gets some looks for all-state.”
Senior Tony Spallone had an assist.
Loyola finished the season 26-7 and captured the MCAC championship for the first time since 2014.
“We felt good coming in, but sometimes it’s not your day,” Hengelmann said.