Senior Lauren Voss gave Loyola an early lead Saturday, and the Ramblers never looked back in their 5-3 win over New Trier that earned them the sectional championship at Glenbrook South.
It’s the program’s first appearance at the state tournament since 2013. Loyola plays Conant in the quarterfinals Friday at Stevenson.
Voss, who plans to play water polo at Santa Clara University, scored both of her goals in the first quarter to stake the top-seeded Ramblers to a 2-0 lead.
“I do think it helped to go up like that at the beginning,” she said. “It gave us the momentum. We just had to keep it rolling.”
Added Loyola head coach Kim Przekota: “In those first couple of minutes, there is so much adrenaline. It was good to score early to settle us down.”
In the second, Loyola and No. 2-seeded New Trier traded four goals — two by Loyola senior Nicole Kielba — over a 63-second stretch that left the Ramblers ahead 4-2. Loyola added a goal by junior Aidan Koconis-O’Malley with 1 minute, 45 seconds remaining in the first half to go into intermission up 5-2.
After a scoreless third, the Trevians scored with 2:21 left for the final margin.
There was no change to the game plan for the final two quarters, according to Przekota. The biggest message to her players at the half was to not make mental mistakes.
“We didn’t need to score, but we had to be smart,” Voss said.