BOYS LACROSSE: In their last game before traveling to Upstate New York, the Ramblers beat St. Ignatius 17-1 on Tuesday at home.
Junior Najee Taylor led Loyola (8-0) with four goals and two assists. Senior Quinn Callahan and junior Mike Feuer both had three goals. In his first game of the season, sophomore Kaden Keller contributed one goal and one assist. Junior Timothy Hackett and sophomore Branden Tait each had one goal and one assist.
After going undefeated on their trip to the East Coast earlier this month, which included a historic win over Georgetown Prep, the Ramblers received national notice and are ranked No. 20 by MaxPreps. Although Culver Academies, of Culver, Indiana, is No. 1, Loyola is the only traditional high school from the Midwest in the top 25.
“I do feel like we are gaining more recognition,” Loyola senior and captain Luca Lazzaretto said. “But the sentiment from the seniors is that we don’t place a lot of stock in the rankings. It’s not like we don’t care about them, but our ultimate goal is to win a state title.”
As always, Loyola will be tested on its annual New York trip. The Ramblers play Victor Senior (Victor, New York) on Friday, West Genesee (Camilius, New York) on Saturday and Ithaca (Ithaca, New York) on Sunday. All three teams entered this week undefeated. While not ranked by MaxPreps, Victor is the No. 10 team in the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse top 25. Last year, the Ramblers lost to the same three teams by one goal each game.
“The biggest thing I want to see is execution,” Lazzaretto said. “We have the schemes and the talent, but it’s up to us to go out there and get it done. If we do that and play hard and lose, so be it.”
GIRLS SOCCER: The Ramblers found themselves trailing for the first time this season Tuesday, but they rallied for a 3-2 win over Downers Grove North at home on senior Cate Shellenback’s game-winning goal.
“Coming from behind has not been our forte over the last several years, so it was great to see us do that,” Loyola head coach Craig Snower said. “They exposed us in a few ways, but we will learn from that. It was a good win.”
The Trojans, who finished fourth in Class 3A last season, led 1-0 and 2-1 before Loyola (8-0-1) tied it up on junior Maggie Brett’s second goal to set the stage for Shellenback (pictured above).
The Ramblers begin play at Naperville North’s invitational Thursday against Barrington, last season’s Class 3A runner-up. They play Burlington Central on Saturday in the final game of pool play. There are eight pools of three.
“It’s going to be tough, but it will be good for us,” Snower said.
BOYS VOLLEYBALL: In his first game of the season Tuesday, junior outside hitter Jack Howard had five kills, two blocks and 10 digs to help the Ramblers to a 25-14, 25-22 win over St. Rita at home.
Senior right-side hitter Drake Johnson contributed eight kills and five blocks, while senior middle Nick Howard had four kills and four blocks. Freshman libero Ryan Merk finished with six digs and two aces. Sophomore outside hitter/setter John Hitt had 10 assists, and senior setter Rees Gray had nine assists.
Loyola (10-7, 2-1 Catholic Blue) hosts Providence Catholic on Thursday to complete the first half of the conference schedule. The Ramblers play at Downers Grove South’s tournament Friday and Saturday.
BOYS BASKETBALL: Senior guard Kevin Cunningham will represent the Ramblers at the CCL/ESCC all-star game Friday at Notre Dame. He was an all-Catholic League selection and earned Class 3A/4A all-state honors from the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. The St. Thomas-bound Cunningham averaged 12.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.0 steals.
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola