Ever since returning from their trip to Upstate New York in late April, the Ramblers have been red-hot.
Despite chilly temperatures Saturday at Loyola’s Munz Campus in Glenview, the Ramblers were on fire again, beating Lake Forest 20-7 to remain undefeated against in-state opponents.
“Going out East was a wake-up call,” Loyola senior Cooper Prawdzik said. “Every single team we played, all of their kids went hard every single time they were on the field. It showed us the mentality we needed to have to be a great team.”
Playing what Loyola head coach Rob Snyder said were the best teams he’s scheduled, the Ramblers lost all three games on Long Island by a combined score of 45-13. But the experience was worth it, according to Snyder.
Since returning home, the Ramblers have won four in a row, outscoring opponents 80-17.
“A lot of what is happening is because of playing in New York,” Snyder said. “Teams out there are skilled, but they also play extremely hard. Our kids took that to heart, and it’s translated onto the field. Our effort is there. We are playing hard and playing fast.”
Loyola jumped on Lake Forest early, leading 8-1 after the first quarter and 15-4 at the half.
Senior Mike Feuer led the offense with six goals and two assists. Senior Timothy Hackett and junior Kaden Keller both finished with four goals, while senior Connor Koch totaled three goals and one assist.
Senior Will Starshak and Prawdzik (pictured above) headlined the defense, along with freshman goalie Alex Feuer, who made the start after senior Dom Urukalo hurt his ankle before the game. Snyder said Urukalo shouldn’t miss any more games.
“Cooper is athletic and physical, Starshak is a great communicator and Dom is dominant in the cage,” Snyder said. “They all have experience and are teaching our younger guys how to play the right way. We don’t have the depth we’ve had in the past, but we are trying to develop it.”
The Ramblers (11-6) wrap up the regular season next week. They play St. Rita at home Tuesday and at home Thursday against Glenbrook North. Loyola, the defending state champions, received the No. 1 seed at its own sectional. The Ramblers start the state series May 20 against either Lane or Latin at Oak Park-River Forest.
“When we got back from Long Island, we considered ourselves a new team and starting a new season,” Prawdzik said. “We’ve brought it every game.”
Photo credit: Margo Grogan/Sports Depiction