Senior goalie Annie Enrietto understands better than most the importance of a good defense.
As strong as she is at her position, Enrietto benefits from a veteran group in front of her. Seniors Anna Gordon, Lauryn Repp, Lizzie Walker and junior Audrey Brett all are returning starters.
Following Loyola’s 11-6 win over New Trier at home Monday, the first thing head coach John Dwyer mentioned was the performance by the defense.
Loyola (11-1) led 4-1 at intermission, but New Trier (7-1-1) scored four of the first six goals in the second half to get within one, 6-5. The Ramblers responded with a 5-0 run to put the game away.
“None of the kids panicked,” Dwyer said. “We played a lot of good teams [on the East Coast] and in some close games. They are confident and not afraid. We handled New Trier’s run really well. That’s a good offensive team that has long possessions.
“Annie made some big saves, especially in the first half to keep us ahead.”
Loyola held New Trier’s top goal-scorers — senior Lucy Murray and junior Claudia Shevitz — in check. Shevitz, who averages 3.8 goals a game, scored two. Murray, who scores 3.4 a game, had one.
Enrietto admitted it’s challenging to play an offense that is not only talented, but patient.
“You tend to relax, but we did a great job of staying alert when they wanted to attack,” she said. “We communicated well. If we made mistakes, we bounced back quickly.”
Junior Annabelle Burke and sophomore Ellie Lazzaretto each scored three goals apiece. Senior Maggie Gorman totaled two goals, both of which came during the closing stretch. She also had an assist during the game-deciding 5-0 run.
Senior Emily Doell, senior Brynn Holohan and junior Sophia Rucker all scored once for the Ramblers.
“I’m happy with how our seniors came through with big plays when we needed them,” Dwyer said.
The win most likely will earn the Ramblers the No. 1 seed at the Resurrection Sectional. They are undefeated against in-state opponents.