The Illinois State University soccer team split a pair of weekday matches against Loyola and Oklahoma.

Illinois State 2, Loyola 1

Redbird soccer notched its first win in MVC play Wednesday night with a 2-1 win over Loyola in Normal. Ali Farkos and Lauren Koehl found the back of the net for ISU’s two goals, while Ashley Bovee scored the lone goal for the Ramblers.

A steady first half, dominated by the ’Birds, reached its peak when Farkos launched a shot from the right sideline, dropping perfectly over the outstretched arms of Loyola goalkeeper Maddie Ford. Early in the second half, Loyola threatened to even the score with serious offensive pressure, but solid defense from the Redbirds kept them in front of the Ramblers.

“I thought we were really good defensively in terms of dealing with direct balls in behind and winning some clearances,” ISU coach Eric Golz said.

Following the surge from Loyola, Lauren Koehl ripped a shot from the box past Ford courtesy of a crafty pass by Emily Dickman. The goal was Koehl’s team-leading fourth of the season.

Just 11 minutes later, Loyola trimmed the Redbird lead to one when Bovee headed in a crossing pass from Katie Grall.

The ’Birds were able to manage the last five minutes of play without a serious threat from the Ramblers. ISU outshot Loyola 16-9 on the day, including 7-2 in shots-on-goal.

Oklahoma 1, Illinois State 0

ISU fell to Oklahoma, 1-0, in its last non-conference game of the season Friday morning at Adelaide Street Field.

A windy day proved to be effective as little offense was produced throughout the game. Between the two teams, only 17 shots were recorded, including just five in the first half.

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