In a rematch of the 2020-21 Missouri Valley Conference tournament semifinals with Illinois State facing off against Loyola, the Ramblers gave the Redbirds their 10th loss of the season with a score of 2-0.
The loss marked the sixth shutout of the season for the Redbirds who currently sit fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Talking about the loss after the game, head coach Brad Silvey felt his team didn’t do much wrong despite the result.
“I don't think it went wrong at all. The things we asked our team to do, I'm really proud of their effort, their work rate, their determination,” Silvey said.
“The goals that we conceded, it wasn't anything that caught us by surprise. We know they were trying to get to the end line and we knew we had to be really sharp defensively in those moments," Silvey continued.
The Ramblers came out of the gate attacking and forced a goal-line clearance from Ashley Santos in the eighth minute after a well-worked move.
Then, in the 18th minute, goalie Priya Gillan denied a fantastic LU chance as the ball was worked into a wide-open position.
However, it was Megan Nemec getting the better of Santos that set up the first Rambler goal as her pace was too much for the Redbirds defense.
Nemac squared the ball into the box and found Megan Demski who slotted home an easy goal for the Ramblers in the 39th minute. The Redbirds ended the half outshot 15 to three in the first half.
"The other side of that is Loyola is really good and really fast," Silvey noted about the Ramblers. "If we’re not sharp and switched on all the time, they're gonna break us down.”
Neither side had many chances at goals in the second half but it was Kailee Coonan who doubled the LU lead. Coonan was able to score a tap in the 73 minute as Gillan failed to secure the ball near her goal.
The two goals from the Ramblers would be the only goals scored as the Redbirds fell 2-0 after being outplayed for most of the game.
“We need results, no doubt about it. Our team is playing at a level that is capable of winning, period," Silvey said, confident in his team’s play going into the next game.
"We need to be able to replicate a similar performance we saw tonight against a team in Drake. I like where our team is sitting. I like how we're positioned going into that contest."