Blue Demons Drop Opener to Loyola
CHICAGO Tara Strickland put the Blue Demons ahead in the 74th minute, but the visiting Loyola Ramblers found the net twice for a 2-1 decision over DePaul at Wish Field. The match was the season opener for both teams.
The DePaul defense was stingy early on as Kelsey Hoinkes tallied a nice save in the 12th minute followed by a team save by Dominique Locascio on a Loyola header in the 15th minute.
Shannon Williams almost scored the first goal of the season for DePaul early in the second half. Morgan Celaya fed Williams from the left flank in front of goal, but Loyola’s Katie Groesch broke up the play.
DePaul kept the pressure on the in the second half and broke through in the 75th minute when Williams fed Strickland just outside the 18-yard box. Strickland one-timed the pass and fired a low liner for the goal at 73:19.
The Ramblers answered within the next minute as Jackie Vera dribbled through the box the found the net at 74:15. She nearly scored again minutes later, but Hoinkes made a nice play and charged out of the frame to cancel any chance of a second goal for Vera.
Just under 10 minutes later, Cynthia Morote-Ariza tallied the game-winning goal as she dribbled from midfield to the penalty box and scored on a shot to the left corner.
DePaul continues the opening weekend of soccer on the road as they travel to Butler for a Sunday afternoon match. Kickoff in at the Butler Bowl in Indianapolis is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. The Blue Demons return to Wish Field next Friday for a game against Michigan State at 3 p.m.
Game Notes: DePaul is 4-9-0 all-time in the first game of the season... Tara Strickland’s goal was the third of her career... Shannon Williams’ assist was the third of her career... Williams is now tied for 10th all-time with 19 career points... she has eight goals and three assists... Loyola leads the series, 7-1-1, and has won the last five meetings.