Loyola University Chicago (4-4-1, 1-0-1 in MVC) defeated the Bradley soccer team (5-2-2, 0-2 in MVC) early into the first half of extra time to seal a 2-1 victory in the annual Bradley Homecoming game at Shea Stadium on Saturday.
It was an uneventful first half, as neither team was able to find the back of the net, even though the Ramblers outshot the Braves 6-3.
The Braves scored first in the second half, however, after a penalty was awarded in the 70th minute. Redshirt-sophomore defender David Kovacevic drew the much-needed foul inside the right side of the box. Sophomore forward Gerit Wintermeyer stepped up to the penalty spot and buried his kick down the middle past goalkeeper Josh Lagudah.
The Ramblers pressured the Braves hard throughout the remaining 20 minutes, playing a more grounded passing game. Bradley’s defensive efforts finally fell through in the 85th, as Fabian Becerra collected a loose ball outside of the box and hit a 25-yard shot to score.
With regulation ending five minute later, the game went into extra time. It took less than two minutes into for the Ramblers to capitalize again and seal the game at 2-1. Midfielder Billy Hency made a dangerous run from the flank and then cut in to score past redshirt-junior goalkeeper Albert Reinwart.
Bradley head coach Jim DeRose noted how plagued the team has been plagued with recent injuries but was still impressed with the resulting performance.
“With the injuries [Bradley’s] gone through in the last week or two, and then Roman Schindler, who couldn’t play tonight because of another injury sustained in practice a day ago, I thought our guys battled hard,” DeRose said. “I think Loyola is a good team. They threw everything at us, and we defended the best we could. With what we’ve been through the past couple of weeks, I’m pretty happy with the result.”
Loyola outshot the Braves 14-6 overall, with a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks. Bradley’s absences have had a negative impact as the team is now on a two-game losing streak.
According to DeRose, the severity of junior forward Roman Schindler’s injury is unknown as of now. This is the second-known injury resulting from a training session, following redshirt-junior goalkeeper Nathan Wisbey’s arm fracture that was announced last week.
“It’s gonna take us a while to get everyone in, and we’re on a two-game losing streak here,” DeRose said.
The Braves next conference match is against Missouri State at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Springfield, Missouri.