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Ramblers Down Cougars to End Win Streak

Kelby Phillips
Kelby Phillips

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Loyola scored a pair of goals in a 54-second span of the first half and went on to knock off SIUE 2-0 at Korte Stadium.

The loss snapped SIUE's five-game unbeaten streak and dropped the Cougars to 4-1-1. Prior to Loyola's goals, SIUE had not given up a goal in more than 650 minutes.

"It's a great lesson not only in soccer but in life," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "From the first whistle you have to be ready to go. Full credit to Loyola, I thought they did a great job. They jumped all over us. At the end of the day if you don't play 90 minutes that can happen. Hopefully we learn from it and move forward."

Aidan Megally put Loyola on the board after he was tripped inside the box and awarded a penalty kick. Megally converted to put the Ramblers up 1-0.

Fabian Lifka made it 2-0 less than a minute later. Lifka capitalized on a giveaway by the SIUE defense in the box and connected for his first goal of the year.

SIUE took over following the early let down. The Cougars had three scoring chances within minutes of one another. Jorge Gonzalez unleashed a pair of shots on goal that were turned away by Loyola goalkeeper Josh Lagudah. Lagudah knocked down Gonzalez's second shot from just 12 yards away and the rebound came out to Joergen Pettersen at the top of the box. Pettersen fired a shot right on that also was saved by Lagudah.

The Cougars outshot the Ramblers 10-3 the rest of the way in the first half and then 10-1 in the second half, but couldn't find a goal. The 20 shots on goal were a season high for the Cougars. Eight of their shots were on target-the second most in a game this year.

Gonzalez led the way with six shots. Lachlan McLean and Keegan McHugh each had four shots.

"We've all been around it, soccer is funny," Sanchez said. "Sometimes you get just a handful (of chances) and you score one. Other games like tonight we had 20-something shots, and good opportunities and we can't get a goal. But you have to get the shutout. If you're not scoring goals you have to get the shutout."

Lagudah did earn the shutout for Loyola making eight saves.

SIUE next plays on the road at Saint Louis Friday night. The match is the first regular season meeting between the two schools since 1995.

"We have to get back at it and get ready for a big game next Friday night," Sanchez added. "We have time to train and refocus. I know the guys will learn from this. I cannot wait to play next Friday night in the Bronze Boot."