Loyola comes into the much anticipated rematch with St. Francis with a streak of wins under their belt. The Cubs last matchup with this team was so exciting that there seemed to be some pressure on both teams to come out with a win. Both teams came out attacking, the ball being in the danger zone for both teams multiple times in the early minutes. Both teams pressed with such high energy that tension on and off the field was palpable almost immediately. Towards the middle of the first half there were many scary possessions for Loyola. They failed to keep possession of the ball multiple times, but eventually regained their composure. In the 20th minute senior Malcolm Hawkins was very near to scoring but the shot missed by inches. 23 minutes into the game Loyola finally took the lid off the goal with a header from senior captain Nate Smith-Hasie off a cross from senior Jake Rodgers. At the end of the first half Loyola was rewarded a corner kick which led to junior Caden Ambrose finishing a blocked shot from senior James Redington. The score is 2-0 in Loyola’s favor going into halftime. The second half started with a lot of the same high energy play from both teams, but Loyola had the momentum and it showed. Just about 10 minutes into the second half James Redington put on a show in the box and gave a perfect pass to Nate Smith-Hastie who scored with a well placed shot. With Loyola holding a 3-0 advantage, rather than slow down, St. Francis redoubled their efforts and were determined in their attempts to stop Loyola’s punishing offensive onslaught. Marco Bottene, the only freshman on the team, was extremely close to scoring his first goal on varsity (this being just his second game) following a flashy pass from senior Spencer Roberts who is just returning to the team this game after an extended absence due to injury. Ultimately, Loyola came out of this game with a 3-0 win and proved who the better team was tonight. It was the ninth consecutivee league win and the tenth consecutvie shut out, led by the two senior centerbacks David Merrille and Drew Rozelle. The cubs play at Crespi on Wed at 5:45pm.
-Dominic Elrington ‘21