Denver Defeats Loyola Chicago, 3-1, in NCAA First Round Tournament Match

In first-round NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament action, Denver (17-2-1, 14-1-1) women’s soccer defeated Loyola Chicago (8-2-1, 6-1-1) in Matthews, NC. It was an opportunistic Denver team that capitalized on scoring opportunities after falling behind early.

The Pioneers fell behind in the first minute of the match when a corner kick from the Ramblers’ Olivia Knab found Abby Swanson at the back post who headed the ball in the net, 1-0, Loyola.

Just when it appeared that the Ramblers were controlling the tempo, DU’s Sami Feller found the ball in traffic inside the Loyola box and knotted the score on a rebound from her initial shot at 24:01 of the first half to pull the teams even.

Despite a tie, the first-half advantage went to the Ramblers’ speed against the more deliberate Denver offense. The Ramblers had six corners in the half to keep pressure on DU’s defenders but could only capitalize on the early tally.

In the second half, the goal-of-the-match was scored by DU’s Sydney Sharp in traffic on a break into the middle of the Ramblers zone. The ball ricochet off a defender and Sharp headed the ball into the net at the 60-minute mark, 2-1, Denver.

The team’s traded possessions but Loyola failed on several good scoring opportunities. A pass from Denver’s Sydney Sharp found Kaitlin Glover’s foot on a counter-attack and Glover put the game away, 3-1, DU at 83:06.

Denver played an opportunistic game and took advantage of their scoring opportunities while Loyola failed to capitalize on their chances. The Ramblers took 8 corner kicks and 15 shots. Denver had 3 corner kicks and 12 shots for the match.

Next up for the Pioneers in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament in #2 seed North Carolina (15-1, 8-0).

3 thoughts on “Denver Defeats Loyola Chicago, 3-1, in NCAA First Round Tournament Match”

  1. A great result for Denver to be sure, but if you watched the game, Loyola had plenty of chances to beat the Pioneers, but did not score the goals they needed to score.

    DU was fortunate to finish three scoring chances and the Pios are moving on.

    If DU plays the same sloppy way against UNC that they did against Loyola, the Tar Heels will pick DU like a chicken…

    Vs. UNC. DU should bunker and counter to have any shot at beating Carolina….

  2. I like Denvers scorers and they are fairly strong at mid-field. They do leave wings open and their backs have trouble with speed. They backs have good size and skill but a step slow for speedy forwards. If North Carolina has great speed, Denver is going to have to play back more than they did against Loyola or they will get some break-away goals. Looking forward to watching the game. A nice win for DU with players that know how to score when they get an opportunity.

  3. Great to see the Pios get an NCAA win. This was a good DU team that got punched in the mouth in the first minute, settled down and buried three chances to get the win with opportunistic efficiency.

    Yes, DU got stung on the outside repeatedly by Loyola, and good DU goaltending was crucial. You can be sure Carolina will try to get behind DU’s defense with speed. So the Pios need to be smart and slow the game down and hang around. The Pios need to be ready to pack it in defensively, and spring some counters when the opportunities present themselves. Trying to play a wide, run-and-shoot style against UNC will be fatal…

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