Men’s soccer late comeback attempt comes up short at Loyola


Jonathan Aguilar / The DePaulia

DePaul (3-2-0) traveled north to face Loyola-Chicago (3-2-0) on Friday night in another installment of the Chicago rivalry. As the temperature dropped and the game got longer, Loyola’s offense became too much to handle. The Blue Demons failed to pull themselves out of a 3-0 hole, ultimately falling 4-2. 

After the first 45 minutes, the Blue Demons had failed to muster up a shot on goal and trailed 1-0 when Loyola scored the first goal of the game with 15 minutes left in the first half. 

“They pressed us pretty high, we didn’t know how to play out of it,” defenseman Max De Bruijine said. “Congrats to them for pressing us. But we didn’t play our own game that whole first half.”

In the second half, nothing looked much better for the offense, as they found no good chances near the box. There was a lack of passes through to the box that could have led to quality looks. Although their defense kept them in reach until the midway point of the second half, when Loyola scored two goals in less than a minute to put what felt like the dagger into the hearts of the Blue Demons.

Or so one might have thought.

The team was able to get a little more control over the game. A corner kick was conceded by Loyola and sophomore forward Jake Fuderer’s pass in was headed by De Bruijine past the goalkeeper for the first goal of the game and a breath of life for the Blue Demons. 

Things got even more intense as DePaul started finding themselves in control near the goal. During a shot attempt, Loyola goalkeeper Marcel Kampman committed a foul, conceding a penalty kick. 

The Blue Demons looked to De Bruijine, the lone goal scorer, to attempt the kick. He drilled it to pull within one, and suddenly everything felt a whole lot better. The game went from a disappointing effort to a legit close game in less than five minutes. 

That window of opportunity was decimated swiftly when Loyola scored off of a free-kick just four minutes later. The game broke open in favor of the Ramblers once again. 4-2 stood as the final score. 

The goals at the end for DePaul made it feel exciting and they showed some of the successes the team has had earlier in the season. 

Jonathan Aguilar / The DePaulia

“The goals are nice and everything but it does not show how we want to play,” De Bruijne said. “Because after the goals, that’s the moment when we are finally starting to play our own game and you see we create more opportunities and I thought we were going to get the third one.”

Frustrations showed with the disappointment of the game. 

“Our guys are just struggling to connect passes when we needed to and to hold the ball up in key areas to then facilitate possession,” head coach Mark Plotkin said.

Friday night was Loyola’s annual “Hustle to Hoyle” event, which brings out large crowds in support of the soccer team. The large fan turnout brought a new element to the game and got quite loud when Loyola went up big. 

“Next time we gotta put our stamp on the game at the beginning and just high press and not worry about the atmosphere,” sophomore defenseman Jack Richards said.

The men get another shot at a Chicago team Tuesday, Sept. 17 against University of Illinois Chicago.