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Hounds run over by unbeaten Bison, 3-0

By: Desmond Boyle

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After allowing three first half goals to the undefeated Bucknell Bison, there was no coming back for the Loyola women’s soccer team on Wednesday night at Ridley Athletic Complex. Bucknell improved to 13-0-1 on the season and made another statement in their push to get a national rankings. Loyola couldn’t get past Bison goalkeeper Jessica Ratner as she posted a shutout to drop the Greyhounds, 3-0.

It didn’t take long for Bucknell to take a lead in the game. In just the 11th minute Alexis Gannon scored her fourth goal of the year after finishing to the far post from the right wing after Gabi Rosenfeld slide a ball out wide to her.

That came after an early peppering of shots at Loyola’s goal. Bucknell put the pressure on early. Bison midfielder Cora Climo had the first shot of the game in just the fourth minute, blasting a free kick from the edge of the area into the side netting. Gannon them forced Loyola goalkeeper Sumer Rahe into her first save of the game when she drove down the right flank and ripped a hard-angled try that Rahe managed to tip over the bar. The Greyhounds then blocked a shot by Gannon on the ensuing corner.

Loyola could not work the ball around in the middle of the field, but did manage to pressure Bucknell on the left wing, managing to have two corner kicks in the opening 15 minutes.

The Bison’s quality was evident however, as in that time span the Patriot League leaders had already managed to take seven shots.

The pressure paid off again when junior midfielder Kendall Ham collected the ball in space 25 yards from goal. Ham spotted Rahe slightly off her line and chipped the ball right over her to double Bucknell’s lead with 17 minutes left in the half.

Loyola had a chance to get back in the game five minutes later when they earned a free kick 30 yards from goal. Senior defender Nicole Wahlig blasted a low shot on goal that senior goalkeeper Jessica Ratner managed to stop.

It was Bucknell’s night though as Rahe was chipped once again, this time by freshman midfielder Gabby Bair, who was 25 yards from goal.

“I think their forwards were very good, there movement was very good,” Head Coach Naomi Meoburger said, “Ultimately we just didn’t rise to the occasion.”

Loyola’s best chance of the half came in the final minute as sophomore midfielder Julianna Cabrera saw a rebound attempt in the box blocked by a defender.

The second half was played at a much slower pace as the Bison seemed content to sit back on the ball and just make sure Loyola could not mount any serious attack or penetration.

The Greyhounds did manage to get two shots on target off in quick succession with less than 30 minutes to go, but put both shots high.

Bucknell dictated the tempo of the game throughout, consistently disrupting Loyola’s attack and forcing the Greyhounds to keep players back with crisp, quick counter attacking.

Loyola earned a free kick with six minutes to play from right at the edge of the area. Wahlig drove another low drive that forced Ratner into her toughest save of the day.

“We essentially played the whole second half in their end, for us the challenge is trying to play 90 minutes, not 45.” Meiburger said.

Loyola will next take on Colgate this Saturday at 5 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex for Senior day.

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Desmond Boyle

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