Girls Soccer: Loyola goals put Young in a corner
Updated: May 18, 2012 10:14PM
The Loyola Academy girls soccer team has been exceptional on corner kicks this season, even though their opponents know exactly what to expect.
Whitney Young coach Spero Mandakas diagramed Loyola’s sole corner kick play during the Dolphins’ preparation for Friday night’s Loyola Academy regional final, yet the Ramblers used that play to score two goals.
Those two goals — Margaret Walker scored the first, Lia Baldo the second — were the difference in Friday night’s match in Glenview. Loyola defeated Whitney Young 2-0, and will play Maine South on Tuesday in a Niles North sectional semifinal.
“We definitely score a lot of goals off corner kicks,” Walker said. “If we just run it right we can (send) it in ... I guess it’s just the play we run. It works often.”
Walker opened the match’s scoring by putting in a header in the match’s 22nd minute. Baldo gave Loyola a 2-0 advantage with 8:53 remaining in the first half.
For a Loyola team which has only allowed four goals all season, the Ramblers’ ability to score first provides their attackers with a tremendous boost of confidence in their pursuit of a second goal. Loyola (23-0-1) has also been impossible to come back against, winning every game in which it has scored first this season.
“We’re definitely motivated from the start, but when we score that first goal it just gives us confidence,” Walker said. “We’re not really hesitant anymore. We just know we can go all out.”
While Whitney Young (16-7-4) fell short of winning a regional title, one of the goals Mandakas set for his team, the thrill of winning the Public League title on May 12, will be the Dolphins’ lasting memory from this season.
“The Public League championship was awesome this year,” Mandakas said. “We go into the state tournament expecting to have some good results. One of our goals was to win a regional. We just kind of got put in a bad regional.”