Loyola defeats New Ulm

NEW ULM – While the New Ulm girl’s soccer team continues to improve on a game-by-game basis, there’s one thing that can’t be denied about the team and that’s the fact that the Eagles have a very young squad.

On Tuesday, the Eagles showed that continued improvement with some nice passes and some good shots on goal. However, finishing those shots and making sure they find the back of the net will be the next step as New Ulm lost 3-1 to Mankato Loyola on Tuesday at the Martin Luther College soccer complex.

Madison Roufs scored New Ulm’s only goal of the game with 9:01 left in the second half. The goal was assisted by Paige Kalis and it cut Loyola’s lead to 2-1.

Loyola scored on a penalty kick with about 5 minutes left and the Eagles saw their record fall to 2-6 on the season.

The Eagles were outshot 18-9. Goalkeeper Emily Schotzko was tough as usual in the net, stopping 15 shots. She made several big saves that kept the Crusaders off the board and stretching the lead.

“She’s by far, in my humble opinion, the best goalkeeper in the conference,” Eagles head coach Jonathan Johnson said. “I’ve thought that for a couple of years, she fields at least twice as many shots as any other goalkeeper and she’s just unbelievable.”

New Ulm hung tough against a team that entered Tuesday’s play 5-2-1. The Eagles’ speed allowed them to get a few breakaway shots early on, only to be denied as a defender closed in on the play.

The Crusaders finally got on the board with 11 minutes left in the first half after Jenna Helget scored.

Despite the one-goal lead by Loyola, the Eagles battled in the second half and kept it close through the second half also.

“I think the time of possession was pretty equal, even more so in the first half, it was a great first half and things just didn’t go our way,” Johnson said.

Loyola took a 2-0 lead with 12:55 left in the game on Tiara Coughlan’s goal. But the Eagles cut it to within one goal on Roufs’ shot.

However, things weren’t meant to be for the Eagles, who were undersized against the veteran Loyola team.

“They’re getting used to it, each game they’re improving step by step and I’d say ‘watch out playoffs,'” Johnson said.

New Ulm is at Waseca on Thursday.