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Loyola Chicago Eager To Build On A Very Productive 2022 Season.

2022 was a year of transition for a Rambler team that was just one win away from a berth In The NCAA Tournament

Coach – Steve Bode – 2nd season
Conference – Atlantic 10
2022 Record – 9-2-7 overall, 3-2-3 conference
2022 National Ranking – Not ranked
Five Year Win Total
2022 – 9
2021 – 9
2020 – 7
2019 – 11
2018 – 10
Key Departures

Billy Hency – Midfielder – A five-year starter who appeared in a total of 80 games with 73 starts. He had 27 career goals and 24 career assists. MVC Midfielder and Player of the Year in 2020. 2021 MVC Forward and Player of the Year. 2022 Atlantic 10 Midfielder of the Year. A four-time All-Conference selection. 2021 College Soccer News All-America Team.

Andrew Mitchell – Defender – Appeared in 59 games with 56 starts over four seasons. A four-year starter. Four career goals and 2 career assists. The 2019 MVC Freshman of the Year.

Fabian Becerra – Forward – Played in 71 games with 64 starts over five seasons. A five-year starter with 15 career goals and seven career assists. Second Team All-MVC in 2020. First Team All-MVC in 2021.

Alex Moskal – Forward – Appeared in 60 games with 26 starts over four seasons. Six career goals and seven career assists.

Simon Jillson – Goalkeeper – Played in 31 games with 28 starts over three seasons. Started 18 games in 2022. Had a career 0.84 goals against average with 11 shutouts. Had three shutouts in 2020 and eight in 2022.
2023 Outlook

Loyola Chicago under new head coach Steve Bode had a very productive first season as a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference. The transition to a new head coach and conference was fairly seamless. The Ramblers only lost two games during regular season play (at Duquesne and at Saint Louis) and served notice that they would be a factor in the A-10 race when they played their way into the championship match of the conference tournament defeating George Washington and Duquesne in the semifinals before where they they were edged by Saint Louis in a contest that was decided by a penalty kick shootout.

With the initial transition season behind them, the focus for a hungry Loyola Chicago team in 2023 will be building on what they accomplished last year. Challenge number one in that regard will be replacing the goal scoring and playmaking ability that Billy Hency brought to the pitch during a stellar five year tenure at Loyola Chicago. Hency’s resume contains three consecutive conference Player of the Year awards, including the 2022 Atlantic 10 Midfielder of the Year. Replacing the offensive firepower and experience that Hency and forward Fabian Becerra, a five year starter, provided could be a dauting task. On the other hand, if everything falls into place, the impact may not be as great as it might seem.

Last year the Ramblers did a good job of coming out on the front foot and placing their opponents under pressure. They scored a total of 29 goals and allowed only 14 with a 280 to 156 advantage in shots and a 113 to 55 advantage in corner kicks for the season. Their ability to improve upon that and to fill the void that exists on the offensive side of the ball will depend to a large degree on the continued development and productivity up top of senior Oscar Dueso (6g, 2a) and junior John Gates (2g, 5a). Dueso is a three year starter with 12 career goals and nine career assists. Gates has appeared in 33 games with 25 starts and has four career goals and seven assists.

Freshmen forward Peter Janjic and attacking midfielder Jack McFeely are among the members of the recruiting class with the potential to make an immediate contribution. Both are playmakers with the ability to add firepower and balance to the attack. Janjic honed his skills playing for the Sockers FC while McFeely who hails from Northern Ireland gained valuable experience playing for Coleraine FC and Institute FC.

Senior center midfielder and team captain Marc Torrellas (3g, 1a), a three year starter, returns to set the pace and provide stability in the center of the park. Graduate Student Bryan Silver, senior Jason Ybarra (1g, 1a), juniors Quinten Blair and Brody Phan (0g, 1a) and sophomore Ben Bischof (1g, 1a) are among other returning midfielders who look to be in the mix.

Solid play on the defensive side of the ball played a key role in the level of success the Ramblers had last year and will no doubt again in 2023 particularly in the early going while the offense jells. The backline will be without the services of center back Andy Mitchell who was a solid four year starter. The good news is that junior center back Lukas Ender (0g, 1a) and junior outside back Julian Cisneros (1g, 5a) return to anchor the defense. Both are proven multi-year starters. Graduate Student Andrew Schweinert (1g, 2a) who was a starter last year also returns to provide additional stability and experience to the backline. Senior Michael Hong and junior Ben Hofmann (1g, 1a) are among other returning backs who will likely be in the hunt for a greater role in 2023. Freshman center back Noel Hansson is among the newcomers with the athleticism and competitive experience to make an immediate impact.

The final piece of the puzzle and a very critical success factor in 2023 will be replacing fifth-year senior Simon Jillson in goal. Jillson anchored a Rambler defense that held opponents to a total of only 14 goals last year while notching nine shutouts. Graduate Student Lucas Daunhauer who transfers in from Syracuse, redshirt freshman Aidan Crawford who didn’t appear in any games last year, junior Jamis Fite, a 2019 High School All-American, who joined the program in the spring after two seasons at the University of Michigan, and freshman newcomer Alex Ortiz are the candidates for the starting job between the pipes.

The potential to build on last season’s nine win output and to contend for the A-10 title clearly exists in 2023 but it is by no means a given. The level of competition for the top tier as well as the middle of the pack in the A-10 will be fierce.

It is impressive that the Ramblers had only two losses last year and that under Bode they improved as the season progressed. It is also noteworthy that they 2-2-4 when playing on the road and had seven ties (three in conference play). Finding a way to prevail on the road and to hold serve at home is crucial to upward movement in the A-10 hierarchy. Clearly a tie is preferable to a loss but in order for upward movement to occur in 2023, the Ramblers will also have to close out the close contests and find a way to convert some of those seven ties from 2022 into wins.
Newcomers – Steve Bode stated, “We’re extremely excited about this 2023 class joining this fall. In addition to their high-level talent, they possess the traits we look for in Loyola recruits – high character, great students and a team-first mentality.”

Lucas Daunhauer – Goalkeeper – Evansville, Indiana – Mater Dei High School – A graduate student transfer from Syracuse where he started nine games in 2021 and one game in 2022 before missing the rest of the season due to injury. Prior to that he played at Kentucky Wesleyan College where he started 38 games and was a Great Midwest Athletic All-Conference First Team selection.

Peter Janjic – Forward – Elmhurst, Illinois – York Community High School – Played for the Sockers FC Chicago U19 team.

Grant Bailey – Defender – Carmel, Indiana – Carmel High School – Played for Indiana Fire Pro Academy.

Jack McFeely – Midfielder – Derry, Northern Ireland – St. Columbus College High School – Played for Coleraine FC.

Noel Hansson – Defender – Uppsala, Sweden – Celsiusskolan High School – Played for IK Sirius.

Ethan Young – Winger – Kansas City, Missouri – St. Thomas Aquinas High School – Played for KC Scott Gallagher.

Alex Ortiz – Goalkeeper – Hanover Park, Illinois – Lake Park High School – Played for the Sockers FC Chicago U19 team.

Mhone Bogonko – Midfielder – Schaumburg, Illinois – Schaumburg High School – Played for Sockers FC Chicago.
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Posted in 2023 Team Reviews

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