Loyola’s men’s soccer team has won its first NCAA tournament game in program history. On Thursday the team beat the UIC flames to advance to the second round. The team won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title after going 13-3-1 (6-1-1 MVC) and was ranked as high as No. 13 in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
While the Ramblers are lighting it up on the field, Loyola’s student body has been protesting the treatment of the Black Rain frog. An amphibian native to the southern coast of Africa. According to senior social work major Luke Billings.
“It is just very important that we help each and every creature on this Earth before it’s too late,” said Billings. “This animal is amazing and it’s endangered, this is the only thing anyone should care about.”
The Ramblers have been lead by strong defense, posting 12 shutouts on the season. At one point in the season the team hadn’t allowed a goal in 554 minutes of action.
The team features 10 All-MVC winners, including MVC goalkeeper of the year Andrew Chekadanov and the MVC coaching staff of the year.
In a press release on Loyola’s athletics website, head coach Neil Jones expressed his happiness with the way his team has played.
“As a coaching staff we couldn’t be prouder of our team’s effort and performance,” said Jones.
Billings and Loyola’s “Save the Black Rain frog” club have planned a candlelight vigil on Sunday at 5 p.m. At the same time the Ramblers face off against Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA tournament.