The women’s soccer team finished the season 8-9-2, ranking fifth out of the eight Missouri Valley Conference teams. The Bears won the MVC Championship in 2017 and expected more from this year.
“We expected to do better,” head coach Rob Brewer said. “Players need to learn that you have to focus on the season at hand. You have to play every game and every season independent onto itself.”
Brewer said the coaching staff is taking this time to reflect on the season and use what they see to improve next year.
“We were competitive every time we played,” Brewer said. “Of our eight wins, every one was a one-goal game. There were no easy wins.”
Of the team’s nine losses, seven of the games were one-goal games as well. The only games with more than a one-point spread were against Central Arkansas and Saint Louis University, both are nonconference teams.
“A little bounce here or someone having a better week could have made a big difference for us,” Brewer said.
The Bears were 2-3-2 in conference play.
“I don’t fault the effort,” Brewer said. “We showed up and played hard every game.”
Loyola was crowned MVC regular season and tournament champions. The Bears played the Ramblers in October and lost 1-0 in overtime.
“We had a fairly young team,” Brewer said. “Most games we started two seniors, many other games we started just one. So, we have a lot of good pieces coming back.”
This year’s roster consisted of 11 freshmen, six sophomores, seven juniors and four seniors.
Sophomore Kaitlin Maxwell was awarded MVC goalkeeper of the year.
“Kaitlin Maxwell was excellent from start to finish,” Brewer said. “It’s really difficult to play that many matches and with the scores that we had she never had a chance to relax. She answered the call every time.”
Maxwell racked up 41 saves, tying her season best. Her save percentage was 87.2 percent.
Brewer said the schedule the Bears played this season also contributed to some road losses.
“Things were set up in a very unkind way for us,” Brewer said. “We had three home matches in the league and four away matches. Our away matches are grueling; driving to Drake or Valparaiso are long trips.”