Girls Soccer: Colleen McShane’s goal lifts RamblersLoyola players celebrate their 1-0 victory over Lake Forest in the championship game of the Pepsi Showdown on Sunday (4-22) at Toyota Park. Loyola won 1-0. For Sun-Times Media/Ralph Greenslade
Updated: April 22, 2012 11:10PM
Loyola senior midfielder Colleen McShane was tired and ready to end the game. She also was going completely on instinct.
McShane blasted a ball just outside the box in the 75th minute that curled inside the net and catapulted the No. 2 Ramblers past No. 9 Lake Forest 1-0 in the championship game of the Pepsi Showdown on Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park in Bridgeview.
The Ramblers (15-0-1) won their second consecutive title and third in the last four years.
Sophomore Lia Baldo took the ball down the right and crossed to McShane.
“I tried to one-touch it, and I got a good hit,” McShane said. “I was really tired playing all of those minutes, and I knew the game was coming down to the end. We didn’t want to go into overtime.
“I yelled to everybody just before [the goal] that it just takes one and keep pushing.”
Loyola had its 15th shutout as its impregnable defense allowed few scoring chances against the Scouts (9-3-1).
The Ramblers’ constant pressure finally yielded the score.
“We’ve always found ways to score,” McShane said.
Playing only her third game since returning from a hand injury, Baldo also made a critical deflection on a free kick by Abby Shipp.
Behind its brilliant defensive tandem of senior Marina Katz and sophomore Lucy Edwards, the daughter of former DePaul basketball star Kevin Edwards, the Scouts neutralized the Ramblers’ diverse attack for most of the game.
“I give Lake Forest a ton of credit,“ Loyola coach Craig Snower said. “They had a tough [defensive] formation that was very difficult to get around. Edwards is just terrific, and they were the best team we’ve played this year as far as taking away what we like to do offensively.”
Katz credited the score to Loyola’s execution rather than a defensive breakdown.
“It was a good goal,” Katz said. “They put it up there, and it went in.”
Lake Forest, an unheralded sixth seed, defeated the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds to qualify for its first title appearance in the event’s nine-year history.
Lake Forest coach Ty Stuckslager played his entire roster in the first half. Sophomore reserve goalkeeper Ginny Revenaugh made several spectacular saves.
“We hit a crossbar, and it looked on the free kick that there was a hand or an arm, but it didn’t go our way,’’ he said. “They put it on net, and it went in.“