Loyola slowly filling in missing piecesOak Park, 09/17/11--LA's Shannon Jacobs and Riley Miller battle USM's Jenna Seter for control of the ball. Loyola Academy played University School of Milwaukee Saturday morning in the Eighth Annual Huskie Field Hockey Invitational. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Loyola doesn’t want to be judged right now.
The Ramblers hope to show what they have next month when the state field hockey playoffs start.
After all, Loyola lost seven starters from its third-place team, and coach Kristen Provencher believes this is a rebuilding year.
At Oak Park-River Forest’s invitational last weekend, the Ramblers went 1-1-2, earning their only win in the final game of the tournament against Mercy (Ky.).
“Our team hasn’t been as good as we expected,” said senior Adelaide Hake, who assisted on the team’s first goal in the 3-2 victory. “We’ve started off slow with some new girls, but we are figuring it out.”
Jamie Stoner scored twice in the final game, and Natalie Lynch added the other goal.
Loyola, which enters this week 6-5-2, has time on its side.
“I’m definitely optimistic,” said Provencher, whose club beat Lake Forest on Sept. 7 and lost by one to New Trier in the season opener. “I’m realistically optimistic.”
The Ramblers went 0-1-2 in pool play before taking on Mercy in a crossover game. Lake Forest went 5-0 and won the title with its win over Sacred Heart (Ky.), the one of the favorites at the tournament.
“This was not a good representation of who we are as a team,” said Hake.
Hake is one of the few starters back for the Ramblers. Mary Mahoney and Gigi Patton are two other veterans, but Patton didn’t play the last game because of a concussion.
“They are all game-changers,” Provencher said. “We need to fill some spots.”
One rookie who’s already contributed is Riley Miller. The freshman is playing left back, one of the most challenging positions on the field.
“That’s pretty rare,” the coach said of starting a freshman.
Loyola was scheduled to play New Trier on Tuesday, Glenbrook South on Friday and Lake Forest on Saturday.
“It’s always good to play against teams outside of Illinois,” Provencher said. “We hung in there against these teams, but we didn’t play our best. We still learned some things about ourselves.”