In what was a year filled with exciting triumphs and impressive victories, the Loyola Varsity Soccer team concluded its special 2018-19 season with a 24-2-2 overall record and a CIF Quarterfinal appearance, while also adding a 19th Mission League championship to the program's trophy case.
Under head coach Chris Walter ’93, the Cubs went unbeaten in Mission League play at 10-0-2 to claim their 10th league title in the last 11 years. It was the second straight season that Loyola went unbeaten in the Mission League and the seventh time in school history that the Cubs went without a loss in league action. In total, Loyola has won 19 Mission League titles dating back to 1996.
The Cubs also held the top spot in each of the CIF-SS Division I weekly polls and were even ranked No. 1 in the country at different times throughout the season by national media outlets, including USA Today and TopDrawerSoccer.
To start the season, Loyola went a perfect 6-0-0, recording quality wins over Santa Ana and Downey at Smith Field before turning heads at the 2019 NCAA College Cup Showcase in Santa Barbara, where the Cubs went 3-0 with victories over St. Ignatius Prep (San Francisco), Golden Valley (Bakersfield) and Desert Vista (Phoenix) in early December.
The Cubs also won the South Torrance Holiday Tournament title before the Christmas break, knocking out the Santa Barbara Dons in the final, 1-0, thanks to senior Matt Stauber’s game-winner in the first half. Stauber would go on to earn All-Tournament team honors, joined by senior Ben Beuerlein, junior Grayson Doody, and tourney MVP Henry Smith-Hastie ’19.
To ring in the new year, the Cubs traveled to the Lone Star State for the North Texas Elite Showcase in Flower Mound, tacking on wins over Lake Travis (Austin) and then No. 5-ranked Marcus FC to move to 15-1-1 on the season. Sophomore Spencer Roberts provided the game-winner in that Top 5 showdown with the Marauders as the Cubs scored two goals in the final 17 minutes to complete the thrilling comeback victory.
Mission League play would continue a few days later, with the Cubs exploding for a 21-2 scoring outburst in just five games—including a 6-0 home win over Chaminade on Jan. 16 and a 7-1 victory over Alemany on Jan. 21. A 3-0 road win over Alemany on Jan. 28 would help Loyola clinch the league title, and a 2-0 victory over Notre Dame two days later at Smith Field secured the Cubs’ unbeaten season in league action. Loyola allowed just four goals and outscored opponents 36-4 in the Mission League.
For their efforts, the Cubs earned the No. 1 overall seed in the CIF Division I Playoffs and received a First Round bye. Loyola would go on to defeat Valencia (Placentia), 1-0, in the Second Round before falling in a golden goal heartbreaker on the road to Edison in the CIF Quarterfinals. Still, the Cubs were able to put a whopping nine players on All-Mission League teams (First Team: Henry Smith-Hastie, MVP; Christian Locateli, Defensive MVP; Ben Beuerlein, Matt Stauber, Salvador Ontiveros, Grayson Doody; Second Team: Eric Arreola, Tomas Griego, Harrison Walker), while Smith-Hastie was named to the All-CIF Division 1 First Team.
In total, the Cubs conceded just 13 goals on the season for a 0.46 goals against average while recording 16 total shutouts. Loyola scored 64 goals for a 2.29 goals per game average and wrapped up the year at 24-2-2 overall.
Loyola’s 12-man senior class—comprised of Ben Beuerlein, Nico Chapus, Jake Gannon, Brennan Hilger, Luke Kitaj, Christian Locateli, Nico Mancilla, Salvador Ontiveros, Anthony Reznik, Henry Smith-Hastie, Matt Stauber and Harrison Walker—will graduate as one of the all-time winningest and most successful classes in program history, with a CIF Championship and two CIF SoCal Regional titles in hand. Eleven letter winners will return for the 2019-20 season.
Congratulations to all of our Cubs for an outstanding season donning the blue and white! And to our seniors, thank you for all of your contributions to Loyola Soccer. We will miss you! #GoCubs #C4L