No. 4-ranked St. Thomas Men's Soccer held off No. 22-ranked Loras, 1-0, in Sunday's second-round NCAA playoff game at UST's South Field.
Coach Jon Lowery's Tommies will advance to the round of 16 on Nov. 18-19 in the Chicago area hosted by North Park (Ill.). They will face Otterbein (Ohio) (19-2), a 3-2 winner over Kenyon (Ohio).
Senior Shae Bottum converted a penalty kick in the ninth minute, and the Tommie defense did the rest against a flurry of Loras challenges in the second half. UST had a 10-9 edge in corner kicks and a 5-3 advantage in shots on goal, although Loras had a slight edge in total shots.
Freshman Niklas Martensson made his collegiate debut in goal and made three saves for the Tommies. He replaced two-year starter Aidan Hogan, who had to sit out after receiving a red card during Saturday's 4-3 defeat of UW-Superior. Hogan came out to stop a breakaway and collided with a Superior player, drawing the mid-game red card.
St. Thomas (21-1) broke its own school record for season wins set last year with 20.
The Toms have won 31 of their last 34 games since late last season, including a 10-1 record in the postseason. That includes 18 victories in a row this season and 17 consecutive home victories.