Shots Don’t Fall for Maroons in UAA Opener

By Vicente Fernandez

Sometimes in sports, shots just do not fall.

Saturday was one of those days for Chicago (5-2-2, 0-1) who lost to Emory (5-4, 1-0) 1-0.

The Maroons seemingly did everything right in their UAA opener.

They started the contest strong, out-shooting the Eagles 8-3 in the first half and did not stop pressing until the final whistle, out-shooting the Eagles 7-2 in the second half.

“We felt like we were the better team, and the stats seem to show it, but when it counted, we just didn’t execute as we know we can,” fourth-year midfielder Stanton Coville said.

Chicago controlled the ball and gave the Eagles limited opportunities, but, in sports, all it takes is one moment to change a match.

For the Eagles, that moment came in the 69th minute on a penalty kick. Junior defender Andrew Natalino nailed the shot into the lower left hand corner of the net passed the outreached fingertips of diving first-year goalkeeper Elek Lane. The goal would prove to be all the offense Emory needed to win the match.

Lane had two saves on the day and was handed his first loss in eight starts.

All in all, Chicago out-shot Emory 15-5 and forced the Eagles’ goalkeeper, Alex Wong, to make a season high of nine saves. The contest was Wong’s third shutout in five starts.

Chicago was not depleted of close calls, however.

Their first came in the 19th minute of play when a cross hit first-year midfielder Michael Choquette on the feet, who in return, blasted a one-time shot that bounced off the top goal post.

Choquette led all players in shot attempts with three. Emory had three shots on goal as a team. The shot in the 19th minute was one of ten shots on goal for the Maroons.

A second near score came in the 78th minute on a corner kick that was cleared by Emory’s defense.

The Maroon’s last shot at tying up the game came in the 80th minute when first-year forward Matt Vecchitto fired a shot off the crossbar. In spite of the Maroons’ appeal that the ball fully crossed the line after hitting the bar, the referee ultimately ruled in Emory’s favor.

The loss ends a seven game unbeaten streak for the Maroons and puts them in a position to rebound with a non-conference game at Carthage (6-4-1) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

That match is Chicago’s sole contest before a three game conference stretch away, in which the Maroons will try to reignite the spark they have shown all season.

“We definitely feel a bit hard done by the result but the UAA season is long and never straight forward,” Coville said. “We still feel as though we have a great chance…we have high hopes for the rest of the season and lots ahead to focus on.”