Chance to climb conference standings with weekend slate

This weekend, men’s soccer takes to the road with a full slate of conference games against Rochester and Case Western.

By Eirene Kim

Chicago (7–4–1) hopes to come out of this weekend with two wins against Rochester (6–3–2) and Case Western (7–4–2) in order to bolster its UAA standing.

The Maroons defeated No. 9 Emory 1–0 last weekend and aim to carry their focus and mentality through to this tough UAA weekend.

“Our mentality is one of focus and confidence,” said fourth-year forward and team captain Kyle Kurfirst. “We were able to get a great result at Emory last weekend and hope to use that as momentum and a confidence builder.”

Chicago has been focusing mainly on its first upcoming game against Rochester. The Yellowjackets have come off of a huge UAA win of their own over No. 7 Brandeis. Chicago is a huge target for them, as the Maroons are currently tied for first place with Carnegie Mellon. To prepare for the weekend, Chicago has watched film and identified a game plan.

“We have reviewed film of Rochester to familiarize ourselves with their tactics and identify where they might be vulnerable,” said fourth-year central midfielder Conor Goodwin.

“Rochester tends to play more direct, so we have schemed up a game plan to try and mitigate their effectiveness of their style,” fourth-year central midfielder Michael Choquette said.

“Rochester is a very physical team and plays with high pressure and a lot of intensity. Our goal is to exceed their level of energy while also maintaining the composure needed to break down their first line of pressure,” Kurfirst said.

After Rochester, the Maroons travel to Cleveland to face off with Case Western, but Chicago is not looking too far in advance as they prepare for their second UAA game of the weekend.

“We are taking the weekend one game at a time, so we haven’t thought about Case yet,” said fourth-year defender Kevin Matheny.

Chicago expects and embraces the tough competition this weekend.  With good preparation, the Maroons know what they have to do to get the two wins: be patient.

“We can’t concede cheap goals on set pieces. We know Rochester and Case both thrive on these opportunities, and limiting their success in these situations will be key. Offensively, we need to be patient in possession and have confidence that we can break down our opposition,” Goodwin said.

Confidence is also on the Maroons’ side.

“We know our next two UAA games are at home, and we always believe we can win every game on Stagg, so a good weekend at Rochester and Case would put us in a very good position to have a high league finish,” Goodwin said.

Kickoff against the Yellowjackets takes place at Rochester tomorrow at 4 p.m. before Chicago takes on Case at 10 a.m. on Sunday.