Chicago knocks off two ranked conference rivals 

The women’s soccer team decisively snapped its four-game road losing streak with two upsets against No. 10 Brandeis and No. 16 NYU, improving the squad’s record to 10–4 overall, and 3–1 in conference.

By Michael Cheiken

The Maroon women’s soccer squad had all week to dwell on their previous winless weekend, and they decided that they did not like losing very much. With much vim and vigor, the team traveled to the Northeast for two games this past weekend, and began their streak of six consecutive games against ranked opponents. The first was against the No. 10 Brandeis Judges.

The Judges came into the game with an outstanding 11–1–1 record while the South Siders sat at a respectable, but underwhelming, 8–4–0. They were eager to tighten the gap, and they showed it. For the entire 90 minutes, each team was desperate to score. By the end of the game, Chicago had 12 shots compared to the home team’s 10, but the numbers do not quite tell the whole story.

The Maroons and the Judges have each been particularly stalwart on the defensive end throughout the season. Prior to Friday, they had given up a combined 14 goals in 25 games. This is in large part due to the fact that each team usually drops a holding midfielder back into the main section of the defensive line, effectively playing with five players in the back. Despite the crowdedness of the opposing third, the South Siders were still able to amass 12 shots (six on goal), forcing Brandeis goal-tender Alexis Grossman to make a season-high of five saves.

One of those shots got past the adept keeper. In the 43rd minute, striker Mia Calamari tallied her 11th assist of the season, feeding the ball to third-year midfielder Sophia Kim. Kim took the ball out of the air to put the Maroons up on the home side, and Chicago entered into the halftime period with a one-goal lead. It was all they would need. The goalkeeper minded the space between the pipes with great awareness and composure, making all seven saves required of her.

Continuing the trip, the team played against the No. 16 NYU Violets on Sunday. The Violets gave little resistance to Chicago’s balanced attack. The Chicago women were constantly barraging the Violets’ goaltender with shots, tallying a total of 26 by the final whistle. However, the squad struggled to find the back of the net, and when the Violets scored in the 14th minute, the pressure was on. It did not take long for the Maroons to reply. Center-back Kaitlin Price, always a threat on set pieces, found the end of a corner kick and nodded it home.

Despite their constant attack, Chicago was unable to add a second goal, and the game continued into overtime. Standout first-year Jenna McKinney was able to settle a long ball in from Calamari. She quickly turned and fired the ball into the back of the net. The goal ended the game and boosted the South Siders to a 10–4 record (3–1 in the UAA).

On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., the Maroons play against Wheaton College here at Stagg Field, beginning a four-game home stretch to end the season.