Soccer Advances To NCAA Tournament

Wash U hands the women’s soccer team their third straight loss while the men capture their third straight win.

By Andy Presher

A trip down to St. Louis ended with a 3–1 victory for the University of Chicago men’s soccer team over Washington University in St. Louis and a 2–0 loss for the women’s soccer team to their top-ranked opponents. These final games of the season resulted in the men’s team clinching its third-straight UAA title, receiving the No. 1 seed and a bye in the first round of the NCAA DIII Championship. The women’s team also made the championship and will face Grove City in the first round. 

The men’s game remained scoreless until the 50th minute, when University of Chicago fourth-year Max Lopez headed in a cross from second-year Scott Lich. Despite having far fewer shots, Wash U kept the match close and equalized in the 64th minute. The score remained even until fourth-year Matthew Koh stepped up to take a free kick in the 76th minute. He fired it in off the crossbar; two minutes later first-year Kyle Ruark received the ball from Lopez and chipped the keeper to make the score 3–1. Although the game was marred by 19 fouls by Wash U—12 in the first half alone compared to a total of seven by UChicago—the Maroons managed to put in three goals and kept Wash U to a mere five shots all game. 

The University of Chicago women’s soccer team faced off against a top-ranked Wash U team that, with this match, completed its regular season with a record of 17–0–0. The scoring opened in the 28th minute, when a free kick from 40 yards out was headed in. Despite facing an opponent who had been dominant all season, the Maroons held on and, in the second half, began to look as though they would equalize. However, Wash U was determined to hold on to the win and its streak. After a series of University of Chicago shots and corners, Wash U counterattacked and scored in the 83rd minute when a shot from just outside the box skimmed the crossbar. While the Maroons continued to battle, the game was eventually out of reach. 

The men’s team finished the season with 15 wins, two losses, and a draw, with a record of 6–1 in conference play. The women’s team ended with 13 wins, four losses, and a draw, with a UAA record of 4–3. Looking forward to the NCAA tournament, a first-round matchup between the men’s teams of Carleton College and Transylvania University will take place on November 10, deciding which team the Maroon men will face the next day, Sunday, November 11, at 5 p.m. The Maroon women will play Grove City in Danville, Kentucky, at 1:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 10. Grove City finished with a 16–3–1 overall record, going 8–0 in conference play and winning the Presidents’ Athletic Conference for the first time in 17 years. With both Maroon teams making the NCAA Championship, the University of Chicago has plenty of postseason soccer to look forward to.