Soccer Begins UAA Play Victoriously

The UChicago men’s and women’s soccer teams both began conference play this weekend, defeating Emory with scores of 5–0 and 2–1, respectively.

By Daniel Zea

For the University of Chicago’s men’s and women’s soccer teams, this weekend marked the beginning of conference play in the University Athletic Association (UAA), with both teams facing off against the visiting Emory University Eagles. Both Chicago teams entered the game as ranked Division III soccer programs and both left the pitch with victories, as the men soundly defeated the Eagles with a final score of 5-0, while the women edged out Emory with a score of 2-1.

Improving their record to 5-1-4, the men, who entered the game ranked sixth, showed why they are considered one of the best Division III teams in the nation with a rather lopsided shutout victory over Emory.

The Maroons presented an aggressive attack from the opening whistle, pressing past the Eagles’defense on a number of occasions in the firsthalf. Despite a high volume of shots on goal from Chicago, Emory managed to keep the game scoreless through the first 43 minutes. At that point, third-year Bryce Millington finally opened the scoring,making the most of a corner kick for his fourth goal of the season, which leads the team. Soon after, the Maroons’ offense really found its groove.

Third-year Ben Brandt noted the “great response from the team after a hard-fought first half,” stating,“we made more dynamic runs and plays after the break, which led us to opening the game up in attack.” In the second half, four more Maroons contributed to the scoring, with second-year Sahil Modi netting the second goal of the game, assisted by first-year Michael Johnson, who scored in the 52nd minute to put Chicago up 3-0. Second-years Jorge Branco and Peyton Lane contributed the final two goals for the Maroons.

According to Brandt, “everyone stepped up… including Big Ron [Aaron Katsimpalis] taking care of business in goal with some big-time saves.” Meanwhile, the women, who entered Saturday’s game ranked 12th in the nation, fended off a persistent Emory squad to improve to 7-1-1, making their unbeaten streak seven games. The Maroons opened the scoring early, as fourth-year Rachel Dias netted the firstgoalof the game less than three minutes after the opening whistle, her shot from the sideline ricocheting off an Emory defender and sneaking past the keeper.

Not long after, second-year Peyton Jefferson added to the scoring, beating an Eagles defender in the 25th minute for the ball and sending it past the Eagles goalkeeper for the Maroons’ second and final goal of the game. In the second-half, Chicago’s third-year goal keeper, Miranda Malone, stifled a reinvigorated Emory offense, recording a career-high ten saves for the game. In fact, she managed to hold the Eagles scoreless through 80 minutes, in spite of their high volume of shots on goal.

While both teams could bask in their great start to conference competition, the men and women have already begun preparing to face their next opponents. Ben Brandt reflected on Saturday that “It was a good game [against Emory], but our focus is on to the next game against Rochester.”

Both squads will travel to Upstate New York to face the Yellow Jackets for their next UAA matchup on Sunday, October 13th. However, before setting their sights on Rochester, the women will look to continue their winning ways on Tuesday, October 8thagainst Carthage College at home.