FIELD NOTES: Looking Back on Fall 2009

The best games, newcomers, and performances, plus some milestones to remember.

By Jordan Holliday

With December upon us, Maroon Sports picks out the very best from Chicago’s fall sports seasons.

Best Game

01 Volleyball vs. Emory, November 7: Jerry Bruckheimer hasn’t yet optioned the film rights to this five-set epic’s box score, but we won’t be surprised if he does. The ups (the Maroons won the first and third sets) and downs (then lost tantalizingly-close fourth and fifth sets) thrilled the home crowd, and would have no matter who Chicago was playing, or when. But throw in the fact that the Maroons were playing fourth-ranked Emory for a spot in the UAA championship, and this becomes a once-in-a-college-career kind of match. Except maybe not: Sure, in the end it was a loss for Chicago, but with everyone coming back next fall, we prefer to call it a sign of things to come.

02 Football at Kenyon, September 12: After Kenyon went ahead 30-27 with 26 seconds left to play, there was no way Chicago could win this one. Not a chance, unless, for instance, D Brizzolara could return the ensuing kickoff 43 yards, Marshall Oium could complete a 20-yard pass to Clay Wolff, Jeff Sauer could hit a 37-yard, game-tying field goal as regulation time expired, and the Maroons could stop a two-point conversion in double overtime to win 37–36. As it happened, they could, they did, and Chicago began the season 1–0.

03 Men’s soccer vs. Rochester, October 16: There’s no way a game that included Stanton Coville’s 12-yard strike with five seconds left in the first overtime—which gave Chicago a 1–0 win over seventh-ranked and otherwise undefeated Rochester—should be only third on this list. It must’ve been a good fall for Chicago sports.

Best Newcomer

01 D Brizzolara, football: Brizzolara’s play may have taken Kenyon and Wabash, the Maroons’ first opponents of the year, by surprise. But once UAA play began, Brizzolara wasn’t exactly an unknown quantity—he’d been leading DIII in all-purpose yards for most of the season—and still he averaged better than 200 yards per game in conference. It’s good to be faster than everyone else in the stadium.

02 Garrett Laird, men’s soccer: A contributor in the midfield from game one, and consistent starter by mid-season, Laird was named UAA Rookie of Year. He was also one of the reasons Chicago went from nearly last in the conference in 2008 to sharing the UAA title this fall.

03 Sam Brown, volleyball: Rack up hundreds of digs, astonish the spectators, and make the All-UAA Second Team as a first-year: That’s what Brown can do for you.

Best Performance

01 Marshall Oium, football vs. Denison: On a Homecoming Weekend already steeped in history (see “Milestones”), Oium added a few more lines to the story of Chicago football. In little more than three quarters of play, the quarterback set modern-era records for passing yards (472) and passing touchdowns (five) in a single game.

02 Drew Marshall, men’s soccer vs. Aurora: With 20 seconds left in the game and Chicago down 2–1, Marshall took a break from anchoring the Maroons’ defense, pushed forward, and volleyed a deflected corner kick back on net. The keeper never had a chance; the shot tied the game at two, and got Marshall a well-timed first goal of his career.

03 Lizzy Bright and Mahmoud Bahrani, cross country at Midwest Regional: It wasn’t always an easy season for cross country, but Bright and Bahrani picked up some accolades at the Midwest Regional. Bahrani finished 27th in the men’s race, Bright was 33rd in the women’s, and both Maroons went home with all-conference honors.


40 Years since Chicago revived its varsity football program in 1969. Members of the 1969 team, which finished 2–4, were honored at the Homecoming Game on October 24.

28 Wins for volleyball, three better than the team goal of 25, and the most by a Chicago volleyball squad since 1992.

06 Consecutive UAA games—from Emory to Wash U—in which men’s soccer didn’t allow a goal.

22 Career goals for fourth-year soccer player Brooke Bontz, putting her seventh on the all-time list. Ten of those came this fall, and only Sarah Loh (12 goals) scored more often for the Maroons this year. This is the first time two Maroons have tallied double-digit goals in the same season.

03 / 05 Where the women’s collegiate four and the men’s collegiate four finished, respectively, at the 2009 Head of the Charles Regatta, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious crew competitions.