Men’s soccer wins battles but can’t find back of net

By Ethan Wembly

Marking the start of the conference schedule, 11th-ranked Emory and 19th-ranked Chicago men’s soccer put on a show for what may prove to be the year’s best UAA match-up. Saturday’s scoreless tie in Atlanta, Georgia, should keep the Maroons’ team morale high while heading into the thick of the season, with a record of 7-1-1, and looking forward to a six-game home stand, two of which are against nationally ranked teams.

As the weather chilled in Chicago, the Maroons headed south to 85-degree, humid Atlanta, anticipating a game that would signal how they stacked up against the nation’s toughest competition. Coming off a 3-2 victory over Lawrence University the previous weekend and a weeklong break, Chicago’s focus quickly shifted to the task at hand. Emory, having suffered an unexpected loss earlier in the month, had bounced back to outscore their next four opponents 19-1.

The Eagles came out strong in the match’s first 15 minutes with a couple attacking opportunities, including a threatening shot that second-year goalkeeper Keith Crum tipped over the bar.

“I was a bit nervous in the beginning, but once we settled into our game we really came into our own,” said first-year defender Jonathan Cartwright. Gaining momentum, the Maroons battled back with contributions from a number of returners: fourth-year Peter Ostroske dominated the air game; second-year Brian Kolva guarded the backline well; fourth-year Reed Fleetwood held down the midfield; and third-year Brian Standerfer had his best game to date, slipping behind the Emory defense and creating several good scoring opportunities.

Both teams largely drew blanks through the 110-minute game with the exception of a long throw-in from third-year Giordano Palloni that fourth-year Mike Miller headed to the back of the net. The goal was called back due to physical play in the penalty box, leaving the game scoreless through two overtimes.

Emory held a 15 to 8 shot edge over Chicago, yet the Maroons put their more dangerous changes on net. “Both teams had chances, but I thought we had the most dangerous ones regardless of what the stats said,” head coach John O’Connor said. “Keith was only forced to make one very good save, otherwise he made everything else look routine.”

While the men’s soccer team was slightly disappointed with its more-dominating performance ending in a tie, the match nonetheless established them as a UAA—if not national—force. “I tip my hat to the whole squad,” said O’Connor following the effort, “We needed contributions from everyone—which we got. It was a total team effort.”

Chicago plays another UAA powerhouse this Saturday, hosting Carnegie Mellon—also ranked 19th—on Homecoming at Stagg Field.