October 18, 2011

Win at NYU keeeps UAA hopes alive

On a busy weekend, Chicago’s women’s soccer team (7–4–2, 1–1–2) tied 1–1 at Brandeis (5–8–1, 0–3–1) on Friday and won 3–1 at NYU (9–5–0, 1–3–0) on Sunday.

“[The Brandeis] game was the opposite of a normal soccer game,” said fourth-year left back Maggie Tobin. It included an 89-minute lightning delay early in the second half and pouring rain throughout the entire game.

Brandeis scored early, in the second minute, when midfielder Mary Shimko scored her third goal of the year, with an assist from midfielder Mimi Theodore. “Unfortunately, we let up a goal in the first five minutes, but we did not give up the entire rest of the game,” said Tobin.

Chicago got on the board in the 54th minute with fourth-year forward Allison Hegel’s seventh goal of the season, which came about two minutes before the beginning of the delay. “Scoring a goal right before the rain delay was definitely a huge boost, but, unfortunately, we weren’t able to put another one in and get a win,” said fourth-year goalkeeper Emma Gormley. The game went to overtime, but the earlier score held up.

“We treated the NYU game like an NCAA game that we had to win,” said Gormley. This mentality was evident in the offensive show the Maroons put on in New York.

Chicago struck first, in the 36th minute, when second-year forward Kat Konstantinoff scored her third goal of the season. The Maroons added on in the 64th minute, with a goal from first-year forward Sara Kwan, her third of the year. First-year defender Katie Shivanandan scored on a free kick in the 83rd minute for the Maroons’ third and final goal of the game. NYU made some late noise with Serra Tumay’s goal off of a free kick in the 85th minute, but the 3-1 score went final.

Motivation and a lot of team effort characterized the spread out nature of the offensive onslaught, especially in comparison to the singular goal scored only two days prior. “I was very happy after the NYU game not only because we won, but because we came together as a team to win,” said Tobin.

The team is now looking ahead to its final four games in hopes of winning the UAA crown. “[The] women’s soccer team has always had one of the hardest schedules in the entire division…Getting a bid into the tournament is up to a committee that judges our record with our schedule, and all we can do is continue to play and win against good teams to guarantee a spot,” said Tobin.

A crucial element to beating those teams will be maintaining the offense the team showed on Sunday. The team’s early season successes were marked by multiple goals per game. “Being so productive on offense is a big confidence builder for us as we move into our next games, and hopefully we’ll continue to be as effective at scoring goals,” said Gormley.

Three of the team’s last four games will take place at Chicago. “We play on a different edge when we’re at home.  There’s just a special feeling that comes with playing on our own field in front of our fans,” said Gormley.

Before returning home for good, Chicago will go up against Millikin University in the team’s last non-conference game this Saturday, October 22, at noon on the road. After that, the team will play three straight home games against UAA opponents.