November 4, 2013

Topsy-turvy conference campaign continues with win, loss

Chicago men’s soccer (9–5–2, 3–3 UAA) kicked off its East Coast road trip on Friday against the NYU Violets (6–7–3, 0–5–1), dominating possession to win the game 1–0, but couldn’t continue its momentum into Sunday against the Brandeis Judges (13–4–1, 2–3–1) where the team fell 0–3.

Against the volatile Violets, who opened their season winning six of seven games but have recently been on a four-game losing streak, the Maroons took control of the ball, outshooting the home team 11–4 in the first half. The South Siders’ dominant play continued into the second half as NYU took a red card.

“In the second [half] we came out and continued to be really in control of things until 20 to 25 minutes left when [third-year forward Kyle Kurfirst] broke in behind their center back, who took Kyle down. He got a red card and we got a P.K. [penalty kick],” head coach Mike Babst said. “It really could have made things difficult for NYU, but their keeper made a nice save on a P.K. From that point on they were playing with 10 men, and we definitely had most of the play.”

Lucas Doucette, the keeper for the Violets, did an excellent job under pressure, compiling 18 saves for NYU. However, Doucette eventually dropped the ball against Kurfirst, who scored on a rebound in double overtime to seal the win 1–0.

The Maroons had a more difficult time in their second road game of the weekend, opening well against Brandeis but going down a point in the 21st minute.

“The mistake was a misplayed ball. They have a very good player who had a good pace and got around our defender,” Babst said. “[Second-year goalkeeper Brett Wiesen] made a nice save, but we didn’t have anyone, and the ball went right back to their guy, and no one recovered back to the line. He hit a slow dribble that went in. I thought we had two opportunities in that series to prevent that from being a goal, but we just didn’t do it.”

Down 0–1, the South Siders attacked more vigorously, handling the ball for the following 10 minutes. But the Maroons failed to capitalize after the first goal, and the Judges added two other goals at the 32nd and 57th minutes.

“We have an unfortunate trend of having difficulty coming back from deficits, so when they scored the first goal, it was tough for us. I would say we matched up well against Brandeis, but we made several crucial mistakes,” said fourth-year midfielder Sawyer Kisken.

With the weekend’s results, the Maroons sit behind three teams in the UAA, each of which holds a 4–1–1 UAA record (Rochester, Carnegie Mellon, and Emory). Chicago will host the Wash U Bears (9–4–3, 2–2–2) this weekend in its final game of the regular season.

“It’s an interesting game against Wash U, who has an almost identical record [as] us. They’re the only UAA team in the region, and we’ve both been ranked regionally, and I think both teams are looking at it like if we get a result then we have a very good chance of going to the NCAA tournament,” Babst said.

The South Siders will take on Wash U this coming Saturday at 11 a.m.