October 27, 2014

Warhawks Cool Down the Hot Maroons

On Saturday, Chicago looked to fly higher than the UW–Whitewater Warhawks in a nonconference matchup.

Over the past several weeks, the Maroons defense has been a driving factor behind their success, not allowing a goal in any of their four games in October—after two 1–0 wins and two 0–0 ties, Chicago’s UAA record stands at 2–0–2.

While the Maroons entered their matchup against Whitewater with hopes riding high, victory would be riding passenger for the South Siders, as they dropped a nail-biting, double-overtime affair against the Warhawks by a score of 1–0.

It took Whitewater 106 minutes to find the back of the net, but it certainly had its chances throughout, as the Warhawks were able to fire off 10 shots in the first half alone. After that, things looked as if the Maroons were prolonging the inevitable, as surely one of Whitewater’s shots would eventually slip past Chicago first-year goalkeeper Hill Bonin.

Regardless of the shot advantage the Warhawks had after the first half, the Maroons understood that the score was still 0–0, and by no means were they going to go down without a fight as they hit the field for the second half.

In the second half, the Maroons not only picked up their offensive attack, shooting seven times on goal, but also held the Warhawks to five shots in the second half. However, neither team was able to squeak one past a keeper, and thus the match headed into overtime.

In the 106th minute, Bonin conceded a goal for the first time in 551 minutes of play, and the Warhawks claimed the victory.

First-year midfielder Andre Abedian talks up Whitewater’s defense.

“They had a big, physical team who did a good job of disrupting the flow of what we wanted to do offensively,” Abedian said. “At the end of the day, though, it came down to us not finishing the chances we had throughout the second half and overtime. We were very close, but we just couldn't close.”

While the match against Whitewater signaled the first loss for the Maroons in over a month, they will have no time to languish over their defeat, as NYU (11–3) and No. 3 Brandeis (15–1) venture to Chicago next weekend.

The key to victory in these matches will be finding a way to get the ball in the net but also maintain their stingy defense that has allowed an average of .95 goals per match this year, with major contributions from fourth-years Jorge Sanchez-Cummings and Kevin Matheny, along with Bonin.

Chicago still has its focus on a UAA championship.

“A loss is always motivating, but we've tried to put last weekend behind us and refocus on what's at stake this weekend in terms of taking control of the conference championship. We are still very much a confident team, and the intensity in practice and in the games this weekend will no doubt reflect that,” Abedian said.

The Maroons will spend the week practicing in anticipation of a heated match against NYU this Friday, which will take place at Stagg Field at 3:30 p.m.