Tuesday night, Wheaton sent their women’s volleyball team to the Ratner Athletic Center for a thrashing at the hands of the Maroons. The Thunder decided to try their luck again, this time on the soccer pitch. The Chicago women were more than up to the task, and the injury-depleted Thunder were quickly dispatched.
The Maroons have been sensational at home, winning all eight of their home games while amassing a stunning 32 goals in such fixtures. They came into the game on the front-foot and exhibited their home-field prowess. Just two minutes into the game, the Maroons had already tallied their first goal. Fourth-year midfielder Naomi Pacalin took on an abundance of defenders on her way into the opposing penalty area. A mediocre clearance by the Thunder defenders resulted in a scrum at the top of box. Finally, the ball fell to the feet of third-year forward Sophia Kim, and she calmly placed it in the bottom right-hand corner, far from the goalkeeper Fuster’s reach.
The Maroons maintained their dominance throughout the first half and broke through once again in the 33rd minute. On the counter-attack, the Maroons were able to hit the wide man on the left side. Second-year defender Whitley Cargile played a long, floating ball into the box. Fuster was caught flat-footed, and she stuck to her line as the ball fell to the second-year midfielder Kelsey Moore at the top of the six. The midfielder had no trouble with the finish and the Maroons doubled their lead.
Down 2–0, the Thunder were struggling to make it to the halftime break within a reasonable margin of the home side. They were unable to do so. In the 43rd minute the
Maroons struck again. Fourth-year forward Mary Bittner made a dazzling run across the face of the Thunder back line, turning it upfield just as first-year Elliana Graham played her through onto goal. With no one but the keeper left to beat, Bittner calmly slotted the ball to the far post for the Maroons third goal of the game and her third of the season.
The halftime break allowed the Thunder to compose themselves. It was not nearly enough. They looked competitive at least, but all of their chances came up short. The Maroons still looked to increase their lead, and they did. Just 10 minutes into the second half, the women struck again. Mia Calamari muscled her way through a pair of defenders marauding into the box. With just the keeper to beat, she played the ball across the face of goal to a wide-open fourth-year midfielder Julia Ozello, who put it away. It was a momentous assist, her 14th this year, for the second-year striker. With Ozello’s goal, Calamari broke the UChicago single season assist record she garnered just last season.
The remainder of the game was lax, as the clearly distraught Thunder team recognized the implausibility of a comeback. The Maroons closed out the game maintaining their 4–0 lead and increasing their record to 11–4–0.