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October 7, 2005

Men's soccer bully Beloit for six-goal win

Coming off an impressive showing against Carnegie, men’s soccer made absolutely sure there would be no letdown.

The Maroons (8–2–0) followed up on their league opener win with a Wednesday afternoon smackdown over Beloit. Chicago scored four unanswered goals to open the game and never looked back, cruising to a 7–1 victory over the Buccaneers (4–5–0) at Stagg Field.

It was a happy return for the home team, who had played six of their first nine on the road. At the end of their journeying, the Maroons found they had been out-shot by their opponents 19–10, and were looking for an early spark to kick-start their offense.

First-year forward Eric Floyd provided that spark, kicking off the scoring with his fifth tally of the year in the third minute. At the 6:58 mark, the Bucs let in an own goal, and the tone was set for a Chicago rout.

Not to be outdone by his younger teammate, fourth-year midfielder Joe Frontczak scored again for the Maroons in the 11th minute, opening up a three-goal gap. The goal was his team-leading seventh of the fall, coming in only four starts.

“Each game provides us with an opportunity to find different aspects of the game which we need to improve on,” Frontczak said. “In the long run, this will help us become a better team and will be a key to our team’s success in the months to come.”

Twenty-nine minutes in, fourth-year forward Ryan Ehle showed the form that beat Carnegie Mellon, chipping in the first of his two goals on the day. Buccaneer fourth-year Matt Buechler did his best to pick up his teammates by driving one past third-year backup goalkeeper Tom Bailey at 30:24, but the Beloit defense sent another one spinning into their own net before the half, effectively ending the game less than 36 minutes in. The Maroons wouldn’t let the visitors bounce back, as both Ehle and third-year forward Jon Allan got on the board in the second half for Chicago.

Chicago’s offense finished things off with 18 shots on goal, and had five assists on seven goals. In the backfield, the defense only let six shots through. Some of the less experienced members of the team had the opportunity to post some of these numbers. Having built themselves a comfortable cushion early on in the contest, the Maroons were able to get their starters some rest. They substituted 15 different times, and all three of the team’s keepers saw playing time.

“I thought we did well on the offensive side of the ball and the overall performance was good,” head coach John O’Connor said. “We got some nice contributions off the bench from Jon Allan and first-year midfielder Gabe Iatarola as well as some of our other young players who have not been getting as much playing time as they would have liked.”

The Maroons will get a few more chances to improve on their 3–1 home record, as their next three tilts kick off at Stagg. Sixth-ranked UAA rival Emory (10–0–0) comes to town Saturday for a morning showdown that should be one of the toughest of the season. The Eagles are an offensive powerhouse, outscoring opponents 26–1 on the season, and are off to the second-best start in program history. Still, the Maroons refuse to be intimidated.

“The season has gone great so far. Our team is really clicking as a unit and playing with the intensity needed to win,” Ehle said. “Every part of the team from the defense, midfield, and forwards has been doing their jobs effectively, and this has led to our current success.”