October 27, 2009

UW–Whitewater wrangles win in final seconds

It took the Maroon men’s soccer team nearly 86 minutes to get on the board in Sunday’s non-conference finale at Stagg Field, but it only took 4:11 for UW–Whitewater to counter with the game-winning goal.

For most of the match, Whitewater stifled the Maroons on defense and looked set to hold Chicago without a score for the entire contest. At least, they did until second-year midfielder Stanton Coville converted a timely feed from second-year defender Rashad Masri to knot the game at 1–1 with less than five minutes to play.

Coville’s score from the right side of the box, which was his eighth of the season, injected life into a Maroon team that had been playing from behind for the bulk of the game.

As the soccer gods would have it, there would be no overtime for the resilient Maroons. With 15 seconds left in regulation, the Warhawks (9–5–3) engineered a last gasp score to earn a devastating 2–1 victory over Chicago (10–3–2, 3–1–0 UAA).

The go-ahead score came off the foot of third-year forward Luke Buchholz, Whitewater’s leading goal-scorer with 11 on the season. The 20-yard strike was set up by third-year midfielder Dan Montanye, who leads the Warhawks with six assists.

For Whitewater, Buchholz’s Sunday heroics were by no means a surprise. The Warhawk forward has now tallied three game-winning goals, one ahead of Montanye for the team lead.

After nearly 29 minutes of scoreless play, the Warhawks struck first. Second-year forward Zach Rewasiewicz assisted fourth-year midfielder Luke Mangognia for his third goal of the year and Whitewater’s opening score.

The goal was disappointing not only because it forced Chicago into an early 1–0 hole, but also because the Maroons defense allowed Mangognia to shoot from point-blank range.

After trailing for more than 56 minutes of play, the Maroons mustered their only score of the afternoon on Coville’s six-yard strike in the 86th minute.

Prior to that goal, Chicago failed to capitalize on other scoring opportunities. In the 55th minute, fourth-year forward Edgar Friloux missed a 10-yarder just wide of the net. Later, in the 66th minute, Whitewater’s second-year keeper Andrew Kreuger rejected a Coville header from five yards out, preserving the 1–0 advantage.

Chicago second-year keeper Chris Giusto stopped a dangerous four-yard shot with six minutes to play, shortly before the Maroons’ tying goal, preserving a possible overtime berth. During the game Giusto posted three saves to Kreuger’s six.

While Chicago outshot Whitewater 12–8, and 6­–3 in the second half, they had their four-game winning streak come to a halt and saw their previously unblemished home record drop to 7–1 on the year. Whitewater improves to 5–1 in their last six, riding a hot streak that dates back to a gutsy 1–0 victory over Lake Forest on October 4.

Chicago’s final three UAA games, beginning with a trip to NYU on Friday, present the Maroons an opportunity to close out the season on a strong note and rebound from Sunday’s disappointing loss.