Coming off a win against Case Western in their UAA tournament, the Chicago women’s soccer team continued strong on Wednesday, defeating North Park 4–0 in a non-conference game at home and improving their record to 9–4–1 for the season.
“I think right now we’re just using every game as an opportunity to improve on the things that we need to improve on,” said fourth-year Kate Manuelli. “We want to work on the nitty-gritties and make sure everyone is prepared for the bigger games.”
After first-year Micaela Harms scored the first goal of her career in the seventh minute, the Maroons took an early lead and never looked back. Just three minutes later, fourth-year Emily Benoit added another goal off a pass from second-year Bridgette Kragie. Kragie swatted the ball in the left corner, feeding the ball across the field to Benoit’s waiting foot, for Benoit’s fifth goal of the year.
The rest of the half was rather slow comparatively. “We knew at halftime we needed to just stay systematic and put more goals away,” continued Manuelli. “[We wanted to] be efficient with the opportunities that are given to us.”
Kragie stole the show in the second half, scoring the team’s third and fourth goals of the game and her third and fourth of the year for a brace. Both of the final goals came off of assists from third-year Allison Hegel in the 57th and 82nd minutes respectively.
“Bridget Kragie had a really great game,” she added.
The defense continued its impressive performance, not letting a single goal in the net. They held their opponents to just two shots and three corner kicks for the game, versus Chicago’s 18 and 10 respectively. With a single save for the day, third-year Emma Gormley collected her fifth shutout of the year with relative ease, thanks to the support of a strong defensive line.
This win extended their home winning streak to four games. “It was good to be back at home; we’ve been away for the past two weekends,” said Manuelli, “It was really great to put on our white uniforms and play in Hyde Park.”
The win bodes well for the team, as two of their remaining three UAA games will be played at home.
“Obviously we have our hopes set on winning UAAs, and that’s a big goal for us,” concluded Manuelli. “We’re obviously not looking past games like North Park and Stevens Point, but we are using them as opportunities to work on them.”
The women will play their next game away against Wisconsin–Stevens Point.