October 19, 2012

Holy smokes! Wheaton douses Chicago’s fire

The Maroons fell short in their Wednesday night game at Wheaton. The Thunder (13–2–2) scored in the fifth minute, and the South Siders (9–4–0, 2–2–0) spent the rest of the game trying to catch up.[img id="99727" align="right"/]

After two conference wins over Brandeis and NYU, Chicago hoped to defeat Wheaton on the road. Wheaton came out strong, and junior Leah DeMoss scored the only goal of the match right out of the gate. The Thunder continued to control the tempo of the first half, with nine shots on goal to Chicago’s two.

Despite many openings for both sides, the score remained 1­–0, and the Thunder ultimately came out victorious.

The early goal proved too much to overcome.

“Not coming out as strong as we wanted to ended up hurting us at the end of the day,” second-year midfielder Katharine Hedlund said. “We had a lot of chances in the last 30 minutes that we just couldn’t quite get on the end of.”

Chicago had an impressive showing on defense, as Wheaton had possession of the ball for most of the first half, and had 20 shots throughout the game. Diving into the mud, second-year goalkeeper Jacinda Reid made nine saves and kept the game close. On offense, the Maroons had four shots on goal, but couldn’t capitalize on any of their opportunities.

Into the second half, Chicago built up more attacks and kept the Thunder on their guard, but Wheaton’s tight defense couldn’t be cracked.

“The parts we might have lacked on this game are definitely coachable things we can work on in practice,” Hedlund said.

The Maroons now must put this defeat behind them and focus on their upcoming games.

As more conference games approach, the pressure is on for the South Siders. Three of their next four games are within the UAA.

“From now on, it’s to the point in the season where it’s important to win to keep playing,” first-year striker Mary Bittner said. “We will tackle every single game knowing that a loss could mean that we could not play later on.”

In their last non-conference game this weekend, the South Siders will face UW–Oshkosh (9–3–3). Second-year and UAA Athlete of the Week Sara Kwan will lead the Maroons, along with Reid and fourth-year striker Brigette Kragie. Seniors Lindsey Collette, Nicole Strieker, and Becca Blue will lead the Titans’ offensive side.

The Maroons take on UW–Oshkosh at Titan Stadium at 3 p.m. tomorrow.