October 15, 2013

Second half proves costly for Maroons in home loss to Eagles

This Saturday, the Maroons suffered their first conference loss against No. 8-ranked Emory. Though the game was held to a tie through the first half, the Eagles (8–3–1) upped their offensive efforts in the second half to finish the game with a score of 2–0, bringing the South Siders (7–3–2) to a 0–1–1 record in the UAA.

Though Emory came out of the game victorious, the entire first half was a fairly even contest with the Maroons getting off to an early offensive start. Fourth-year midfielder Micaela Harms got a shot on goal in the fourth minute, but Emory’s goalie stopped it with a dive. Both teams had their fair share of opportunities throughout the first half, but neither could finish them off and get on the scoreboard.

At halftime, Emory led in the shots category 11–7, demonstrating a slight offensive advantage, but not by much. The second half was a different story, with the Eagles stepping up their offense and increasing their shot advantage over Chicago.

Emory capitalized on one of these scoring opportunities early in the second half with a goal off a rebound shot in the fifty-second minute, grabbing the lead 1–0. Chicago held them to one goal for much of the second half and had their chance to tie the game in the last few minutes, but the Eagles were able to stop the Maroons’ offensive runs and scored an insurance goal in the final seconds of the game, finishing off the game with a score of 2–0.

“The team really challenged Emory’s back line well,” said second-year forward Mary Bittner. “We exploited the outside space on the field and battled for fifty-fifty balls.”

Though the Maroons were able to hold the Eagles steady through the first half, the second half proved fatal for Chicago, with Emory outshooting the South Siders 17–3. Third-year goalkeeper Jacinda Reid kept the game fairly close with nine saves and two goals allowed.

Assistant coach Bannon Stroud saw strong performances from several Maroons.

“Some personal standout performers were [fourth-year] Katie Dana, [fourth-year] Beatrice Hobson, [second-year] Nicole Mullen, and [third-year] Sara Kwan,” Stroud said.

Putting the loss behind them, the team is focused on getting the wins they need to ensure they will continue into the postseason. With five conference games still left in the season, the Maroons need conference wins to ensure they earn a spot in the NCAA DIII tournament. Chicago will face Rochester and Case in their next two games this weekend, giving them a chance to improve their conference record.

“We have no margin [for] error going forward,” Stroud said. “We have to accrue wins.”

The team’s next game will be Friday against Rochester, at 2:30 p.m. at Stagg Field.