With a school-record-tying 18–4–1 record and a Final Four berth, the 2016 UChicago women’s soccer team set the bar high. The 2017 team, however, is exceeding these expectations. The Maroons are off to a 9–0 start, and both the United Soccer Coaches and D3soccer.com national polls list the women as the top team in NCAA Division III.
UChicago opened by going 2–0 on a cross-country trip to California. Despite five of their nine opening games being on the road, the South Siders outscored their opponents 35–4, including a 3–0 victory over No. 10 ranked Pomona-Pitzer. During this nine-game stretch, UChicago has outshot their opponents 245–31. Third-year Jenna McKinney has led the team offense, producing six goals and four assists, while fourth-year Mia Calamari leads the team with seven assists and three Maroons have produced four or more goals.
Fourth-year Kelsey Moore, who scored the game-winning goal against Wheaton this past Tuesday, spoke of their team’s fast start, “We’ve had an incredible run so far, and it’s something that we are looking to continue to build upon. I think our success can be attributed to a variety of things. In preseason we created a team culture that focuses on being the best teammates to one another that we can be, and I believe it’s this team-centric mindset that has really gotten us to this point and will continue to carry us through the rest of the season.”
UChicago opens UAA play this Saturday on the road against Rochester (5–2–1), who fell to the Maroons 1–0 last year. The Yellow Jackets finished the 2016 campaign with a 5–7–6 record, going 2–3–2 in UAA play. Five out of the eight UAA teams are currently ranked in the national top 25, including No. 3 Wash U.
“Coming off of the Wheaton game was extremely helpful going into our first UAA weekend,” Moore added. “They provided us with a level of play that helped in our preparation for UAA competition and the competition we expect to see for the rest of the season.”
The Maroons will finish their UAA schedule with a showdown against rival and nationally third-ranked Wash U Bears at home on November 4. UChicago will also play nonconference foes Kalamazoo and Illinois Tech sprinkled into their UAA schedule.
The Maroons open UAA play at Rochester tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. EDT, looking to continue their perfect record.