CHICAGO, Ill. -- The University of Chicago men's soccer team was supposed to open its 2013 season on the road last Friday, but inclement weather washed the game away. The second season debut proved the charm as the Maroons earned a 3-1 home victory over Aurora University on Wednesday. UChicago (1-0-0) dealt the Spartans (2-1-0) their first loss of the year.
Aurora grabbed the quick advantage in the first five minutes of the game. A steal at midfield led to a through ball for Nick Cataldi, who rushed up the middle and slid a left-footed shot past the goalkeeper. The Spartans kept control of the action for most of the first half by intercepting UChicago's interior passes to the forwards and heading back the opposite direction.
The home side got right back in the game in the 40th minute. Junior midfielder Nick Codispoti won a protracted battle for possession in the right corner of Aurora's defensive third, and got the ball to senior midfielder Sam Preston. He then fed senior forward Terrell White in front and White's flick to the the near post tied the game at 1-1.
That spark carried over into the second half as the Maroons came out aggressive and organized on the offensive end. Two point blank chances in the 61st minute almost untied the score, and the pressure continued. UChicago ended up with a 15-6 shot advantage in the final 45 minutes.
Kyle Kurfirst provided the game-winning goal at the 63:22 mark. Senior forward Sawyer Kisken hit a bounding shot at the goalie, who deflected it straight to Kurfirst. The junior forward quickly collected the ball inside the box and deposited it past the goalie to make the score 2-1.
The two sides traded chances down the stretch and Aurora picked up its urgency, seeking an equalizer. The Spartan goalkeeper came all the way into the attacking third with under a minute remaining, but the aggressive gamble proved costly when junior midfielder Nic Lopez corraled the ball and found Kisken wide open at midfield. With only two seconds left on the clock, Kisken booted a 40-yard shot into the empty net.
UChicago sophomore Brett Wiesen made four saves and was the winner in goal. The Maroons ended with a 23-10 shot advantage and a 5-2 edge in corner kicks.