CHICAGO – Drama was on tap at the Stagg Field turf on Saturday as the University of Chicago men's soccer team took on rival Washington University-St. Louis in the final game of the regular season. The Maroons sent out their seniors on a high note by rallying from a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 in double overtime.
The Maroons end their slate with an overall record of 11-5-2 and a conference record of 3-3-1 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The No. 18-ranked Bears fell to 11-4-3 overall, 3-3-1 in the UAA.
UChicago will now await its postseason fate, which will be revealed on Monday at 12:30 PM (CT). The NCAA selection show for the Division III Championship field will be aired online at: http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/2015/11/09.
Saturday was also Senior Day for UChicago's four seniors – Jorge Bilbao, Peter Boxley, David Cohen and Parker Tikson. Over the last four years, the senior class has a cumulative record of 40-21-11 (.632 winning percentage).
Washington-St. Louis wasted no time in building up a two-goal advantage. A foul on the left side gave the Bears a free kick and Kyle Perez headed it in only 1:32 into the match. Seven minutes later, Thomas Hutchings leapt out on a breakaway down the right side and he finished to make the score 2-nil.
Despite the deficit, the hosts had plenty of time to battle back into the match. The necessary spark finally occurred early in the 41st minute when Bilbao took a free kick that went straight to the head of junior defender DJ Weis. His looping header deposited itself into the back right of the net to halve the margin heading into halftime.
With momentum on its side, the Maroons continued to make their own advantages in the second half. A well-executed run into the box ended with a WashU foul at the 47:18 mark. The referee awarded UChicago a penalty kick, which was taken by junior forward Brenton Desai for the fifth time this season. Desai confidently booted the ball in for his team-leading 11th goal of the campaign.
The Maroons continued to pepper the Bears' back line with 11 shots in the second half. The score remained knotted at 2-2 to send the game into overtime. UChicago took four more shots in the extra period.
Less than a minute into the second overtime, freshman forward Matthew Koh played a perfect ball up the middle through the air from midfield to a sprinting Chris Mathis. The junior midfielder utilized his top speed to get past two defenders for the breakaway chance and slid the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper for the game winner.
UChicago owned a sizable advantage in shots at 24-10. Corner kicks went in favor of Washington-St. Louis by a 3-1 count. Sophomore goalkeeper Hill Bonin improved his record to 10-5-2 with four saves and two goals allowed. Bonin made several big plays on aerial balls in the box to keep the Bears at bay.