CHICAGO – A pair of highlight-reel goals from forward Matthew Koh gave the University of Chicago men's soccer team a 2-0 win over Capital University in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship on Sunday night.
The No. 7-ranked Maroons improved to 18-2 and set a new school record for wins in a season. They will face off with Calvin College next Friday in the NCAA Round of 16. This marks the second-straight year and third time overall that UChicago men's soccer has reached the Round of 16.
Sunday's morning and afternoon rain made for wet turf at Stagg Field. It was the host Maroons who imposed their will in the first half, outshooting in the Crusaders 8-1. UChicago put three shots on goal between the 8th and 17th minutes. However, the game remained scoreless at the break.
The best opportunity of the half came in the 23rd minute when junior forward Max Lopez smacked a left-footed strike top shelf from the top of the box. But the goal was waved off due to an offside call.
When UChicago brought numbers forward, the organized Capital defense kept seven behind the ball constantly and packed in the middle, resulting in numerous blocked shots. The offense finally broke through courtesy of Koh in the 66th minute. The junior forward gathered a free kick from sophomore forward Dayo Adeosun, and then struck a perfect tailing strike from 25 yards out right-to-left that curved inside the far post.
Down a goal, the Crusaders (13-8-2 record) pushed with urgency for the equalizer. But it was Koh who drove in the final nail in the 83rd minute. A long clearance by UChicago's back line bounced in the midfield and Koh headed the ball forward to himself. The junior then turned on the afterburners, streaking behind the defense and going one-on-one with the goalkeeper. He deftly slid a shot just under the goalie that pinged off the left post and in.
The Maroons nearly made it 3-0 in the 87th minute. Senior midfielder Andre Abedian's header in front was stonewalled by the goalkeeper with a full-extension dive.
UChicago first-year net minder Aaron Katsimpalis (5-0 record) came up with quality stops throughout the night, making two saves en route to the shutout. Katsimpalis and his defenders were particularly effective at shutting down Capital's corner kicks and long throw-ins.
In the final stats, the Maroons led shots 18-9 and corner kicks 5-3.
- Friday, Nov. 17 – Calvin College at UChicago