CHICAGO – Saturday night at the Holmgren Athletic Complex turf was the scene for a marquee early season match-up between two of the top squads in the country. After facing off twice in the 2017 season – including in the NCAA Final Four – the University of Chicago men's soccer team once again took on local foe North Park University.
This time around, the No. 3-ranked Maroons received a pair of late insurance tallies to sprint past the No. 2-ranked Vikings by a 4-2 score.
UChicago (3-0-1 record) dealt NPU (2-1) its first loss of the young season.
The first shot of the night proved a good omen for the visitors. After a UChicago free kick, the ball got loose in the box thanks to a collision and sophomore Isaiah Holquist was there to clean up the rebound 8:39 into the match.
Less than 10 minutes later, senior Matthew Koh doubled the advantage by converting a penalty kick. NPU was able to halve the deficit in the 23rd minute, and the score remained 2-1 going into the halftime break.
It was senior Max Lopez who provided the clincher in the 80th minute. The forward sent a long pass across the pitch to the left corner, where sophomore Carter Romero immediately returned the favor by lining a cross directly to Lopez's head for a goal in front. It marked the third-straight game that Lopez has scored.
A mere 75 seconds later, Koh pounced on a misplayed pass down the middle of the pitch and turned on the jets to beat the goalkeeper in a one-on-one breakaway. Koh now has four goals in four games played.
The Vikings got one back in the 88th minute on a penalty kick to account for the 4-2 final score.
North Park led the shots category 17-13 and corner kicks 3-1. Shots on goal were even at 11-11. Sophomore goalkeeper Aaron Katsimpalis (3-0-1 record) collected nine saves with two goals allowed.
- Wednesday, Sept. 12 @ 7:00 PM – Wheaton College at UChicago