ELMHURST, Ill. – A rapid burst of goals near the one-hour mark proved to be the difference as the University of Chicago rallied to defeat Elmhurst College 3-1 on Tuesday night.
The No. 2-ranked Maroons remained undefeated at 9-0-1. The Bluejays fell to 1-8 on the year.
Despite struggling at times with the rain-slick turf, UChicago's attacking talent overcame a one-goal deficit to the secure the victory. Senior forward Matthew Koh supplied the spark with one goal and two assists, while sophomore midfielder Carter Romero bagged the game-winner and an assist of his own.
The host Bluejays nearly went ahead after just seven minutes, but a brilliant save from sophomore keeper Aaron Katsimpalis denied a point-blank shot. Katsimpalis scrambled after the rebound, but it slipped to the feet of the Elmhurst attacker who let loose again only to watch senior Nicco Capotosto clear the ball off the goal line to safety.
UChicago enjoyed a few looks in the early going but could find little space against a tight Elmhurst defense. Although the visitors saw more of the ball, Elmhurst began to build possession and capitalized at the stroke of the 26th minute. A long cross headed back into the area fell to an attacking Bluejay, who turned and fired from seven yards out to put the hosts in front.
The second half held more promise for the Maroons. Five minutes into the period, junior midfielder Renato Corghi looked sure to equalize when he sent a header across the face of goal, but a leaping fingertip save denied him.
Once again, possession favored UChicago but little came of it until the 57th minute. Carrying the ball upfield, junior midfielder Gary Zhao shook his defender and slotted a pass to Romero up the left sideline. Romero sent a bouncing ball into the middle where Koh flicked it high over the goalie to level the contest.
With the scored tied, the Maroons ratcheted up the pressure and reaped the benefits a few minutes later. With a burst of speed, Koh got loose up the right wing and whipped the ball in to the front post where Romero finished with a smooth left-footed volley.
Thirty seconds later, UChicago extended its newfound lead as senior forward Max Lopez charged up the middle, leaving two defenders in his wake and drawing two more before laying the ball off to Koh on the right side of the box. Koh ripped a low shot that the keeper couldn't handle, and junior forward Dayo Adeosun redirected the ball into the net point blank and in the blink of an eye, the Maroons held a commanding 3-1 lead with just under half an hour to play.
The Maroons outshot the opposition 22-6, placing seven of those efforts on frame. In goal, Katsimpalis made four saves and recorded his ninth win this season.
- Saturday, Sept. 29 @ 11:00 AM – University of Rochester at UChicago