ATLANTA – Two first-half goals proved to be the difference in a battle of nationally-ranked conference opponents as No. 2-ranked University of Chicago men's soccer defeated No. 12-ranked Emory University 2-0 on Saturday.
A deflected cross from senior forward Matthew Koh at the 11-minute mark put the visiting Maroons out in front before a period of sustained attack culminated with senior forward Max Lopez doubling the margin in the 28th minute.
UChicago (11-0-1 overall, 2-0 University Athletic Association) picked up its fourth win against a ranked team this season and its first road victory in UAA competition. Emory (8-2, 0-2 UAA) dropped its second conference match in-a-row after winning eight straight to begin the campaign.
The scoring opened early as Koh got around his defender on the left wing and sent a cross in towards the front post. The Emory keeper tried to punch away the dangerous ball, but it deflected off his glove into the net and the Maroons took the lead.
The visitors remained on the front foot after the initial breakthrough. Emory had its first decent opportunity in the 20th minute but sophomore keeper Aaron Katsimpalis rebuffed the shot from outside the box.
The Maroons nearly doubled their lead on two occasions before succeeding. The first chance came after a long free kick that bounced around in the box. Koh flicked the airborne ball across the face of goal to first-year winger Kyle Ruark at the far post, but his headed attempt was saved. Moments later, Ruark pushed up the flank to start another attack that ultimately led to a shot from Lopez at the top of the box.
The Eagles attempted to relieve the mounting pressure, but UChicago won possession back almost immediately. First-year midfielder Vicente Mateus collected the ball just beyond the center circle and advanced down the right-hand side. Mateus worked his way through two defenders and put a pass in for Lopez, who took a composed touch to beat the goalie and deposited the ball into net from a yard out.
Emory's best chance to get on the board came in the 40th minute, but Katsimpalis made a strong save on a shot from close range.
In the second half, the Maroons came closer to extending their lead than the Eagles did to reducing the margin. A lovely combination of one-touch passes in the 50th minute saw the ball travel from Koh to Mateus to Lopez, then back to Koh, over to Ruark, and up to Lopez. Advancing into the attacking third, a give-and-go with Ruark positioned Lopez to fire on goal but the sprawling Emory keeper saved his first effort and a lunging defender blocked the follow-up. Four minutes later, Lopez curled a ball in to Koh, but his firm header was stopped.
UChicago continued to control possession and limited Emory's offense to a few scattered attacks. Koh nearly procured a third UChicago goal in the final minutes, but a quality save denied him.
On the day, the Maroons outshot the hosts 16-9 and only conceded one corner kick. Katsimpalis (11-0-1 record) made five saves to record his seventh shutout of the season.
- Friday, Oct. 12 @ 5:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at Carnegie Mellon University