CHICAGO, Ill. – Julia Ozello's goal near the end of the first half helped the No. 16-ranked University of Chicago women's soccer team defeat Webster University 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship on Saturday.
The Maroons (14-4-1) advance to play Augsburg College in the second round at 1:00 PM on Sunday at Stagg Field. The Gorloks ended their season at 14-5-3.
UChicago, who is serving as the host of a four-team regional this weekend, faced off with Webster for the second time ever. The game played out pretty evenly in the early going, and the Maroons began to threaten as the half wore on. After a close call in the 35th minute, UChicago scored what proved to be the game's only goal in the 41st minute. The Maroons made an offensive rush into the goalie box and junior forward Julia Ozello was there to clean up the bouncing ball in the scrum for her fifth goal of the year. Junior forward Mary Bittner assisted on the play.
The hosts exerted more control of the action in the second half. UChicago nearly extended the lead on several occasions, most notably on its seven corner kicks in the half. However, the score stayed 1-0 for the remainder as the Maroons advanced in the national tourney.
UChicago led in shots 12-4 and in corner kicks 8-2. Senior goalkeeper Jacinda Reid (6-2-1) got the win with a clean first half that featured no saves or goals allowed. Senior goalkeeper Mallory Morse played the second half and posted the same stat line.
"I'd probably call it grit," said Head Coach Amy Reifert about her team's win. "Webster gave us fits one-versus-one, they were terrific. We had to fight and fight and fight. Once we started pushing the ball around and making two or three passes to then attack the sidelines and the end lines, then we found some success in terms of the space... Julia threw her body and found a way to put it in the back of the net."
Watch the UChicago post-match interview:
- Sunday, November 16 – Augsburg College at UChicago, 1 PM