CHICAGO, Ill. – The No. 16-ranked University of Chicago women's soccer team broke through with three goals in a 13-minute span to defeat Augsburg College 3-0 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship on Sunday.
The Maroons improved to 15-4-1 on the season and will host face Illinois Wesleyan University in the NCAA Round of 16. The Auggies finished the year at 17-5.
The win also gave Head Coach Amy Reifert her 300th career victory. The Maroons have a cumulative record of 300-116-46 in Reifert's 24 years leading the program. The team has reached the NCAA tournament 14 times under her guidance.
"Advancing to the Sweet 16 was really our true focus for today, so I was just obviously thrilled for our kids that they're going to get to experience the next round of the NCAA tournament," Reifert said. "The game today was very different than yesterday. Our theme was 'Be Relentless' and just continue to press and press and press the whole game. I thought we played a very good first half, we just didn't score. So in the second half when Sara [Kwan] slipped her in and Julia [Ozello] finished, and then Meghan [Derken] got her two goals, it was just so great because it was sort of a culmination of all of that work that had gone into it."
UChicago dominated possession for the entire contest with an aggressive pace and approach. Augsburg was not able to string together more than two passes in its offensive half for much of the day. The Maroons controlled the midfield, stepped up on the back line to disrupt passes and continually moved forward in waves.
After a scoreless first half, the home team kicked into an even higher gear, taking 17 shots in the second half. Augsburg goalkeeper Marissa Guillou made a large number of impressive saves to keep her team in the match. But UChicago broke the stalemate in the 71st minute. Senior midfielder Sara Kwan threaded a pass through two defenders for junior forward Julia Ozello, who went one-on-one with the goalie at the top of the box and scored.
Ozello was also instrumental in two more goals that occurred within 70 seconds of one another. Her header pass from the left side of the box found an open Meghan Derken and the senior forward scored from point-blank range at 82:03. One minute later, Ozello bombed a long, arcing pass into the box and Derken delivered again with a header goal right in front.
The Maroons posted 22 shots compared to two shots by the Auggies. UChicago also led corner kicks 12-2. Senior goalkeeper Jacinda Reid (7-2-1) earned the shutout victory and did not face a shot on goal. This marks the 13th shutout of the season for the Maroons.
Watch the UChicago post-match interview:
- Saturday, Nov. 16 - Illinois Wesleyan University at UChicago, Time TBD