CHICAGO – The University of Chicago women's soccer team continued its home dominance late Tuesday afternoon with a 5-0 win over non-conference opponent Carthage College.
The Maroons are now 7-0-0 at home this season and have outscored opponents 27-2 in these games. Tuesday's win improved the Maroons to 7-3-0 on the year while dropping the Lady Reds to 3-5-0. In last year's meeting, UChicago won at Carthage 1-0.
The Maroons got right to business, creating an early chance in the first minute when sophomore midfielder Kelsey Moore played a ball to fellow sophomore forward Mia Calamari, who put a powerful shot just above the crossbar.
Four minutes later, the Maroons got on the board early courtesy of some more clever one-two play between Calamari and Moore. The chance started when senior midfielder Naomi Pacalin, bringing the ball up the field, played a ball to Calamari who had her back to the goal and a defender. She deftly drop stepped the defender to her left, clearing herself into the box and then playing a ball to the oncoming Moore, who popped a deflection over the leaping Carthage keeper.
Though the Maroons did not score between the fifth and 33rd minute, they dominated possession and created consistent chances. Senior forward Julia Ozello ran up the right wing, cut back to her left foot and unleashed a rocket that collided off the intersection of the right post and the crossbar at 14:05. Freshman midfielder Jenna McKinney, working with her back to the net, cleared herself from the defender and put a strong shot on goal that was handled by the keeper. Shortly after, McKinney nearly used her speed to outrun the entire defense, but was adroitly run off the goal face by a Carthage defender.
The Lady Reds tried to bring a physical style of play to the contest, and while it was successful at times, one Maroon it did not work against was Calamari. She expertly shielded the ball from Carthage defenders fiercely vying for possession and set up runs for her teammates with deft passing. The best chances created by Carthage were set pieces from five to 10 yards outside of the box, all of which were handled by senior Rachel Post.
A third of the way through the 34th minute, Moore doubled her goal total for the afternoon, this time via assists from McKinney and sophomore forward Madori Spiker. In the 38th minute, Spiker got on the board herself. Sophomore defender Chelsea Johnson sprung Spiker up the left wing with a long through ball from the back. Spiker used her body well to shield Carthage defenders and then employed her speed to race onto the goalie one-on-one. She finished with her left foot to increase the lead to 3-0.
Right before the half with about 24 seconds left, freshman goalkeeper Piper Mik left her feet to make a tremendous diving save on a Carthage shot. Then a mere 19 seconds later, Mik knocked down another Lady Red shot to go into the half with the shutout intact.
In the 47th minute, McKinney passed to Calamari who smoothly flicked the ball into the box right to the oncoming Pacalin, who put the ball in the net to give the Maroons a 4-0 advantage. Pacalin leads the offense with five goals this season.
Sophomore forward Hayley Thompson came off the bench with plenty of energy, sparking multiple UChicago chances. After several close chances, she was able to put one away at the 83:01 mark. Making a run up the left wing, she received a through ball, cut back a defender and then calmly played the ball back post with her right foot for the game's final goal.
The Maroons outshot the Lady Reds 20-10 (10-4 shots on goal). UChicago also took the corner kick battle 3-2. Mik improved to 7-3 on the year and made four saves while recording the fourth shutout of her young career.
- Saturday, October 3 – Emory University at UChicago, 11 AM