CHICAGO – The University of Chicago women's soccer team started out its postseason with a bang, dominating Webster University 6-0 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship on Saturday.
The No. 11-ranked Maroons (16-3) now own a 10-0 record at Stagg Field this season with a goal differential of 39-2. The Gorloks ended their season at 13-8.
"I'm thrilled with our team's performance," said Head Coach Amy Reifert. "It's great to win a first-round game 6-0 because then you're able to play lots of kids and really get your team as rested as you can for the second game. It's hard to go back-to-back days in the tournament. … To be up 3-0 at the half having been able to sub and then in the second half being able to play through the entire bench was awesome. Everyone played great; our level of play really didn't drop as we went through the bench."
The two teams met previously in the 2014 NCAA First Round, with UChicago winning 1-0. This time around, the hosts took the suspense out of the match by halftime. Early on, sophomore midfielder Jenna McKinney was the main creator with three of her team's opening four shots. The first goal came courtesy of junior midfielder Mia Calamari, who pinged a shot off the right post and in. The assist was provided by junior forward Caroline Olivero in the 18th minute.
Pressure continued to mount against Webster's back line, and the Maroons struck again almost six minutes later. Freshman midfielder Hanna Watkins put in her fourth goal of the season off a pair of slick passes from McKinney and senior midfielder Sophia Kim. Five minutes before halftime, freshman midfielder Rachel Dias made it 3-0 with an impressive blind back-heel goal that harnessed the momentum of McKinney's centering pass into the box.
UChicago continued to add to its lead in the second half. Senior midfielder Anase Asom put multiple shots on frame in the period and eventually struck pay dirt at 64:06 with her left-footed shot rising over the goalie's head. Calamari then netted a brace in spectacular fashion in the 68th minute. The junior ran parallel to the goal and roped a curling strike against her momentum to the back post for her eight goal of the campaign. The day's final score came from freshman forward Adrianna Vera with her fourth tally in the 89th minute, with assists to Kim and sophomore midfielder Dana Ulrich.
The Maroons finished with a commanding 28-6 lead in shots, along with a 3-1 edge in corner kicks. Freshman goalkeeper Katie Donovan (16-3 record) made two big saves to keep Webster off the board on rushes. She played the first 72 minutes before being relieved by sophomore Piper Mik for the final 18 minutes. It marked UChicago's 13th shutout of the season.
- Sunday, Nov. 13 – Augsburg College at UChicago (NCAA Second Round), 1 PM