CHICAGO – The No. 1 University of Chicago women's soccer team fell for the first time this season in a 2-1 conference thriller to No. 6 Washington-St. Louis Saturday, but the Maroons still captured a share of the league title with its stellar regular-season play.
UChicago (17-1, 6-1) and the Bears (15-1-1, 6-1) finished with identical 6-1 University Athletic Association records to each claim shares of the 2017 UAA Championship, but WashU will gain the automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament with Saturday's head-to-head win over the Maroons.
The loss snapped a 17-game win streak – the longest in program history – for UChicago, who has been ranked the nation's top team for six-straight weeks. The Maroons will await their opponent, date and location with an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament, with the official selection show set for Monday at 12 p.m. CT.
The NCAA First and Second Rounds will be played at campus sites Nov. 10/11-11/12.
Saturday, the Maroons were the team to get in the board first, as senior midfleider Mia Calamari showed off her shot skill with a free-kick screamer from 25 yards out that put UChicago up 1-0 in the 16th.
Washington-St. Louis continued to press the rest of the half, outshooting the Maroons 9-4. But the UChicago defense held strong to maintain the 1-0 lead into halftime.
Second-half UChicago keeper Miranda Malone had two outstanding saves – including one off her line in a 1v1 situation – and Calamari executed a perfect slide tackle to prevent two scores early in the second period.
But the Bears wouldn't be denied, as Darcy Cunningham connected on the equalizer on another 25-yard shot to the upper 90 that tied the game at 1-all. Just 47 seconds later, WashU's offense struck again, as a pass ahead split two defenders and found an open Ellie DeConick to give the Bears the lead.
WashU's defense held off the Maroons' attack down the stretch, as the visitors controlled the ball and finished ahead in shots for the contest, 19-9. Corner kicks were tied at 5-all.
Starting keeper Katie Donovan stopped three shots for the Maroons and Malone finished with five saves, including several diving stops.
The UAA title marks the fifth for the Maroons, who last won the conference championship in 2010. Other title years include 1999, 1996, 1994. UChicago will make its 17th NCAA Tournament appearance when its name is called Monday.
- Nov. 10/11-11/12: UChicago vs. TBA, NCAA Division III First/Second Rounds, at TBA