CHICAGO – The season's first snow arrived commemorate the opening of the 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer tournament, but the chilly weather didn't seem to faze host University of Chicago, who downed St. Catherine University 3-0 in Friday's opener at Stagg Field.
The No. 3 Maroons (18-1) used a St. Kate's (9-7-4) own goal in the game's 12th minute then saw two more scores in the second period from senior Mia Calamari and first-year Katie Jasminski to advance to Saturday's regional final, where they will face No. 21 Hope College (19-2-1), a 1-0 winner over Wisconsin-Whitewater Friday afternoon.
The match is set for 1 p.m. CT at the Stagg Field grass field. The winner will advance to next weekend's NCAA Sectional Round.
The Wildcats of St. Catherine held strong through the game's early minutes, which saw heavy flurries of snow and temperatures in the high 20s. Sophomore Clare Suter's serve into the box 12 minutes in broke the scoreless tie, however, as a St. Kate's defender trying to clear the kick away from the Maroons' Jenna McKinney instead sent it into the goal and gave UChicago a 1-0 advantage.
Despite outshooting the Wildcats 14-1 in the first 45 minutes, that score held into halftime. The second 45 proved to be a different story for the Maroons.
UChicago opened the second half with renewed energy. After Madori Spiker was taken down in the box in the 49th, Calamari capitalized on the ensuing penalty kick to make it 2-0. Jasminski would add the insurance goal in the 64th, as Adrianna Vera and McKinney one-touched it ahead for the double-assist.
UChicago finished the game with a 29-5 shot advantage – including 14-4 on goal -- and 12-1 margin in corner kicks. Starting keeper Katie Donovan (one save) recorded the win but second-half keeper Miranda Malone added three saves of her own in the second half, including a 1-v-1 diving takeaway on a St. Kate's breakaway.
The win puts the Maroons into the NCAA Second Round for the fourth-straight season after advancing last year's team made it all the way to the Final Four.