CHICAGO – On a team bursting with NCAA Tournament experience, it ended up being a pair of first-years who helped give the University of Chicago women's soccer team a crucial 2-0 victory over No. 17 Wheaton College in Friday's Round of 16 match at Stagg Field.
First-year Katie Jasminski – just minutes after entering the match – broke away down the right side and then sent in a cross to classmate Maddie DeVoe. Devoe went into the air with her defender in front of the goal and deflected it to the far post in the 19th minute to give the Maroons a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
The win sends the No. 3 Maroons (20-1) into Saturday's NCAA Division III Quarterfinal round for the second-straight season and third time in program history with a berth in the Final Four on the line. UChicago will take on the winner of No. 5 Washington-St. Louis (17-1-1) and Wisconsin-Lacrosse (19-1-3), currently underway. The Sectional Championship is set for 1 p.m. CT Saturday at Stagg Field grass.
With the Thunder (15-4-4) controlling the first 10 minutes of the match, UChicago settled in and organized its offense to the tune of a 9-0 shot advantage in the game's first period. DeVoe would give the match its score into halftime and the Maroons didn't let up after that, as junior forward Jenna McKinney added the second score in the 59th, finishing a beautiful set of passes that started in the Thunder's own half of the field.
Senior defender Kelsey Moore sent in a long ball from the right side that found classmate Madori Spiker, who headed it to Hanna Watkins for a give-and-go to McKinney. In the ensuing 1-v-1 situation, McKinney deftly sent the ball through the Wheaton keeper's legs for the score early in the second half.
UChicago outshot the Thunder 15-1 for the match and held a 12-2 advantage in corner kicks. It marked the second-straight time the Maroons defeated Wheaton, after topping the Thunder 2-1 in a nonleague contest back on Sept. 26.
Sophomore Katie Donovan, who played the first half, picked up her 17th win of the year and first-year keeper Miranda Malone close out the game, collecting one save. The Maroons defense of Sydney Mathis, Clare Suter, Moore and Whitley Cargile helped keep the Thunder off the board for UChicago's 17th shutout of the season. The Maroons have allowed just six goals all season.
- NEXT MATCH:
Saturday, Nov. 18: UChicago vs. WashU/UW-La Crosse winner, 1 PM CT (NCAA Quarterfinal)