ATLANTA – Three scores put the No. 18-ranked University of Chicago women's soccer team in control and the visitors withstood a late comeback attempt, holding on to defeat Emory University 3-2 on Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, UChicago improved to 10-1-1 overall (2-0 University Athletic Association) while Emory fell to 7-4 (0-2 UAA).
Although an early strike from junior midfielder Rachel Dias and a converted penalty from junior defender Mackenzie Peebles put the Maroons in commanding position, the Eagles worked their way back into an open game and threatened often in the second half. UChicago first-year forward Nikola Charouzova slotted home a third goal, but back-to-back scores from the hosts kept the drama alive until the final seconds.
The Maroons jumped in front almost immediately in the third minute as sophomore midfielder Maddie DeVoe played a ball into space up the right side. Sophomore winger Katie Jasminski rushed onto it and whipped a cross along the ground to the front post, where Dias darted in to finish.
Emory's first chance came on a header lofted over the bar in the ninth minute. Junior forward Adrianna Vera had a chance to give her team a second on a contested breakaway, but the defender did just enough to make things difficult and the Emory goalie managed a save.
The Eagles nearly equalized in the 17th minute, but junior keeper Katie Donovan swatted away the initial effort. An Emory attacker nudged the rebound back towards goal, but it floated just outside the far post. Donovan was called on for another save in the 21st minute when a turnover in the defensive end set up a clear shot.
Despite these close calls, it was the Maroons who would score next, and Jasminski once again provided the spark. Chasing down a long ball, she battled her defender on the left wing to win a throw-in. After gathering the ensuing throw in the area with her back to goal, Jasminski shielded the ball well and drew a penalty. Peebles converted from the spot, putting the visitors up 2-0 just after the half-hour mark.
Neither team could alter the score before the interval, but the contest began to open up a bit more once the second half got underway. Emory had the first good chances before a solo effort from DeVoe nearly produced a goal in the 58th minute. Dispossessing her opponent near midfield, DeVoe sprinted downfield and closed in on net, but the keeper parried her first shot and a covering defender swept her follow-up off of the goal line.
Moments later, it was the Maroons who briefly faced danger, but sophomore keeper Miranda Malone charged off her line to clear the ball from the top of the box.
In the next burst of action, Jasminski raced up the right flank and slipped a ball ahead of Vera, who got on the end of it and redirected it past the keeper across the face of an empty goal. However, the ball rolled past harmlessly. Minutes later, Jasminski set up first-year striker Nicole Willing. Willing turned her defender around and fired on goal, but the ball nicked an Emory player and skewed a fraction wide.
The 71st minute brought the third score, which would later prove crucial. DeVoe pushed up the left side and found Willing in the middle, who held up the ball and delivered it to first-year Peyton Jefferson on the right wing. Jefferson angled her pass back toward the spot, where Charouzova stepped up and placed her finish in the bottom left corner.
Emory had a clean look at goal in the 75th minute with Malone making the stop. Jasminski nearly bagged a goal of her own turning a cross on net until the diving Eagles keeper snagged it.
The match took on an entirely new aspect when a pair of Emory goals in the final 10 minutes made it a one-score contest. The first, a shot from long range curled high into the top right corner, came after a few minutes of building pressure. The second came just 61 seconds later, when Malone dove to stop a header and Emory pounced on the rebound.
The Eagles kept up the attack, missing high on a chance not long after, but UChicago gave little away in the final stages. Emory had one last gasp on a free kick with just seconds left, but sent a glancing header bounding toward goal that Malone collected with confidence.
The teams traded a combined 35 shots, with UChicago holding a 19-16 edge. The Maroons made nine saves while the Eagles made seven. Donovan (3-1 record) earned the victory with four saves in the first half. Malone collected five saves with two goals allowed in the second half.
- Friday, Oct. 12 @ 7:30 PM (ET) – UChicago at Carnegie Mellon University