CHICAGO – The annual battle between two nationally-ranked rivals lived up to its billing in an action-packed 1-1 draw between University of Chicago women's soccer and Wheaton College on Tuesday afternoon.
The No. 15-ranked Maroons moved to 5-1-1. The No. 8-ranked Thunder ran their record to 7-1-1.
UChicago and Wheaton have played each year since 1989 and 39 times total. The intensity was present on the pitch from the opening kick, and the early going went the way of the visitors. The Thunder possessed for the first 20 minutes, looking to play long balls to their forwards and utilize their speed.
With both sides playing attacking, aggressive-minded soccer, chances on goal were inevitable. Ten minutes in, junior midfielder Maddie DeVoe struck a deep attempt from around 27 yards that pinged off the intersection of the crossbar and right post. Nine minutes later, it was Wheaton's turn to rattle the woodwork when Sophia Lindquist's opportunity smacked the underside of the bar but did not cross the line. A long Thunder blast hit the crossbar once again in the 27th minute.
One of UChicago's best chances came in the 33rd minute. Senior midfielder Hanna Watkins got loose on the counter attack, received the ball in open space but was denied by the goalie. The Maroons grew into the final 15 minutes of the half and began to dictate more of the action.
The home team looked primed to break onto the scoreboard in the 42nd minute when junior midfielder Claudia Hodgetts redirected a hard header off a set play. However, the ball was saved off the end line by a defender, and the opponents went into halftime scoreless.
Adjustments at the break allowed UChicago to flourish on its possession and forward pressure. The Maroons looked to work the sidelines with speed and bring the rest of the offense up to meet centering passes. The Thunder relied on their outside backs to execute impressive tackling to stymie runs on the wings. Both sides exchanged quality scoring opportunities back and forth at a fast pace midway through the half.
The first goal finally came at 76:11 when a service into the box was headed in by Wheaton. It took little time for the Maroons to respond. In the 79th minute, first-year midfielder Bella Mahoney received a throw-in and sent a bouncing pass into the box that was run down and headed in by forward Adrianna Vera. The senior striker set a new career-high with her seventh score of the season.
With momentum on its side, UChicago looked primed to leap ahead when a streaking Vera was taken down from behind just outside the box in the 80th minute. A red card was assigned to the Wheaton defender and the visitors were forced to play down one player for the remainder of the match.
The score remained deadlocked at 1-1 as two overtimes came and went. The Maroons pushed hard for the game-winner, but the contest went down as a tie after 110 minutes.
In the final stats, UChicago led shots 22-15 and corner kicks 4-2. Junior goalkeeper Miranda Malone (5-1-1 record) collected five saves with one goal allowed.
- Saturday, Sept. 28 @ 1:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at Calvin College