CHICAGO – A commanding first half – along with the defensive play of their its veteran keeper down the stretch – was enough to give the No. 12 University of Chicago women's soccer team a 2-1 victory over visiting Emory University in Saturday's University Athletic Association opener.
The Maroons (7-1, 1-0 UAA) – who haven't lost since Sept. 7 – scored two goals in a first half that saw them outshoot the Eagles (6-3, 0-1) by a comfortable 10-6 margin. Senior Rachel Dias – in a tad unconventional way – provided the first.
The senior, working down the right sideline, beat her defender to the corner and sent a ball toward the goal, that deftly deflected off an unassuming Emory defender and trickled past the keeper and in, in just the 3' of play.
With the Maroons' offense consistently keeping the Eagles defense off balance, that led to UChicago's next score: when Peyton Jefferson won a 50/50 ball that Emory couldn't clear in front of the box and flicked it over the keeper in the 25' to make it 2-0, UChicago.
The second half, however, saw an inspired Emory squad. The Eagles turned up their offense to the tune of 11 second-half shots – seven more than the Maroons – and finally found one in the back in the net, when Shivani Beall's unassisted strike cut the lead to one in the 80'.
The Maroons, though, had Miranda Malone on their side, and the junior goalkeeper did not disappoint. Making several stellar stops down the stretch – including one off a Emory corner with less than a minute to play – Malone kept the Eagles off the board in the final 10 minutes. She finished the match with a career-high 10 saves, five more than her previous best.
Emory ended up leading for the game in shots, 17-14, including shots on goal, 12-6. The Eagles also had four corner kicks to UChicago's one.
- Tuesday, Oct. 8: Carthage at UChicago, 4 p.m. CT