CHICAGO – In a local match featuring a pair of south side denizens, the University of Chicago women's soccer team rode an early score to a 1-0 victory at Illinois Institute of Technology on Thursday night.
The No. 13-ranked Maroons improved to 11-1-2. The Scarlet Hawks fell to 10-6-2.
UChicago was aggressive from the outset, and a mere two minutes in, senior midfielder Hanna Watkins chipped the goalkeeper to send the ball into the back of the net. However, the goal was negated by an offside call.
It was merely a minor hiccup though, as Watkins made good in the sixth minute by redirecting a corner kick inside the far post to make it 1-0. Senior midfielder Rachel Dias assisted on the play. It marked Watkins' eighth goal of the season.
Illinois Tech began to possess the ball more effectively midway through the half, but could not find any quality looks on goal. A free kick from the right corner of the box 19 minutes in was the home team's best opportunity, which sailed well high.
UChicago led shots 11-2 at the halftime break. First-year Lydia Cornelius came off the bench to produce three shots right near the goal. She found the side netting twice.
In her first career start, Maroons goalkeeper Emma Smith came up with big saves when the moments arrived. Illinois Tech got open shots on rushes in the 55th and 60th minutes. But Smith was there each time to collect the ball and keep the home side off the scoreboard.
The visitors kept searching for an insurance goal throughout the second half. It appeared that the goal had arrived with a nice setup point blank off a corner kick in the 73rd minute, but once again the Maroons were called offside to wipe off the score.
Smith finished with three saves over 90 minutes for her first win and shutout. UChicago ended with a 19-5 lead in shots and a 7-0 advantage on corner kicks.
- Friday, Nov. 1 @ 3:00 PM – Case Western Reserve University at UChicago