Chicago (5–4–2, 0–2) fell to Carnegie Mellon (5–4–1, 1–1) 3–2 on Sunday, October 9 in a back-and-forth affair that mirrored the Maroons’ up-and-down season. After starting the season with a loss, the team tore off three straight wins and was on a six game winning streak heading into an October 1st clash with Emory. Three close losses later, the Maroons were heading into Sunday morning’s game needing a win to control their own destiny in the UAA race.
Neither team was able to capitalize in the first half, but in the 59th minute, a deflected free kick from Carnegie second-year midfielder Mike Ferraco snuck into the net.
“By our standards, it was a very lucky goal, and we didn’t necessarily think they deserved it,” fourth-year forward Stanton Coville said.
The Maroons were quick to retaliate. About 12 minutes later, pressure off of a free kick from first-year midfielder Nick Codispoti caused a Carnegie defender to head the ball into his own net.
With the score evened, the Maroons were able to switch into a more aggressive attacking formation, which created the opportunity for another goal just about five minutes later, when second-year midfielder Sawyer Kisken sent a rocket towards the goal. The ball rebounded off of first-year Carnegie goalkeeper Jacob Rice right to the feet Coville, who drove the ball home, giving Chicago a 2–1 lead with less than a quarter of an hour to play.
Yet the Maroons had trouble finishing off their opponents. With just three minutes remaining in regulation, Carnegie second-year Chris Wysocki was able to head the ball into the net off a corner kick. Time expired with the score knotted at two, sending the teams to overtime. Only ten seconds into the second overtime, Carnegie secpmd-year forward Scott Gerfen intercepted a ball and sent it flying inside the far post.
“It comes down to random individual mistakes,” said Coville, who leads the team with five goals this year. “That’s definitely not meant in a head-hunting sort of way. The mistakes that are being made are very uncharacteristic, and they’re not even things that can be trained, really—it’s random, uncharacteristic individual mistakes that are leading to these decisive goals.”
“I don’t feel like these losses have been deserved, so it’s definitely frustrating,” Coville said.
Chicago will have to get back on track, and quickly. With two losses, they now sit alone in last place in the UAA. The team has had several strong matches, most notably tying with national powerhouse North Park, who is currently ranked 14th in the country according to d3soccer.com. Fourth-year defender Rashad Masri said that regaining the confidence that Chicago had earlier in the season will be important as the team moves forward.
“We don’t need to change anything about the way we’re playing, but we need to get back to the confidence we had earlier in the season and get into a winning habit again,” Masri said.
Chicago has five games left against conference opponents and will likely need to win the rest of their games to have any shot at taking the UAA crown and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
“We’re confident that we can get out of the rut we’re in and produce wins next weekend,” Masri said.
The team will travel to Boston this weekend to take on Brandeis on Friday, October 14 at 3 p.m., and will then drive to New York to face NYU on Sunday, October 16 at 10 a.m.