After two weeks of high-stakes conference games, the Maroons can enjoy a relatively quiet weekend as they trek to sleepy Whitewater, looking to play the villain at UW–Whitewater’s homecoming game.
Chicago (7–3–3, 1–2–1) currently stands second to last in the UAA table with four points, but the Maroons are still only three points off of the pace with three games to play. Beating a quality UW–Whitewater (7–4–2) squad that was ranked 11th nationally just last month might not help Chicago move up in the UAA standings, but a victory could improve its shot as a wild card.
“We’re optimistic,” said first-year goalkeeper David Cohen of his team’s postseason prospects. “Of course we want to make it. If we don’t, we’ll keep on working…keep our heads high. All we can do now is focus on the next game.”
The Warhawks have won three straight games, rebounding after a 0–3–1 stretch that dropped them from national rankings. Their balanced offense, which has scored 13 goals in their last three games, relies heavily on senior midfielder Logan Fye, who has a team-leading six goals on the season.
Chicago, meanwhile, is coming off a four-game homestand that saw it tie with then-fourth-ranked Carnegie Mellon and hand Brandeis its first loss of the season. They squashed an outmatched Lakeland 5–0 as well, before losing 1–2 to NYU in overtime last weekend.
“We’ve been trying to become better as a team, and improve on the mistakes that we’ve made,” said Cohen of his team’s goals in practice this week. “In general, we’re looking to just play better defense.”
In their matchup late last season, the South Siders beat the Warhawks 1–0 on a 53rd-minute goal by forward Kyle Kurfirst, now a second-year. The game wasn’t as close as the score indicated, though, as the Maroons allowed UW–Whitewater only two shots on the game.
One of the keys for the Maroons will be whether first-year Jorge Bilbao will be able to keep up his goal-scoring form. He’s scored a goal in each of his last three games, and has nine goals on 60 shots for the season, holding the team lead in both categories. Another factor will be the team’s health overall—only two players have managed to play in all 13 of the team’s games so far this year.
After this weekend’s game against the Warhawks, the Maroons will wrap up their regular season with away fixtures against their three remaining UAA opponents: Case, Rochester, and Wash U.