After a solid start to their year, the Maroons will be put to the test this weekend in one of the most important stretches of the season.
Coming off of a 2–0 loss to Emory at home, Chicago (7–3–2) will host Rochester and Case on Friday and Sunday, respectively. With a 0–1–1 record in the UAA, the South Siders have a chance to improve their conference record with these next two matchups.
The Maroons haven’t tasted victory for quite a stretch, seeing as they’ve gone 0–1–2 in their last three matches. Winning these conference games is crucial for them to have a chance at postseason play.
“This is a very important weekend for us that will allow us to establish ourselves in the UAA,” said fourth-year midfielder Beatrice Hobson. “We are looking to come out strong Friday against Rochester to bounce back from our loss to Emory. Setting the tone of the game in the first 15 minutes will be key for us to put Rochester away early and gain momentum for our game against Case.”
Like the Maroons, Rochester (5–3–3, 0–1–1) has yet to win a game in the UAA and will be looking to improve its standing. However, the South Siders will have home field advantage and were able to defeat the Yellowjackets 2–1 last year on the road. Chicago believes that it is ready for this weekend’s challenges.
“We have been working hard in practice all week to prepare us for our matches against Rochester and Case,” said first-year defender Brenna Budd. “We have confidence in our ability to defeat both teams and are excited to be playing on our home field.”
After hosting Rochester on Friday, the Maroons will then face the Case Western Spartans on Sunday. The Spartans (7–5–1) also have yet to win a game in the UAA with their conference record of 0–1–1.
Last year, the Maroons handily defeated Case with a final score of 6–0. This year, the South Siders expect nothing different.
“If we play with the intensity we know we are capable of, then we should win both games,” Budd said.
For these next few games, the Maroons will be heavily focused on following through on offense, as the South Siders have scored one goal over their last three games. Chicago will look to fourth-year midfielder Micaela Harms, third-year midfielder Sara Kwan, and fourth-year forward Natalia Jovanovic to lead the team’s offense.
“We are really focusing on connecting our passes and keeping possession in our attacking third to create scoring opportunities,” Hobson said.
Chicago will take its offensive focus to Stagg Field against Rochester today at 2:30 p.m. and Case on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.