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October 24, 2013

OT victory makes it three straight

On Wednesday, the Maroons ended UW–Oshkosh’s seven-game win streak with a 2–1 victory in overtime. The South Siders (10–3–2) defended well throughout the game and clinched the win with a tiebreaker four minutes into overtime, winning their third game in a row after victories over Rochester and Case Western.

Heading into the game, the Maroons looked forward to the chance to test themselves against a strong opponent and prepare for their last few conference games.

UW–Oshkosh (10–6–1) proved to be a fairly even match for Chicago from the start; neither team took clear control of the match. However, as the game went on, the South Siders applied more pressure and were winning more balls over the Titans.

“We contained their offense by applying high pressure and keeping a strong intensity throughout the game,” said first-year midfielder Caitlin Stefanick. “We won the majority of the 50-50 balls, which is always a key part of our defensive success.”

The Maroons were first onto the scoreboard with a goal in the 23rd minute. Fourth-year forward Natalia Jovanovic shot from 15 yards out off a pass from fourth-year midfielder Micaela Harms. The score held steady through halftime, with Chicago holding the shot advantage 8–5. Fourth-year defender Katie Dana highlighted the Maroons’ defense as a key factor in the win.

“Our back four has been communicating well lately and I think it really showed today,” Dana said. “We’re connecting well as a unit. Also, we did a good job of keeping possession all over the field.”

In the second half, the South Siders looked to widen the gap and created several scoring opportunities, but couldn’t breach the Titans’ defense. UW–Oshkosh tied the score in the 81st minute with a pass across the goal that was tapped in by forward Ashley Markowiak. The score held even to the end of the game, forcing the match into overtime.

The Maroons didn’t take long to end the game, scoring the tiebreaker in the 94th minute. Third-year midfielder Sara Kwan ran up the right wing and sent a pass in to Jovanovic, who scored her third goal of the season.

The Maroons totaled 20 shots to the Titans’ 13, demonstrating their offensive advantage throughout the game. Third-year goalkeeper Jacinda Reid had another strong performance. She made five saves with one goal allowed to improve her season record to 4–2–2.

The team will be hoping to ride its current momentum into its final stretch of UAA games to cement its claim to an NCAA berth. Despite their current hot streak, the South Siders have little room for error in their remaining games.

“We have to win the rest of our conference games and we’re especially excited to play Wash U on our Senior Day,” Dana said. “Our ultimate goal is to go far in the NCAA tournament, and I think we can do it.”

After four games in the past two weeks, the Maroons will take a break for a week before taking on NYU in New York on Friday, November 1.

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