Last Saturday night, while most Chicago students were catching up on homework or out enjoying one of our last warm weekend nights, the Maroons were in Rochester, NY playing in their second UAA conference game of the year after last week’s victory over Emory.
This game marked an end to a three-game winning streak for Chicago (8–4–0, 1–1–0 UAA) and pushed the Yellowjackets’ record to 5–4–1 overall and 1–1–0 in conference play.
So far this season, all of the Maroon’s losses have occurred on the road. However, second-year forward Hayley Thompson argues, “It is not so much that our losses have come on the road, but more that we have been unlucky while on the road. We’ve played our game and created a lot of opportunities, and for the large part seem to have dominated, but unfortunately the score board has not reflected the proper results.”
As the squad anticipates this weekend’s return to the east coast for their next game against Brandeis, Thompson says, “I know our team has a lot of heart, and if we stick to our philosophy and play hard, we will turn our misfortune around and become just as good on the road as we are at home.
In the first half of the game against Rochester, Chicago held an 8–4 edge in shots, earning four of the best chances to break the scoreless tie. The closest attempt came at the 34th minute when second-year forward Madori Spiker’s breakaway chance missed just wide of the post.
Late in the game, the Maroons’ offense pressed hard on the Yellowjackets, and in the 80th minute, Thompson fired a shot from inside the box on the left wing, but goalkeeper Madilynne Lee made a diving save for Rochester.
Second-year forward Mia Calamari says in response to the loss, “I think our team is looking forward to our next opportunity to play. Our season is far from over, and though we have a tough road to the playoffs, we are excited to rise to the challenge.”
As the team moves into third week, Thompson says, “Classes at a top-tiered university definitely demand one’s full attention. As student-athletes, we strive to be excellent on and off the field…this has a varied effect on a per-game-per-student basis.”
Calamari adds, “I think starting classes adds extra stress to everyone’s schedule. However, soccer becomes a much-needed release from schoolwork, and in many ways brings up morale at practices and games after the monotony of such a long preseason.”
Overall the Maroons ended the game leading in both shots (13–7) and corners (12–3).
Thompson says, “We have a very competent and skilled coaching staff that always puts us in a position to win. As a player, it is my job to be ready when called upon and to leave everything I have on the field with my teammates.”
Looking toward future conference play, Thompson says, “Any time we lose it doesn’t settle well with me, but upon reflection, it gives us an opportunity to prove that we can overcome adversity. It’s not what you do; it’s what you do after that counts… I have full confidence in my team and know we can overcome any and all challenges.”
According to Calamari, the team will be focusing on playing as a unit and with intensity this week. It will be interesting to see if the squad can put their words into action this weekend and for the rest of the season.