The Maroons played their second conference match of the year Saturday at Rochester, going through two overtimes to emerge with a 1–1 draw. First-year Max Lopez buried the lone marker for Chicago while third-year Jeff Greblick tallied the only goal for the Yellowjackets. The Maroons are now ¬7–3–2 for the year, with a 0–1–1 record in the UAA play.
The team came out and almost immediately put themselves in a hole, as Rochester scored 13 minutes in and ended up outshooting the South Siders 8–2 in the first half.
However, Chicago battled back in the second half tallying eight shots, including Lopez’s header in the 57th minute.
“Max has been important for our offense all year,” said third-year forward Brenton Desai. “This was his first game playing as center forward as I moved to attacking center mid, and I thought he played very well. His combination of athleticism and technical ability is always posing threats to the opposing defense.”
Fourth-year midfielder Jorge Bilbao also rang one off the post minutes later, but the game soon locked down. Each side only managed three shots each in the two overtimes, as the game eventually came to a close in a draw. After defeating Rochester 1–0 in overtime last year, the result stings for the Maroons.
“We fought hard for the win,” said Desai, who assisted Lopez’s goal. “It always hurts to come back with only a point, but I think we are learning with every game how our team can really maximize our potential.”
Desai, whose seven goals led the team, is still confident that his team can do something special this year and in years to come.
“We have the talent to beat anyone, but putting all the pieces together with the right strategy and attitude (especially with such a young team) takes time, and I think this weekend we made a big step towards that. We still have plenty of time left and I think it is still within our power to make this a special season.”
The Maroons will travel to face No. 8 Brandeis in Massachusetts in search of their first conference win next weekend. However, they are not expecting anything to be easy.
“In my time at this school, Brandeis has always been our toughest opponent,” said Desai. “They’re having another good year this year so I’m expecting another battle. We definitely are capable of coming away with a win, but it will require that we play great soccer for the full 90 minutes. Games like this are what college sports are all about. I think we will be ready come Friday.”
The Maroons will kick off against the Judges at 5:30 p.m. this Friday.