Chicago played its last non-conference game of the season on Sunday against the Spartans of Aurora. In a dominating fashion they have become accustomed to as of late, the Maroons were able to thrash their opposition by a score of 5–0. It was the second game in a row that the point differential exceeded three, the last being a 3–0 romp over NYU.
“Coming into the Aurora game, we were carrying a lot of confidence from the previous weekend, and we came out and controlled the game from start to finish,” said fourth-year Parker Tikson.
Control the game they did. Chicago outscored Aurora in shots (18-6) as well as shots on goal (9-4). The only significant category the Maroons did not lead in was corner kicks; both teams had six.
The squad’s impressive victory over the Spartans was the result of impressive efforts from the offense, defense, and goalkeepers. In short, it was complete and total team effort. Ironically, the first goal of the game was scored in the 20th minute by second-year defender Stacey Reimann. The goal was also the first of Reimann’s budding collegiate career, and displayed his versatility.
Only a minute later, third-year forward Brenton Desai scored on a penalty kick, giving him his third goal of the season and doubling the Maroon advantage to two goals. The first-year pair of Max Lopez and Matthew Koh was also able to widen the Maroons lead, as Lopez drove a kick to the top of net at the end of the first half, and Koh matched that effort with a goal of his own two minutes into the second half.
The team’s leader in goals, Desai, scored his second goal of the game in the second half from 25 yards out, giving the South Siders their final goal en route to the 5–0 romp.
“Everything is clicking for us right now. In the past four games we have really figured out how we want to play, and we’ve done a good job executing. Sunday was awesome,” said second-year goalie Hill Bonin. “We played with a lot of confidence, and trusted each other to get the job done. It was a new level of teamwork and efficiency, and hopefully it will help us go into the rest of conference with a lot of momentum.”
Bonin has not been hesitant to express his excitement concerning the team’s performance this season, as well his hopes for the rest of the campaign. Bonin has valid reason to be excited too: his defense only allowed two Spartans to get a shot off on Sunday, both of which Bonin deflected to complete another shutout.
“After a great start to the season, we suffered a lot of injuries to key players, which created a rough patch in the middle, but we’re finally healthy again. In practice, we’ve recently put a lot of emphasis on creating scoring opportunities, and it clearly paid off this week. Now we need to carry that momentum into our final two weeks of UAA play against some tough opponents,” added Tikson.
While the Maroons will certainly try to ride the wave of confidence they have, the squad faces a competitive conference weekend. They take on Case Western at 5:30 PM on Friday and Carnegie Mellon at 1:30 PM on Sunday. Both games will be at home on Stagg Field.