This past Saturday, the Maroons took to their own Stagg Field for the first UAA match of the season against the Eagles of Emory. The South Siders took a hard loss after 100 minutes of scoreless play, when a Chicago foul outside the box allowed fourth-year Sebastian Hardington of Emory to connect on a free kick in double overtime.
A history of brutal Chicago vs. Emory battles on the field only makes the loss sting more. Although the Maroons defeated Emory in Atlanta last year, the Eagles were victorious in the teams’ two previous matches.
With the loss, the Maroons dropped to 7–3–1 overall, (0–1–0 UAA), while Emory improved to 6–3–1 (1–0–0 UAA).
While Chicago dominated for most of the second half, producing six corner kicks, the team struggled to complete on its opportunities.
“I think the team is still trying to find good offensive chemistry,” said second-year goalkeeper Hill Bonin. “We have a few new players in our front line and it takes time for the first-years and returning players to learn each other’s movements and intentions.”
Despite needing chemistry to develop, especially into conference play, the newcomers have demonstrated their talent early in the season. First-year forward Matthew Koh has made an immediate impact on the right wing, tallying two goals and three assists thus far in his collegiate debut. First-year midfielder Max Lopez has also been a crucial new addition, with two goals and two assists.
Although the squad fell short in its efforts against Emory, Bonin recognizes how far the team chemistry has come.
“In the last couple games we have been so close to putting all of the pieces together,” he added. “It’s an encouraging sign. We are just waiting for that moment when everyone figures each other out.”
Bonin’s own performance in goal has been a consistent factor for the Maroons all season. Allowing only one ball past him into the upper corner of the net, the keeper made four saves on the game. In the previous match at Carthage, Bonin made a season-high of eight saves. The game ended in a tie despite Carthage having an 18–8 advantage in shot attempts.
After a difficult loss at home, the squad recognizes that it must now focus its efforts on the next challenge: four consecutive road games, beginning with a match against Rochester on Saturday.
Bonin said, “We will look at the film of the Emory game and improve tactically from it. Other than that, the game is out of our heads. It’s time to focus back in and get ready for the next game. We need to get back down to basics and finish the year concentrating on only the next game.”
Chicago’s next match will take place this Saturday at the University of Rochester at 7:30 p.m. ET.