With a clear target placed on the back of the No. 1 Maroons throughout the entire season, no one had risen to the challenge of upsetting this undefeated and unstoppable juggernaut, until now. The final game of the regular season for the University of Chicago women’s soccer team ended with a devastating defeat against No. 6 Wash U, with the final score of 2–1.
The Maroons struck first and gained the lead in the 17th minute. Fourth-year Mia Calamari would once again score off of a majestic free kick from 25 yards out, with her right-footed shot making it into the upper left side of the net.
In the 68th minute, a Wash U midfielder would connect on a left-footed shot from 25 yards out. Immediately after, the Wash U offense showed no mercy as one forward broke away to score the game-winning goal. The Maroons had not allowed a goal in any conference game, with the last time they were scored on being back on September 26 in a 2–1 win. In what was a rare sight, the Maroons were outshot by a 19–9 margin, with only four being on goal for UChicago, compared to the 10 on goal by the Bears.
Fourth-year Caroline Olivero spoke of what went wrong with this game, “This was a tough game against the most talented and motivated team we’ve faced yet. I don’t think anything in particular happened in those 41 seconds that was different from the rest of the game. The opposition came out with a vengeance for a full 90. I think our team was caught off guard a little bit after a 17-game streak of consistent wins and that shook some confidence.”
Wash U improved to 15–1–1 and gained an automatic bid to the NCAA DIII tournament. UChicago now has a 17–1 record, and due to both teams being 6–1 in the UAA, they will each claim a share of the 2017 UAA Championship.
“The team does not take this loss lightly, especially the seniors. We aspire every day to be the best we can be – an undefeated season is a nice indicator that we are doing just that, but it is not the only focus or goal,” Olivero added. “Ultimately, we aspire to be national champions and that means approaching each individual game as an opportunity to make that a reality. Going forward, that is what we are working towards in every training session. We will not be caught off guard again. We will train every day and play every game with the knowledge that it could be our last and leave everything on the field.”
The NCAA selection show will take place November 6 at noon, and will determine who the Maroons will face next.