Women’s soccer ties with University of Chicago 0–0

Credit: Jonathan Leung/Assistant Photo Editor Credit: Jonathan Leung/Assistant Photo Editor Credit: Jonathan Leung/Assistant Photo Editor Credit: Jonathan Leung/Assistant Photo Editor

The women’s soccer team started University Athletic Association (UAA) Conference play Saturday with a 0–0 tie against the University of Chicago in a game they came close to winning.

“I think we outplayed them, but we didn’t get many solid opportunities,” sophomore forward Louisa Pendergast said.

The Tartans always seemed as if they were threatening to score, and they outshot the Maroons 11–2. Chicago, however, started off the game faster and had a few promising plays on the counterattack.

The Tartans were able to slow the game down, winning free kicks and corners toward the middle of the first half. They controlled the game from then on.

“UAA [play] is always a battle. They came out with a UAA mentality, and it didn’t take long to pick up on that,” graduate student goalkeeper Anna Albi said.

Their best scoring opportunity in the first half came off a corner when junior midfielder and forward Amanda So found the ball in front of the net, but her volley flew high.
In the second half, the ball stayed mainly in the middle of the field; a strong Chicago defense kept the Tartans out of their defensive third, for the most part.

A little fortune helped the Tartans get a great look on goal in the 74th minute. A shot by senior defender Rachel Contopoulos deflected to sophomore midfielder Allison McGugan, who was left unmarked inside the penalty box, but her shot curved over the net. As no one was marking her, she could have taken more time to get a better look on goal before shooting.

The Tartans also saw several chances in the first overtime period. After several crisp passes, Pendergast found the ball at the top of the penalty box. She took a touch to beat her defender and fired a left-footed shot that soared wide left over goal.

By the second overtime, the team seemed tired and failed to score the decisive goal.

After the Tartans’ slow start, their defense shut down the Chicago attack led by junior midfielder Sara Kwan. Kwan, who leads the Maroons with six goals and six assists for the season, was able to find open space in the beginning of the game and to make nice leading passes to her midfielders on the sidelines.

In the second half, the Tartans’ defenders quickly closed in whenever she touched the ball; with Kwan neutralized, the Maroons struggled picking apart the Tartans’ defense.

Albi said Kwan was the key player on their scouting report whom they knew they had to stop. “Our whole mid[fielders] did a great job of holding her down.”

Despite the tie, the Tartans proved they are ready for UAA Conference play.

“I think if we keep our defensive shape and work on our finishing abilities, we’ll be able to beat anyone,” Pendergast said.

Their next challenge comes this Saturday at Washington University in St. Louis.