Women’s soccer: Bears fall to Chicago, tie for UAA crown
Despite holding an undefeated streak dating back to Sept. 5, the Washington University women’s soccer team (14-3-1, 5-1-1 UAA) could not overcome the University of Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 7.
The Bears, who entered the game one point ahead of the University of Rochester, failed to secure an outright University Athletic Association (UAA) title with the 3-0 loss.
Both teams will have a share of the UAA crown because Rochester tied with Case Western Reserve University. But the Red and Green will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament because they defeated Rochester 2-1 in an earlier season matchup. The appearance will be the team’s seventh consecutive.
The first goal against the Bears occurred 24 minutes into the first half when a Chicago forward shot the ball through the legs of freshman goalkeeper Clara Jaques, about 10 yards away. The Maroons stifled Wash. U.’s offense for the whole game, even though both teams were allowed 11 shots and six corner kicks.
“The biggest challenge, I think, was getting our rotational offense together,” senior captain Carter Schwarberg said. “[Chicago] packed a lot of people in the back, and our forwards had some trouble connecting with each other.”
The second half saw the Maroons’ lead jump by two goals. Eight minutes in, Chicago midfielder Emily Benoit was able to shoot above Jaques’s reach. As the time ticked away, Wash. U. turned up the heat to try to turn the game around, but Chicago matched its intensity. With 10 minutes left, the Chicago offense once again lit up for a give-and-go 12 yards out.
“It’s a conference game, so all these games, they really matter. Every team in our conference is really good…[The games are] always battles and you really just have to be on top of it if you want to win,” senior captain Libby Held said.
As NCAA play approaches, the team hopes to have senior Caryn Rosoff available. Rosoff was absent from the Chicago game because of the lower calf strain injury she received last weekend against New York University.
“We just learned that no matter what, no matter how well we’ve been playing the past couple weeks, we can’t be complacent,” Schwarberg said. “Always on our toes, always ready for the next person no matter what happens.”
Some players said the team just never really found its groove in the game. The Bears are still confident, however, even with the disappointing loss.
“In terms of the tournament, we might have a little bit harder of a seed.” Schwarberg said. “We might have to play a harder team earlier on in the tournament, but I’m not worried about it.”
Tournament seeding will be determined Monday during a live broadcast on the NCAA Web site.
With additional reporting by Hannah Lustman