Women’s soccer falls to Chicago 3–0 away

After traveling to Chicago this past weekend, the Carnegie Mellon women’s soccer team returned to Pittsburgh with a devastating 3–0 loss against the University of Chicago Maroons on Saturday. The defeat marked the Tartans’ second University Athletic Association (UAA) fall in their first two conference games, dropping the team’s record to 5–4–2 overall and 0–2–0 in the UAA.

“It was a very important game for us; you never want to start conference play with two losses. We are a better team than what we showed today. Overall, we are disappointed with our effort, but did pick it up in the end,” said head coach Sue Willard. “The second half was a much different story than the first, but the game is 90 minutes long, and it is very hard to win if you only play with the needed intensity for only 45 minutes.”

The Tartans struggled to put pressure on Chicago’s defense from the starting whistle, and quickly fell to the Maroons with an early goal in the ninth minute. Maroon midfielder Claire Gill made the difference Saturday, scoring two goals and recording an assist. She put away the first goal off of a header from 5 yards out. Once Chicago gained the point advantage, they continued to expand the score difference as all three goals were scored within 22 minutes of each other, causing Carnegie Mellon’s morale to quickly diminish. Gill went on to set her teammate up for a 20-yard shot from the right flank in the 19th minute. She then concluded the scoring with an unassisted 20-yard shot in the 31st minute.

The first half proved to be a disappointment for the Tartans, but they did not continue the slump to the end of regulation play. “We didn’t show in the first half, but came together at halftime,” said senior co-captain Abby Coffin. “We worked it out, but it’s hard to work your way back from a 0–3 deficit.”

Carnegie Mellon started the second half with a revitalized spirit, hunkering down in its defensive end and increasing its offensive play. Despite being awarded 10 free kicks but only one corner, the team was unable to put away a goal. This only escalated the team’s frustration, as they continued to give up fouls — 12 in all — in dangerous areas and to award the Maroons with valuable opportunities for attack. As a result, they were able to strike 17 shots, 13 of which came in the first half.
All 18 players on the roster saw playing time against the Maroons, but despite fresh legs, Carnegie Mellon lacked intensity overall, which was uncharacteristic of the Tartans.

“Chicago is a good team,” Coffin said. “Clearly we could have played better, but you win some, you lose some, but you win and lose as a team,” she added.
Carnegie Mellon will host the University of Rochester and Case Western Reserve University for the Soccer Family Weekend. The Rochester game kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday, and the Case Western Reserve game is set for 11 a.m. Sunday. Both games will be played in Gesling Stadium.

“Hopefully, this game will serve as a learning tool so that we do not come out flat and make the same mistakes in the remaining conference games,” Willard said.