Fall cheer

A squint-inducing setting sun and half-filled campus didn’t stop about 100 students and parents from cheering on Division III’s new top-ranked women’s soccer team Tuesday afternoon. In many ways the game was a typical, nonthreatening affair for the Maroons (2–0–0), who didn’t allow a Lake Forest (1–1–0) shot and made two of their own in the victory. The crowd roared its approval from beginning to end for 15th- and 83rd-minute goals and taunted the opposition: “That goalie’s going to be real good after this game.” The squad played hard with the fan encouragement; scrappy starting forward Bridget Hogan, ’07, had to walk on crutches post-game after a late leg-to-leg collision, and others regularly got banged up. That type of play helped women’s soccer earn their top poll ranking, vaulting ahead of State University of New York at Oneonta, to whom they lost in last year’s national championship game.

Other Maroon teams also dominated the competition last weekend, as the men’s soccer, volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross-country teams each had successful opening performances. Men’s soccer (2–0–0) impressed the home crowd, earning shutout wins in Friday and Sunday games. Volleyball (3–1), guided by Chicago’s new career-digs leader Tracie Kenyon, ’06, earned three wins in two days after having only seven all last year. Men’s cross country swept the four-team field at the University of Illinois at Chicago Invite. Women’s cross country followed with a 3–1 mark.

With four winning teams and football starting Saturday, returning students may be surprised to see how Chicago’s fall teams have become some of Division III’s best, despite the Princeton Review’s ranking of Maroon sports as the 18th-most “unpopular or nonexistent.”

Sean I. Ahmed ’06

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September 8, 2004