The University of Chicago men’s soccer team completed its storybook season on Saturday, winning the program’s first national championship—and making history under coach Julianne Sitch, who became the first female to coach a men’s soccer team to an NCAA title.
With its 2-0 victory over Williams College on Dec. 3, UChicago finished the season undefeated at 22-0-1.
“The credit goes to the team—I mean, these guys have never had a female coach before, and they embraced me as one of their own. And for me, that will forever be a grateful moment,” Sitch said following the game.
“Just to watch them play, I’m extremely proud. They wear their heart on their sleeve, they show up every day,” said Sitch, in her first year as UChicago head coach. “The energy, the support, the togetherness, this is a team. We had a heck of a lot of fun this year, and this is a really great way to end our season.”
The game was scoreless until the 66th minute, when third-year student Robbie Pino blasted a shot from 28 yards out into the upper left corner of the goal.
The UChicago defense, which only allowed one shot on goal all game against Williams (10-2-11), held strong the rest of the way. In the final minute, UChicago’s Ryan Shea sent a perfect pass up field to a sprinting RyanYetishefsky, who outran the defenders and sent a shot into an empty net with 34 seconds left.