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University of Chicago men’s soccer team celebrates title

CHICAGO (CBS) – In her first year as head coach, former Red Stars player Julianne Sitch has led the University of Chicago Maroons men’s soccer team to their first national championship.

As CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek reported Monday, history was made for at almost every level. The UChicago men’s soccer team finished the season undefeated with a first-time head coach.

They also brought home their first-ever Division III national championship, and of course, Coach Sitch became the first woman to bring a men’s soccer team to an NCAA title.

“It’s just a special moment in general for sports,” Sitch said. “None of this stuff happens without the people that have coached me and led me throughout my entire life from a very young age, and I have to give credit to my peers and people that are still my mentors that I stepped on the field and played with.”

Coach Sitch leading the Maroons to their fifth Final Four – and their first final – where they got it done with, shutting out Williams College 2-0.

“We’d been there before. We could never finish – and we finally got it done,” said Maroons defender Griffin Wada. “I think that’s going to pay dividends in the future for this program.”

Before this year, the last time a University of Chicago sports team won a national championship was in 1913, when the football team won. That was back in the days when the Maroons were part of the Big Ten Conference—of which UChicago was a founding member. The U of C withdrew from the conference as university President Robert Maynard Hutchins decided big-time college sports were not compatible with the university’s vaunted academic disciplines and “life of the mind.”

But now, multiple sports are bringing pride to Hyde Park. The UChicago men’s tennis team was able to end its drought this past spring – so now, Maroons teams have brought home two national championships in one year so not bad. In Hyde Park.

Jackie Kostek

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