The Emory women’s soccer team ended its 2012 regular season non-conference schedule with a dominant 3-0 performance over Covenant College (Ga.) on Monday night to maintain an undefeated record. The Eagles are now 11-0-4 on the season and 3-0-1 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play. With their victory, the Eagles extended their regular season win streak to an unbelievable 39 games. Covenant fell to 12-4-1 with the loss.
“It was a collective effort in that our entire team played,” Head Coach Sue Patberg said. “For us, it was an opportunity to play well and use the whole roster, especially those who have been training so hard but have not had the minutes they’ve deserved.”
Emory needed only 34 seconds to get on the board when junior midfielder Kelly Costopoulos received sophomore forward Charlotte Butker’s pass in the box, sending it past Covenant keeper sophomore Hannah Bales for her co-team-leading seventh goal.
“She [Kelly] is a great possession player and is able to connect passes all over the field,” Patberg said. “She plays at a good speed and is very good at runs into the box and finishing in the box. As small as she is, she is very strong in the air at winning goal kicks headers.”
Butker notched her team-leading tenth assist. She is just two shy of the program’s single-season record for assists in a season.
The Eagles capitalized again in the fourth minute when junior forward Veronica Romero scored off junior defender Lauren Gorodetsky’s assist for her co-leading seventh goal.
Throughout the first half, the Lady Scots could not handle the Eagles’ potent offensive attack.
The Eagles extended their lead to three as freshman midfielder Jordan Morell headed in a pass from sophomore midfielder Claudia Rowe. It was Morell’s second career collegiate goal and Rowe’s fourth assist of the season.
The Eagles dominated the box score; outshooting the Lady Scots 18-5, with eight shots on goal to the Lady Scots’ two.
Emory’s senior goalkeeper Erica Stein picked up her ninth clean sheet of the season.
“A clean sheet in that game gave us a solid regional win,” Stein said. “It shows that as a team, we were able to get up early, continue to be strong and not give up any errors. Whenever we can play the entire game and not give up any goals, it is a testament to our entire team’s play.”
Through 15 games, the Eagles have outscored their opponents 46-8 and have outshot their opponents 377-81.
The 46 goals are tied for the 10th most in school history. The Eagles are now 33-0-6 in their last 39 games.
“It is really important to have the mentality that when we attack, we make something happen,” Patberg said. “We like to attack and to attack in numbers. We have been playing all season with three forwards, with two midfielders in play as well. Our scheme helps us to create opportunities on goal.”
Although still undefeated, there is still work to be done as the season winds down and the smell of postseason play is in the air.
“As our opponent’s difficulty level increases in the final third half of season, we cannot turn the ball over,” Patberg said. “We need to make the other goalkeeper make plays and tough decisions. We also want to improve our execution on set pieces, corner kicks and free kicks.”
This was the first in 15 games that Covenant allowed more than one goal in a game.
Emory will attempt to extend their undefeated run today, when the Eagles resume UAA play as they travel to Brandeis University (Mass.) for a 4 p.m. match-up.
– By Drew Heuman-Gutman