Emory’s men’s and women’s soccer teams opened their seasons this past week without a mark in the loss column. Of the three games that each team played, the women’s team picked up two wins while the men’s team brought one home.

Men’s season opener at Covenant

The Eagles opened up their 2021 campaign at Covenant College (Ga.) on Sept. 1 after a year-long hiatus. Senior goalkeeper Jack Hudson stopped five shots on net in what became a defense-oriented game. Hudson made an impressive leaping save in the final minutes leading up to overtime to keep the game tied at zero. 

In overtime, the Eagles outshot Covenant 5-2, including one by junior forward Zachary Kornblum in the first minute of the second overtime period which was stopped by Scots senior goalkeeper Henry Hooks. Earlier in the game, Kornblum stole the ball and had a clear one-on-one against Hooks, but Hooks made the save to keep his clean sheet. Senior forward Ethan Cohen and junior midfielder Trey Rielly also had opportunities early in the second half which Hooks made great saves on.

Hooks finished the game with nine saves and led the Scots to a scoreless tie in the Eagles’ season opener. 

Men’s soccer brings action back to campus at Sonny Carter Invitational

The men’s soccer team opened at home in front of a big crowd on Sept. 3 to face the No. 11 Washington and Lee University (Va.) Generals in their first game of the Sonny Carter Invitational. 

Washington and Lee opened up the scoring in the 26th minute with a goal by sophomore forward Adrian Zimmerman after Hudson turned the ball over just outside the box. As the first half ended, senior midfielder Will Tichy took a shot that went slightly over the crossbar, giving the Eagles the offensive motivation they needed for the second half. Senior defender Josh Berman almost finished a header off a corner kick while junior forward Madison Conduah hit the crossbar soon after. 

The Eagles’ aggression continued throughout the half and paid off in the 65th minute when junior midfielder Alejandro Gomez converted a header to tie the score at one. By the end of the match, the Generals had acquired four yellow cards, which is telling of the intensity throughout the game. The game continued scoreless into overtime, and the Eagles were unable to find the back of the net again, finishing the first game of the Invitational with a 1-1 tie. 

On Sept. 5, the Eagles picked up their first win of the season in their final game of the Invitational at Oglethorpe University (Ga.). Emory scored first with a goal by junior defender Cole Hendricks in the first half. Hendricks scored off a pass by Tichy, who almost scored himself early in the second half but missed a penalty kick. Instead, Oglethorpe was able to tie the game at one with a goal by senior midfielder Logan Llano in the 63rd minute. Not even a minute later, junior defender Luke Price broke the tie and put the Eagles up 2-1. The score would hold for the remaining minutes, giving the Eagles their first victory of the season. Hudson also had a stellar performance, finishing the game with six saves including one in the final minutes to keep the Eagles’ advantage. 

Hendricks and the Eagles are happy the team was able to take home the victory, despite some growing pains early on.

“We started a little slow, but once we relaxed and played our game the goals came,” Hendricks said. “We are stoked for the win over our crosstown rivals and appreciate all the support from our traveling fans.” 

The men’s soccer team is now 1-0-2 and next hosts the No. 3 Calvin University (Mich.) Knights on Sept. 17.

Women’s soccer comes out swinging in season opener

On Sept. 1, the women’s soccer team kicked off their season at home against Berry College (Ga.). Not even ten seconds after Berry opened the scoring, junior forward Aubrey Blanchard responded with her own goal to even the score. In the 33rd minute, senior midfielder Lindsey Breskow scored to put the Eagles ahead. Breskow finished the game with a goal and an assist on six attempted shots. 

In their first collegiate soccer half, sophomore midfielder Mia Han found sophomore midfielder Grace Reyer in the middle of the field who found the back of the net to extend the lead. All scoring occurred in the first half, and the Eagles won 3-1 in front of their home crowd.

Women’s soccer travels to Kentucky for Labor Day weekend

Following their season-opening victory, the team traveled to Kentucky for two non-conference matchups. Their first game was against the No. 18 Ohio Northern University Polar Bears on Sept. 4. While the team’s first game of the season was all about the first half, all action occurred in the second half of their second game.

Senior forward Molly Miller and senior midfielder Samantha Hilsee scored the team’s three goals en route to their 3-1 victory. Miller scored first in the 52nd minute while Hilsee scored the next two in just over three minutes. The Eagles controlled play, posting 22 shots in comparison to Ohio Northern’s six.

The following day, Emory returned to the pitch against Centre College (Ky.). The teams played to a scoreless tie with the Eagles only putting three shots on goal while senior goalkeeper Emma Platt only had to make one save on one shot on goal. Breskow took four shots with only one ending up on target. During overtime, junior forwards Natalie Klar and Kylie Hall combined for four shots but were also unsuccessful.

Although their road trip ended in a tie, Breskow still believes it was a productive road trip, both on and off the field.

“While having to travel 6 hours on a bus isn’t ideal, it definitely allowed for some good team bonding,” Breskow said. “It was the first away trip for both the sophomores and the freshmen, and I think throughout the weekend they were really able to experience the culture of our team on and off of the field.”

The Eagles come home with a 2-0-1 record and host Greensboro College (N.C.) on Sept. 11 at noon at the Woodruff Physical Education Center.

Editor’s note: Sophomore midfielders Grace Reyer and Mia Han are staff writers for the Wheel.

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Michael Mariam (23B) is from Rye Brook, New York, and is on the BBA track. Outside of the Wheel, he serves as the president of Coaching Corps, a volunteer club that plays sports with Atlanta youth at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. He also interned at PoolHost.com, a sports office pool hosting website. Mariam is a die-hard Yankees fan.