Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams stand undefeated entering the second week of the season – but to keep their unblemished records intact, both squads will have to survive a tough weekend of competition.
The women’s soccer team squeaked out two 2-1 wins last weekend to open the season. They’ll get their toughest test of the year to date when they take on the ninth-ranked Ithaca College (N.Y.) Bombers on Saturday at 1 p.m.
It’ll be a matchup of top 10 nationally-ranked teams, as the Eagles placed second in the latest NSCAA Division III Poll. Ithaca, similar to Emory, enters at 2-0 off a pair of slim one-goal wins over Kean University (N.J.) and Richard Stockton College (N.J.).
The Bombers nearly had as successful a 2012 season as the Eagles. They reached the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament and finished the season with an impressive 19-1-3 record. The season could very well have been considered a disappointment by Ithaca’s usual standards – they’ve posted an NCAA Division III record 31 consecutive winning seasons.
The Eagles will wrap up the weekend with a game against the State University of New York (SUNY) Cortland Red Dragons on Sunday at 11 a.m. The Red Dragons also opened the season ranked but dropped their season opener and subsequently fell out of the rankings. They’re currently 1-1 on the year.
Players to watch for at Emory include senior captain Kelly Costopoulos, who recently moved into a tie for eighth on the Eagles all-time goals list, and senior Clare Mullins, who scored her eighth career game-winning goal in the Eagles’ last game.
The men’s soccer team also had a strong opening weekend, earning a spot in the “receiving votes” section of the NSCAA Poll with wins over Marian University (Wis.) and Mississippi College. The Eagles will travel to Averett University (Va.) on Friday and Guilford College (N.C.) on Sunday.
Averett is off to a 0-1-1 start to 2013 after going 10-5-3 in 2012. The young Cougars have experienced some growing pains in the early stages of the season, having lost their top three scorers and goalkeeper from last year’s squad.
Guilford also stands at 0-1-1, having played Averett to a 3-3 tie last weekend. The Quakers and Eagles have a history – there are five all-time meetings between the schools, with Emory holding a 3-1-1 advantage.
Junior Dylan Price led the way for the Eagles last weekend, leading all players in the Sonny Carter Invitational in scoring and getting named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Four other Eagles – senior Andrew Jones, juniors Noah Rosen and Michael Rheaume and sophomore Matt Sherr – were named to the All-Tournament Team. Sherr also earned University Athletic Association (UAA) Defensive Player of the Week honors.
– By Ryan Smith
Photo by Christine Hines