The Emory women’s soccer team hosted Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) and Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) over the past weekend, securing a 4-0 win over Case Western Friday evening before succumbing to Carnegie Mellon 2-1 in overtime Sunday morning.
In the weekend opener, an exceptional first half inspired a win against Case Western. The Eagles controlled the game early on and opened the scoring in the fourth minute when freshman forward Shivani Beall outpaced the Spartan left back and delivered a tantalizing cross into the path of senior forward Cristina Ramirez, who tapped the ball into the back of the net.
Minutes later, the Eagles doubled their lead as Beall registered her second goal of the season when she put her boot through a cross from junior midfielder Melissa Ardizzone in the ninth minute. Case Western struggled to dismantle the Eagles’ defense and lost out in the battle of the midfield. Hence, Case Western was once again retrieving the ball from the back of their net in the 20th minute when Ramirez attained her second goal of the game, shooting the ball into an empty net after senior defender Hannah Meyer’s header from a corner kick bounced off the bar.
The Eagles looked comfortable; however, on one or two occasions they were lucky not to pay for silly mistakes. The most notable of these was in the 26th minute, when sophomore goalkeeper Danielle Staffin rushed to the edge of the 18-yard box to sweep a loose ball and shot the ball off the body of a Case Western forward, who then had a shot on an empty goal. Fortunately, Case Western’s shot hit the bar.
The expression “save the best for the last” applied to this game, as the final goal sent the crowd into a frenzy in the 39th minute. Freshman forward Caroline Kolski picked the ball up on the right side of the field, cut into the middle, maneuvering the ball through the legs of a Spartan defender in the process and beating three other opponents before finessing the ball with her left foot into the topmost left corner of the goal.
The second half was definitely a much closer contest, but the Eagles maintained their composure and secured a clean sheet and their eighth win of the season.
In the contest against Carnegie Mellon, the Eagles battled into overtime but lost after conceding a second goal in the 98th minute when Tartan freshman defender Emily Tolmer guided the ball into the back of Emory’s net from close range, following a corner from teammate freshman forward Sydney Webber.
The Eagles fell behind in the 22nd minute when Carnegie Mellon forward Sienna Stritter dispossessed an Emory midfielder in the middle of the park, dribbled past a number of Eagles and attempted a 30-yard scorcher, which blazed its way past Staffin. The Eagles, through a brilliant effort by Beall, equalised in the 38th minute. Beall received a through ball from junior midfielder Bahar Ulusan, dribbled past Carnegie Mellon’s straying goalkeeper and calmly put the ball into an empty net.
Senior forward Cristina Ramirez, who bagged the University Athletic Association (UAA) Athlete of the Week honor, expressed her happiness and stated that the weekend was one that taught the players how to deal with their remaining games this season.
“It’s definitely good to see that all the hardwork that has been put in over the past four years has been recognised, and I think this weekend we put on a good show and now know what we need to do going forward,” Ramirez said.
Despite losing, there were many positives in the game against Carnegie Mellon. Head Coach Sue Patberg revealed that she believed Carnegie Mellon was the best opponent since Lynchburg College (Va.), and that the Eagles displayed their ability to fight.
“[Lynchburg] demolished us, but in this game it was obvious that we’d improved in our effort, our ability to play under pressure, and we were so much of a better team than back in September,” Patberg said.
The weekend’s results leave the Eagles 2-2 in the UAA and No. 3 behind Carnegie Mellon and University of Chicago (Ill.), who both hold records of 3-1. The Eagles return to action at 6 p.m. Oct. 25 when they face Brevard College (N.C.) at home.