The women’s soccer team was able to finish its regular season on a high note by triumphing over nationally-ranked opponent, Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) 3-0 on Saturday at home.
The win improved the squad’s record to 14-3-1 for the season. It was the Eagles’ 12th win of their last 13 games.
The Eagles established a lead early on over the Tartans when senior defender Lauren Gorodetsky set the pace by scoring her fourth goal of the season. The play started when junior forward Charlotte Butker took the corner kick and found senior forward Veronica Romero.
Around the 18-yard box, Romero fired in a cross that Gorodetsky was able to head in past the Carnegie Mellon goalkeeper. Emory finished the half leading 1-0.
Within the first few minutes of play of the second half, Emory was able to increase their lead. The goal resulted initially from a free kick that Gorodetsky took and found junior forward Karina Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was able to redirect the ball to junior center midfielder Jennifer Grant who fired in a shot past the goalkeeper to make the score 2-0. The goal was Grant’s second of the season.
Just 20 minutes later, the Eagles were again able to take advantage of a scoring opportunity that solidified the win at 3-0over the Tartans. Senior center midfielder Samantha Bleiweis initiated the scoring play with a shot on goal that was blocked by a defender.
Junior forward Emily Feldman controlled the rebound and finished the play with a shot on goal. The goal tallied Feldman’s second of the season.
Overall, the Eagles outshot the Tartans 27-6 in the game, including a 12-2 edge in shots on goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Liz Arnold played the entire game to record her sixth individual shutout.
“It was a very physical game,” Head Coach Sue Patberg said. “Carnegie Mellon is always a talented team, but we were able to finish with great results.”
The game was also Emory’s Senior Day, in which the squad’s seven graduating players were honored. The seniors included Bleiweis, Caitlin Clark, Kelly Costopoulos, Lauren Drosick, Gorodetsky, Clare Mullins and Romero.
Mullins and Costopoulos set a new program record with their 82nd career appearances for Emory. As a class, the seven seniors went 61-8-14 during their four-year careers, including four trips to the NCAA Tournament and one to the NCAA Championship game last season.
Rodriguez finished the regular season play as the leading goal scorer with a total of 6 goals and 17 points overall. Gorodetsky, Rodriguez, Drosick and freshman defender Hannah Meyer were all named University Athletic Association (UAA) Athletes of the Week for Women’s Soccer during the 2013 season. The Eagles finished the regular season ranked eighth.
Even with the win, however, the Eagles came up short in their bid to share the UAA title with Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.), who beat Chicago in a decisive 2-0 win. Emory finished second, but Patberg remains in good spirits.
“We are in a good spot right now,” she said. “We have progressed and continue to get better each game,”
The Eagles were selected to compete for a national title on Monday afternoon. They will host an opening regional round, taking on Piedmont College at the Woodruff P.E. Center on Saturday. The winner of the regional, which also includes Lynchburg College (Va.) and Centre College, will go on to the quarterfinals.
Senior and captain Costopoulos summed up the team’s mindset: “We are peaking at the right time with the tournament starting next weekend, and we are all very excited for the chance to compete.”
Ryan Smith contributed reporting
– By Zoe Elfenbein
Photo courtesy of Emory Athletics