Emory Fights Off Weather, St. Mary's To Advance To Second Round

Two early goals get Eagles off on the right foot

Nov. 15, 2008

(Nov. 15) The Emory University Women’s Soccer team was forced to battle both a tough St. Mary’s College of Maryland squad and bad weather during its NCAA Tournament First Round match on in Lynchburg, VA on Saturday, but the Eagles came out the other side with a 3-0 victory over the Seahawks.

The Eagles did not let a steady rainfall early in the match slow them down, as the team struck with two quick goals.  Emory’s first score came in the fifth minute of the game, as Talia Dweck was able to recover a rebound off her own shot, and return a shot to give the Eagles’ a 1-0 lead at the 4:17 mark.  The goal was the second of the year for Dweck.

Just under two minutes later, a Seahawks foul in their own box resulted in an Alexa Wahr penalty kick for Emory.  Wahr put a left-footed shot into the left corner of the net, while the St. Mary’s goalkeeper dove to the right, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead on her third score of the campaign.

Although Emory would not score for the rest of the first half, the team continued to play dominate soccer throughout, outshooting the Seahawks 10-1 and taking six corner kicks to St. Mary’s one.  The Eagles had a chance to extend the lead in the 36th minute, as Olivia Lezanski found St. Mary’s goalkeeper out of position, but her ensuing shot hit the post.

After the rain subsided as the first half went on, it would pick up again at about the 55th minute of the match.  The Emory defense, however, would remain consistent throughout the second frame of the match.  The Eagles’ backline held St. Mary’s to just one shot in the second half, providing the opportunity for the Emory offense to register nine shots, en route to the squad’s 11th shutout of the season.

Wahr would add on her second goal of the match in the final minute of play, her fourth of the year, off an assist from UAA Player of the Year Whitney Briggs, to secure the victory for Emory.

Emory goalkeeper Sarah Wilkerson played the entirety of the match in goal, recording her ninth individual shutout of the campaign.  The senior and all-UAA first team honoree did not need to make a save to earn the victory.

With the win, Emory, the 2008 UAA Champions, improved to 16-3-1 on the season and to 6-8-3 all time in NCAA Tournament play.  St. Mary’s, which made its first NCAA Tournament appearance this season, will end its year with a 12-3-3 overall record.

The victory sets up a chance for redemption for the Eagles, who will advance to face host school Lynchburg College (Va.) in the second round of the tournament.  Lynchburg, 20-0-3 this season and ranked third in Division III, eliminated Emory from the 2007 NCAA Tournament in the round of 16 with a 2-1 double overtime win last season.

Lynchburg advanced earlier in the day with a 3-0 victory over Maryville College (Tenn.).  The Eagles and the Hornets will play for the right to move on to the round of 16 at 2:00 PM on Sunday (please note the time change from earlier) .

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