After two wins at home this weekend, the women’s soccer team advanced to the Round of Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. On Saturday, Emory defeated Maryville 2-0, moving the women to the second round, where they beat Lynchburg College 1-0 during overtime on Sunday.
“It was definitely two huge wins for us,” Head Coach Sue Patberg said. “Our goal going into every game is to create as many scoring opportunities as we can; the more you create, one is bound to go in.”
Both games remained scoreless at halftime, with the Eagles unable to convert their offensive efforts into a goal. Against Maryville, the No. 7 Eagles took 24 shots, with 11 on goal, holding the Scots to 2 shots on goal and 4 shots total.
Freshman Kelly Costopoulos scored both Emory goals during the second half of the game. The game-winning goal, a shot to the top left corner of the net, came in the 74th minute of play off a pass from freshman Clare Mullins. Just over five minutes later, Costopoulos nailed a header past the Scots’ goalie Desiree Simmons off a corner kick from junior Lidija Barauskas.
“All year [Kelly] just really has an incredible knack for being at the right place at the right time,” Patberg said. “She scored numerous goals thoughout the season. she has a really great awareness of where she is and where her teammates are.”
One save was made by each goalkeeper, sophomores Erica Stein and Kaele Leonard, who each played a half and combined for the shutout.
“We’ve been staying focused and organized and disciplined defensively, and they all [the defense] had fantastic performances in these last few games,” Patberg said.
Costopoulos’ goal tally increased to seven, making her Emory’s leading scorer on the season with 15 points.
Maryville finished its season with a 13-6-1 record.
On Sunday, the women played No. 19 Lynchburg in round two of the NCAA Tournament.
After a scoreless regulation period, the Eagles overcame Lynchburg in the second half of overtime on a golden goal by senior Meghan McMahon in the 104th minute, her first goal of the season. McMahon’s golden goal is only the second in Emory’s NCAA Tournament history but is the fifth for Emory this season, a program record.
“It was a great goal, a great victory,” Patberg said.
During overtime, Emory took three shots, while Lynchburg failed to take any.
Emory’s conversion was off a cross from the back of the box by freshman Lauren Drosick, her first assist. Like Saturday’s game, the Eagles allowed only four shots with two on goal, both saved by Leonard. McMahon’s goal marked Emory’s 13th shot, six of which were on goal. Leonard and Stein played their second-straight shutout.
“We have just a really stalwart defense — the goalkeeper, our defenders,” Patberg said. “Truly I think they are playing beyond their years. We are young by all standards of sweet 16 teams, being sophomores and freshman [on defense].”
Lynchburg ends its season with a 18-3-2 record, marking the second time this campaign that Emory upset the Hornets during overtime. The game was very aggressive, with 11 fouls called on Lynchberg and 12 on Emory. Three yellow cards were issued, including one to the Lynchberg bench.
“It was obviously a very physical game,” Patberg said. “It’s always a really great battle with [Lynchberg].”
According to Patberg, the women had lost the last two times they played Lynchberg in the NCAAs.
“To beat them in the NCAA tournament was that much more exciting and meaningful,” she added. “We are excited to head down to Texas.”
Emory improved its season to 16-1-3 with the wins during the weekend. This is the first season since 2007 that the women will advance to the round of 16 of the NCAA, and only the seventh time in the school’s history.
The women look to continue their four-game winning streak when they play No. 5 Wheaton College (Ill.) in Abilene, Texas at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.
The winner of that game will play at 1 p.m. on Saturday for the right to move on to the NCAA Semifinals.
— ContactChristina White.