Women’s Soccer Crushes Foes in Victories
The Emory women’s soccer team brought back another pair of victories last weekend over Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.) and Berry College.
“As a whole, I think we played well this weekend. Taking advantage of our scoring opportunities has been a challenge for us but it was better this weekend,” junior center midfielder Kelly Costopoulos said.
The second-ranked Eagles topped Birmingham-Southern 6-0 on Friday, giving Head Coach Sue Patberg her 100th victory of her time with the team.
On Sunday, the Eagles completed the weekend sweep with a 4-0 win over Berry.
“After tying Roanoke and having a hard practice on Tuesday, we all knew we needed to come into these games with more urgency.
And we definitely did,” sophomore forward Charlotte Butker said. “Scoring five goals in one game and four in the next pumped us up.”
In Friday’s contest against Birmingham-Southern, the game picked up from the very beginning. In the 12th minute of play, sophomore forward Karina Rodriguez sent a pass to Costopoulos who took a shot at the goal.
The Birmingham-Southern goalkeeper was able to knock the ball away but deflected it right to Butker who proceeded to shoot into an empty net. It was Butker’s first goal this season.
In the 28th minute, the duo continued their teamwork in creating another scoring opportunity. Costopoulos headed a pass to where Butker was able to cross the ball to the six-yard box. Senior center midfielder Lee Bachouros received the pass and polished off a shot into the net, for her first goal of the season.
The crowd was pumped up in the 44th minute when Bachouros scored the Eagles’ third goal of the game, with an assist from a short pass from junior center midfielder Greta Jochmann.
The girls kept showing their prowess on the field in the second half of the game. In the 50th minute of play, senior forward Katy Kruse completed a dexterous header off of a crossing pass from Butker.
Kruse returned the favor, assisting Butker in the fifth goal of the game at 56:49.
At 84:12, the Eagles earned their victory with another Bachouros’ goal, completed after a rebounded shot from sophomore midfielder Meredith Doherty.
Senior goalkeepers Erica Stein and Kaele Leonard, along with freshman goalkeeper Liz Arnold fought hard to maintain a scoreless first and second half.
The Eagles’ winning streak had reached 31 games, but that did not stop them from fighting for another win at their second home game on Sunday.
Emory’s defense was strong in the fight against Berry, keeping the opposing team without a shot for the entire hour and fifteen minutes of the game.
“We need to focus on playing with high intensity for the full 90 minutes and will need to take advantage of our scoring opportunities when we create them because they become harder and harder to come by as the competition improves,” said Costopoulos.
Although the game had a slower start than Friday’s show-down, the 26th minute gave the Emory fans something to cheer about. Junior center midfielder Clare Mullins took a shot into the upper far corner of the goal to set the stage for the Eagles’ 32nd straight regular season win.
“It’s really exciting the potential our team has this year. We’re undefeated and second in the country currently, and if we play the way I know we can, we could go really far,” Mullins said. “We’ve got a target on our back, but that pressure should make us work harder ever single day, and if we do that, our team will accomplish big things.”
The pace picked up with another goal at 36:56 by Butker after passes from Rodriguez and Doherty.
After 45 minutes of play, the Eagles were looking confident with their 2-0 lead.
In the second half, Costopoulos scored at the 56:54 mark off of a pass from sophomore defender Kaelyn Lucas.
Thirty minutes later, Jochmann assisted in the fourth and final goal of the game with a pass to sophomore center midfielder Jennifer Grant at 86:39.
Fourteen of the Eagles’ 33 shots of the game were on goal. Stein and Leonard continued to fight in the Eagles’ net, holding the Vikings to zero goals.
The shutout was the fifth for the Eagles this season.
“The team is happy with our performance against regional opponents over the weekend. Going into the UAAs, we are confident in our ability to score and we are ready to play against intense competition in the coming weeks,” Bachouros said.
With an undefeated home streak of 19 games and an undefeated regular season streak of 32 games, the Emory women will be hosting the University of Chicago (Ill.) at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29. This will mark the onset of University Athletic Association (UAA) play.
— By Nicola Braginsky