November 30, 2012

Emory wins, moves to the finals

Emory celebrates after going up 2-0 against Wheaton
Photo by Eric Kelley, d3photography.com

No. 8 Emory and No. 12 Wheaton were both playing on the dream of a national championship match, yet it was Emory who will make that dream happen as they downed Wheaton 2-1, denying the Thunder a chance at another title.

Emory - Wheaton box score

After a scoreless first half that had Wheaton getting the better of the play, it appeared that Emory's strong defense would indeed last against the powerful offense of the Thunder. They were forced to rely on the long shot as Emory broke up any plans Wheaton had as play moved into the box.

And while the second half started in similar fashion, the Emory speed advantage began to pay off. In a span of just under three minutes, Emory struck twice to take a 2-0 lead. Eagle sophomore Emily Feldman scored the first goal in the 64th minute on a run down the left side that led to an unexpected hard shot to the near corner. 

Sophomore Emily Feldman opened the scoring for Emory
Photo by Eric Kelley, d3photography.com

Then it was just minutes later when senior Lauren Gorodetsky scored off a restart from 35 yards out, beating Hilary Barreto high just under the crossbar.

A shocked Thunder side collected themselves and came out of the circle, responding to the two goal deficit by sending a long ball into the box by freshman Alexa Sharkey. Sophomore Anna Seabolt flicked the ball home over senior keeper Kaele Leonard to cut the Eagle lead to 2-1.

While Wheaton had a handful of chances going forward, the Eagles continued to display quickness and control of the midfield, never allowing Wheaton to settle the ball and establish a consistent offensive attack. The Thunder were forced to push forward on longer balls and try for a quick strike.

To the end, Emory played on their defensive strength and kept Wheaton from anything dangerous in the final minutes, earning the Eagles their first ever appearence in the national championship.

In the match, Wheaton outshot Emory 17-9 and 9-6 in shots-on-goal, and also enjoyed a 5-1 advantage in corners. Wheaton's Hilary Barreto had four saves on the night while Emory's Erica Stein and Kaele Leonard had eight combined saves. Wheaton ends their season at 21-4-2, while Emory improves to 15-1-7 and moves on to face the winner of the Messiah/Misericordia match.

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