The Emory University men's soccer team battled back from a first-half deficit against Carnegie Mellon University, but ultimately fell short to the Tartans, losing 2-1 in the Eagles regular-season finale at the WoodPEC on Saturday.
The loss eliminates Emory from both a shot at both the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles are now forced to await the possibility of an at large bid to the tournament, which will be announced on Monday.
Carnegie Mellon took the lead in the 38th minute of play, scoring on Carmen Minella's sixth goal of the season. Minella was able to deflect a cross from Mark Nicholas inside the box with a header, placing the ball just out of the reach of a diving Andrew Goldblum, the Emory keeper.
The score remained in Carnegie's favor until the 63rd minute, when the Eagles would even the match with a header goal from Andrew Natalino, off a cross from David Garofalo. It was the sixth goal of the season for Natalino, and the team-leading fifth assist of the year for Garofalo.
When it seemed as if the game was headed to overtime, a foul from Emory in the 82nd minute set up a free kick for the Tartans from approximately 25-yards out of the goal. Jakob Rohwer took the ensuing kick, placing it perfectly into the upper-left corner of the net for the eventual game winner.
Emory had two late chances to tie the match, both coming after the Eagles were down a man after a red card was issued in the 85th minute. At the 85:59 mark, Dylan Price took a header in front of the net that was cleared away by a Carnegie Mellon defender. With just over 20 seconds left, Alex Scott got a head on a ball inside the box, but Tartans' keeper Jacob Rice made a jumping grab to secure the victory.
Goldblum took the loss in goal for Emory despite his four-save effort, falling to 4-2-0 on the year with the loss.
Emory outshot Carnegie 16-10 in the match, including a 6-5 edge in shots on goal. After the Eagles were held without a shot on goal in the first half, Emory battled back to hold a 6-2 edge in the category during the second frame.
The loss drops Emory to 10-8-0 on the season, including a 4-3-0 mark to end conference play. Carnegie improved to 7-8-1 on the season, including a 3-4-0 mark in UAA games.
Saturday's game also marked the final home game for four of the Eagles' senior players – Nico Dalton, Nao Masuda, Zach Samuels and Kamron Zia. The four players were honored in a 'Senior Day' ceremony, prior to the start of the game.