Emory Defeats Centre 2-0; Advances to Face Williams in Third Round of NCAAs
The fifth-ranked Emory University women's soccer team clinched its second-straight trip to the sectionals of the NCAA Division III Championships with a 2-0 win over Centre College at the Woodruff P.E. Center in Atlanta, GA on Sunday night.
Emory took the lead in the 17th minute, when senior Lidija Barauskas scored for the second-straight day, and sixth time this season. The play was set up by sophomore Veronica Romero, who sent a cross from along the end line, out to the far side of the box, where Barauskas was able to volley it and return a shot into the back of the net for the goal. It was the first assist of the campaign for Romero.
The Emory goal came just minutes after Centre thwarted a strong chance for the Eagles to score. After a Lee Bachouros corner kick, sophomore Clare Mullins launched a shot on target that was cleared off the line by a Centre defender. Freshman Charlotte Butker headed the rebound on goal, but once again the Colonels backline was able to clear the ball away from the net.
In the 36th minute, Center picked up their best opportunity of the game as Morgan Collins was able to get a breakaway, launching a shot towards the far side of the goal. However, Emory keeper Erica Stein was able to dive and deflect the ball out of bounds for the save, and the Eagles' defense was able to clear away the resulting corner kick. Centre would not get another shot on goal the rest of the match.
The Eagles added to their lead in the 58th minute on Merrill Bachouros' third goal through two NCAA Tournament games this season. After Centre attempted to clear the ball out of their own box, Butker was able to regain possession for the Eagles, sending a pass wide to Romero. In turn, Romero sent a cross over the middle to Bachouros, who converted the shot for the goal. It was the sixth assist of the season for Butker, and second for Romero.
Bachouros, who leads all Emory players with eight goals this season and is tied for the team lead with 20 points, moved into a tie with Kelly Costopoulos as the all-time leading scorer in postseason history with three tournament goals.
Emory finished the game with a 25-3 edge in shots, including a 17-1 advantage in shots on goal. Centre goalkeeper Kelli Lenz made 13 saves during the match. Centre ended its campaign with an overall record of 14-5-3.
Emory goalkeepers Stein and Leonard split playing time during the match, with each playing a half. Stein claimed the victory, improving to 11-0-1 on the season.
With the win, Emory improved to 17-0-2, matching a program record for wins in a season, previously set during the 2001 campaign. The Eagles' defense also earned its 16th shutout of the year, extending its program record.
Emory will now advance to the rounds of 16 of the tournament, where the Eagles will face Williams College. The 20th-ranked Ephs will enter play next weekend with an overall record of 12-4-3 on the season, following their 2-1 win over Westfield State in the second round of the tournament earlier today.
The date, time and location of Emory's third-round match will be announced Monday afternoon.