The Emory University women's soccer team, ranked first among NCAA Division III teams, will return to the Woodruff Physical Education Center this weekend for its final home University Athletic Association (UAA) games of the season, as the Eagles will host Case Western Reserve University on Friday at 5:00 PM, and the University of Rochester on Sunday at 11:00 AM.
Prior to the start of Sunday's game against Rochester, Emory will honor its six graduating senior players - Lee Bachouros, Merrill Bachouros, Ashley Kaiser, Katy Kruse, Kaele Leonard and Erica Stein. The Eagles' senior class has gone 49-8-14 over the past four seasons, winning a UAA Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament on two occasions, including a program-best finish in the quarterfinals in 2010.
Both of this weekend's games will feature live statistics (http://www.go.emory.edu/LiveStats/WSocc/XLIVE.HTM) and a live video webcast (http://go.emory.edu/Webcasts/WSoccWebcast.html). In order to watch the webcast, you will need to have RealPlayer installed on your computer, which can be downloaded for free from real.com.
The Eagles are currently in a four-way tie for first place in the University Athletic Association (UAA), with the Eagles, fifth-ranked Washington University (Mo.), 20th-ranked Brandeis and unranked Case each holding a 1-0-1 mark in conference play. 24th-ranked Carnegie Mellon and New York University are each tied for fifth with a 1-1-0 record in UAA games, while Chicago and Rochester have each opened conference play with an 0-2-0 record.
In other UAA action on Friday, Brandeis will play at Chicago (4:00 PM), Rochester will be at Carnegie Mellon (5:00 PM) and Washington will host NYU (6:30 PM). On Sunday, Case will travel to Carnegie Mellon (11:00 AM), Chicago will host NYU (11:30 AM) and Brandeis will play at Wash U. (12:00 PM).
The Eagles utilized a pair of goals from junior Veronica Romero, including one with just 48 seconds left in regulation, to tie eighth-ranked Washington University (Mo.) 2-2 last Sunday, as the team now stands at 8-0-3 for the year. Emory is also 5-0-1in home games this season. In addition to being ranked first in each of the NSCAA and Division III National polls, the Eagles are also the top-ranked team in the South Atlantic Region. Emory's offense has totaled 35 goals this season, as the squad has been led offensively by sophomore Charlotte Butker (four goals and eight assists for 16 points), Romero (five goals and three assists for 13 points) and junior Kelly Costopoulos (five goals and two assists for 12 points). Defensively, the Eagles have allowed just seven goals this season for a 0.59 team goals-against average, with seniors Erica Stein and Kaele Leonard splitting time in goal. Emory's defense has helped the team outshoot its opponents 281-54 this season, including a 136-26 edge in shots on goal.
Emory is led by head coach Sue Patberg, who has gone 103-22-21 during her previous seven years with Emory, good for a .776 winning percentage. She has a record of 249-110-39 during her 19-year career, which included stays at the University of Minnesota and the University of Georgia, and has qualified for the NCAA Championships 13 times, including five times with Emory. She is assisted by Rachel Moreland and Mike Wentzler.
Case Western Reserve Spartans
Case is coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance last season, and has opened its 2012 campaign with a record of 7-2-3, including a 5-0-2 record in road games during the season. The Spartans received votes in the latest D3Soccer.com national poll, and are the sixth-ranked team in the Great Lakes Region. The team is undefeated in its last five contests, including a scoreless tie at 20th-ranked Brandeis last weekend. Case's recent success has been due to its tough defense, which ranks 39th in Division III in shutout percentage (0.583) and 77th in goals-against average (0.789). Freshman goalkeeper Megan Romelfanger, this week's UAA Defensive Athlete of the Week, has taken over the full-time duties in the net for the team, and ranks third in Division III in both GAA (0.134) and save percentage (0.966). Offensively, Case has scored 18 goals this season, led by sophomore Jessica Sabers (seven goals and one assist for 15 points) and junior Leah Levey (three goals and two assists for eight points). The Spartans have outshot their opponents 184-121, including a 90-42 edge in shots on goal.
Case is led by head coach Tiffany Crooks, who has amassed a career ledger of 52-42-11 during her six seasons with the team. She is assisted by Erin Justice and Ben Yabrow, and student-assistants Amanda Wojahn and Kendra Simmons.
Last season, the Eagles defeated the Spartans 1-0 in Cleveland, Ohio, behind a 79th minute goal from midfielder Clare Mullins, off an assist from forward Emily Feldman. Emory outshot Case 11-4 in the game, including a 6-2 edge in shots on goal. Lee Bachouros and Costopoulos have scored goals against Case during their careers as well. Emory is 24-0-1 all-time against the Spartans, including a 12-0-1 record in games played in Atlanta.
The Yellowjackets have opened the 2012 season with a 3-8-0 record, including a mark of 2-4-0 in all games away from home, and will play at Carnegie Mellon on Friday before facing the Eagles on Sunday. Rochester is coming off a 3-2 double overtime loss to New York University last Saturday, despite scoring a season-best two goals in the game. The Yellowjackets offense has scored seven goals this season, with senior Heather Alico leading the squad with two goals. Senior goalkeeper Bridget Lang has played every minute in the net this season, ranking 73rd in Division III with 75 saves and 87th with a 0.833 save percentage, and Rochester's defense has a team 1.26 goals-against average with 15 goals allowed this season. Opponents hold a 175-88 advantage over the Yellowjackets in shots this season, and a 93-49 edge in shots on goal.
Rochester is led by head coach Thomas Dardaganis, who has a ledger of 11-15-1 during his two years at the squad's helm, after serving 14 years as the Yellowjackets' assistant coach. Dardaganis is assisted by Kristen Hubright and Ashley VanVechten.
The Eagles earned a 1-0 win over the Yellowjackets last season in Rochester, with Jessica Hirst scoring a 43rd minute goal off a Feldman assist. Despite allowing nine shots in the game, the Eagles defense did not allow a shot on goal to Rochester, while Emory was able to take 11 shots in the game, six of which were on goal. Rochester is the only UAA team that Emory does not have a winning record against, going 7-13-5 all-time against the Yellowjackets. However, the Eagles hold a 6-3-2 record in games against Rochester played in Atlanta.
The Eagles are ranked 18th in Division III in won-lost-tied percentage (0.864), 31st in scoring offense (3.18 goals per game), 38th in goals-against average (0.586) and 55th in shutout percentage (0.545)… Charlotte Butker is 19th in Division III in assists per game (0.73) and 20th in total assists (eight)… Clare Mullins is ranked 51st among Division III players with three game-winning goals… Emory is one of nine remaining undefeated NCAA Division III women's soccer teams, along with #3 Hardin-Simmons (9-0-1), #4 Ithaca (12-0-1), #5 Virginia Wesleyan (13-0-1), #7 Wheaton Massachusetts (12-0-2), #8 Centre (12-0-0), #9 Lynchburg (12-0-2), #11 Aurora (14-0-1) and unranked Westfield State (12-0-1)… Emory's 35 game regular season undefeated streak, during which the team has gone 30-0-5, is the longest active streak in Division III women's soccer… The Eagles have gone undefeated in their last 14 UAA games (11-0-3)… Emory is also undefeated in its last 21 home games, the second-longest streak in the program's history, and has lost just two of its last 56 games at the Woodruff P.E. Center.