The Emory University Women's Soccer team begins the 2017 season this Friday night as the Eagles take on NAIA's Georgia Gwinnett College, beginning at 7:00 PM. Following a matchup with the Grizzlies, the Eagles travel to Pfeiffer University for an afternoon matchup on Monday, September 4th at noon.
2016 in Review
Emory is coming off its 28th consecutive winning season as the Eagles posted a 9-5-3 ledger in 2016, facing one of the toughest schedules across the Division III landscape which included six teams that earned berths to the NCAA Tournament with three teams that advanced to the national semifinals and eventual national champion Washington University.
The Eagles rattled off a season-long five-game winning streak in late September and early October, a stretch that featured two marquee victories against previously unbeaten 23rd-ranked Centre College and 4th-ranked Chicago in back-to-back outings. Emory added a 2-2-3 mark in University Athletic Association competition with wins over Chicago and Case Western Reserve as well as a tie with national semifinalist Brandeis University.
The Emory offense returns all three of its leading goal scorers from last season, highlighted by the dynamic sophomore duo of Shivani Beall and Caroline Kolski. The tandem led the Eagles in points, tallying 18 and 13, respectively, during their freshman seasons. Beall registered one of the finest offensive seasons in recent Emory history, notching five goals and dishing out a team-high eight assists en route to being named the UAA Rookie of the Year. Kolski also recorded five goals and added three assists, while ranking second in shots (51) and third in shots on goal (19).
Junior Grace Edgarton registered five goals as one of Emory's top contributors off the bench in 2016. She added one assist to give her 11 points, good for third most on the squad. Other top offensive returners for the Eagles include juniors Sophia Dillon (3G, 2A, 7P), Danielle Darius (3G, 2A, 7P), seniors Anna Gurney (2G, 3A, 7P), Melissa Ardizzone (2G, 2A, 6P) and juniors Madison Phaneuf (2G, 2A, 6P) and Jordan Doak (1G, 4A, 6P).
All-UAA Honorable Mention selections Gurney and Darius headline the Emory defensive unit which allowed just 18 goals in 17 games last season. In addition, junior Nikki Batt (17 GP, 13 GS), sophomore Morgan Brandewie (Leading returner with 1,308 minutes in 2016), and junior Nylah Hamilton (16 GP, 8GS) return for the Eagles. Emory will also add a pair of transfers in junior Hope Morgan (Columbus State) and sophomore Katie Taylor (Saint Louis University) to bolster the defensive efforts.
Junior Dani Staffin and sophomore Haley Pratt will share the goalkeeping duties in 2017. Staffin saw the majority of playing time last season, recording a 7-3-3 record in 13 starts while making 30 saves and posting a 0.95 goals-against average. In five games played, including four starts, Pratt had a 1.28 GAA to go along with seven saves and a 2-2 record.
Head Coach Sue Patberg will welcome nine newcomers to the team in 2017: Morgan (D/Jr./Covington,GA/Wesleyan School), Taylor (D/So./Evanston, IL/Loyola Academy), Lily Dresner (D/Los Angeles, CA/Brentwood School), Jordan Fitzgerald (M/D/Fairfax, VA./Oakton), Samantha Hilsee (M/Windermere, FL/Olympia), Caroline Moore (D/Marlborough, MA/Groton), Anne Otterbein (M/F/Newport Beach, CA/St. Margaret's Episcopal), Yasmin Toy (M/Houston, TX/St. John's), Kelly Walsh (M/Old Tappen, NJ/Northern Valley Regional HS).
Patberg begins her 13th season with the Eagles in 2017, entering the campaign with a record of 154-42-39, good for a .747 winning percentage. In her 24 seasons on the sidelines, she owns a career record of 300-129-57.
Patberg is joined by first-year assistant coach Jake Dunn and Mike Wentzler, who will be in his sixth season as the team's goalkeeper coach.
The Eagles begin the season with four straight away from the Woodruff PE Center including a matchup with 13th-ranked Johns Hopkins on Saturday, September 9th, in the first of two games at Meredith College. Emory will then return home to face Christopher Newport on Friday, September 15th and Birmingham-Southern on Sunday, September 17th in the first two contests at home.
Following non-conference matchups against Sewanee, Agnes Scott and Berry, the Eagles begin the UAA portion of the schedule against top-ranked and defending NCAA champions WashU on September 30th at the WoodPEC.
Emory kicks off the month of October against Huntingdon College before three consecutive UAA contests, including two versus top-10 squads in 3rd-ranked Chicago and 6th-ranked Brandeis. The Eagles then round out the non-conference slate with Roanoke at home on October 21st followed by Covenant on the road on October 23rd.
Three UAA foes await the Eagles over the last two weeks of the regular season, beginning with 22nd-ranked Carnegie Mellon on October 27th. Emory will host the University of Rochester on Saturday, November 4th in the season finale.