The Emory University women's soccer team saw its season come to an end in the late hours on the east coast Saturday night, falling to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 2-1, in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA.
The Eagles end their impressive year at 13-5 while the Athenas improve to 11-4-3 and will advance to face the host Regals on Sunday for a spot in the Round of 16.
Saturday night's action got off to a fast start with the two teams trading goals within the first six minutes of the contest. CMS struck first, scoring on a goal by Sarah Tocher at the 2:10 minute mark. After a failed cleared attempt by the Eagles, Tocher was able to collect the loose ball and volley a shot to the top shelf over senior Haley Pratt.
Emory answered quickly thereafter with a goal by sophomore Lindsey Breskow at the 5:23 minute mark. A couple of nice passes allowed Breskow to dribble by a pair of CMS defenders and finish a shot to the lower right corner for the score. The goal was Breskow's third of the season.
Both sides came close to taking the lead within the closing minutes of the first half with freshman Natalie Klar drilling the far post with an opportunity in the 38th minute and in the 45th minute, Mia Duranczyk of CMS hit the middle of the crossbar from just outside the 18.
The Eagles suffered an unfortunate break in the 64th minute when the Athenas were able to take the lead. CMS drew a penalty kick following a takedown by Pratt inside the box on a one-on-one chance. Tocher stepped up to take the kick but Pratt guessed right, making a terrific diving save. However, the rebound fell to the foot of Nicole Oberlag who capitalized, depositing a shot on the empty goal.
Emory, applying continued heavy pressure, mustered four shots with two being on target over the final 26 minutes of the game with the best chance coming in the 81st minute as freshman Aubrey Blanchard put an off-balance shot on net but the attempt was right at the CMS keeper.
The teams played an evenly contested match with the Eagles ending the game with a 13-12 edge in shots and a 6-5 lead in shots on goal. Pratt made three stops in the loss while her counterpart, Cam Hamson, stopped five shots.