Carnegie Mellon women’s soccer falls to Emory Eagles 1–0

The Carnegie Mellon women’s soccer team concluded the 2007 regulation season this past weekend. The Tartans traveled to Atlanta to take on the 11th-ranked Emory University Eagles and came home with a 1–0 loss. The Tartans finish the season with a 8–6–2 record overall and a 3–3–1 record in the University Athletic Association (UAA).

The Tartans had the opportunity to finish second in the UAA if they defeated the Eagles. However, Saturday’s loss dropped Carnegie Mellon down to a tie for fifth place with Brandeis University.

Carnegie Mellon came out strong in the first 20 minutes of the first half, but then Emory changed its playing formation from 4–4–2 to 3–5–1, which threw off the Tartan defense.

Moments after this change in attack, Emory capitalized on a corner kick opportunity when Eagles midfielder Joyce Lam placed a ball into the box for Emory forward Maya Vankineni to finish into the back of the net. Vankineni scored the game’s sole goal in the 31st minute.

At halftime, the Tartans switched to 3–5–1 to better defend against the Eagles. Carnegie Mellon held off Emory’s defense and was able to stabilize its own offense. The Tartans created a major scoring opportunity in the 87th minute after the ball was served into the middle of the field after a cross, and senior midfielder Jessica Howard rifled a shot on goal that senior Eagles goalkeeper Emily Fedeles got her hands on.

Emory out-shot the Tartans 11–9. First-year Tartan goalkeeper Anya Rosen made six saves and Fedeles made six saves to maintain a shutout.

“This season, we had our ups and downs. We really grew as a team,” head coach Sue Willard said. “The game against Emory was interesting. We really were taking it to them in the first 20 minutes, then they changed their playing formation. At halftime, we did the same to counter them. The girls went out and did everything I asked them to do. They left it all on the field. Unfortunately, the only thing we couldn’t do was get the ball in the back of the net.”
The match against Emory marked the last UAA game for the three seniors on the team: Howard, senior forward Kasey Stever, and senior midfielder Amanda Rose.

“We all tried hard. We couldn’t come up with a result against a nationally ranked team,” Stever said. “We played well and didn’t deserve to lose, but they are a really solid team. I am disappointed because yesterday we could have finished second in the UAA but instead we ended up in fifth. It was a weird game to end on because of so many outside factors. We put everything we learned all year to good use yesterday, and I think it will be beneficial to build on it next year.”

“I am very proud of how hard we worked Saturday. We put up a great fight and came up a little short,” Rose said. “As a senior, it meant so much to me that we played with heart and didn’t give up. Even though we lost, we are excited about postseason either NCAAs or ECACs and the chance to keep playing for a couple more games.”

The Tartans will find out if they make Eastern College Athletic Conference this afternoon.