Playing an ODAC Quarterfinal game at top-seeded VWU was too much for the Eastern Mennonite soccer women.The Royals wrapped up their 2017 season Wednesday night, losing 5-0 to powerful Virginia Wesleyan.
The Marlins, ranked No. 5 in the South Atlantic Region poll, will move onto the Semifinal match against fourth-seeded Bridgewater College. The Eagles defeated the Generals of Washington and Lee University on Wednesday afternoon to secure their spot continuing on in the ODAC Tournament.
When the Royals and Marlins met in the regular season EMU fell 3-0, trailing 2-0 at halftime of that game before giving up the final goal of the match in the second half.
This time around, the Royals thwarted the powerful Marlins for much of the first half. They trailed only 1-0 at halftime, as the Royals defense stepped up and played big, despite seeing 19 shots.
However, VWU made sure EMU would not hang around in the second half as they rattled off three quick goals in the first fifteen minutes. The fifth and final goal came in the 70th minute of the match as the Marlins put an exclamation point on their victory to advance in the tournament.
Leah Wenger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) started for the Royals and played through until the 62nd minute when Emily Young (Fredericksburg, Va./Massaponax) came in. After seeing plenty of Marlin's attack, Wenger finished the match with nine saves. Young saw immediate action and ended the game with three saves.
VWU dominated statistically in all aspects of tonight's match, blanking the Royals 33-0 in shots, putting 17 on goal, and 7-0 in corner kicks.
It was the final collegiate game for 10 seniors, including Rachel Breidigan (Douglassville, Pa. / Daniel Boone), Mary Deskins (Winchester, Va./John Handley), Sierra Martin (Glenwood Springs, Colo. / Glenwood Springs), Bailey McInnis (Henrico, Va. / Mills E. Goodwin), Sara Shenk Moreno (Harrisonburg, Va. / Harrisonburg), Marcy Smucker (Woodward, Pa. / Penns Valley), Rachel Sturm (Denton, Md. / North Caroline), Hannah Walker (Chesapeake, Va. / Grassfield), Amanda Williams (Millsboro, Del. / Delmarva Christian), Mikaela Zook (Millersburg, Ind. / Northridge).
Despite the loss, the women have made significant strides in building and contributing to the success of the EMU women's soccer program. EMU closes the year with an overall record of 7-9-2, and 5-5 in ODAC Conference play; whereas the 2015 season ended with an overall record of 2-15-1 and 1-9-1 in conference play.
The Royals also finished the year with a .500 win percentage, a feat that has not taken place since the 2010 women's soccer team.