The End Of An Outstanding Season
Emory University’s magical run to the NCAA Division III women’s championship game ended in a shutout. The Eagles could not find a goal in San Antonio, and were blanked by Messiah College, 1-0.
All season long, the offensive had come through for Emory, including a 3-1 victory over Messiah back on Sept. 1. This time they ran up against a Falcon defense that would not concede a goal.
National runnerup didn’t sound as good right after the game, as it will in time. The game was the the first time Emory had ever advanced that far in the national tournament.
By contrast, Messiah was playing in the championship game for the sixth consecutive season. The Falcons have now won five women’s soccer national titles.
“We were playing scared the first half,” said Emory coach Sue Patberg. “We never settled into the game. It’s so hard to get here, and you have to be resilient. I am incredibly proud of them,”
A year ago Wheaton (Ill.) was the national runnerup. It was the Thunder that Emory would play, and beat 2-1, in the semifinals.
All three goals were scored in a three-minute second-half span. Emily Feldman opened the scoring unassisted in the 64th minute, and Lauren Gorodeslsky made it 2-0 in the 67th minute.
Only 14 seconds later, Wheaton pulled one back on a goal by Anna Seabolt.
“We have a lot of confidence because of a hard schedule we played, said Patberg, after the semifinal win. “We are a pretty good defensive team. We have a good mix of athleticism and a possession style of play. We will defend like our life depends on it.”
The Eagles did just that in the title match, and actually held a 13-12 shots advantage. Messiah was one better (4-3) with shots-on-goal, and that one shot turned out to be the goal by Scheibeler.
Gorodetsky, a junior from Palm City, FL, was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the national tournament. She anchored a defense from center back that allowed a meger 0.461 goals allowed average with a .583 shutout percentage.
Feldman set a new program record for goals in a single NCAA tournament with her fourth goal of the 2012 championship against Wheaton. It was the eighth goal of the season for the sophomore from Highland Park, IL. She tied for goal-scoring honors with junior Veronica Romero (Tucker, GA) and junior Kelly Costopoulos (Boca Raton, FL), who also scored eight goals each. sophomore Charlotte Butker’s (Decatur, GA) 10 assists were most for the Eagles.
Patberg, in her 8th season as the Eagles’ head coach, was named National Coach of the Year by D3Soccer.com.
With only three seniors on this year’s squad, the future for another run at the national title appears bright for the Eagles.
Much credit must go to Patberg, who has built a program that has only lost one regular season game in the past two years. Earlier in the seaon she won her 100th game with the Eagles and now stands 110-24-25. Her overall coaching record is 256-112-43 over 19 seasons, including stays at Division I Minnesota and Georgia.