EMU's field hockey team gave the ODAC's preseason favorites more than they bargained for Wednesday in Harrisonburg. From the opening touch against Washington and Lee, the Royals proved they were ready to play before eventually suffering a 5-2 loss.
The decision drops Eastern Mennonite to 3-6 on the year, including 0-3 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Washington and Lee improves to 6-4 overall and 2-0 in the ODAC.
The Royals took the first possession in the game and immediately got into W&L's circle. Emily Price (Hampton, Va./Homeschool) attempted the first shot of the game for either team just 1:13 into play.
The Generals answered with a counter-attack, and answered effectively, with a goal late in the fourth minute from Lauren Paolano. Haley Tucker then scored in the 11th minute to give W&L a 2-0 lead.
The margin grew to four with another goal from Tucker followed by a score from Caroline Caruso in the 23rd.
Eastern Mennonite rallied to erase the shutout just one minute later when Lauren Hartzler (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) hit the cage. In the 29th minute, Emily Augsburger (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) had a shot rattle off the post, leaving the score at 4-1. The women had another chance at the end of the half, earning a corner in the closing seconds. Taking the insertion, Price stepped inside the circle and fired a long shot into the top of the cage, but the officials called off the would-be goal as a dangerous play.
Never the less, the Royals kept their momentum into the second half, and Hartzler scored again in the 41st minute, this time getting an assist from Alyssa Gore (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem). It was the fifth goal of the season for the freshman.
The two-goal margin did not last long, as the Generals added a score in the 47th to provide the final tally.
Washington and Lee controlled much of the first half and ended with a 19-8 advantage in shots for the game. The Royals played a much tougher second half, keeping shots closer at 7-5.
Along with Hartzler, Price and Augsburger each had two shots.
EMU stays in conference play this weekend, heading to Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday for a 1:00pm game.