Despite coming up on the short end of a 6-4 decision, the Royals walked off the field cheering.
That's because the women played a full 70 minutes of good field hockey, capped by Clover Cooper (Barboursville, Va./Orange County) scoring her first career goal on a corner after time had expired. The team knew the outcome of the corner would have no bearing on the outcome of the game, yet still executed the play flawlessly.
Fellow sophomore Kayla Maret (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) had the best game of her career, notching six points as she had a hand in each of EMU's four goals. She scored twice and assisted on the other two, giving Maret five goals and three assists over the past three games.
Needing a win Wednesday night to keep in the hunt for the program's first ODAC Tournament berth since 2014, the Royals (8-10/1-6 ODAC) showed plenty of fight despite never leading.
Randolph-Macon (7-8/3-4 ODAC) scored just 4:29 into the game, but the Royals pushed ahead and equalized less than a minute later when Skylar Hedgepeth (Smithfield, Va./Smithfield) redirected in a pass from Maret. It was the 11th goal of the season for Hedgepeth.
The Yellow Jackets converted a stroke in the 20th minute to get back in front, but Maret tied the game shortly before halftime, knocking in a fantastic reverse chip.
The 2-2 deadlock remained until the 48th minute when R-MC scored on a breakaway. The visitors hit the cage again in the 55th minute to make it 4-2.
Maret dented the cage two minutes later with an assist from Lauren Hartzler (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) to get the Royals back within one, but Randolph-Macon put the game away with scores in the 60th and 67th minutes.
EMU then earned a corner in the final seconds, and Maret took the insert from Casey Webb (Hampton, Va./Bethel) and fed Cooper for the smash from the top right of the circle.
Senior goalie Kelsey Troyer (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) made seven saves in her final home game. Brandy Troutman (Mountville, Pa./Hempfield) picked up her seventh defensive save of the year, which has her second in the ODAC.
The Royals wrap up the 2018 season at Roanoke College Saturday afternoon at 1:00pm.