Despite a close first half, the Eastern Mennonite University women's soccer team dropped a 3-1 decision to Washington and Lee University on Wednesday evening at the EMU Turf Field. The women fall to 3-6-2 on the season and 1-3 in ODAC play.
The Generals jumped out to an early lead after scoring just 4:20 into the game. The unassisted shot trickled past sophomore goalkeeper Leah Wenger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) amongst a chaotic mess of blue and white jersey's in front of the net.
After some attacking opportunities for the Royals that proved to be unsuccessful, the remainder of the half would fall between the 30's or below into EMU defensive territory.
With 10 minutes left, Wenger once again stepped up and saved a W&L shot that came from the right corner of the field. Wenger held the right post and prevented the shot from getting past her.
The Royals trailed in shots (6-0) and corner kicks (2-1) in the first half, but led in saves (4-0).
The second half opened quickly for the Generals who capitalized on a fast break opportunity just 43 seconds into play.
Washington and Lee made the contest 3-0 in the 53rd minute with an assisted play off of another fast break down the left wing of the field.
Both of the second half goals for Washington and Lee were responses to EMU's near scoring threats. Olivia Dalke (Dallas, Ore./Dallas) nearly found Rachel Sauder (Lyndhurst, Va./Stuarts Draft) for a great attack at the end, but the W&L goalkeeper left her post and ended up blocking the ball before Sauder could tap it in. The Generals were able to respond quickly to the defensive saves and throw off EMU's defense to get back on the board.
Soon after sophomore Laura Rittenhouse (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) plowed through a W&L defenser to find Sauder in front of the cage. Rittenhouse sent Sauder a long ball, but Sauder's shot just missed the net and sailed on the left side of the goal.
In the 84th minute of play, sophomore forward Shaylla Oswald (Broadway, Va./Broadway) broke the Generals shutout to get EMU on the board. Oswald found room to work with on the left wing where she took the ball past the denfense and shot past W&L's goalkeeper.
The goal from Oswald was the first that Washington and Lee's defense has allowed to an ODAC team.
The Generals edged the Royals in shots 13-2, corner kicks 3-1, but trailed in saves with Wenger tallying 7 to W&L goalkeeper Leeann Passaro's 0.
EMU's women are back in action a week from today on Wednesday, Oct. 11 as they travel to Randolph-Macon College for a 7:30 game under the lights.