The EMU soccer women played host to Bridgewater College today and lost a close match 2-1 to the Eagles.
As the game was about to begin, so did the down-pour of rain. That only added an extra piece of motivation for the cross-town rivalry as the rain energized the teams even more to play hard in the first half.
Both teams controlled the ball well to start off the game with neither team finding any separation for an offensive attack. The first shot of the game was by the Eagles and it did not come until the 11th minute.
The Royals (2-4-0/0-2-0 ODAC) finally broke through the Bridgewater defense for a goal on their first shot of the match in the 26th minute. Shaylla Oswald (Broadway, Va./Broadway) sent in a free kick from the left side into the box that was punched out by the goalie, the ball deflected off another player and behind the goalie. Rachel Sauder (Lyndhurst, Va./Stuarts Draft) quickly collected the ball and bent in a tough angled shot from a step off the inline for her second goal of the season.
Bridgewater (8-1-0/2-0-0 ODAC) came back to tie the game in the 37th minute on a goal from Emily York who took a cross in front of the net and put it past the EMU goalkeeper. The game would stay tied heading into halftime.
As the second half began, the rain subsided and the sun came out, but the play on the field was much of the same. Both teams were battling for positioning as they tried to create scoring opportunities. The Eagles eventually found that chance when Cyan Coates took the ball into the box taking an initial shot that was blocked by the goalkeeper, but she quickly collected the rebound and put her second shot into the net for a 2-1 lead.
EMU had a chance to tie up the game in the 86th minute when Kylie Paul (Hellertown, Pa./Saucon Valley) sent in a ball from the right side, but it was just above the top of Sauder's head as she came across the weak side of the wide-open net.
Bridgewater outshot the Royals 12-3 with EMU putting all of their shots on goal compared to the Eagles' six.
Leah Wenger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) made three saves for the Royals.
EMU plays at home again on Saturday at 6:30pm when they host conference opponent Randolph-Macon. The start time of the game was recently moved back 30 minutes to accommodate a scheduling conflict with officials.