A lone fluke goal early in the first half proved to be the difference for the EMU soccer women, suffering a 1-0 loss at Emory & Henry College Wednesday evening.
Due to the unbalanced ODAC schedule started this year, the contest against the Wasps doesn't count towards the conference standings, giving them a little relief. The Royals (3-3-1) open ODAC play this Saturday at Sweet Briar (1-5) with a 1:00pm start.
That game will be SBC's first since returning to full status after a one-year hiatus in 2015. The previous year, both EMU and the Vixens finished 4-8 in ODAC play, with the Royals earning their most recent ODAC Tournament berth thanks to a head-to-head win over Sweet Briar.
Eastern Mennonite had the first chances against Emory & Henry (3-5), earning a pair of corner kicks in the opening two minutes, but Mikaela Zook's (Millersburg, Ind./Northridge) shot was saved to keep the game scoreless.
Then in the ninth minute, the Royals turned the ball over at midfield. EHC's Gillian Hogg took a couple of dribbles up the right sideline before launching a long shot that just skimmed over the fingers of keeper Emily Young (Fredericksburg, Va./Massaponax) for a surprising 1-0 lead.
EMU earned three more corners before the clock struck 15 minutes, and then took an addition three in the closing minutes of the half, but they couldn't put any touches together for a score.
The second half was more of the same, as the Royals struggled to get quality looks. They ended on the short end of a 12-6 difference in shots, including 7-2 on goal. They did have a 9-4 edge in corners. Laura Rittenhouse (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) was the only Royal with multiple shots. Zook and Emily Hostetler (Marshallville, Ohio/Smithville) each had a single shot on goal.
Young played the first half in front of the net and made two saves. Leah Wenger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) had four stops in the second half.