Royals Blank D-I Hampton University, 2-0

Mary Deskins earned the first game-winning goal of her career. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Mary Deskins earned the first game-winning goal of her career. (photo by Scott Eyre)

A goal in each half gave EMU's soccer women a 2-0 win over Hampton University Saturday afternoon in Harrisonburg. Their fourth shutout of the season was easily the most impressive, as Eastern Mennonite earned the victory over the D-I Pirates.

The D-III Royals improve to 6-5-1 with the non-conference decision while Hampton falls to 2-5-1.

Next up, the women head back into conference play, starting with a tough contest Tuesday at rival Bridgewater College (8-2-1 / 1-1-1 ODAC). The Royals are 2-2 in the ODAC. Start time in Bridgewater will be at 4:00pm.

The game against Hampton was played in very wet conditions, with either a rain or mist keeping the ball slippery all 90 minutes.

EMU controlled the first 30 minutes, culminating in a goal from reserve Mary Deskins (Winchester, Va./John Handley) at the 29:53 mark. Deskins and Amanda Williams (Millsboro, Del./Delmarva Christian) surged forward on a breakaway, with Williams squirting a pass to her teammate as Hampton's keeper charged out of her position. Deskins made the quick tap in for a 1-0 lead.

The score seemed to wake up the Pirates, who finally attempted their first shot just minutes later. But the lead held as EMU came in with a 6-2 edge in shots over the first 45.

Hampton took the opening touch of the second half and quickly earned a corner within the first minute. Their resulting shot went wide and the Royals went back on the offensive.

In the 58th minute, Laura Rittenhouse (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) was tackled in the left side of the box, earning a penalty kick. The freshman finished what she started by going bottom left with her PK, notching her ninth goal of the year.

Facing a 2-0 margin, the Pirates attacked. They earned a pair of corners and launched five shots over a 12-minute span, but EMU's defense held. Keeper Leah Wenger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) made a pair of saves during the stretch to help preserve the shutout.

The Royals had a 12-9 advantage in shots, including 5-2 on goal.

Coach Ted Erickson said that while the win over a D-I program was nice, he hopes it gives his team momentum as they finish their ODAC schedule: