WildCats Upset Soccer Women In ODAC Tourney, 1-0

Leading scorer Laura Rittenhouse took three of EMU's ten shots. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Leading scorer Laura Rittenhouse took three of EMU's ten shots. (photo by Scott Eyre)

Playing their first home ODAC Tournament game since 2006, EMU's soccer women suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss Monday night to ninth-seeded Randolph College. The Royals end the year with a record of 8-10-1.

The eight wins are the most in Coach Ted Erickson's three seasons and second-highest total since 2008. After earning six more victories this year than in 2015 with a roster consisting of no graduating seniors and nearly 50% of players new to the program, the future looks bright for Eastern Mennonite.

Randolph (6-10-1) advances in the ODAC Tournament and plays at top-seeded Washington and Lee on Wednesday.

Played in front of a raucous Halloween crowd, Monday's tourney game had a great atmosphere, but the first half was low on good scoring chances. The WildCats came out very aggressively but still only had a 4-2 edge in shots.

EMU had the best chance of the half when Ariel Barbosa (Baltimore, Md./Towson) sprung open on the left side of a 3-on-2 breakaway, but her left-footed attempt went straight to Randolph keeper Quinn-Lynn Bates.

The women stepped it up after the intermission and took the first three shots of the second. Amanda Williams (Millsboro, Del./Delmarva Christian) had a nice breakaway stopped just three minutes in, and Laura Rittenhouse (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) and Marcy Smucker (Woodward, Pa./Penns Valley) sent shots off the mark.

Randolph gained more of an edge midway through the frame and got the game's only goal when Patricia Garrett got a through ball up the right side and went far post to beat keeper Leah Wenger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) in the 72nd minute.

The Royals put three more shots on mark over the final 18 minutes, but Bates stopped attempts from Sierra Martin (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs), Rittenhouse and Smucker to preserve the margin.

Shots ended even at 10-10 apiece, with EMU winning the second, 8-6. Each team put seven on goal. Wenger finished with six saves.

Erickson said he hopes the taste of a home game in the postseason tourney lights a fire for his players and their offseason work: