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Emory finishes second at NCAA D-III women's soccer championships

The Eagle's celebrate after their game against Wheaton College on Friday.

The 16th-ranked Emory University women's soccer team finished second at the 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship, following a hard-fought 1-0 loss to top-ranked Messiah College on Saturday night at the Blossom Soccer Complex in San Antonio.

Emory junior Lauren Gorodetsky was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the tournament for her efforts over the semifinal and championship matches. Both junior Lauren Drosick and sophomore Kaelyn Lucas were named to the all-tournament team as well.

Each team entered the game with just one loss on the season. For Messiah, the loss came to the Eagles in Emory's season opener, a 2-1 overtime win for the Eagles on Sept. 1, exactly three months prior to the National Championship game.

The game opened exactly as expected between arguably the two best defenses in Division III women's soccer this season, with neither team getting a shot off until the 14th minute of play, when a low attempt from outside the 18-yard box from Messiah's Anne Trapp was blocked by Gorodetsky, the all-American center back.

However, Messiah would take a lead in the 21st minute when Alex Brandt began a breakaway down the field, sending a pass into the six yard box to find Rachel Scheibeler, who shot past Emory keeper Erica Stein for her 16th goal of the season. 

The score would remain 1-0 heading into halftime, with Messiah holding advantages of 8-4 in shots and 2-1 in shots on goal. Emory's one attempt on goal was a header by senior Katy Kruse that was saved by goalkeeper Audra Larson.  The Eagles also had opportunities in the first half on a pair of long shots by sophomore Emily Feldman and senior Lee Bachouros, both going just high of the net.

So, the Eagles would enter the second half looking to pick up a second half or later score against the top-ranked Messiah defense, something the Falcons had allowed just one other time this season — the game-winning penalty kick in overtime by junior Clare Mullins in the Eagles' season-opening win.

After a diving save by second-half keeper Kaele Leonard in the 48th minute, the Eagles began to possess the ball for longer periods of time, and launch some better attacks. 

With just under 10 minutes left, Emory received a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box and on the right side.  Bachouros took the resulting play, sending a shot just high and wide of the net.  Moments later, after a corner kick, Bachouros took a shot that went just wide, as the senior helped create two of the better opportunities of the day for the Eagles. However, despite the strong second half, the Eagles would be unable to score, and dropped the 1-0 decision.

Emory finished the game with a 13-12 edge in shots, although Messiah held a 3-2 advantage in shots on goal.

The Eagles ended the 2012 campaign, the most successful in the program's history, with a 15-2-7 overall record. For Messiah (24-1-1), it was their second-straight championship and their fifth overall.

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