Courtesy of UofRathletics.com
The eight Rochester women’s soccer seniors had a chance to gather one last time at Fauver Stadium on Saturday – both for Senior Day ceremonies and then for a match against UAA opponent Emory University.
Although the Eagles won, 3-1, it couldn’t spoil the mixture of good feeling, friendship, and scrappiness. All eight women started the game; Samantha Hlavac, Hannah Wadsworth (Brighton), Pamela Chan, Margaret Lee, Christina Feller, Annie McEachron, Kerri Eden, and Shayna Levy.
They each played a significant role in the game. Hlavac was called upon to make two big saves early as Emory, pressing to impress the NCAA selection committee, put on early pressure. The instigator for Emory on both occasions was Lily Dresner. Before the match was four minutes old, she attacked down the left sideline and hit a low shot for the left corner. Hlavac dove, got a hand on it, and palmed it out of danger, resulting in a corner kick. Less than a minute later, Dresner’s pass led to a strong shot by Sophia Dillon which Hlavac gathered.
She came up big again, this time in the 10th minute. Caroline Moore sped into the box from the right flank. Hlavac punched Moore’s cross wide and Joanna Guay cleared it from in front of goal.
Moore did salvage a chance when she scored the first Emory goal, this one against Emma Schechter, who came into net in the 13thminute. Dillon accelerated down left wing. From the left edge of the penalty area, she played a ball through the goalmouth and Moore was there to jam it just inside the right post as a defender and Schechter converged. Emory had a lead I the 17th minute.
Carolyn Richards had Rochester’s two best chances in the first 45 minutes. With half an hour elapsed, Emory keeper Dani Staffin charged off the line. Richards got around her but as she tried to shoot, Nikki Batt was there to knock the ball away. Ninety seconds before halftime, Richards took off down the right side with defenders in pursuit. As she neared the end line, she floated a cross tantalizingly across the goalmouth. Unfortunately for the Yellowjackets, no one in a white shirt could get to it to equalize.
Richards continued to be a pest to the Emory defense and she had help in Jamison Seabury and Kerri Eden among others. Early in the second half, Seabury out-ran a defender down the right sideline and veered towards the area. From the corner of the penalty area (top line and right edge on the attacking view), she struck a hard ball that hooked just past the left post. A few minutes later, Richards turned from a deep position, but her shot was blocked and Jorie Freitag’s followup was deflected for a corner kick.
The Yellowjackets had a chance to equalize with a penalty kick in the 54th minute. Richards was trying to work her way into the area on the left side. She was knocked down and the defender fell on her as the ball rolled away. The penalty was awarded. Levy took it, but Staffin made a perfect read, diving to bat down the low shot. Emily Henry had two tries at the rebound. The first was saved and popped free. The second was hit past the post.
UR atoned for the miss less than a minute later. Levy angled a pass from right wing to Seabury just inside the penalty arc. She tapped it out to Eden who scored from 12 yards in the 55th minute.
Emory’s Lilly Breskow broke the tie in the 68th minute. Shivani Beall’s cross from left wing found Breskow at the near left post for a tap-in.
Staffin’s rushes out of goal gave Richards a chance to get UR even later. She came off the line and Richards hit the ball past her rush, but none of the Yellowjacket attackers could get there to equalize.
The goal clincher was the best score of the day. Dresner had a free kick 10 yard shy of midfield and not that far in from the left touchline. She hit a long angled ball into the middle of the goalmouth and Samantha Hilsee headed it into the net.
Statistically, Emory outshot Rochester, 15-13, for the game, but all 13 of the UR shots came in the second half. Hlavac had four saves and Schechter finished with two. Staffin had two for EU. Emory is 13-4-1 overall, 4-2-1 in the UAA. Rochester finishes 9-7-1, 2-5 in the UAA).