The Emory University women's soccer team saw its NCAA tournament run come to an end Saturday night, falling to Messiah University 1-0 in the Sweet 16. The sectional rounds this weekend are being hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
An early goal in the second half proved to be the difference as the Falcons held on to win despite several chances late in the contest by the Eagles. Messiah (20-1-2) advances to the Elite 8 tomorrow night where they will face WashU.
The Eagles controlled play throughout, ending the night with an 8-5 lead in total shots and had the advantage in shots on goal (4-3) and corner kicks (4-2) but could not prevail in the scoring column.
The first half featured limited scoring chances for both sides with Emory leading the half 5-1 in shots with both teams getting one shot on frame across the opening 45 minutes.
Out of the break, the Falcons struck early as Korinne Kovatch put Messiah ahead with a diving header off a Rachael Tirjan corner kick at the 47:30 mark.
Graduate students Ciannah Correa and Mara Rodriguez had the next two scoring opportunities for the Eagles in the 57th and 67th minutes. Correa had the Eagles' first shot of the half with a one-timer, curling shot but was denied. Ten minutes later, Rodriguez sent a blistering shot towards to the right post but the Falcons keeper was there for the save.
Senior Emma Miller made a big time save in the 79th minute with a great diving save as Kovatch looked destined for her second goal.
A minute later, junior Mia Han had another chance but Ava Wert was there to make another one of her four saves on the night.
The final scoring threat for the Eagles came with just under four minutes to play as Correa had a chance after the ball pinballed around in the box but her attempt was blocked by a defender.
The Eagles finish the season with a 13-5-1 record, the team's fifth straight season with double digit wins and advanced to their fourth straight postseason appearance and first Sweet 16 berth since 2013.