LEXINGTON, Va. - Emory University scored the winning goal with just 3:11 left in regulation Sunday afternoon to turn back the Bridgewater College Eagles, 2-1, at the Washington and Lee Women's Soccer Classic.
Emory is perennially one of the top teams in the region and has played in the NCAA tournament the past five years in a row.
Emory got on the board early in the first half at the 15:05 mark when Anna Gurney scored from 20 yards out for a 1-0 lead.
Emory took the 1-0 lead to the break and held the margin for the first 35 minutes of the second half.
Bridgewater made several strong runs at the Emory defense in the second half with forwards Julia Baca and Keri Rager testing the defenders. Each time the Emory back line was up to the task, keep play clean in front of keeper Liz Arnold.
Bridgewater finally broke through as the clock neared 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Emory had possession in the BC end and earned a corner kick. Bridgewater defended the corner and cleared the ball quickly to Baca. The Bridgewater senior eluded an Emory defender near midfield and then won a one-on-one battle with the keeper to tie the score at the 80:56 mark. Baca lined a shot from straightaway, just outside of the box over Arnold and into the back of the net. The goal was the sixth of the season for Baca.
Emory regained the lead with just more than three minutes left when Jordan Morell hit a shot from 20 yards out just inside the far post, making the score 2-1.
Bridgewater had two chances in the closing minutes but was unable to score the tying goal. Michelle Viegas got an open look from the right side from 20 yards, but her shot sailed just wide of the far post. The Eagles then earned a corner kick in the closing seconds. Viegas put the corner into the box and Nikole Blackwell was able to get a head on the ball, but Arnold snatched the attempt out of the air to preserve Emory's 2-1 victory.
Emory held a 19-3 edge in shots and a 5-4 margin in corner kicks.
Bridgewater keeper Hayley Talbott finished the contest with five saves.
The Eagles, now 3-3, return to action Saturday when they host Guilford College in their first ODAC contest of the season. Game time is 4:00 p.m.