PITTSBURGH, Pa. — After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer and an epic 13-round shootout, sophomore Jennifer Grant knocked in the match-clinching penalty kick to allow Emory to advance to the NCAA semifinals for the first time in school history with a 0-0 tie against Carnegie Mellon.
Neither squad were able to find the net during regulation or during either of the two overtime periods. With the Tartans shooting first, Kaele Leonard came up with a save on the first shot, allowing Emory to build a 3-2 advantage on made shots by Clare Mullins, Jordan Morell and Grant.
After Carnegie made its fourth-round shot to even the shootout at three, Emory’s Lauren Drosick missed wide to keep the ledger even. After the Tartans hit on their fifth attempt, junior Lauren Gorodetsky followed with a made penalty kick of her own, knotting the score at four and sending the shootout into a sudden-death format.
Both teams made its next three opportunities with Kelly Costopoulos, Emily Feldman and Merrill Bachouros all hitting shots for the Eagles. With the score tied at seven heading into the ninth round, Leonard picked up her second save of the shootout, cleanly catching Cecilia Zischkau’s shot in midair with a full-extension dive. However, Carnegie goalkeeper Anna Albi made her only save of the shootout, diving to save Caitlin Clark’s attempt.
Each team made its next three attempts, with Veronica Romero hitting the next shot before returning to the top of the order with Mullins and Morell each converting shots.
With the shootout ledger even at 10 apiece heading into the 13th round, Carnegie’s Brittany Couture’s shot hit off the right post, giving Emory its second chance to clinch. Grant buried the shot to write Emory’s ticket to San Antonio.
The shootout was the fifth in Emory’s NCAA tournament history. The 13 rounds were the most in a shootout in the program’s history.
The ample opportunities in the shootout were a stark contrast to the game, where each defense proved to be stingy. The Eagles had an early opportunity to take a lead in the game when a free kick for the Eagles in the 13th minute set up a header shot that went in the goal, but was negated when Emory was whistled for being offside.
The defensive battle continued without a shot for either side until the 25th minute of play, when Emory sophomore Charlotte Butker launched the first attack of the game wide of the net. Four minutes later, the Eagles got their first shot on goal of the contest, when Feldman’s shot after a corner kick was deflected by Carnegie goalkeeper Albi. A return shot from 25-yards out by junior Kaeyln Lucas after an initial clearance by the defense was saved.
Emory held Carnegie without a shot until the 35th minute when the Tartans took a pair in quick succession, neither on goal, with one blocked by the defense and the other wide of the goal.
The Eagles had another chance to score following a free kick at the end of the first half, when the ball came loose in the box, but Albi was able to smother Grant’s shot for the save. In the 44th minute, Emory goalkeeper Erica Stein made her only save of the half on a rolling shot by Carnegie’s Amanda Broderick. Emory ended the first half with an 8-3 edge in shots and a 3-1 bump in shots on goal. The Eagles also took four corner kicks during the first 45 minutes of play, while holding Carnegie without one.
In the second half, Tartan Savina Reid launched a shot wide of the net and Rachel Contopoulos placed a free kick on goal that was saved by Leonard, both in the first two and a half minutes of play in the frame. However, Emory answered back with a run downfield, ending in a touch shot from the near post by Butker that was saved by Albi.
Emory also survived a series of chances by the Tartans in the 53rd minute, when Leonard batted away a corner kick. After a free kick was awarded to Carnegie moments later, the Eagles’ netminder was able to make a diving stop on a low shot by Mitra Ebrahimi to end the threat.
The Eagles’ best chance of the half came in the 85th minute when junior Greta Jochmann took a shot on a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box that sailed just wide of the net. The Eagles and the Tartans ended the first half dead-even with 12 shots and five shots on goal apiece.
Leonard finished the game with four saves, not including her shootout effort and lowered her season goals-against average to 0.41. Mullins, Feldman and Butker led all Eagles in the game with two shots apiece.