ATLANTA -- Emory overcame an early deficit on Sunday to come from behind and defeat Lynchburg 2-1 in the second round of the NCAA Division III championships at the Woodruff Physical Education Center.
Emory will advance to the round of 16 for the fourth consecutive season and the 10th time overall in the program's history. The Eagles will take on Wheaton (Ill.) in the next round on Friday at a location and time to be determined late Sunday night.
Emory improved to 16-3-1 overall with the win, the team's ninth in a row and 14th in its past 15 games. The Hornets' season came to a close with a 22-2-0 mark, with both losses coming to the Eagles in Atlanta.
Lynchburg took the early lead in the game, taking advantage of a free kick in the fifth minute of play. The Hornets were awarded a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box that senior Rachel Sadowski sent short and to her right to Jessie Gonzalez. Gonzalez launch a low but hard shot on goal that Emory goalkeeper Liz Arnold deflected, but could not stop, as the ball found the back of the net for the goal. It was the seventh goal of the season for Gonzalez.
Lynchburg continued to press the Eagles defense, taking the first seven shots of the game and eight of the first nine, including an attempt from freshman Erin Benson that hit off the crossbar in the 17th minute.
However, the Eagles would begin to settle into the game, and would eventually tie the contest in the 30th minute of play. The Eagles went on the attack, with senior Kelly Costopoulos streaking down the far side of the field. She made a quick pass to the middle of the pitch to junior Charlotte Butker, who tapped the ball back to junior Jennifer Grant. From 25 yards out, Grant let a shot go, well out of the reach of Lynchburg keeper Tess Frelic and into the goal for her third score of the season, knotting the match at 1-1.
In the 42nd minute, the Eagles would take advantage of a penalty kick awarded to the team after a Lynchburg defender pulled down freshman Cristina Ramirez on a scoring opportunity inside the six-yard box. Senior Clare Mullins was able to convert the resulting penalty kick opportunity giving Emory a 2-1 lead with her third goal of the campaign.
After the flurry of goals in the first half, both defenses would settle in for the second frame, which proved to be a scoreless one. Lynchburg would finish the contest with advantages of 15-10 in total shots and 6-4 in shots on goal, but would absorb the loss nonetheless.
Emory goalkeeper Liz Arnold made four saves and improved to 15-2-1 for the season with the effort.
The Eagles will now turn their attention toward a familiar opponent in Wheaton, which they will meet in the NCAA championships for the third time in the past four years. Emory advances on penalty kicks against Wheaton in the round of 16 in 2011, and defeated the Thunder 2-1 in the semifinals last season.