Emerson women’s soccer was unable to keep Emmanuel College at bay Sunday as the Saints came from behind to eliminate the Lions from the playoffs.
Emerson struck early with a header from Tayllar Righini in the second minute of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference quarterfinals. The Lions held out for 67 minutes until the Saints finally broke through.
The Saints scored two goals within a minute to take the lead and eventually beat Emerson 2-1.
“I love to score early, but I always get a little nervous because the game hasn’t settled down yet,” said head coach David Suvak. “After they had scored the two goals, we were pressing a lot and had many opportunities to try and even the score, but it just didn’t work out for us.”
The last time the Lions faced Emmanuel, they were defeated 6-0. Righini, a freshman communication disorders major, said the loss gave the team some extra motivation this time around.
“We came out and wanted revenge,” said Righini, who scored her first header goal of her college career. “I was really happy we gave them a fight, because I didn’t want to go out on a 6-0 loss again, because that is embarrassing.”
Suvak said the team’s state of mind was the major difference between the games.
“I think it was a mentality difference in the two matches,” Suvak said. “I am not exactly sure what happened in the first match, but the players didn’t have the same mindset they had in this playoff match.”
Suvak said the players are looking forward to a fresh challenge when they move to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference next season. He said he thinks the team will adapt well.
“I think we will be better suited in [the NEWMAC],” he said. “We are going to meet a lot of challenges next year with very good opponents, but I have faith that these kids will be able to compete.”
The Lions played future conference opponents Clark University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute this season and lost both matches 2-0, but Righini said the team with 12 freshmen should improve after having a year to play together.
“It was tough because we were so new this year,” Righini said, “but I think it will be better next year, because we all know each other.”