SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Converse College soccer team came out on the losing end of a 3-1 score against Emmanuel on Saturday afternoon at Fulp Field. The Valkyries dropped to 1-2-2 overall and 0-1-1 in the conference while the Lions improved to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in Conference Carolinas.
Converse put pressure in the Lions defense early, earning a corner kick in the third minute of action. Hallie Lycans sent a beautiful ball into the box, but Lizzie Melching's strike did not have enough on it as the Emmanuel keeper covered the ball to preserve the early tie.
Lycans had a golden opportunity in the 20th minute to put the Valkyries ahead as she got free inside the 20-yard mark. However, her ball was barely tipped over the crossbar by the EC net minder. Emmanuel took advantage of the missed chance and took a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute when Katie Estrada collected a ball following a deflection and snuck into the back of the net for the first score of the contest.
Emmanuel added to its lead in the 39th minute when Hanna Cespedes was allotted a free kick following a Converse foul. She calmly stepped up to the left of the cage and put the ball in the top right of the net, extending the lead to 2-0 just before the half.
The Valkyries started the second half much like the first, putting pressure on the Lions defense. Anna Claire Albritton put two shots on goal that looked poised to net the first score of the game for Converse, but Marina Eisenhut safely cleared away both balls to keep the Vals off the board.
Once again the Lions took advantage of a Valkyries miscue, padding their lead with an Abby Marmito goal in the 50th minute, extending the EC lead to 3-0. Trying to put together some sort of offense, Nicole Doolittle showed fancy feet in the box and put a good kick on the rock but was denied by the far side post as the ball trickled down the goal yet did not cross the line.
Lycans finally got the Valkyries on the board with just over 14 minutes remaining in the contest when she took a ball in the box and put the defender on a spin cycle before blasting the rock into the back of the cage, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
Unfortunately, that would be the last goal of the contest for either side and Emmanuel held on for the 3-1 conference win.
Converse outshot the Lions by a total of 13-11 and earned 11 corner kicks, compared to only two by EC. Fouls were tied at three each, while each goalie registered five saves on the afternoon. Lindsay Lee led the Lions with three shots, while Lycans added three of her own for Converse.
The Valkyries will be back in action on Tuesday, September 19, traveling to Belmont, N.C. to take on the Crusaders of Belmont Abbey. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.