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Emmaus girls soccer starts season at 4-0

In her first season of varsity soccer, junior Ananya Roy is making her mark on the Lady Hornets team.

Through the first four games, Roy has notched three goals, including one in the team’s latest win over Whitehall at Memorial Field. Her fast start is indicative of the start that the team is off to this season as it opened with a 4-0-0 mark overall and 3-0-0 in the EPC, shutting out all four of its opponents, including EPC foes East Stroudsburg North (9-0), Liberty (3-0) and Whitehall (4-0).

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when the season started but I’m happy with it,” said Roy. “I’m glad that I get playing time and that I can show them that I can get goals and put my effort in on the field.”

For her goal against Whitehall, it did not play out exactly as Roy thought that it might. She moved up field and fired a shot that she did not have a lot of confidence in but was ready to play a rebound.

“I dribbled through the midfield, which is not something that I normally do,” Roy said. “I ended up finding an opportunity and I took it with my left foot. I wasn’t expecting it to go in, but I got it straight through the keeper’s legs. I was expecting a rebound, but it worked out even better.”

A key for Emmaus this season has been the ability to make corrections on the fly and that was the case against the Zephyrs (1-2-0, 1-2-0). Early in the game, ball control was not where the Hornets needed it to be, but some changes erased a pattern of early turnovers and turned the Emmaus offense into a much sharper force as they continued to pressure Whitehall.

“The first 20 minutes we weren’t really able to possess the ball and find ways out that we typically want to be able to find early in the game,” said Emmaus head coach Sarah Oswald. “But once they settled in after the first 20 minutes, we were able to combine to get in and found some really good opportunities.”

Emmaus went from turning over the ball to forcing turnovers and taking advantage of Whitehall miscues. Sam Walkiewicz got Emmaus’ first goal with just under 27 minutes left in the first half and nine minutes later, Maddi Woodward picked up her fourth goal of the season to make it 2-0.

Roy’s goal came with just under 10 minutes left in the half to cap the first-half scoring. Early in the second half, Kamryn McWhinney found the back of the net to put Emmaus up 4-0.

“We had four corners in the first half and were able to do the things that we look for them to do on the field,” said Oswald. “We are going to continue to work on and build on some things so that when we get later into the season, we will be even sharper and be ready to play against teams like Parkland and Central Dauphin.”

As for the success of Roy, Oswald is not surprised by the ability she is showing early in her varsity career.

“Ananya has been one of those kids that is able to find the goal consistently and we saw that from her at the JV level and it has transferred up here for us,” said Oswald. “She is a kid who continues to work hard and continues to do what is being asked of her and in training and she’s putting that on the field for us.”

In the EPC, Parkland (3-0-0, 3-0-0) and Easton (3-0-0, 3-0-0) and Northampton (2-0-1, 1-0-1) are the only teams that have not yet been defeated this season. Over the next week, Emmaus has road games against Nazareth (3-1-0, 2-1-0), Pleasant Valley (2-1-1, 1-1-1), and Pocono Mountain East (1-2-0, 1-2-0). Their next game at Memorial Field is not until Sept. 14 when they host Bethlehem Catholic (1-3-0, 1-2-0).