The Eastern Michigan soccer team lost a 3-2 heartbreaker in double overtime Sunday afternoon to no. 6 seed Western Michigan, knocking the no. 3 seed Eagles out of the Mid-American Conference playoffs.
Both teams played each other last Sunday in Kalamazoo. Eastern won 1-0. This is also the second consecutive season Eastern was eliminated by the Broncos in the playoffs.
“The hard part for us is the fact that that team played on the same club teams as our kids,” EMU coach Scott Hall said. “We won one, they won one – it’s gone back and forth. It’s 50-50 either time. We tried to turn the tides on that … This is a rivalry that’s comes down to inches again. They got on the end of the inch when they needed it.”
Megan McCabe started in goal for the Eagles (11-7-1, 7-4 MAC). She saved five of the eight shots on goal she faced.
“She’s been pretty steady for the full year,” Hall said. “She trains very hard and her mentality is very good. She’s one of the captains. We’ve been lucky. She had a little bit of a struggle … but then seemed to get herself back in.”
Molli Krick (81’) and Madison Hirsch (88’) scored for Eastern.
Stephanie Heber was the goaltender for the Broncos (12-7-1, 6-5-1 MAC). She made three saves on five shots.
Liz Abro (27’), Nicole Hatcliffe (46’) and Emma Kahn (106’) found the back of the net for Western.
After falling behind 2-0, the Eagles scored two quick goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation – forcing overtime.
“First off, I thought what Eastern did at the end of the game was incredible,” WMU coach Nate Norman said. “It shows their character. They’re a quality team with an unbelievable coaching staff.”
With less than four minutes remaining in the second overtime, Kahn scored on a header off a free kick, ending Eastern’s season.
“We fought back,” Hall said. “We continued to fight back, but we ran out of time.”
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