O'Reilly Breaks Scoring Record As CNU Drops No. 20 Va. Wesleyan, 2-0, for First Time Since 2002
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- It is a series that has existed since the inception of CNU women's soccer, and one that has not been particularly favorable for the Captains over the last decade. On Wednesday night, though, the Captains' all-time leading goal scorer made history once again, and made sure that for the first time since 2002, CNU would come away with a win against the 20th-ranked Virginia Wesleyan Marlins (3-1-1). Emma O'Reilly put away two first half goals, growing her career points total to a record-breaking 89, to lead the Captains to a 2-0 shutout win over the Marlins, improving the team to 3-1-1 overall.
In the series, which dates back to the first year of CNU women's soccer in 1997, the Marlins have a decided 12-4-2 edge in the all-time series. After opening the matchup with a 4-2 start, the Captains have been winless in the last 12 games, as the Marlins have run off a 10-0-2 streak against the Captains.
This year, under the direction of first year head coach Dan Weiler, CNU shook the monkey off its back with the shutout win. It was the first time the Captains shutout of the Marlins since 2010 and just the second since 2000.
CNU rushed to an early lead on Wednesday night, as junior Joy Piirto found Emma O'Reilly open on the right side of the box. She put away her fourth goal of the season on Piirto's third helper of the year. The goal came just 7:39 into the match, on CNU's second shot of the game.
O'Reilly tacked on her fifth goal of the year in the 20th minute, when she chipped the goalkeeper from 10 yards out. The goal was less significant than what it represented, giving her 89 total points in her career to pass CNU Athletics Hall of Famer Ashleigh Dota as the all-time career leader in points. O'Reilly scored her 41st and 42nd goals in the game, increasing her own record number of goals, and eclipsing Dota's four-year total of 88 points set from 2002-05.
With a 2-0 lead, the Captains defense took over, holding off the Marlins for the remainder of the game. CNU's defense, led by starters Kelsey Thomas, Sam Rabinek, Abby Johnson and Erin O'Shaughnessy, gave up just three shots on-goal in the game. Rookie goalkeeper Haley Casanova picked up her third clean sheet of the season, stopping all three attempts on frame.
It was the third shutout of the year for CNU on Foster Field on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan College. In the season-opening weekend, CNU played in a pair of neutral site games in the Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists Invitational, shutting out Fredonia State and Meredith College. Coincidentally, all three games finished in a 2-0 final in favor of the Captains.
Va. Wesleyan held a 15-10 advantage in the game, but both teams put three shots on-goal. O'Reilly led the way for CNU, with four shots, including three on-goal. Bupe Okeowo added three shots for CNU. The Marlins got three shots from leading scorer Kaitlyn Clunan, and two apiece from Kristen Cherry and Nicole Martinez.
This weekend, CNU will stay on the road as they travel to play the Roanoke College Maroons on Saturday, September 14 at 1:00 pm. Live stats and live video will be available at CNUsports.com.