By James Ritchey
Men’s Soccer (11-9, 7-4 CalPac)
2 Nov (Away)
ERAU 2 – 1 Ottawa University Arizona
The Embry-Riddle Men’s Soccer team traveled to the Phoenix area for their final games of the regular season, playing Ottawa University Arizona on Nov. 2 and Benedictine University at Mesa on Nov. 4. In the OUAZ game, ERAU got on the scoreboard in the first six minute due to a goal from Nicholas Goldstein. For the remainder of the half, the Eagles had several more unsuccessful offensive pushes, and managed to control the ball for most of the time, only allowing three shots. In the second half, a more physical game was played, with multiple fouls and yellow cards given out. With about 13 minutes left in the game, Alan Wallingford solidified the ERAU lead and gave the Eagles some breathing room with a goal off a deflection. A few minutes later, the Spirit finally scored with a goal off deflection of their own, but they would not be able to come together to score or tie the game after that. Nicholas Goldstein led the Eagles with six shots out of the 17 total for the Eagles.
4 Nov (Away)
ERAU 1 – 3 Benedictine University at Mesa
A close game against the Redhawks at BENU did not go the way the Eagles had hoped. In the first half, the Redhawks scored once, giving the Eagles some hope going into halftime. Shortly into the second half, BENU scored once more to double their lead. However, Grant Rowe gave the Eagles some hope with a goal in the 55th minute. Unfortunately, less than a minute later, the Redhawks responded with yet another goal to bring the score to 1-3. Both sides were deadlocked after that point, and despite a good effort from the Eagles, no more offense resulted in anything. The Eagles would end their regular season with a loss, but entered the conference tournament as the sixth seed.
8 Nov (Away – CalPac Conference Tournament First Round)
ERAU 3 – 0 La Sierra University
In the first game of the postseason, the Eagles were eager to prove their worth, as they barely managed to make it into the tournament as the sixth and final seed. They were coming off a loss to Benedictine University at Mesa, who was the fifth seed in the tournament. Previously in the season, ERAU had lost to La Sierra 0-3, so they came into the game as clear underdogs with much to prove. Once the game started, the Eagles were able to control the ball and first got on the scoreboard when junior midfielder Grant Rowe found the back of the net with assists from David Bates and Nicholas Goldstein. The game turned very physical, with both teams determined to lengthen their season. There was no further score until 15 minutes into the second half, when junior midfielder David Bates scored off an assist from Lucas Vasconcelos. ERAU held off a lengthy offensive push from LSU, then Jacob Baker further extended the ERAU lead, scoring in the seventieth minute. An increasingly frustrated LSU was unable to put together any significant offense for the remainder of the game. LSU ended with four yellow cards and a red card against them. David Bates led the Eagles in shots with four, while Alastair Stark had five saves to maintain a shutout.
9 Nov (Away, CalPac Conference Tournament Semifinals)
ERAU 0 – 2 UC Merced
After a great win over La Sierra University the previous day, the Eagles looked forward to their next obstacle with a do-or-die game against second-ranked UC Merced. The game began with defensive forces dominant, as neither side could put together much offense and any shot was quickly turned around into a possession for the other team. The equilibrium lasted throughout the first half. In the second half, the Bobcats were able to change that. Most of the action took place in the Eagles’ half, putting them on edge until they finally gave up a goal in at 55:54. ERAU attempts at tying the game were always dashed, and at 81:39, the Bobcats doubled their lead. For the last few minutes of the game, the Eagles pushed valiantly for a comeback, but nothing ever came to fruition, and ERAU was pushed out of the conference tournament.
Women’s Soccer (17-3, 8-0 CalPac)
4 Nov (Away)
ERAU 2 – 0 Benedictine University at Mesa
In their final game of the regular season, the ERAU Women’s Soccer team traveled down to play Benedictine University at Mesa in a conference matchup. The Eagles, ranked No. 16 in the nation, earned a 2-0 victory, ensuring they stayed at the top of the Cal Pac conference with an 8-0 conference record and a 15-3 record overall. The Eagles have also not allowed a goal in conference play. In the game, the Eagles were able to establish a clear dominance throughout both halves. At 13:03, ERAU scored the first goal when freshman Riley Martinson converted on a pass from Breanna Larkin. The second goal for the Eagles came from Breanna Larkin in the 74th minute, this time on an assist from Maddy Markham. Overall, the Eagles had 26 shots to the Redhawks’ eight. Parker Lee led the Eagles with eight shots, and goalie Caitlyn Aaron kept the shutout with three saves.
9 Nov (Away, CalPac Conference Tournament Semifinals)
ERAU 4 – 0 La Sierra University
The Eagles, with the first seed in the CalPac conference tournament, matched up with La Sierra University, the fourth seed, in their first game of the postseason. During the regular season, the Eagles had topped LSU 2-0, so came into the game with plenty of confidence. Just nine minutes into the game, Ally Leara scored the first of the Eagles’ goals, setting the mood for the rest of the game. LSU struggled to put together a clear offensive effort and for every shot they managed to get off, the Eagles would quickly roar back with a strong push of their own. At 33:37, Maddy Markham scored the second of ERAU’s goals to carry them into halftime. Shortly into the second half, LSU scored an own goal, frustrating them greatly and hampering their team cohesion. With LSU unable to pass well enough to get them any successful offense, ERAU controlled the play of the game for most of the half. Maddy Markham scored her second goal of the game with about four minutes left in the game to solidify the ERAU lead and earn them the win.
11 Nov (Away, CalPac Conference Championship)
ERAU 1 – 0 UC Merced
The championship game of the CalPac Tournament played out in a very defensive way. Both teams struggled to put together any successful offensive push, and the match remained tight until the final whistle. The only goal of the game came from Riley Martinson, CalPac Freshman of the Year, at 32:48. For the remainder of the game, UC Merced was able to come together to put several shots on goal, but ERAU goalie Caitlyn Aaron maintained her composure and kept the shutout, making sure that this final match would not break the Eagles’ conference shutout streak. The win gave ERAU their second conference championship in three years, and gave them a spot in the national tournament.
Volleyball (28-3, 14-0 CalPac)
2 Nov (Away)
ERAU 3 – 1 Ottawa University Arizona
In one of their final games of the regular season, the ERAU Women’s Volleyball team traveled down to Phoenix to face Ottawa University Arizona. The Eagles started the first set poorly, as the Spirit quickly went up 2-6 and the only ERAU points came from OUAZ errors. A timeout gave ERAU time to refocus, as afterwards they proceeded to go on a 7-1 run and get themselves back in the game. The Eagles got to set point at 24-19, but the Spirit started to put up a comeback attempt, scoring three straight. However, an error on OUAZ brought the set to an end 25-22. A fierce second set also saw OUAZ start with a lead, but this time the Spirit was able to keep it. The Eagles put up a good effort, but OUAZ was able to take the set 25-27. In the third set, the back and forth flow of the game lasted throughout the entire set. Neither side had a clear advantage over the other, and no lead was ever more than three points. The set finally ended on a Lyndsey Weiler kill to bring the score to 25-23. The fourth set turned out to be the final one, as the Eagles came out on top of another very close set 25-22. Jalin Yoder led the Eagles with 13 kills, 16 digs, and a service ace. Lyndsey Weiler had 12 kills and eight digs, and Audrey Baldwin had another great game with 40 assists.
4 Nov (Away)
ERAU 3 – 1 Benedictine University at Mesa
In their final regular season game of the season, the record-setting Embry-Riddle Women’s Volleyball team defeated Benedictine University at Mesa 3-1 to secure an undefeated conference record. In the first set, the Eagles saw themselves in a position very familiar to them. The Redhawks had built up a 1-6 lead, then after some ERAU offense, a 5-10 lead. At this point, the Eagles then scored six straight points, with Kaitlin Shroll serving, and kept that lead for the rest of the set. Audrey Baldwin had two straight aces to end the set 25-19. In the second set, multiple errors by the Eagles, coupled with strong spiking by the Redhawks gave BE-Mesa a lead they never relinquished. A strong blocking line also plagued the Eagles in the second set, until they managed to score five straight points to bring the score to 18-19. Unfortunately, this run did not last, and the Redhawks proceeded to score on four straight kills. Two errors by ERAU ended the set 19-25. The Eagles regrouped in the third set and took an early 4-1 lead. The Eagles broke ahead somewhat with three straight points to bring the score to 14-11, then shortly after had a surge of offense to take a very strong lead. With Kaitlin Shroll serving, the Eagles scored eight straight points to bring about set point at 24-13. After BU-Mesa managed to score two more points, the Eagles gave themselves a match advantage with a kill from Sharik Joseph, ending the set 25-15. The fourth set saw the Redhawks take a small early lead until the Eagles had a flood of offense, scoring seven straight points to bring the score to 12-6. Another five point run came for the Eagles to bring the score to 21-14, and the Redhawks lost all hope. A kill from Lyndsey Weiler and an error by the Redhawks ended the match, with the Eagles winning the final set 25-18. Lyndsey Weiler led the Eagles in offense with 14 kills. Megan Riley led the defense with 24 digs. Jalin Yoder put in an outstanding effort all around, with 9 kills and 18 digs.
9 Nov (Away, CalPac Conference Semifinals)
ERAU 3 – 1 La Sierra University
The Eagles continued their undefeated streak into the postseason with a critical win against La Sierra. The first set was very hotly contested, with both teams trading leads until ERAU scored five straight to break a tie and come ahead 20-15. A kill from Audrey Baldwin knocked out the first set with a 25-20 ERAU win. The second set started like the first with both teams neck-in-neck, but ERAU proceeded to pull ahead to lead 23-16. Some errors by the Eagles started a seven point run by LSU to tie the game at 23-23, however, they proceeded to have two attack errors to give ERAU the second win 25-23. In the third set, LSU was able to convert their offensive momentum from the previous set into a set victory. Both teams stayed very close in score until the final plays of the set, when LSU was able to score several points without ERAU response to take the set 19-25. In the fourth set, the Eagles finally came together to prove their worth as the top team in the conference. There were no close calls in the fourth set, as ERAU built up a quick six point lead, then proceeded to expand that lead to nine points by the time LSU was able to recover. LSU scored four straight to give them some hope that was quickly dashed by four straight by the Eagles, giving them a 25-16 win to prolong their season.
11 Nov (Away, CalPac Conference Finals)
ERAU 3 – 2 UC Merced
An aggressive match between the Eagles and third seed Bobcats of UC Merced was the culmination of the conference tournament. Each set was very back-and-forth in momentum, with neither side maintaining a clear advantage over the other. The first set saw the Eagles take a lead late in the set by scoring five straight points and overcoming UCM 25-22. The second set played out almost exactly like the first: both sides close for most of the set, until the ERAU scored five straight late in the game for a lead. However, once the Eagles got to set point at 24-22, they choked and gave up four straight to allow the Bobcats to tie the match with a set score of 24-26. The third set marked the competitiveness of both teams, as another close set went to UCM 22-25. In a critical fourth set, the Eagles played much better, as they took a lead with the opening play and never let it go. UCM was unable to come back as well as in the previous sets, and ERAU tied the match with a 25-19 set win. The final set of the tournament saw the Eagles take a quick 5-1 lead, and maintain it for the most part until UCM scored three straight points to bring the score to 11-10. The tumultuous match came to a climax as UCM proceeded to come together to take a 14-13 lead and bring about match point for themselves. Caylee Robalin got the Eagles back on track with a tying kill, and errors by UCM coupled with a fantastic kill by Sharik Joseph earned the Eagles the conference championship with a 17-15 win in the final set.
Men’s Basketball (3-1)
3 Nov (Away)
ERAU 60 – 71 Life Pacific College
In their second game of the season, the Eagles fell to the Warriors of Life Pacific College. ERAU struggled with shooting in the first half, going 11-29 in field goals, while Life Pacific was able to find weak points in the Eagle defense. The Eagles went into halftime down 30-42. In the second half, ERAU was able to close many of the weaknesses in their defense that were exposed in the first half, but their shooting still struggled. Life Pacific’s 47 percent field goal percentage clearly overpowered ERAU, giving them a 60-71 win at the final buzzer. Calvin Carmichael led the Eagles with 14 points, followed by Gilbert Ibarra with 11.
4 Nov (Away)
ERAU 86 – 77 West Coast Baptist College
After a loss to Life Pacific, the Eagles continued their road trip with a strong win over West Coast Baptist. The first half saw ERAU struggle greatly with offense, going down 14-0 before finally getting their offensive effort coherent. WCB still was able to stay ahead due to their original lead, and went into halftime up 33-42. ERAU played to their strengths more in the second half, utilizing more inside shooting and shooting more from closer ranges. Things were still looking down for the Eagles until the last ten minutes of regulation, when they were able to close a 15-point deficit. Two good free throws by Nick Johnson tied the game 62-62 with 7:40 remaining. Neither side was able to take a large lead, and at the end of regulation, the game was tied at 73. In the five-minute overtime period, the score remained tight for the first two minutes. Then, the Eagles went off when Logan Skurdal broke a tie with a three pointer. Ryan Skurdal and Gilbert Ibarra proceeded to drive in the paint and create more distance, creating a nine-point lead when the game ended.
10 Nov (Home)
ERAU 95 – 69 Ottawa University Arizona
The Eagles dominated the OUAZ Spirit in their second home game of the season. After some struggles in the first few minutes of the game, the Eagles went off, showcasing a great improvement in their outside shooting while maintaining their skill in the paint. The Eagles went into halftime up 48-37. Logan Skurdal scored two three pointers to open the second half, indicating the direction the half would play out. ERAU stayed consistent with their shooting and were able to shut down several OUAZ offensive plays. Each player on the ERAU roster got some minutes in as the Eagles led by as many as 30 points before the final buzzer sounded with a score of 95-69. Logan Skurdal had 29 points, making nine of 12 three-pointers. Overall, the Eagles had a 53.8 field goal percentage and a 65.2 three-point percentage.
13 Nov (Away)
ERAU 82 – 70 Northern Arizona University
In a friendly game against NCAA Division I NAU, the Eagles came away with an impressive win against a team in a much higher league. In the first half, the Lumberjacks were able to shoot well, capitalizing on three point shooting to climb to a 9-25 lead. However, the Eagles in turn hit three consecutive three point shots and went 6-6 from the free throw line over the next seven minutes, cutting the NAU lead down to 34-35 with one minute left in the half. At halftime, ERAU trailed 36-40, but were eager to continue their good play into the second half. Jaran Hoover hit a jump shot Ryan Skurdal hit a three-pointer, giving the Eagles a 41-40 lead at the start of the second half. NAU was able to come back and tie the game 53-53 with 11:22 left in regulation, but the Eagles again found ways to take another lead. ERAU had a 57.7 percent shooting percentage in the second half, and outrebounded NAU 41-36. In the final minutes, ERAU hit almost all of their free throws, earning a victory with a final score of 82-70.
Women’s Basketball (7-0)
3 Nov (Away)
ERAU 71 – 53 Whittier College
In a very offense-focused game, the Eagles never lost the lead and soared to an easy victory over the Whittier College Poets. ERAU again demonstrated their great distance shooting ability, going 4-7 from three in the first half to guide them to an easy win. At halftime, the Eagles were up 35-26, and kept their success going into the third quarter, when they outscored the Poets 20-5. WC organized themselves better in the fourth quarter, but it was too late to make much difference, as the Eagles still walked away with an 18-point victory. Haley Villegas led the Eagles with 21 points, five three-pointers, and two assists.
11 Nov (Home)
ERAU 99 – 81 Northern New Mexico College
In one of their first home games of the season, the Eagles came out on top of a high-scoring game against Northern New Mexico College. A back-and-forth match lasted from the opening tip until about midway through the second quarter, when the Eagles went on an 11-0 run and never looked back. NNMC was unable to regroup or find any momentum, and the Eagles maintained their shooting dominance throughout the match. Bethany Wolph had an outstanding game with 26 points, including shooting 8-17 from beyond the arch.
13 Nov (Away)
ERAU 73 – 51 Colorado College
ERAU started a Colorado road trip in Colorado Springs, playing the Tigers of Colorado College. The first quarter played out with neither team having a clear advantage over the other. A defensively-dominant second quarter saw the Eagles pull far ahead, however, leading 42-15 at the half and restricting the Tigers to just four points in the quarter. Colorado College regrouped over halftime and outscored ERAU 16-21 in the third quarter, but this would not be enough. ERAU was able to hold back any comeback attempts in the fourth and the game ended with the Eagles on top 73-51. Danae Ruiz led the Eagles with 19 points, three assists and two blocks.
14 Nov (Away)
ERAU 81 – 38 Johnson & Wales University
The Eagles finished a road trip with a dominating win over Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colo. The Wildcats started well, quickly taking a 3-9 lead. However, the Eagles quickly took command of the game and never looked back. By the end of the first quarter, ERAU was up 14-11, and never lost the lead again. Three-point shooting by the Eagles was key, and in the second quarter, the Eagles expanded their lead to as many as 18 points, and went into halftime up 37-21. In the second half, ERAU defense prevented JWU from creating any offensive momentum, as they were held to just six field goals in the third and fourth quarters. Meanwhile, ERAU offense continued to put up points, increasing their margin of victory continuously. By the time the final buzzer signified the end of the onslaught, ERAU was on top with a 43 point lead. Haley Villegas led the Eagles with 16 points, five assists, and five steals.
4 Nov (Away)
ERAU 30 – 15 Mt. San Antonio College
The Eagles opened their season with a dual meet in Riverside, CA. ERAU enters the new season ranked No. 8 in the nation, after several successful seasons under head coach KC Rock. In the first meet against Mt. SAC, Collin Anderson pinned his opponent in the 133-pound weight class in the second match of the meet to give ERAU a 6-3 lead. Mt. SAC won the 141-pound and 157-pound match by pins, but after that, each match went to the Eagles. Taylor Owens won by decision in the 165-pound match, Kody Davis won by a 9-8 decision in the 174-pound match, and Dylan Passalaqua earned a pin at 4:37 in the 184-pound match. In the final heavyweight match, David Rupp earned a 5-2 decision victory in overtime. The final team score saw ERAU win 30-15.
4 Nov (Away)
ERAU 12 – 28 California Baptist University
After a victory in their first meet of the day, the Eagles moved on to face Cal Baptist, ranked third in the nation, allowing ERAU to get some good experience against some of their top competition early in the season. In the first matches against CBU, the Eagles started with a 9-0 team score after a forfeit in the 125-pound match and Collin Anderson earning his second victory of the day with a 6-4 decision in the 133-pound match. After that, unfortunately, the Eagles were only able to win one more matchup. Eli Mason won the 197-pound match with a 4-1 decision. Overall, the CBU meet ended with a team score of 12-28. The Eagles put up a good fight, only being pinned once, and keeping scores in several matchups close.
Firestorm Invitational – Phoenix, AZ
At Arizona Christian University’s golf tournament, the ERAU Women’s team did very well, taking an overall first place with a score of 614. Nicole Lopes shot a par 72-72 to take first place overall individually. Jessica Williams and Trae Jones both tied for sixth overall with a score of 154. The Men’s team, unfortunately, did not do nearly as well. With an overall score of 604, the Eagles placed ninth. On an individual level, ERAU was led by Lewis Breslin, who shot 72-73 for a 14th overall finish.