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Embry Riddle Women Open Inaugural Season with a Nail-Biting Victory

23 October 2016  

It was the first game for the Lady Eagles. And it will go down in history.

PRESCOTT- Hundreds of people packed the activity center at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Saturday afternoon to witness history as the Eagles Women’s basketball team secured a close 65-64 victory against the Multnomah Lions in the inaugural game.

“Definitely great to come out on top in a close game like that,” said Eagles’ freshman forward Melissa Pfeifer who scored 16 points in the victory. “We didn’t play to our best. We would have liked to see the score margin a little wider but at the end of the day, we are happy to start the season 1-0 and win the first game in Embry Riddle history.”

The Eagles held a nice advantage throughout the game but the Lions were able to roar back and erase a ten-point deficit in the fourth quarter before Embry Riddle secured the win.

“I thought we executed in the beginning, it was pretty high energy,” said Eagles coach Becky Burke after the win. “Heading there to the fourth quarter, we kind of lost our cool.”

The Lions late comeback attempt shows the youth of the Eagles inaugural team that features mostly freshman.

“We really showed our true colors that we are freshman,” Burke said. “We got frazzled a little bit, made some mistakes that we can’t make.”

Coach Burke said this type of game is better to happen early but overall it was a great learning experience.

Following the game down to the final second was a thrilling show for a crowded Activity Center that featured a packed student section, the Eagles’ band and hundreds of fans who made every big moment or score ear-piercing.

Pfeifer said she had chills during the starting lineups and appreciated the support of the fans.

“ Unbelievable. Just to have that kind of support at Embry Riddle.” Pfeiffer said. “The crowd is just great throughout the whole game and kept the excitement.”

The festivities of the day and the victory are a culmination of the hard work put in by coach Burke and the rest of the university to make the aspiration of having a women’s basketball team come to fruition.

“It feels amazing. It feels really, really good,” Burke said. “At the end of the day, we come out with a win and that’s the most important thing.”

With the inaugural festivities and win in the rear view mirror, coach Burke said the goal is to focus and learn from the opening game.

“I brought all these girls here for a reason,” Burke said.  “I think they can be a part of something really special and this season is going to be a long tough journey for us but at the end of the day, I feel like we have a chance and we can do some really great things.”

The journey continues for the Eagles (1-0, 0-0 conference) in their first season as the squad heads to Espanola, New Mexico to compete in the Northern New Mexico Tournament. The first opponent will be The University of the Southwest Mustangs on Friday October 28th followed by a Saturday matchup against the Dine College Warriors. Both games start at 1pm.