The Emmaus men's soccer team travelled to Eureka, Illinois on Thursday to take on the Red Devils of Eureka College. It was the first match in several weeks that did not see temperatures sore into the high 80s, and the Eagles were roaring to play despite a short roster.
The first half saw the Eagles control possession and create chance after chance. They came close to taking the lead in the 18th minute when Anthony Flores (#10) saw his effort hit the post and bounce wide. The Eagles finally capitalized in the 33rd minute when Flores drew a foul in the Eureka box and Caron McBain (#11) calmly converted the penalty. The rest of the half saw Emmaus press to extend their lead, but the 1-0 scoreline held.
The second half saw more of the same as Emmaus worked the ball around and created opportunities, only to fire shots straight at the Eureka keeper, Daniel Johnson, who recorded 14 saves on the day. As the game wound down, Eureka caught a nice break in the 82nd minutes as Tyler Goss (#16) found teammate Michael Hanson (#19) behind the Emmaus defense who managed to sneak the ball past Emmaus keeper, Gabriel Salinas to tie things up. The final minutes of regulation were exciting as Emmaus controlled possession and fired in several close shots, only to again be denied by the scrappy Eureka defense.
The tired legs of both teams were evident at the start of overtime as both teams had decent chances, but it was Hanson again who found the back of the net in the 93rd minute, again on a through ball which he muscled past a defender and put away for the win.
"Ouch… that's a tough way to go out," said Coach Brown. "We dominated most of the game and outshot them by a wide margin. Credit goes to their defense for making several last second stops that kept us from finishing the game when we should have. It hurts to lose this way again as we are a better team than our record indicates, but I trust our guys will learn from the experience and be ready for the next match. There is growth happening and hopefully we fill start to see more positive results on the scoreboard. Either way, I love these guys!"
The Eagles will be back in action at home on Saturday when they host regional powerhouse Moody Bible Institute. Kickoff is set for 2:00.