The Emmaus soccer team traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan on Saturday for a match with #3 ranked Grace Christian University. The Eagles, coming off of back to back conference weekends, were plagued by injury, sickness, and a wedding (technically not a plague…), leaving them minus three starters from the previous year's campaign. Still, the spirited Eagles were ready to put up a fight on a beautiful Fall day with the temperature a comfortable 59 degrees at kickoff.
The Tigers from Grace set the tone early, establishing possession and firing in some dangerous crosses. The Eagle defense, anchored by Senior Jake Taylor (#12) stepped up and made some important clearances. In the 11th minute, the Grace attack paid off when a miscue in the middle created space for Tobias Jones (#9) to slot a shot into the bottom right corner. Six minutes later, winger Jared Frasnworth (#5) scored the first of three goals when he swallowed up a rebound and tapped it home. In the 24th minute Fransworth was at it again, once again scoring on a rebound. The Tigers would add one more goal before half to build a comfortable 4-0 lead over the visitors.
The second half was similar to the first in that Tobias Jones got the scoring started for the Tigers in the 53rd minute, following the first half trend of tapping home a rebound. The remainder of the half saw the Eagles continue to play with heart, but the relentless attack of the Tigers added two more goals to make the final score 7-0.
The Eagles gave up a whopping 53 shots on the match, with Jacob Bauder recording an impressive 24 saves. A number of players recorded minute at new positions, with sophomore Sam Tran (#19) providing important minutes in three different positions.
"I was really proud of the team's effort and spirit all around. They kept attitudes positive and worked really hard. Grace is a very skilled team with a lot of depth and experience. We are still growing and looking to be ready for postseason play. Today was a fun practice for future matches, and Coach Block and I are excited about the ways some of our individual players stepped up today… and the way we played as a team. Once again, this is a group I am thankful to be heading home with!" (Coach Brown)
The Eagles will travel to Upper Michigan next weekend to take on a revamped team from Finlandia University.