|Posted by jfullan on November 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM||comments (0)|
The Emmaus men’s soccer team travelled south to a warm and sunny Joplin, Missouri to compete in the ACCA National Tournament in a full weekend of soccer, fun, and fellowship accompanied by the Emmaus volleyball team.
The Eagles (#5 seed) took on the Warriors of Calvary Bible College (#4 seed) on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the tournament. The team was excited about the rematch with Calvary who had defeated Emmaus 2-1 earlier in the season. The Eagles got off to a great start, possessing the ball and creating scoring opportunities, but the Warriors managed to find the net first when outstanding senior Ross Harris (#14) evaded the Emmaus defense and fired a shot that bounced off of goalkeeper Erik Rasmussen’s hands and trickled into the net. The half ended with the Eagles trailing 0-1, but there was plenty of exciting soccer to be played.
Cheered on loudly by the volleyball team, Emmaus controlled the momentum of the second half and freshman Joe Olsen tied the game up with his 8th goal of the year on a strong shot just wide of the keeper. Emmaus took the lead a few minutes later when the ball rebounded out of the Calvary penalty area off of an Emmaus corner kick. Freshman defender Ryan Bell stepped to the ball and fired a rocket into the upper ninety for his first goal of the season. The Emmaus offense continued to press the attack, but Calvary had an answer when Ross Harris scored his second goal of the game to tie things up on a strong turn in the Emmaus box. Overtime seemed imminent as the two teams battled hard all over the muddy field, each creating near scoring opportunities. Then, in the final minute of play, Andy Bell won a powerful header in the box that deflected off a Calvary defender and into the goal to seal a 3-2 victory for the Eagles.
“I am really proud of the guys’ efforts today. Both teams battled hard and exemplified both strong play and Christ-like character. It is always a privilege to play the Warriors as they are well-coached and follow the example of their Coach, Dan Nichols.” (Coach Brown)
Thursday night after the game the Emmaus teams met up with the Calvary teams for a time of sharing, singing, prayer, and fellowship. “It was a rich time for both teams to worship and encourage one another, remembering our great Savior together and celebrating being a part of His team.”
On Friday afternoon the Emmaus men took on the #1 seeded hosts, Ozark Christian College. As the game got under way, it was evident that Ozark possessed a great deal of both speed and skill and kept the Emmaus defense busy early and often. Finally, in the 24th minute, Ozark found the back of the net as they managed to claim a hard fought 50/50 ball and cross it into the box where a waiting forward made a strong turn to score a goal. The Emmaus attack struggled to gain much momentum against the speed of the Ozark defense and went into the half trailing 0-1.
Emmaus came out fired up in the second half and after battling primarily in the midfield for 10 minutes they recorded the first shot on goal of the half. It was Ozark, however, that would strike again as outstanding midfielder Connor Wood (#6) played a perfect through ball to streaking outside midfielder Skyler Davis who put the shot away with one neat touch. “There wasn’t a lot the defense could have done as it was a great pass and excellent finish.”
Just minutes later Ozark struck again on a long range shot that beat keeper Erik Rasmussen into the left corner. The score would hold at 0-3 for most of the second half before Ozark managed to notch a two more goals courtesy of their speed and determination.
“No one ever likes to lose, but I have to say our guys fought hard and gave themselves a chance. Erik Rasmussen recorded some phenomenal saves to keep things close and the defense held strong for most of the game. Ozark is a very skilled team with a lot of speed and a skilled bench. Even better, they are a classy team who clearly enjoys both the game as well as the fellowship on the field. It was a privilege to play them and I look forward to seeing them in future years. Coach Greer clearly has his priorities straight in working with his team as they play extremely hard without sacrificing their testimony.”
The final test for Emmaus came on Saturday morning as they faced Hillsdale Freewill Baptist College (Moore, OK) in the 3rd place game of the tournament. The Eagles got off to a good start by putting strong pressure on the Hillsdale midfield and setting up a few good crosses early. Hillsdale quickly regained their composure, however, to set the tone for the game. Using crisp passes and strong finishing, Hillsdale managed to knot two goals in the opening half as Emmaus struggled to apply consistent pressure on their shooters. Coach Brown reported that, “We gave them a little too much space, which I realized later had more to do with tired legs than lack of effort on our part.”
The second half brought more of the same as the weekend-weary Eagles struggled to find energy to match Hillsdale’s, who scored just two minutes into the new half and twice more halfway through. “We were clearly tired as we had yet to face 3 games in 3 days this year, and credit Hillsdale for taking advantage of the space we afforded them on defense. They clearly played a better game and I applaud their fitness and finishing.” Emmaus did not give up, however, as they finally managed to score a goal of their own with just two minutes to spare. Travis Holtan (#5) battled for a ball in the left corner, won the endline, and then played a perfect cross to freshman Joe Olsen (#3) who headed the ball into the goal from close range. “The guys don’t give up. Though energy was low and our play was a little frustrating at times, the guys continued to work for one another until the final whistle.”
Despite falling in their final two games of the tournament, the Eagles finished 4th overall and count it a very successful weekend for the team and the program. “Before our first game of the tournament we shared as a team what would make this a successful weekend. Sure, winning games can be part of success, but we all agreed that playing our hardest, growing in our relationships with one another and other teams, and representing our school, families, and Savior well were the key ingredients for a successful weekend. Though there is always room for growth, I would have to say mission accomplished as far as the team goes. This season we grew together through wins and losses, and it is hard for me to imagine working with a more fun group of guys who genuinely care for one another on and off the field. They are not a group to be taken for granted as I only wish I could have them all around for a few more years. I have grown significantly as a coach this year from working with them, and I count it a great privilege to be a part of this team.”
Emmaus finished their season with a record of 6 wins, 14 losses, and plenty of potential looking toward next year.
|Posted by jfullan on October 31, 2013 at 11:10 AM||comments (0)|
There was not a single person at this tournament that was not tired as not only were the games all pushed back but all matches went to five games. Mt. Mary took a 10-0 lead in the first set as Emmaus seemed out of the match already (25-11). The Emmaus bench appeared anxious to get back in game 2 to show what they were made of. From the beginning one could already tell this was a different team than set 1 as Emmaus took it 25-23. “I’m not really sure what that was Game 1, but it sure wasn’t Emmaus Volleyball. It was key for the girls to bounce back in Game 2 which they did convincingly,” said Coach Strautmann. However, Game 3 said otherwise as Mt. Mary once again took a huge lead and left Emmaus baffled in another loss (14-25). The Lady Eagles would need quite the surge to take this match to 5 and they did exactly that winning 25-23. Set 5 was identical to the one against Grace as the Lady Eagles trailed 8-4. This time Emmaus could not mount a comeback losing 8-15. “I won’t deny today was a LONG day but we are going to face similar days at Nationals so we have to be prepared physically and mentally for these battles, “concluded Coach Strautmann.
An impressive end to an up and down season as the Emmaus Lady Eagles ended the season 4-2 and all close matches. They would now spend the next week and a half preparing for their Nationals in Joplin, Missouri.
|Posted by jfullan on October 31, 2013 at 11:10 AM||comments (0)|
Emmaus would have an unexpected third bout with Grace this time on a neutral ground; Mt. Mary. Grace was not messing around as they came out strong in Set 1 taking it 19-25. Grace had just come off a huge win against Mt. Mary taking some games to scores of 33-31 so there was no question they were warmed up and ready to go. Emmaus then went on to take games 2 and 3 by scores of 26-24 and 25-17. At this point it looked as if Emmaus would take another before 5 games but Grace had much to say about this. They took an early lead once again and finished out the set with authority with a score of 25-17. This would bring these two teams to the first game 5 of all their meetings this year. Grace jumped to a 8-4 lead and things were not looking good for the Lady Eagles. Statistically speaking the team to reach 8 points first would run away with the match but today things went a little differently. Emmaus then went on a 11-4 run to close out an up and downhill battle with Grace. “First of all Grace did an awesome job this weekend playing without a couple of their starters as there was not one easy win all weekend. And once again I am extremely impressed with how Lady Eagles have come together under a new setter and lineup at such a critical time of the year, “responded Coach Strautmann.
|Posted by jfullan on October 31, 2013 at 11:00 AM||comments (0)|
“Observe, Interpret, APPLY!” This was the new battle cry of the Emmaus crowd led by students John Walker and Caleb Ruter.
Emmaus had played Grace earlier this year losing in four so they were ready for round 2. Katie Koppen would be setting once again as the injured Bethany Scheer supported from the sideline. Set 1 could not have been played tighter as it was neck in neck the entire set. Both teams were making great plays and covering the court well as the set looked to be coming to an end with an Emmaus lead 24-23. However, Grace would not go away as they brought the score back to 26-26 with it being anybody’s game. Between a couple good serves and solid hitting Emmaus won an intense set 28-26. There was little time to celebrate as set 2 was quickly under way with Emmaus taking a strong early lead of 5-0. After a Grace Timeout they seemed to be right back into it bringing the game close once again. It wasn’t until the end of the match one team seized control as Emmaus won 25-21. Game 3 was just as close as the previous sets but Grace seemed to run out of steam as energized Emmaus ran away with it at the end (25-18).
“This was a huge night not only for the seniors but the whole team as Nationals were just around the corner. These girls are playing their best volleyball right now; very fun to watch," remarked Coach Strautmann.
|Posted by jfullan on October 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM||comments (0)|
Lady Eagles were flying high as they had just won two straight despite being down starting setter Bethany Scheer. Although Emmaus had won the previous matchup against Dayspring (3-1) this would be a completely different ball game. Set 1 both teams came out swinging as rallies were long and bodies were flying. Both teams knew they could not afford to trade points but it wasn’t until the 20’s that this cycle stopped. Score was 22-22 and the game was up for grabs. However, Dayspring won three straight taking the first set. It wasn’t until these final two sets of the weekend that it truly looked like a team with a new setter. Balls were hitting the floor in between players, good decisions were not being made, and it just looked like they didn’t have the same confidence as before. “It was as if the “injury adrenaline” was gone and we all lost the fight for each other. Trust is a HUGE part of volleyball and we all doubted one another towards the end of the match, “Coach Strautmann noted. Dayspring would go on to win 3-0 looking much better in the rematch (17-25, 18-25). Overall this was a successful weekend for both these teams but Emmaus had a few more questions to answer to prepare for the last couple matches and then nationals.
|Posted by jfullan on October 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM||comments (0)|
The Lady Eagles would have to recreate the energy from the previous night in order to beat Oak Hills or anyone for that matter. This is now the team they would be playing with for the rest of the weekend and possibly the year so these girls needed to do better than “escape” with wins. Emmaus could not have responded much better as they took the match in 3 sets (25-17, 25-22, 25-17). Oak Hills fought for every point as there wasn’t a game they gave Emmaus breathing room. “I am not aware of how Oak Hills season has been going but I was impressed and encouraged by the girls’ tenacity, attitude, and hustle. In every set there wasn’t a time where they “faded out” or stopped fighting, “observed Coach Strautmann.
|Posted by jfullan on October 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM||comments (0)|
The idea of winning was becoming a faint memory for the Emmaus Eagles as it had been weeks since their past victory. Tonight they would be tested more than they could have imagined before the weekend started. The game started in a very casual fashion as teams were half-heartedly winning and losing plays. There wasn’t a moment in the match that either team was leading by more than 3 points. Game 1 would go to “overtime” as both teams met at 24. However, the match couldn’t have ended any worse as on the last point setter Bethany Scheer went up for a block and landed wrong. “This was so hard for me to see as I could see the sadness and frustration in her eyes, and it was not because of the physical pain. We had two minutes to pull together and train our back up setter, Katie Koppen, “said Coach Strautmann.
All hope seemed to be lost as the first few plays there was an obvious struggle for everyone to be in the right position. Many people were moved around and there was a setter playing the position for the first time. However, Emmaus seemed to be more unified than before knowing they all needed to work together now more than ever. Although there was still moments of confusion Emmaus came out on top (25-22). Game 3 Emmaus kept pushing with the same intensity winning 25-22 once again. One would not have imagined a game 4 with Emmaus having the chance to win but here they were. Oak Hills responded well finding the weaknesses in the new Emmaus Defense and taking game 4 (23-25). At this point Oak Hills had all the momentum and they used it well starting Game 5 with a lead of 3-8. Statistically the team that hits 8 points first in Game 5 wins simply because the set is shorter and more intense. However, Emmaus made on last push that put them on a 11-4 run taking the match. “This was an amazing comeback to see. An injury that could have given the girls every reason to lose hope and fall out of competition, but they came together for a huge win, “concluded Coach Strautmann. Koppen walked into the locker room to a hearty applause and the Lady Eagles ended the night in prayer for their setter Bethany Scheer.
|Posted by jfullan on October 22, 2013 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
The Emmaus men’s soccer team ended their regular season this past weekend with back to back wins against Central Christian College of the Bible (Moberly, MO) and St. Louis Christian College (St. Louis, MO).
Friday night’s match against the Saints of CCCB was anything but pretty as Emmaus struggled to stay onside against the tight Saint’s trap. Both teams came close to scoring on several occasions before Micah Barsness blasted a ball past the Saint’s keeper off of an assist from Travis Holtan. The score would hold until the 4th minutes of the second half when Banjamin Jimenez tapped in a corner kick fed by freshman Joe Olsen. The Saints did not quit, however, and scored off of a perfectly placed free kick following a handball just outside the Emmaus box. Joe Olsen then regained the two goal lead for the eagles with textbook cross goal shot off of an assist from Miguel Rodriguez. The Saints would draw within a goal for the second time after a controversial offsides call near midfield led to a Saint’s free kick. The Eagles had an answer. Travis Holtan notched his first goal of the night on a loose ball in the box following a header by Joe Olson. The Saints were not finished, however, and managed to get back one final goal late in stoppage time as the score ended 4-3 in favor of the home team.
“I was really proud of the way the guys fought last night. Despite a plethora of sometimes questionable off sides calls, the team managed to score 4 goals against a team who held them scoreless at the beginning of the season. There was a lot to learn from the game both regarding our play and our response to adversity. I suppose that when Paul wrote that we should ‘do everything without grumbling and complaining,’ (Phil. 2:14) he was anticipating that challenging situations would arise. Last night was one of those times, and we learned our lesson and still managed to escape with the victory.”
In their second match of the weekend the Eagles took on the Soldiers of SLCC. The Eagles started the game well, settling the ball and finding open players despite slippery conditions. Senior Andy Bell got the scoring started in the 15th minute when he intercepted a pass on the Soldier back line and rifled a shot into the far corner for his first goal of the season. The Soldiers battled hard and had a few near misses of their own before Micah Barsness drove home a shot off of an assist from Ryan Bell just before the half.
Emmaus came out firing in the second half, putting immediate pressure on the Soldier defense. Travis Holtan then scored on a redirected ball off of a Ryan Bell corner kick (51st minute). Micah Barsness scored five minutes later on another corner after settling a loose ball in the box on another corner kick. “We have been working hard in practice at wanting the ball in the box, and it paid off with two corner kick goals in a row” (Coach Brown).
The Eagles weren’t done. Joe Olsen received a long ball down the sideline from Ryan Bell and proceeded to sidestep a defender before firing the ball through the goalie’s legs. The Eagle’s final goal of the match came four minutes later when defender Joel Colon made a brilliant run down the right flank and battled his way through the Soldier defense before knocking the ball into the net.
The 6-0 scoreline would stand as Emmaus recorded its 5th win and 3rd shutout of the season. Goalkeeper Erik Rasmussen recorded 17 saves on the weekend and Ryan Bell managed three assists in the game against St. Louis. The team managed 28 a shots on goal on 43 attempts between the two games and scored on three corner kicks. “It was nice to pick up a couple of wins down the stretch. The guys took care of business on the field and played hard, unselfish soccer. I commend both CCCB and St. Louis for their efforts and look forward to future matches with them.” (Coach Brown)
The Eagles (5-9) will scrimmage a team from neighboring Divine Word seminary this coming Thursday, October 24th at 4pm in what will be their last home match of the season before travelling down to Joplin, MO on November 6th for the ACCA national tournament. “I look forward to seeing what we can do with a healthy, improving, and hard-working team. It has been a joy to work with them this year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if our best games are still to come.” (Coach Brown)
|Posted by jfullan on October 22, 2013 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
Emmaus would now play Moody on a neutral ground as they had lost 0-3 on Moody’s court. Moody came out strong taking a 4-0 lead and from there they were out of reach for the struggling Eagles (14-25). Set 2 and 3 began and ended in similar fashion as the Archers were too much for Emmaus to handle (13-25, 14-25). “Every time we answered with a good play, Moody would answer back with three of their own. Overall though, I’ve seen some good things out of the girls this weekend and we are all excited to play at home the following few matches, “observed Coach Strautmann. Emmaus would indeed need to come together this next weekend as Nationals were starting to creep in on the calendar.
|Posted by jfullan on October 22, 2013 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
This was the first meeting for the two teams as they were eyeing one another in warm-ups. One could see that this game was up for grabs as neither team seemed overpowering the other. The Emmaus Eagles came out strong taking the game to a 13-7 lead before Grace had to take a timeout. Grace came out from the timeout with a new first as they quickly climbed back into it taking a late lead 19-20. An Emmaus timeout would not slow down the momentum as Grace finished the set 20-25. Emmaus went on strong pulling ahead again in the second set. However, this time around they were able to hang out with a thrilling 25-23 victory. Game 3 came around and once again both teams were fighting for every point. Once both teams met at 20 Grace once again finished the set off strong (20-25). Emmaus needed another push to get back into this match. Grace would make this very difficult as they made hardly any errors and put all the pressure on the Emmaus defense. Emmaus would lose a tough one 11-25.