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So Close In Ankeny

Posted by Tabitha Childrey on September 28, 2014 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

After a night of great fellowship and hospitality provided by Emmaus alum Daniel Rinehart, the Eagles took the field for a second straight day in Ankeny against a competitive squad from Calvary Bible College. The match was set up to be a messy battle from the start as heavy rains soaked the field the night before.


The Eagles controlled possession from the outset, providing a few dangerous looks, but they were unable to crack the tight and physical Warrior defense. Calvary countered the Emmaus attack in the 25th minute when sophomore Ben Moore (#10) played a ball over the Emmaus defense. Speedster Mark Rodenberg (#11) outran the Emmaus defense who were caught slightly out of position and made the Eagles pay, putting away a low ball to the corner. The rest of the half Emmaus pushed for the equalizer, but the Warrior defense continued to come up big, preventing most shots from even reaching their keeper.


The Eagles came out looking for the equalizer in the second half, but despite some dangerous buildups, it was not to be. Despite playing without subs, Calvary continued to hustle and stymy the Emmaus offense. The game ended at 0-1 with Emmaus players reminiscing with Vince Lombardi, “we didn’t lose, we just ran out of time” (Ryan Bell).


“It was a heart-breaker in so many ways. I have all the respect in the world for Calvary and their Coach Dan Nichols as they played a smart, slow down game with patient defense. The mud and their D gave us fits all afternoon. I really hope we get a chance to play them again this year at our conference tournament as it is always a great battle and the fellowship before and after is always sweet! This is the 3rd game in a row with them that has been decided by a single goal, and the third match in a row that we have fellowshipped together after the game. Overall it has been a very successful weekend and I wouldn’t trade these guys for anyone!” (Coach Brown).


The Emmaus side finished the game having created 16 shots (7 on goal) as compared to Calvary’s 6 (2 on goal). The Eagles will be in action again on Tuesday night in a rematch against the Red Lions of Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, Illinios. Kickoff is slotted for 3:30.

 

90 Minutes In Ankeny

Posted by Tabitha Childrey on September 28, 2014 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The Emmaus Eagles soccer team took on the Faith Baptist Eagles of Ankeny, Iowa on Friday afternoon. It was the second of three games on Faith’s field this year and the Eagles came in with the goal of putting together a complete game after surrendering late first half goals to Barclay College earlier in the season.


Emmaus got off to a solid start, creating several dangerous attacks and working hard to get behind Faith’s back line. Faith would strike first, however as in the 8th minute #4 Marcus Wilkes picked up a rebound in the box and scored from six yards out. “It was unfortunate to concede the early goal as we had not given much room up to that point.” (Coach Brown).


The teams continued to battle back and forth and both managed to create close scoring opportunities. Faith would strike again, however, as outstanding freshman Tui Hunkin(#15) won a 50/50 in the box and fired a cracking half volley off of the cross bar and down into the net for the 2-0 lead. “There wasn’t much to be done on that one as we were in position. That was just a brilliant effort by Hunkin.” (Coach Brown)


The score stood at 2-0 at halftime with the shot count showing 12-7 in favor of Faith. “I told the guys I couldn’t have been more proud of their efforts. We put together a solid 45 minutes, and had been just inches away from scoring on a couple of occasions to draw even. We just needed another strong 45 minutes.”


The second half began much as the first with both teams going back and forth and Faith striking again as Tui (#15) added a second goal on a one touch shot off of a beautiful cross from #11 Joseph Frerichs. This time Emmaus had an answer. In the 57th minute, Emmaus forced a turnover on the offensive third and Joe Olson (#3) sent a ball off of the Faith keeper that rolled to the feet of a charging Benjamin Jimenez (#10) who managed to redirect the ball into the net. “That goal really exemplified the way we played all night: Scrappy. The guys’ hard work paid off and resulted in a goal.” (Coach Brown).


Emmaus continued to fight to keep things close and Senior Travis Holtan (#11) sent a long-range effort off the cross bar. It was not to be, however, as Faith managed to score one more goal on a one time hit from the top of the 18 in the 16th minute (Joseph Frerichs, #11) . The 4-1 score-line would stand until the final whistle.


“Honestly, I couldn’t be more proud of the guys. They executed things we worked on in practice, playing strong in the air, communicating well, and creating some great scoring changes. We may have been outshot 25-13, but we put some great shots on frame and had some dangerous buildups that we just weren’t quite able to finish. Faith may have controlled possession for some long portions of the game, but the guys really defended well together, providing excellent support defense. Besides his early bobble in the game, Keeper Erik Rasmussen came up big on several occasions, showing sure hands and great positioning (11 saves total). The last time we played in Ankeny we played a solid 42 minutes. Today, we put together a strong 90. Instead of getting beat on mental mistakes, we were beat by great shooting from a classy and skilled Faith side. They earned the win, we earned some rest!” (Coach Brown)


The Eagles won’t be able to rest for long as they take on the Calvary Bible College Warriors on Saturday at Faith’s field with the kickoff slotted for 3:00. “We always look forward to playing Calvary as they are a classy bunch coached by Dan Nichols, an experienced coach that I greatly admire for his Christ-like character and knowledge of the game. If we play like we did against Faith, it should be a very exciting match tomorrow.” (Coach Brown)

 

Eagles Soar In the Sun

Posted by Tabitha Childrey on September 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The sun came out just in time for the Eagles to take on the Soldiers of St. Louis Christian College on Saturday (September 20th). The Eagles, coming off a tough match vs. Clarke University the night before, were eager to try to earn their first victory of the season in front of their home crowd.


The Eagles pressed the attack early and often and possessed well, though they struggled to create any solid early shots. In the sixth minute, on only their second shot of the game, Andy Bell (#4) found Travis Holtan (#11) on a low cross at the back post that got the Eagle’s on the board.


Despite a plethora of shots, the Eagles failed to extend their lead. In the 13th minute, Soldier forward Elijah Keen (#4) managed to get behind the Eagle defense on a breakaway and tied the game at ones. The Eagles answered with a barrage of shots, and in the 24th minute sophomore Joe Olson (#3) scored his second goal of the season on a low shot that bounced off Solder keeper Malachi Keen and trickled into the net.


After that goal there was no looking back for the Eagles. Just before half, left footed midfielder Nick Skoglund (#13) played a perfect right-footed cross to team-mate Andy Bell (#4) who put the ball away for his first goal of the season. “Just minutes prior to the cross I had told Nick to ‘square his hips’ when he sent a cross over the goal. He listened, and his second cross was perfect.” (Coach Brown).


The Eagles went into the half with a two goal lead, but recognizing that they had room to improve. They managed 21 first half shots, but only eight were on frame. “I always remind the guys that they will never score a goal that is not on target, and that is something we will continue to work on in practice.” (Coach Brown)


The second half found the Eagles picking up where they had left off. After some wild saves by the Soldier defense, Andy Bell (#4) played a perfect ground pass to a streaking Benjamin Jimenez (#10) who notched his first goal of the year. The scoring ended in the 70th minute when Travis Holtan (#11) split the Soldier defense and played a ball of the post. The rebound bounced off several players in the six yard box before a Soldier defender attempting to clear the ball wide hit the ball into the side of the net for an own goal.


The Eagles held on for the 5-1 victory and earned their first victory of the season, improving their overall record to 1-4. The team recorded an impressive 44 shots in the game and goalkeeper Erik Rasmussen demonstrated sure hands in goal on the occasional Soldier counter-attack, recording six saves. The Soldiers put on a strong show and played to the final whistle despite playing the game with only one available sub. Junior defender Daniel Swezey made two incredible goal-line saves to keep the score-line from widening.


“The guys played a solid game today, improving on the little things as they went. Their attitudes were positive and everyone seemed hungry to play. One of the privileges of working with this group of guys is knowing that they will take to heart any instructions they receive. I am excited to watch the guys continue to improve in the coming weeks.” (Coach Brown)


The Eagles look to carry their momentum into some big games next weekend as they will take on NCCAA Division II #5 Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny on Friday (September 26th) and the Warriors of Calvary Bible College Saturday (September 27th). “We always enjoy playing both of those teams and are excited for some great soccer and fellowship.” (Coach Brown)

 

Close Away Game

Posted by Tabitha Childrey on September 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The Emmaus soccer team travelled less than a mile from their own field to neighboring Clarke University on Friday evening to take on the Crusaders. With the exception of some strong winds, the weather was perfect for the 4:30 kickoff on Clarke’s heavily shaded pitch.


The Eagles came out pumped up and ready to play, winning nearly every 50/50 ball in the early minutes of the game despite playing almost exclusively on their defensive half. The Crusader attack was not to be stymied for long, however, as in the 9th minute Mike Mikuriya (#23) found Austin Perry (#9) on a cross at the near post who found the net on a strong header.


Minutes later the Eagles led a dangerous counter-attack when Elijah Barsness (#1) played a ball over the top to Joe Olson (#3) who forced the Crusader keeper to make a strong save. “It took our guys a few minutes to settle into the game and put together some good passes, but we proved ourselves dangerous on a few occasions.” (Coach Brown)


After a barrage of shots, the Crusaders struck again in the 23rd minutes as Mikuriya (#23) made a great turn on the end line and slotted a shot into the side of the net. The Eagles continued to struggle to develop much offense, though their defense held firm until the 38th minute when outstanding midfielder Jared Perez (#10) made a couple of defenders miss and beat keeper Erik Rasmussen to the corner.


The last minutes of the half saw play go back and forth as Emmaus created a couple of more dangerous attacks, but the Crusaders had the final word as Josh Thurm (#12) found a rebounded shot at his feet at the top of the six yard box and scored just ten seconds before the break to give his side the 4-0 halftime lead.


“We never want to give up a late goal like that, but overall the guys played a solid half, executing things we have been working on in practice. Some of the guys were playing new positions and made small mistakes that we can fix moving forward.” (Coach Brown)


Emmaus started the second half focused and playing hard, but Anthony Pantaleo (#8) managed to add one more goal to Clarke’s tally when the Eagle defense failed to close down his shot from distance in the 51st minute. With the outcome of the game fairly certain, both teams used the second half to rest players and provide experience for their reserves in preparation for matches later in the weekend.


“It really wasn’t a bad result for us today. We played hard, communicated well, improved on some of the little things, and were able to give everyone some valuable playing experience. Our attitudes remained positive as our goals were to improve, play hard, and represent Christ will. My hat goes off to Clarke for a great game, and to their head coach, Steve Moore, for his classy decision to play his reserves rather than try to run up the score. He clearly understands that the games are about much more than the score-line.”


The Eagles, who struggled for most of the evening to generate many quality chances on the offensive end, finished with four shorts, three of them on goal. The reserves provided strong defensive support in the game as the Crusaders managed to generate 32 shots (only eleven on goal), and 14 corner kick opportunities. Emmaus goalkeeper Erik Rasmussen recorded seven saves on the evening.

 

Tired Legs and Strong Finishing Sink Eagles

Posted by Tabitha Childrey on September 14, 2014 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The Emmaus Eagles came into their season home-opener on Saturday afternoon against the Red Lions of Lincoln Christian University (Lincoln, IL). The game kicked off at 3:30 on a gorgeous fall afternoon with Emmaus fans lining the hillside, ready to cheer on their team.


The Eagles, just returned from a tough game on the road against conference opponent Barclay College, came out hard and pressed the attack early, only to concede a goal in the 6th minute on a long range effort from Lincoln’s #17 (Arney). Emmaus pressed again and nearly equalized before Lincoln’s #21 (Thomas) shouldered the ball into the goal on a hard cross from team-mate Frontore (#10).


Down 0-2, the Eagles struck back as Wade Dozier (#8) found a bouncing ball in the box on a free kick to cut the Lions lead to one. The Red Lions had a ready response, however, as just two minutes later speedy captain Radecki (#3) beat two Emmaus defenders on the sideline and played a brilliant ball just outside of keeper Rasmussen’s reach. The Eagles seemed to settle in a little and created some more scoring chances, including a free kick off the cross bar by freshman Elijah Barsness(#1), but the Red Lions would strike twice more before half, catching the Eagles flat-footed and slow to find their marks. Down 5-1, sweeper Wade Dozier added his second goal and the last one of the half on a header from the boot of Barsness.


Down 5-2 the Eagles looked to rebound in the second half, recognizing that little mistakes had cost them big. The Red Lions had scored 5 goals on just 9 shots in the first half while Emmaus struggled to put away opportunities despite creating 16 shots. “


“The guys played hard, but I really think tired legs and minds from the game the day before took their toll on the guys. Communication, man-marking, and passing were just a few areas we struggled in. Not to make excuses, but I could tell that a formation change from the game the previous night also led to come confusion on the field as key players found themselves out of position often in the first half.” (Coach Brown)


The second half was a different story for the Eagles as they tightened up their defense and started to do a better job of taking care of the ball despite tired legs. Newcomer Johnny Lahoud (#12) stepped up to make some crucial defensive stops and several Emmaus players excelled at some position changes. Both teams created some good chances, but the Red Lions were able to set back on their three goal lead and load their box against Emmaus attacks. The lone goal of the half came when Lincoln’s #3 (Radecki) split two Emmaus defenders who were in good position but failed to communicate who was going to clear the ball. Keeper Rasmussen made the initial save, but Lincoln’s Lucas (#7) found the rebound at his feet and put it into the net.


“The final score was definitely not something we were hoping for, but the guys showed improvement in the second half. Lincoln is a solid team with some experienced players, though I am confident we can play them much tighter when we travel to their place later this month. The good thing about a loss like this is that it reveals areas we need to improve on and the guys kept their heads up, encouraging one another despite some setbacks. I look forward to the re-match.” (Coach Brown)


“It was a fun game to watch,” said Brown’s father, “as despite their tiredness and adversity the guys played like gentlemen on the field, really representing Christ well.”


The Eagles outshot the Red Lions 24 to 18 and forced Lincoln’s keeper to make 15 saves. Rasmussen had a strong game in goal himself (eight saves), faltering more to great shooting than poor positioning. The Eagles will be back in action Friday, September 19th against the Crusaders of local NAIA College Clark University before taking on the Soldiers of St. Louis Christian College on Saturday at home.

 

42 Scary Minutes

Posted by Tabitha Childrey on September 12, 2014 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)


The Emmaus Eagles soccer team took on the Barclay Bears of Haviland, Kansas at a neutral field (Faith Baptist Bible College) in Ankeny, Iowa. The Eagles, who lost their season opener to Grace University (Omaha, NE), in only their second game of the season, were looking to upset a strong Barclay team who came in boasting three straight victories.


The weather was exceptional for soccer at a brisk 50 degrees and no wind while the field itself was rain-soaked and sloppy, creating some early chaos for both teams.


Barclay got on the board first in the 10th minute when outside midfielder Tyler Wright eluded an Emmaus defender on the end-line and sent in a perfect cross to Barclay speedster Josh Moore who hammered the shot in from 12 yards out.


The Emmaus defense tightened up, however, and the team created several close scoring chances which were inhibited more by a gravel spot on the field than the Barclay defense. In the 35th minute, sophomore Joe Olson took advantage of a bad touch by a Barclay defender and sent a ball over the Barclay keeper for Emmaus’ first goal of the season. Manager Josh Bolin noted that, “Barclay looked a bit nervous after that goal” as they have been used to leading in games.


With things tied up at one, the Emmaus defense continued to hold against several waves of attacks and were looking to get into half-time tied up at one. It was not to be, however, as Barclay speedster Julio Cobb danced his way through several stabbing Emmaus defenders and gave Barclay the lead back in the 42nd minute.


“Up until that point, I would have to say that I was very impressed by how we played as a team and our efforts at both ends of the field. We just needed to carry our momentum into the half. The 42nd minute was a bit of a watershed in the game.,” noted Coach Brown. In quick succession Barclay added two more goals (three in three minutes) on a penalty kick for an unintentional handball and off of a strong run by Josh Moore (#13). The Eagles went into the half trailing by three after having held Barclay’s starters to a 1-1 game for 42 minutes.


“It was disappointing to not finish the half well, but I knew there was plenty of fight left in our guys. It makes me excited moving forward as we showed that we can compete with really good teams.”


The Bears came out firing in the second half, and despite Emmaus’ best defensive efforts they managed to notch an additional 5 goals, with Julio Cobb (#17) earning a hat trick. Emmaus pushed for opportunities, but cramping and injuries made it difficult to find much of a rhythm. Overall in the game the Bears outshot the Eagles thirty to five and really controlled good portions of the game. Still, Emmaus played to the final whistle and reserve players Justin Humphrey (#5), Danny Hannigen (#20), and Luke Telecky (#14) all put great pressure on the Barclay back line. Keeper Erik Rasmussen recorded 11 saves on the day, including several superb dives.


“I am not thrilled about the score, but our guys fought hard and put in a great 42 minutes. Players are showing marked improvement each week and I think we are going to be dangerous down the stretch. We shut down some very skilled Barclay players for long portions of the game, and in the end were just overwhelmed by their depth and experience. We have a lot to learn, but we are headed in the right direction. In addition I received high compliments from the officials for our show of effort and sportsmanship. In the end, integrity is what it is all about, and our guys are showing it! It is a privilege to travel with them!”


Emmaus will be in action again tomorrow (September 13th) at 3:30 against Lincoln Christian University (Lincoln, IL) and look forward to fighting in front of their home crowd.

 

Thrilling Alumni Battle!

Posted by Tabitha Childrey on September 10, 2014 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

A collection of former Emmaus Eagles from several eras of play made their way to Dubuque this past Saturday for the annual alumni game. It was a beautiful and sunny day for competition, and the current players and alumni put on two different shows.  

 

The current Emmaus team, missing 5 players to injuries, illness, and weddings, put up a strong defensive showing in the first half against an experienced alumni group, holding their opponents to zero goals. Freshman backup keeper Justin Humphrey, playing in the place of sick sophomore Erik Rasmussen, made several excellent saves in his debut in goal. Unfortunately, the young Eagles were not able to capitalize on their own opportunities and went into the break knotted at zeroes.

 

The second half was a completely different story as both offenses found their grooves. Just after the 60th minute, freshman outside back Ben Backes followed a shot into the box and put away a rebound to give his young side a 1-0 lead. Less than five minutes later, Backes pressured an alumni midfielder to force a turnover, leading to a goal by sophomore Joe Olson. The Eagles, up 2-0, notched a 3rd goal when assistant coach Eric Seeman settled a ball in the middle of the field and fired home a rocket. In true Eagle tradition, however, the alumni were not finished yet. Outstanding attacking midfielder Andrew Paleczny scored on back to back free kicks to bring the alumni within a goal before freshman Elijah Barsness was able to find the back of the net with a shot from distance. The alumni again battled back, however, as Paleczny managed to complete his hat trick, and then last year's assistant coach Lewis Shin scored a stunning header on a beautiful cross from former ACCA All American Micah Barsness to knot things at 4. With the momentum seeming to turn against them, the young Eagles found a way to bounce back as freshman defender Wade Dozier managed to elude several defenders before finding the back of the net to give his team the 5-4 advantage with less than 5 minutes to play. The alumni continued to battle, but the game ended as it had begun, with a strong defense stand. In the final seconds, freshman duo Ben Backes and Wade Dozier scrambled together to stymie a dangerous attack from Paleczny, who was seeking his 4th goal of the game. It was the epitome of team defense as the young Eagles held on for the victory.

 

"This game had a little bit of everything, with 60 minutes of goalless soccer followed up by 9 goals in 35 minutes. There was a great crowd and both teams battled hard in a good show of competition and sportsmanship. I am proud of the way the guys overcame adversity and worked hard for one another. There were a lot of bright spots to build on moving forward, and I think the team is really starting to play some quality soccer." (Coach Brown)

 

Special thanks to former coaches Doc Fish and Steve Seeman for stepping in to help coach both sides. A lot of work and planning goes into these games and we are most grateful as we couldn't pull this off without a lot of help. (Coach Brown)  

 

Emmaus will be back in action this upcoming weekend as they take on a strong side from Barclay College (Friday, 12th) at Faith Baptist in Ankeny before returning home to take on the Red Lions of Lincoln Christian on Saturday (13th) at home.


Emmaus Soccer: New Game Time, New Venue

Posted by jfullan on September 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

After their opening game with the Grace University Royals was postponed due to rain on Friday night, the Emmaus men’s soccer team travelled to Omaha Saturday to play the Royals at Creighton’s Morrison Stadium.


The Eagles entered their season opener fired up to play in the 6,000 seat stadium while recognizing that the turf pitch would significantly accelerate the speed of play. The Royals came out firing first, creating several scoring opportunities in the early minutes of the game, but the new look Eagle defense held strong led by Sweeper Wade Dozier and returning goalkeeper Erik Rasmussen. An intercepted goal kick in the 27th minute for the Royals finally led to an opening goal as the ball was lobbed over the head of Rasmussen an awkward bounce. The Royals managed to double their lead three minutes later when an intended cross bent into the far side of the net. The Eagles fought back and created a few chances, but Grace struck once more before the half with a long range effort that found the upper 90. 


The Eagles, down 3-0 at half, had plenty of fight left in them, forcing several early second half turnovers that nearly led to goals. Despite playing portions of the second half on their heels, however, the Royals would strike twice more before the game ended for a 5-0 victory.


“While we had definitely hoped for a better result on the scoreboard, I am honestly very pleased with the way the team performed today. We did a few things well in the first half including man-marking and communicating, while in the second half we looked like a new team, with quicker decisions, better team defense, and several near missed on the offensive half. We have a lot of work to do as the season unfolds, but this group is scrappy, has great character, and is hungry to play. I can’t ask for more!” (Coach Brown)


Erik Rasmussen recorded 13 saves on the day and the Eagle offense managed to create 6 shots, all in the second half. The Eagles will play their annual alumni game this Saturday, September 6th before returning to intercollegiate competition against Barclay College on the 12th.


Sun, Soccer, and Success in the South

Posted by jfullan on November 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM Comments 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.

 

Strong End To Emmaus Soccer Regular Season

Posted by jfullan on October 22, 2013 at 4:35 PM Comments 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)