The Emmaus Eagles travelled to Ankeny, Iowa on Tuesday to take on their in-state conference rivals, the Eagles of Faith Baptist Bible College. Emmaus, coming off of a tough road trip over the weekend, looked to win for the second straight year in Ankeny. Faith Baptist, for their part, was ready for the challenge with a roster of twenty-two that includes a solid balance of veterans and newcomers.
The game could not have started worse for Emmaus. Less than a minute into the game Emmaus won possession at midfield only to turn the ball back over with a bad pass and settle. Faith forward Oleg Orlov (#17) managed to sneak between the Emmaus center backs for a breakaway with the Emmaus keeper, Gabe Salinas (#5), resulting in a calm shot to the bottom corner of the net.
For the first five minutes of the half it looked to be all Faith, but as the game progressed Emmaus began to find space and build up several dangerous attacks. After conceding a corner, Faith nearly saw its lead evaporate as Elijah Barsness (#1) won a header at the back post that bounced just wide of the goal. It was not to be, however, as Faith's Orlov once again made a perfect run into space with fifteen minutes to play in the half that saw him land his second goal of the evening.
Trailing by two goals at the break despite an even shot count, Emmaus sought to come out strong in the second half. It was Orlov, however, that got the best of the Eagle defense to complete his hat trick by beating an Emmaus defender on the end line and putting away a rebounded shot in the middle of a scrapping Emmaus defense. Faith then managed to tack on two more goals, though not before both sides had made some several substitutions.
The Eagles continued to right, with Mason McCarl (#7) hitting the post in the 80th minute right before Eli Gioja (#2) saw his left-footed shot sail just wide of the top corner of the Faith goal. The final score of 5-0 stood.
"Hats off to Faith for the way they played today. They caught us a bit sluggish and we didn't have a good answer for Orlov. I thought our guys did play well for stretches of the game and we just came up short today. Faith has a great group and while I don't prefer to lose, there was a great spirit of fellowship in the field even as both teams battled hard. I will look forward to hosting Faith at our place in a few weeks!" (Coach Brown)