DUBUQUE, IA - The Emmaus Eagles continued their season on Thursday afternoon when they hosted conference rival Faith Baptist Bible College (Ankeny, IA). The two teams had played to a 0-0 draw just 9 days earlier in Ankeny, and Emmaus was eager for another opportunity to finally get on the board after having dominated possession, shots, and corners in their previous meeting. The match was moved to 1:00 at the turf field of Loras College due to heavy rain in the days leading up to the match.
The match kicked off with Emmaus once again controlling post of the possession and generating several opportunities. Faith, always stout defensively, marked tight all over the field, and for the first 20 minutes or so limited Emmaus's shots. The Eagles did break through, however, in the 25th minute, when midfielder Anthony Flores (#10) found Mason McCarl (#7) at the 12 mark, where he promptly turned and scored to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
With a one goal lead and limited threats from Faith, it seemed as if Emmaus was in complete control. Faith, however, had other ideas. An errant pass by the Eagle goalkeeper was intercepted by #11 Cole Glanzer. Emmaus defender Tim Barton (#8) came to the aid of his goalie and won the ball back, only to make poor contact on his own pass straight back to Glanzer. Given a second chance from range, Glanzer stepped up and fired the ball over the head of the Eagle keeper to tie things up at one goal each.
Rather than hang their heads, Emmaus responded well, pressing the attack in the final minutes of the half. After winning a corner with 6 minutes to play, the Eagles settled the cross as freshman winger Reilly Steel (#15) found Wakilongo Ebake (#17) across the box, who stepped to his right and saw his shot deflect off of a Faith defender and into the back of the net. The assist was the first of Steel's Emmaus career. Emmaus carried the 2-1 lead into the half.
The second half was all Emmaus. Just one minute into the period, captain Carson McBain (#11) fired a cross to the far post to McCarl, who headed home his second goal of the day. 4 Minutes later, Ebake also added a second when a mistake in the Faith defense allowed Flores to find his teammate one on one with the Faith keeper. Ebake showed great composure, slotting his shot home for a 4th Emmaus goal.
Emmaus was back on the board 10 minutes later when midfielder Neal Johnson (#4) found Anthony Flores (already with 2 assists himself), who sidestepped a defender and fired his own show home. But the Eagles weren't done. Winger Jared Gambill (#16) won the end line in the 73rd minute, sending a low cross to cutting Fabian Parra (#3) who tapped it in for his first goal of the season and Gambill's first assist. The game ended with a final score of 6-1 in favor of the home team.
Despite the one error that led to a Faith goal, Coach Block praised the Emmaus defense not only for their quality play in the back, but also for the ways that they contributed to the Emmaus attack, opening up space for the midfield and forwards to create quality chances.
Coach Brown expressed his thoughts after the match: "We made some adjustments at the half, but the guys stuck to the game plan. Several individual players took direct instructions from their coaches to heart, whicc led directly to several of our goals today. They won as a team, and they had fun playing even before the goals started to come. After being held scoreless at Faith's field last week, our guys were hungry, and they proved it today. Great effort all around including a stout effort from the reserves. Now we have another big match coming up against non-conference NAIA opponent Lincoln Christian University. We can't wait!"
The Eagles will host the visiting Red Lions from Lincoln on Tuesday, October 16th. Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM in what will be the final home match for the Eagles this season.