Stunning Last-Minute Loss to Wash. U
The men’s soccer team lost a heartbreaker on the road against the Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) Bears, falling 1-0 on Sunday afternoon. The loss snapped the Eagles’ four game winning streak and dropped them to 6-5-1 on the season and 1-1 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play.
The winning goal came in the 88th minute of play, when junior forward Jeremy Kirkwood of the Bears dribbled through the defense after a pass from freshman defender Cole Davis and snuck a shot past Emory’s freshman goalkeeper Abe Hannigan for his first goal of the season.
Close losses have hurt the Eagles this season, but sophomore forward Dylan Price is certain the team can right their ship in upcoming games.
“Just stay composed and keep attacking,” Price said. “The most important thing is to not mentally lapse and allow an undeserved goal on us, [and] play all 90 minutes.”
The Eagles were able to take one final shot in the last two minutes of the game, but we unable to convert their opportunity, as freshman midfielder Andrew Mitchell’s header was redirected by the Wash. U defenders. It was Mitchell’s second shot in his collegiate career.
Hannigan’s strong play in goal led the way on Sunday, as Emory engaged Wash. U in a defensive battle. The Eagles outshot their UAA rivals 14-4, including a 6-2 edge in shots on goal, but were not able to get a shot past junior goalkeeper Jonathan Jebson, who had six saves on the day.
Hannigan fell to 4-2-0 on the year, recording one save in the process. Sunday marked the freshman’s sixth consecutive start in goal. He has given up one or fewer goals in regulation in all but one game in that stretch.
Emory had ample scoring opportunities throughout the game, but were unable to find the net. The Eagles took the first seven shots of the second half, while Wash. U’s only shot came on Kirkwood’s late goal.
Junior forward Andrew Jones opened the second half with a bang, taking two quick shots on the Bears goal in the 47th minute of play. Jebson managed to save the first, however, and the second sailed wide.
Jones has now registered 11 shots for the Eagles in his last four games.
Sophomore defender Carl Credle, fresh off a game-winning goal to seal an overtime win against Chicago, followed just four minutes later with another shot, but it missed high. The shots slowed after that as neither team could break through their opponent’s defense until the final minutes of play.
It was a balanced effort offensively for the Eagles, as Jones, Credle, senior midfielder and co-captain Andrew Natalino, senior defender and co-captain David Garofalo and senior defender Alex Scott all tied for the team high in shots with two apiece.
Natalino led the team with two shots on goal. Credle, Garafalo, Jones and Price all got one shot on goal apiece. Price ran his team-leading season total to 22.
Sunday marked only the second time this season Emory has been shutout — the first being a 1-0 loss to Kean University — compared to four times on the year where the team has shut out an opponent.
Head Coach Sonny Travis, as well as his players, has consistently cited a UAA title as the Eagles’ main goal on the season.
The conference remains very much wide open, and Emory still has five conference games remaining on their schedule.
Emory and Wash. U are tied for fourth place in the UAA with matching 1-1 records. Brandeis University (Mass.), New York University (N.Y.), and Carnegie Mellon University (Penn.) are all locked in a tie for first place with a half-game edge on the Eagles and Bears.
The Eagles have another tough UAA test ahead of them when they host Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) on Friday, Oct. 12.
The squad realizes the importance of the upcoming game in achieving their goal.
“It’s imperative,” said Price. “I feel very confident in our team, and we’re looking forward to playing at home.”
— By Ryan Smith