The Emmaus men's soccer team opened up MCCC conference play on Friday afternoon against the Bears of Barclay College. The match was played on a turf field in Altoona, Iowa due to unplayable wet conditions at the original field.
The Eagles got off to a shaky start as they struggled to adjust to the quick speed of play produced by the pitch. They began to settle down after the 10th minute when midfielder Carson McBain (#11) found Brandon Young (#13) on a through ball with the back heel. Young's effort was low and hard, but the Barclay keeper was up to the challenge and allowed no rebound.
The Eagles had another solid chance late in the half when McBain received a through ball to the far post and saw his effort bounce just wide. The half ended unexpectedly early when the center referee blew the whistle after 41 minutes of play with the teams locked at 0-0 with both teams notching 5 shots, only 1 on goal between them.
The second half provided another midfield battle as both teams struggle to create quality opportunities. Emmaus suffered a setback in the 75th minute when McBain went down with a bad cramp, but the reserves provided valuable minutes and continued to fight for the go ahead goal. It was not to be, however, as a Bear defender (#15) caught a volley in the 89th minute of play from just outside the 18 when the Eagles failed to clear the ball. The shot sailed just out of reach of keeper, Rasmussen (#00) who gave it a good effort. The goal was the Bears loan shot on goal in the game.
"The guys fought hard. It was honestly a pretty ugly game for both sides that could have gone either way. Give Barclay credit for the way they pushed us late and won the game. I don't like the loss, but the guys clearly fought hard and are improving with each match. I am confident that they will respond well in their matchup tomorrow." (Coach Brown)
The Eagles, though disappointed in the loss, will look to bounce back on Saturday in Omaha as they take on the Royals of Grace University.