DUBUQUE, IA - The Emmaus Bible College Men's Soccer Team kicked off their 2019 campaign yesterday against the visiting Moody Bible Archers. The previous two seasons had witnessed competitive, hard-fought matches between the two regional opponents and yesterday's game was no different. On an absolutely beautiful day at Jack Fish field, with the home crowd out in force, the game kicked off. In the early minutes Emmaus had a couple hard fouls resulting in a yellow card for Mason McCarl (#7), which set an early tone that physical play would be somewhat limited. After the yellow card Moody did a good job of possessing the ball, moving the ball from side to side, trying to shift the Emmaus defense, but the Eagles' defense held strong. The majority of the first half consisted of a lot of shots and corner kicks won for the visitors, but Emmaus freshman goalie Jacob Bauder (#1) was up to the task. In the 41st minute Emmaus had their best chance at a goal for the half as they won a free kick from about 22 yards out. Senior Carson McBain (#11) stepped up to take the free kick and cracked the post with the shot. Shortly after the free kick both teams went into halftime with a score of 0-0.
The second half started out with Moody once again controlling possession and creating a few good looks which were stonewalled by a combination of Emmaus's defense and freshman goalie Jacob Bauder. At around the 60thminute the Eagles were called for an extremely questionable handball in the box resulting in a penalty kick. Senior Center attacking midfielder and captain Dani Martinez #10 stepped up to take the pen. Jacob Bauder, with the crowd chanting his name, made a great save diving to his right. Even though Bauder made a great save and was able to keep Moody out of the net, the breakthrough happened in the 72nd minute when striker Will Snyder #9 got the ball in a favorable position down the sideline and crossed it into Ben Worley #15 who just beat his man to put the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-0 Moody. Over the next 10 minutes Emmaus had more offensive chances to score with a succession of long throw-ins from Carson McBain (#11) and Jake Taylor (#12) but Goalie Kaden McCloughan #00 made effort after effort to not allow Emmaus to win any headers. After Emmaus's few opportunities Moody put a second ball in the back of the net in the 86th minute to seal the game when a corner kick from Dani Martinez found senior Jared Weix who headed the ball home to make the score 2-0 with less than 10 minutes remaining. Emmaus tried to find the net but Moody's back line held strong and the game ended 2-0 in favor of the Archers.
A combination of coaches and players had plenty to say after the game, "Moody is going to be one of the best teams in our region, so playing them to a 2-0 game this early in the season is very encouraging for Emmaus". The thing that was truly a beautiful sight to see was after 90 minutes of tough physical play the players were reminded of what soccer and life is all about, and that is glorifying Christ. Players from both teams and coaches broke up into groups to pray for each other and talk about things much bigger than soccer. Emmaus Bible College will look to rebound on the road against a tough Division 3 side, Eureka College, on Saturday August 31st. Kickoff is set for 1:30 pm.