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In a matchup of two teams that held the #1 Boys Soccer ranking in PA this season for a combined 7 weeks (topdrawersoccer.com), the Hornets lost 1-0 to Lower Merion, the District 1 – 3 seed, on Tuesday November 5 at J Birney Crum Stadium.
The Aces carried the momentum through the first 25 minutes of the game, using solid team defense, speed on attack, and long throws from the sideline. Under pressure, Emmaus had difficulty maintaining possession on attack and trouble clearing the ball from the defensive end. Lower Merion earned 5 corners in the first half and probably had the same number of long throws into the box, while Emmaus was unable to create a dangerous shot. Junior keeper Chris Buck came out of the net to challenge deep balls effectively to prevent several shots. On the Aces’ best opportunity of the half, Buck charged an attacker who had broken away beyond the defense to force a weak shot that trickled toward the net. Sophomore defender Jaeden Amato, whose defensive play rescued the Hornets on multiple occasions, was able to streak back and control the ball a short yard in front of the goal. Despite the pressure, the Hornets maintained composure. The last 15 minutes of the half, Emmaus adapted to the Aces speed and controlled possession more effectively so that the teams entered halftime tied 0-0.
The first minutes of the second half started on a similar note. However, the Hornets were quicker to adapt this half. Emmaus, with superior fitness, began to wear down the Aces and dominated the last 20 minutes. The Hornets won free balls, controlled the midfield, and created multiple shot opportunities. Jake Groh and Jake Perry had headers from consecutive corner kicks that just missed. Groh worked for a few shots that were saved or crossed outside the goal. With under 10 minutes to play, Lower Merion was called for a hand ball just outside the box and Groh struck a laser free kick that hit the inside far post. Andrew Gaines hustled to find the rebound in front but his shot snuck over the crossbar. Despite these opportunities, Emmaus was unable to capitalize. Lower Merion pressured inside 5 minutes with a few free kicks but the Hornets held firm and it looked like the game was heading to overtime. Inside 2 minutes, Lower Merion won the ball at midfield, made a quick pass to the right and sent a through ball to the corner. As two defenders closed on the runner, he was able to thread a ball through the narrowest of gaps to an unmarked player at the 12 who drove a hard one-touch into goal to put the Aces up 1-0 with 1:30 to play. Playing the last 1:30 with only 10 players, after Groh drew a red card following the goal, the Hornets still managed to pressure with a long ball into the box. The Hornets thought that a Lower Merion defender committed a hand ball to give a chance for overtime, but the official’s line of sight was obscured and no penalty kick was awarded. The Aces were able to run out the clock to assure the 1-0 victory.
For the season, the Hornets finished 21-4-0, capturing Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District XI Championships in the process. Congratulations to the 2019 Hornets for an outstanding season!
Final 2019 season statistics:
The document 19EmmausBoysStatisticsFinal.pdf was attached to this post.
The Emmaus High School Boys Soccer Team Captured the 2019 District XI Championship with a 1-0 victory over Whitehall at Parkland High School on Saturday November 1. The Hornets scored the only goal they needed 8 minutes into the 2nd half. Senior Jake Groh headed a ball from the top of the box into senior Andrew Gaines. Gaines juggled the ball a few times, then directed the ball back to Groh who struck a volley low into the left corner for the goal.
Most deserving of recognition for this victory are the boys who spent the season with the Varsity but didn’t get onto the field this night. Congratulations to sophomores Ty Bleiler, Holden Brown, and Carlos Morales, and juniors Jake Hain, Josh Miller (injured), Nate Romig, Josh Whalen, and Ed Zellner. These young men, who would be starters for almost any other team in the District, filled in admirably during an injury-plagued season to keep the Hornets winning to qualify for District playoffs. They provided quality opposition in practice that challenged the team to elevate its skills. When we remember how high the Hornets stood to win a District Championship, we should remember that they stood on these boys’ shoulders to get there. You earned District Gold gentlemen, well done!
Emmaus moves on to play District 1 #3 Lower Merion on Tuesday November 5, 7:00 pm at J Birney Crum Stadium.
Highlights are available from WFMZ.
Current 2019 Statistics:
The document 19EmmausBoysStatistics9.pdf was attached to this post.
The Emmaus High School Boys Soccer Team dominated Stroudsburg 3-0 in a District XI Semifinal game at J Birney Crum Stadium on Tuesday October 29. Emmaus dominated possession in the first few minutes, then traded touches with Stroudsburg. The depth of the bench was apparent as the Hornets inserted some fresh legs to turn up the pace of play and dominate the last 20 minutes of the first half. Senior Andrew Gaines, who has elevated the team so many times this season, scored with under 10 minutes to play in the first half. Senior Thomas Hanvey drove a shot that struck Gaines and fell to his feet where he kicked the ball into the net to take a 1-0 halftime lead. The second half was all Hornets. With 6 minutes played in the second half, senior Jake Groh fought down the right side and sent a cross to junior Marco Silva who struck a shot under the keeper to the far post. The Hornets threatened a few more times in the second half. Silva struck a ball that hit the post and senior Jake Perry drove a half volley from 35 yards out that the Stroudsburg keeper had to deflect into the crossbar to save a goal. Late in the second half, junior Alex Toto converted a free kick from senior Eric Johnson with a header into goal to seal the 3-0 victory. The Hornet midfield and defense were strong in the shutout, not allowing any shots to challenge the Hornet keeper, and avoiding the fouls that have plagued Emmaus this season. The top seed Hornets advance to their 9th consecutive District XI Final, against 6th seed Whitehall, scheduled for Thursday October 31, 7:00 pm, at J Birney Crum Stadium, but threatened by forecast of thunderstorms. Emmaus also qualifies for PIAA playoffs with the win. The Hornets’ record improves to 20-3-0.
Game highlights are available from WFMZ sports.
Updated 2019 Stats are available.
The document 19EmmausBoysStatistics8.pdf was attached to this post.
2019 Season Statistics can be viewed on the following document.
The document 19EmmausBoysStatistics7.pdf was attached to this post.
The Emmaus High School Boys Soccer Team hosted Freedom in the District XI Quarterfinal and gained a 2-0 victory on Thursday October 24. It appeared that junior Alex Toto struck first on a header from a corner at the 18:00 mark, but the goal was negated when a Hornet was called for taking down the keeper. A short minute later, Toto struck another header from a free kick that was denied by the diving Patriot keeper. Senior Andrew Gaines opened the scoring for the Hornets at the 28:00 mark, taking a clever through-ball from junior Marco Silva, dribbling past the defender on the left side and finishing with a low strike beyond the reach of the keeper. Senior Jake Groh added an insurance goal early in the second, standing tall among the defenders to score on a short header from a well-placed AJ Febbraro corner. Emmaus gave Freedom a few chances with set plays from fouls on the Hornet end, but junior keeper Chris Buck made the saves that were needed and the defense was able to shut down the Patriots in open play. With the win, the Hornets record improves to 19-3-0 on the season. The Hornets advance to the District XI Semifinal and State-qualifier to play Stroudsburg at J Birney Crum Stadium on Tuesday October 29 at 5:00 pm.
District XI Tournament Bracket