EMU freshman Jesus Trejo plays hero on Senior Night

emu sportsEven though it was Senior Recognition Night, freshman Jesus Trejo (Winchester, Va./John Handley) was the hero, scoring his first two collegiate goals, including the game-winner with 2:53 remaining, as EMU beat visiting Virginia Wesleyan in men’s soccer action.

The Royals (6-7-4 / 1-3-2 ODAC) earned their first ODAC win, and first overall since Sept. 17, on the legs of Trejo’s goals. EMU vaults two important spots in the ODAC standings, climbing to eighth with five points. They are one point ahead of both Emory & Henry and Hampden-Sydney. The top nine make the ODAC Tournament, with the eighth seed hosting the ninth in a First Round game on Oct. 31.

The game was full of strikes and close calls, as the two teams combined for 46 shots, including 21 on goal. Three more shots bounced off a post, including two in the first half for EMU.

Trejo got the game’s first score in the 33rd minute after a corner. The initial shot attempt from senior Ryan Thomas (Telford, Pa./Christopher Dock) was saved, but Thomas kept the ball alive and Juan Luna (Mount Jackson, Va./Stonewall Jackson) picked it up on the far left side. Luna set up and fired the ball in, with Trejo flicking a diving header to the far post for a memorable first goal.

Virginia Wesleyan (6-5-3 / 2-2-2 ODAC) equalized in the 65th minute, when Andrew Duenke pushed up the right side and cut his way through a couple of defenders. Keeper Matthew Overacker (Mount Crawford, Va./Turner Ashby) looked to have a saved lined up, but Duenke’s shot skimmed of a Royal which changed the trajectory just enough to find an open side of the net.

With time winding down and overtime looking like a possibility, Trejo struck again. Defender Carlos Flores-Melgar(Woodbridge, Va./Gar-Field) sent in a cross from the left sideline which Trejo dropped to the ground at the top of the box with one touch of his right foot. The reserve midfielder quickly turned around and drove a laser into the right side of the net for the game-winner in the 88th minute.

The Royals still had to fend off three VWC shots in the closing seconds, including Overacker making his ninth save of the game.

Luna finished with a game-high nine shots, including four on goal and another which hit the post in the eighth minute. Trejo had four attempts, and his only shot not officially on goal was one which rattled off the post.

Eastern Mennonite heads to Randolph-Macon this Saturday to take on the surprising Yellow Jackets. R-MC is tied with Washington and Lee atop the league standings at 5-1 after being picked sixth in the preseason poll. Game time in Ashland, Va., is 2:00pm.

Senior Recognition Night
Before the game, the Royals honored their four seniors: Ryan Thomas, Dylan Polley (Dexter, Mich./Dexter), Parker Leap(Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) and Kurtis Blosser (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite). Primarily defensive players, Thomas and Polley are both four-year players who have been full-time starters since their sophomore year. Leap and Blosser both have unconventional playing careers, with Blosser on the team for the first time since 2012. Leap played two seasons as an undergrad in 2012 and 2013, and rejoined the team this year while a student in EMU’s graduate program. He is the team’s second-leading scorer with seven points and two assists.

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