Men’s soccer: EMU moves up ODAC ladder

emu sportsEMU used three second-half goals to pull away from visiting Shenandoah Wednesday afternoon, earning a 4-1 ODAC win. The win not only clinched a spot in next week’s nine-team ODAC Tournament, but also bumped Eastern Mennonite to seventh in the league standings.

Now with three straight victories in league play, EMU (8-7-4 / 3-3-2 ODAC) controls their own destiny in an effort to get a bye out of Monday’s first round game and straight into Wednesday’s quarterfinals. The men wrap up the regular season Saturday at Emory & Henry (10-7-1 / 2-5-1 ODAC). Game time in Emory, Va., is 4:00pm.

The men could still finish anywhere from fifth to eighth. If the Royals lose or draw at Emory & Henry and eighth-place Randolph upsets Randolph-Macon at home, then the WildCats would jump EMU, leaving the Royals to host a first round game on Monday.

But Wednesday was all about taking care of business against Shenandoah (0-16-0 / 0-8-0 ODAC). Freshman Daniel Obour(Alexandria, Va./Mount Vernon) drilled in a cross from Parker Leap (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) in the eight minute for the quick lead.

Despite a 14-2 domination of shots in the first half, the Royals couldn’t keep SU off the board. The Hornets got a header from Sam Natkin to connect on their only shot on goal in the frame, leaving the teams tied at 1-1 at the break.

But the Royals didn’t let up in the second. Obour scored again in the 56th, picking up his own deflected pass and nailing a tough angle near post. Senior defender Ryan Thomas (Telford, Pa./Christopher Dock) then scored his first career goal, putting an emphatic header in the back of the net in the 71st minute. Joshua Chiquillo (Woodbridge, Va./Gar-Field) assisted on the play.

Dave Drafton (Alexandria, Va./Howard Gardner) got in on the fun in the 81st on an impressive play. Matthew Zimmerman(Partlow, Va./Spotsylvania) sent a long through ball right up the middle from across midfield. Chiquillo looked to take the pass, which pulled in SU’s defenders, but he let the ball go between his legs as Drafton raced passed him. The sophomore then stuck a shot under SU’s diving keeper for the final score.

EMU finished with a solid 26-9 advantage in shots, including 10-3 on goal. Matthew Overacker (Mount Crawford, Va./Turner Ashby) made a pair of saves.


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