Eagles Trip, Stumble on Road

The Emory men’s soccer team had hoped to maintain its undefeated streak and push its record to 4-0 but fell in both away games at the Washington and Lee Invitational in Lexington, Va. The Eagles lost to Washington and Lee University (Va.) 1-0 Sept. 9, before they suffered a second defeat against Randolph College (Va.) 1-0 in overtime a day later.

The Washington and Lee Generals struck first Saturday with an 11th minute goal after junior midfielder Dylan Ritch’s pass into the center of the box found fellow midfielder senior Andrew Kim, who slotted the shot in the lower corner. In the end, that goal proved to be the difference.

The majority of the match was dominated by defense. The Generals managed 11 total shots, but only three of those were on target. Likewise, the Eagles had seven total shots with three shots on target from seniors Jason McCartney, Cody Gardiner, and Michael Carragher.

“We hit the post twice, but we can do a better job penetrating in the final third and keeping our shape,” said Gardiner, senior center back and captain. “They were athletic and well organized so they were tough to break down.”

The best chance for the Eagles to equalize occurred in the second half. With 31 minutes remaining, junior midfielder Moustafa Khattab whipped a corner kick into the box.

The cross was met by the head of senior forward Jason McCartney, whose on-target attempt hit post, and was ultimately cleared for another corner.

Following a trio of Emory corner kicks, the Eagles had another chance to equalize only minutes later. However, the shot by Gardiner met the gloves of Washington and Lee senior goalkeeper Gillen Beck, who stopped three shots during the game.

One day later, the Eagles were back on the pitch for their second match of the Invitational to face Randolph College.

Much of the match remained a stalemate, with both teams tied 0-0 through 90 minutes. However, the Randolph Wildcats broke the draw in overtime.

In the 93rd minute, Randolph junior midfielder Adam Watson scored the game-winner off a free kick that placed in the lower corner of the net.

“Randolph was organized defensively and especially dangerous on set pieces,” senior forward Christian Meyer said.

With 22 total shots throughout the contest, the Eagles had opportunities to break the early tie against the Wildcats. In the 61st minute, Khattab had a chance to score the first goal of the game. Khattab used his mobility to get his head on a cross, but his effort went high and wide.

One of Emory’s best chances occurred later in regulation when senior forward Michael Carragher had a shot to slot in the potential game-clinching goal. Following a clever one-two from Meyer and McCartney to cut through the Wildcat defense, the ball found its way to the foot of Carragher. However, Carragher’s attempt at goal missed, just inches wide of the net.

“We played pretty well today and created a number of opportunities in the final third,” Meyer said. “We failed to put some of our best chances on target, and just needed to be a bit sharper with our finishing to win the game in regulation.”

Following a disappointing weekend, the Eagles (2-2) hope to rebound with a pair of upcoming matches next weekend. The Eagles get a short break before their next match at Sewanee: The University of the South (Tenn.) Sept. 13, followed by a home contest against Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.) Sept. 16.