Sophomore midfielder Jasper Pearson dribbles between two Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) defenders on Sept. 8. The Eagles drew a 1-1 tie against BSC. Courtesy of Noyonika Parulekar/Contributing

The Emory men’s soccer team went winless this past weekend in the last two contests of their four-game homestand. The Eagles fell short against the Oglethorpe University (Ga.) Stormy Petrels 2-4 on Sept. 6 in a much closer match than the score indicated during which junior forward Nate Sampson put on a show against Oglethorpe with his first career multi-goal game. Wrapping up the weekend, Emory drew a 1-1 tie against Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) (Ala.) on Sept. 8.

In the first match of the weekend, Oglethorpe’s sophomore forward Abraham Lopez put the Stormy Petrels ahead early with a goal in the 25th minute. Oglethorpe senior midfielder Andrew Grodhaus assisted the goal with a through ball that put Lopez in position to drive the ball past Emory junior goalkeeper Cole Gallagher. 

Lopez wasn’t done scoring, as he drilled another shot into the back of the net just 11 minutes later. The goal was the result of a beautiful cross that placed the ball in Emory’s danger zone. Lopez took advantage of the loose ball and provided his team with a comfortable 2-0 lead.

Emory junior forward Nate Sampson, who leads the Eagles in scores this season, closed the gap between the rivals with a near-post goal in the 51st minute. Sophomore midfielder Matt Engler found Sampson on the right side of the 18-yard box, and Sampson was able to convert. Oglethorpe responded just two minutes later as senior midfielder Josh Bronstorph netted a set piece for his first goal of the season which gave the Stormy Petrels a 3-1 advantage.

Just as it seemed that the Eagles had lost hope, Sampson drove a ball to the far post for his second goal of the day. The shot brought the Eagles within one goal, but they couldn’t find the net again before the final whistle.

Oglethorpe iced the match in the final minute as freshman forward James Williams took advantage of an empty net and gave his team a 4-2 lead.

Two days later, Emory tied the BSC Panthers 1-1 in a match that featured outstanding play from both teams’ goalkeepers.

On the Eagles side, sophomore goalkeeper Max Carlson started his first collegiate match in goal and finished the game with seven saves, including two big-time stops in the 85th minute.

BSC struck first as freshman midfielder Coleman Jennings blasted a shot past Carlson around the seven-minute mark, but the Panthers’ lead was short-lived. Emory sophomore midfielder Jasper Pearson set up fellow sophomore forward Ethan Cohen with a deep throw-in. Cohen finished the play with a beautiful volley past the goalkeeper at a very difficult angle. The goal was Cohen’s first of the season and the second of his career.

Emory had a shot at taking the lead at the 66:59 mark of the second half, but BSC senior goalkeeper Kurt Moore took down Emory freshman forward Trevor Anderson. The Eagles were rewarded with a penalty kick, and Sampson placed the shot in the bottom right corner of the goal. But Moore guessed correctly to keep the score at 1-1.

The game ended 1-1 with an 89-minute scoring drought as both teams failed to score in the second half or overtime.

Sampson remains confident about the season and stresses that hard work, patience and focus are important for the team to be successful. 

“I think patience is key for us right now,” Sampson said. “We need to continue to work hard and build on some of the positive things that have come out of the past few games. We have to look forward, focus on the things that we can control and trust that our work will pay off.”

Freshman midfielder Alejandro Gomez faces off against Birmingham-Southern College’s goalie in their Sept. 8 match. Courtesy of Noyonika Parulekar/Contributing

The Eagles return to the field on Sept. 13 when they travel to play against Washington & Lee University (Va.) at 3 p.m.