The men’s soccer team played the Berry College Vikings on Saturday afternoon at the Woodruff P.E. Center, giving up two goals in the second half and ultimately losing to the Vikings 2-0. Emory now stands at 5-3-0 this season while Berry improved to 3-4-1.
Berry entered Saturday’s game with a record of 2-1-1 and recently lost games against eighth-ranked Ohio Northern (3-1) and second-ranked Ohio Wesleyan (2-1). The Vikings, ranked 104th in Division III have outscored their opponents in seven games despite a losing record. They stand at 2.29 goals per game and 1.94 goals-against average. The star of the team, junior Christian Fulbright, stands at three goals and two assists while four other key Vikings players have scored two goals this year for the team. Sophomore goalkeeper Logan Hill, another Berry standout has started every game this season for the team with a .677 save percentage and a 1.61 GAA. Richard Vardy who has a record of 157-57-1 in his time at the college has coached the Vikings for the past 12 years.
Despite outshooting the Vikings 18-8 in Saturday’s game, the Eagles suffered defeat even with an 8-5 lead on shots on goal. The first half of the game remained scoreless for both sides with Emory holding a 6-3 advantage in total shots over the Vikings. After the first 45 minutes, Emory also held a 4-1 edge in shots on goal.
Four minutes into the second half, Berry player Kyle Fitting deflected a shot off an Emory defender and scored past sophomore goalkeeper Abe Hannigan. It was Fitting’s first goal of the 2013 season. Despite consistent efforts on attack from Emory, Berry pressed back and in the 81st minute Zak Wallingford scored his third goal of the season securing the win for Berry. Emory junior co-captain and forward Dylan Price had seven shots with five on goal. This was the game high for shots on net.
In the all-time series Emory and Berry are even at 9-9-1 even though only two of those games were played after 1993. Emory defeated Berry 3-0 at home in 2011, and in 2012 the Eagles suffered a 2-1 overtime loss on the road against the Vikings last year. Last year’s game against Berry marked Hannigan’s first career start. His recording of seven saves is still his career best despite a strong showing this season.
The Eagles will continue play on Sept. 25, the fourth-game in their home stand versus Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.) at 7 p.m.
– By Liza Atillasoy