This past Saturday, the men’s soccer team tied Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) 1-1 at home. Senior forward Andrew Jones scored Emory’s only goal on a penalty kick in the ninth minute. The goal was Jones’ third of the season. Carnegie Mellon tied the game on a shot from inside the box in the 18th minute. After many chances both ways in the second half and two overtime periods, the game finished with a score of 1-1.
The game went back and forth, with Emory dominating the first half and Carnegie Mellon creating many chances in the second half. The game went to double overtime as well, with Emory controlling the first overtime period and Carnegie Mellon controlling the second overtime period. Carnegie Mellon struggled to hit the target on their shots, with only seven of their 29 attempts making it on goal.
Coming into the game, Emory and Carnegie Mellon were tied for first in the University Athletic Association (UAA).
After the draw on Saturday, both schools received a share of the division title. It is the Eagles’ second straight year sharing the UAA title.
The team finished with a season record of 11-5-2. The Emory team is one of the youngest in the UAA, with only one senior, forward Andrew Jones. Carnegie Mellon, the co-champion of the UAA, has 11 seniors this season. Emory has a strong freshmen class this year as well, with many receiving significant playing time already.
With such a young team, Emory still managed to play at as high of a level as they have in recent years.
“The team matured greatly as the season progressed, and we have built a great foundation for the future,” Head Coach Sonny Travis said.
One player who improved greatly from his freshman season was sophomore goalkeeper Abe Hannigan.
“Hannigan’s confidence grew in leaps and bounds, while improving his range in the air and his shot blocking,” Travis said.
One game that stood out this season was Emory’s 3-1 victory over Brandeis University (Mass.) on Oct. 20. Brandeis came into the game being one of the best teams in the UAA and ranked 12th in the nation. After conceding a goal only 21 seconds into the game, Emory responded with a dominant performance the rest of the game, including six saves from Hannigan. Junior striker and co-captain Dylan Price added two of the three goals.
The Eagles had put together a strong resume for the NCAA tournament with many signature wins such as the Brandeis victory and an impressive record against ranked teams. The Eagles received the news Monday afternoon that they were not selected to the field, snapping hopes of two consecutive trips to the tourney,
Still, the Emory team is set up well for the future. With only one member graduating and a strong recruiting class coming in, they have a chance to do even better next year.
The team will return, including Price, who led the team with 10 goals and 24 points.
The next two highest point-scorers – freshman Jason Andrejchak and junior Michael Rheaume – will also return.
Andrejchak contributed five goals and three assists this season, while Rheaume had four goals and two assists. Hannigan, who had a stellar season in goal with a goals against average of 1.09, is only a sophomore.
The team is deep at almost every position and with more experience under their belt, they will be in a position to be a favorite to win the UAA and be in the mix for the NCAA Division III tournament.
The UAA is one of the toughest divisions in the nation, and winning the title outright would make Emory a legitimate title contender.
With solid depth at every position, young talent gaining experience and an excellent recruiting class, the future is bright for the men’s soccer team.
Ryan Smith contributed reporting
– By Shawn Farshchi