The men’s soccer team collected its first win of the season this Wednesday, defeating the Maryville College (Tenn.) Fighting Scots 3-1. The Eagles’ record now stands at 1-1-1. The Eagles were led to victory by sophomore forward Dylan Price, who had two goals and an assist on the game.
“We were really lucky to get that first win in and turn the season around,” senior captain and mid-fielder Andrew Natalino said. “Hopefully we can build off that this weekend. It helps us a lot going into these next few games.”
Emory struck first, taking the lead with a goal in the 16th minute of the game.
Price took the ball through the Maryville defense and found Natalino running into the box. Natalino was able to send the ball into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
“A lot of us were frustrated that we only scored one goal last weekend, so [Head Coach Sonny Travis] made it clear that my job was to stay up with the forwards,” Natalino said. “I had a good run, and Dylan was able to find me, and I got lucky and put it through.”
The Eagles scored again in the 35th minute of play when Price scored off a penalty kick. The penalty was earned by junior forward Andrew Jones, who was taken out inside of the penalty box. The Scots’ goalie managed to get a hand on Price’s shot but was unable to deflect it totally, so Price raised the Eagles’ lead to 2-0.
“Some people say 2-0 is the most dangerous lead in soccer because you being to relax and that sometimes allows the other team score on you,” Natalino said. “After this goal we tried to keep our focus up high. But unluckily we got scored on again [later in the match].”
After 45 minutes of play. Emory took the 2-0 lead into halftime. In the second frame, though, the Scots were quick cut the Eagles’ lead in half. In the 66th minute, Maryville managed to take a shot from inside the box. The ball bounced off an Emory defenseman before getting past senior goalkeeper Aram Keteyian. The goal was Maryville’s first of the season and made it a 2-1 game.
“This was unlucky,” Natalino said. “We had a little bit of a lapse on defense, but we have sorted it out, and it should not be happening again.”
The game remained close until the 88th minute, when the Eagles earned a corner kick. Senior defender David Garofalo took the kick, and Price headed it in for his second goal of the game, to go with one assist.
“That secured the victory for us,” Natalino said. “Dylan is a great player. Last year he really stepped up and had a few big game winners in overtime. He has really improved a lot since last season and is definitely one of our best attacking players. Over the next few years, he will be a force to be reckoned with.”
Price led the team with seven goals last year and was second with 15 points. This was the second multi-goal game of his Emory career, and his five points on the game were a career high.
Emory dominated Maryville in shots, outshooting the Scots 21-11. They also held a 7-6 edge in shots on goal. The squads were even in corner kicks at five apiece.
Keteyian made five saves in the contest, and his goals-against average now stands at 0.92.
The Eagles will next take the field this weekend, travelling to Kentucky to play Spalding University Friday evening and Centre College Saturday evening in the Centre College Tournament.
â€” By Bennett Ostdiek