It had been six years, but the Eastern Mennonite soccer men finally got a win in the ODAC Tournament. The Royals blanked rival Bridgewater 2-0 on a cold Sunday night, getting out of the tourney's first round since finishing as the runner-up in 2005.
Second-seeded EMU, 10-7-2 on the year, will now host the ODAC's sixth seed, Lynchburg, which upset Washington & Lee 1-0 Sunday afternoon. Date and time of that game will be determined on Monday.
After an early surge by Bridgewater, the Royals scored on their first shot attempt. Midfielder Bryce Shank (Harrisonburg, VA/Eastern Mennonite) fired a long through ball up the right side to speedy Adam Moyer (Harleysville, PA/Christopher Dock). Moyer tracked it down and then beat the BC keeper for a 1-0 lead just 8:51 in.
The Eagles settled down and thought they had their equalizer in the 30th minute. Sawyer Janes took off on a breakaway and fired a shot at close range. Keeper Patrick Fox (Virginia Beach, VA/Kempsville) got a hand on the ball, which then bounced off the left post and came straight back to him while he was on the ground from the diving save.
In the second half, both teams had good chances, but either put shots wide or had them stopped. Kevin Chico (Harrisonburg, VA/Eastern Mennonite) skimmed a shot just right of the post in the 76th minute. A minute later Brendan Jeschke (Vienna, VA/James Madison) sent a pass across the face of the goal, but Mark Mast's (Harrisonburg, VA/Eastern Mennonite) sliding footer trickled just inches wide right again.
With 5:04 left on the clock, the men finally got their insurance when Mitchell Leap (Harrisonburg, VA/Eastern Mennonite) broke loose in front of the goal and hit the net to produce the final 2-0 margin.
The Royals out-shot BC 19-11, and only allowed two shots on goal for a 7-2 edge. Fox played the first half and had both of EMU's saves. Freshman Andrew Yoder (Harrisonburg, VA/Eastern Mennonite) tended the goal in the second.
Eastern Mennonite, which also tied the program record with seven ODAC wins during the regular season, now holds home field advantage through the playoffs, after top-seeded Roanoke was upset on Saturday. Virginia Wesleyan plays at Randolph in the other semifinal.