Playing in front of the home fans for the first time this season, EMU's soccer men did not disappoint in an exciting 2-1 win over William Peace Saturday night in Harrisonburg. Eastern Mennonite took a 2-0 lead before holding off the charging Pacers.
The Royals improved to 3-1 with their third straight win. They stay at home on Tuesday to take on Ferrum College at 7:00pm.
The first half was full of chances as the Royals peppered 13 shots. WPU goalie Christian Ortiz made a handful of great saves and few other opportunities sailed high. That all changed as the seconds ticked away on the half.
Dominic Powers (Culpeper, Va./Fresta Valley Christian) dribbled through the Pacers' defense, working towards the right side of the box. The junior saw a crease and cut the ball back to the left side, where Juan Luna (Mount Jackson, Va./Stonewall Jackson) was unmarked and ready to hit the net. Luna's second goal of the season gave EMU the lead with 11 seconds left before halftime.
Then just nine minutes into the second, the Royals struck again. David Shafer (Maitland, Fla./Bishop Moore Catholic) took a rebounded shot from Dave Drafton (Alexandria, Va./Howard Gardner) and buried it in the net from the top of the box, putting Eastern Mennonite up 2-0.
William Peace stepped up their attack, but could not crack EMU's back line. With ten minutes to play, both teams made a few substitutions to bring in reserves, but the Pacers kept pushing.
Finally in the 87th minute, WPU scored when Uvaldo Acosta headed in a long range free kick, giving the visitors new life. They had one last gasp in the final seconds, earning a pair of corner kicks, but keeper Matthew Overacker (Mount Crawford, Va./Turner Ashby), who had minutes earlier returned to the field for the first time this season, made a pair of saves on dangerous plays to preserve the win.
The Royals ended with a 22-14 shot advantage, although shots on goal were even at 9-9. EMU also earned one more corner kick, 4-3.
Luna finished with six shots to lead all players while Shafer had five targets. Daniel Obour (Alexandria, Va./Mount Vernon) was active on the flank and added four.
Cody Martin (Martinsville, Va./Carlisle) started in goal and made six saves. Overacker allowed the one WPU goal and collected two saves.