This was nothing like last year.
Eastern Mennonite's soccer men out-dueled host Albright College in a high-scoring affair Saturday afternoon, holding on to a 3-2 win. The Royals extend their winning streak to five straight, now standing with a record of 5-1 as they prepare for their final non-conference game Wednesday at Gallaudet University.
Saturday's game in Reading, Pa., featured a combined total of 36 shots and all of the goals were scored within the first 50 minutes of play. When the two teams met in 2016, the contest was scoreless until the final 12:17, when EMU hit the net twice for a 2-0 victory.
Senior Juan Luna (Mount Jackson, Va./Stonewall Jackson) started the fireworks in the eighth minute, finishing off a breakaway from Daniel Obour (Alexandria, Va./Mount Vernon) from the top of the box. It was the Royals' first shot of the game.
Obour nearly found the net just seconds later, but an Albright defender saved the ball from going in.
The Lions (1-4-1) equalized in the 33rd minute with a goal from Kama Doucoure, but Eastern Mennonite took the lead back just 2:02 before halftime. Dominic Powers (Culpeper, Va./Fresta Valley Christian) found Erik Peachey (Lititz, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) with a cross from the left side and the junior put the ball away for a 2-1 lead.
Then only 35 seconds into the second half, the Royals pushed the margin to 3-1 when David Shafer (Maitland, Fla./Bishop Moore Catholic) shot home a goal from 10 yards out.
The momentum didn't last long, however, as Albright scored in the 50th minute. Keeper Cody Martin (Martinsville, Va./Carlisle) made back-to-back saves on AC's Anthony Parlato, but Parlato finally got the third attempt into the goal in the bang-bang sequence.
EMU controlled much of the play after that, but could not build on the 3-2 lead despite 12 more shot attempts. The Lions finally drew a golden opportunity on a foul in the box with just seven seconds left on the game clock, but Zachary Lahey's penalty kick sailed wide.
The Royals held a 21-15 shot advantage in the win, with Obour and Caleb Oakes (Waynesboro, Va./Stuarts Draft) firing four attempts in another balanced offensive effort.
Martin finished with six saves in goal.