The Royals got a distasteful ending to their Centennial Homecoming Saturday, as visiting Randolph-Macon grabbed a 2-1 win from the soccer men in overtime. It was the second straight 2-1 OT loss for Eastern Mennonite.
The final minutes of the game proved to be a bizarre spectacle. Early in the 96th minute, the Royals (8-5/2-4 ODAC) earned a corner kick on a play where the players wanted a foul called when Matthew Zimmerman (Partlow, Va./Spotsylvania) was tripped up in the box. As the men were setting up the corner, a yellow and then red card was flashed on EMU, suddenly putting the Royals down a man.
After a three-minute pause in play to sort things out, Dave Drafton (Alexandria, Va./Howard Gardner) had a contested look at a shot after the corner but it sailed high.
As Randolph-Macon (12-1/5-1 ODAC) took the ball into midfield, the Royals were tagged with another foul. The Yellow Jackets put the free kick into the box and ended up scoring the winning goal out of the resulting scrum. Christian Torres did the deed to end the game with 3:17 left in overtime.
For the Royals it was the second straight time they had scored first against a team ranked in the top ten of the South Atlantic Region, only to lose in OT. They had a similar decision Wednesday night against Washington and Lee.
Daniel Obour (Alexandria, Va./Mount Vernon) scored in the 52nd minute to put the men on the board. It was a quick strike for EMU as Dominic Powers (Culpeper, Va./Fresta Valley Christian) sent a long pass up the right flank to David Shafer (Maitland, Fla./Bishop Moore Catholic) who one-touched a cross to Obour for the weak side finish.
Randolph-Macon equalized seven minutes later, after a questionable yellow card foul just outside of the box. Jacob McHugh fired the free kick over the defense and into the upper 90.
Until the ending, it had been a well-played contest between two possession-oriented teams. R-MC tallied a 24-19 advantage in shots, although only 7-6 in on-goal attempts. Defender Emmanuel Boamah (Alexandria, Va./West Potomac) made a few runs and attempts on set pieces, and topped the Royals with four shots, two on goal.
Keeper Cody Martin (Martinsville, Va./Carlisle) played well, earning five saves while grabbing or punching out a number of contested kicks into the box.
Eastern Mennonite will try to regroup in a Wednesday road game at rival Bridgewater College (7-7/4-2 ODAC). Game time is 4:00pm.