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PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Emmaus' Kurt Brinkman splits a pair of Saucon Valley defenders during a summer league playoff game. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Emmaus' Kurt Brinkman splits a pair of Saucon Valley defenders during a summer league playoff game.

Emmaus boys fare well in LVSSL

Thursday, August 8, 2013 by TODD KRESS Special to the Press in Sports

A year after winning the 2012 Lehigh Valley Summer Soccer League championship, the Emmaus boys soccer team was in position to make a similar run this season.

However, the Hornets, which finished in second place in the LVSSL B Division this season, suffered a tough 1-0 loss to Saucon Valley in the first round of the playoffs, erasing any thoughts of a repeat.

Despite the loss, head coach John Cari saw plenty of solid play that has the team on the right path heading into fall practices that are quickly approaching.

"I was a little disappointed to lose that early," said Cari. "We were champs last year and I was hoping maybe we can get to the playoffs and get back.

"I think we're getting some things to build off of. I have an idea defensively of where we're going to be. I think we're going to spot a couple of players that will help us out this year who might not have been on my radar before. There are a lot of positives you can get out of the summer. That's all you're looking for."

Cari was impressed throughout the season with his team's ability to spread the ball around. With Ben Roda and AJ Bishop headlining a number of seniors that have graduated from last season's team, other Hornets will be relied upon. The summer was a solid gauge on how his team stood in that aspect too.

What also stood out to Cari was the Hornets' stingy defense that ranked right amongst the summer league's bests in goals allowed.

"I thought we moved the ball fairly well," said Cari. "We kept it on the ground trying to find options.

"I also think we did a really decent job of defending this year. Going into the playoffs, we had the least or second-least amount of goals scored against us. We did a decent job."

Charlie Jerry, an incoming senior center midfielder, had a solid summer league and figures to be a key piece for the Hornets moving forward.

"He's a hard-working player," said Cari. "He's always moving, always trying to find space, and always trying to help his teammates. He's a real good team player."