Boys soccer rebounds from loss
After opening the season with a loss to rival Parkland, Emmaus boys soccer team could have gotten into a bad place pretty quickly. Instead, the Hornets regrouped and came back the next day with a win over a tough Cumberland Valley team. Since then, they’ve rattled off wins against Whitehall and Nazareth. On Monday they added Central Catholic to the list.
In beating Central Catholic 2-0, the Hornets picked up their third straight shutout and have now outscored opponents 9-3 on the season. It was the second shutout for goal keeper Seth Hetrick, while Sam Cho has the other. The two have been splitting time in goal this season and it’s worked well for the Hornets.
“Hetrick made some very good saves and has come a long way from where he was last year; he’s doing a nice job,” said Emmaus head coach John Cari. “Both goalkeepers have done a good job. They’ve both posted shutouts, so I’m pleased with the direction that we’re going.”
John Heberlein put Emmaus up 1-0 with 21:30 left to play in the first half when Emmaus had a couple shots deflected before James Haag set a pass to Heberlein, who had a relatively easy tap-in for the goal. Neither team scored again in the half, but with 28:11 left in the game, Dakota Bauer scored his third goal of the season for Emmaus.
“I thought we did a good job of pressing,” said Cari. “We just didn’t finish our shots, but I thought we did a good job of finding shots today. We were pressing and taking opportunities on shots, but we just haven’t had it yet. It will come.
“We haven’t scored a lot of goals, but we’re not letting goals in and that’s been the key. Goals usually come later and I think we’ll find it and open things up later this week.”
Emmaus has gotten goals from six different players this season as the Hornets look to spread their offense around. Bauer leads with three and Heberlein is right behind him with his second goal of the season on Monday.
“It’s always good to not rely on just one player,” Heberlein, a senior, said. “We have solid players in all positions, so we can score goals and put together some good plays. It’s actually one of the strong points of our game.”
The loss to Parkland may have served as somewhat of an early wake-up call to the team. Without a doubt, the win over Cumberland Valley came at just the right time, because it didn’t give the team any time to dwell on the loss and got them back on the right path quickly.
“The next day to go to Cumberland Valley and win was big, because they’re one of the better state teams and a powerhouse and we played well against them,” said Cari.
After starting 0-1, the players decided that they needed to improve from that point and continue to improve throughout the season as they seek to win a third straight District 11 championship.
“Ever since that loss, we knew we had to get better every single game and that’s our goal, to play better in every game until the end of the season,” said Heberlein.
Emmaus hosts East Stroudsburg North tonight before trips to Pocono Mountain East on Friday and Downingtown West on Saturday. The Hornets are back at Memorial Field next Tuesday against Stroudsburg.