Boys soccer prepares for league playoffs
With playoffs set to open this weekend, the Emmaus boys soccer team appears to be heading toward the postseason with a head full of steam after wins over Northampton and Whitehall by a combined score of 9-0. The Hornets have games against Nazareth and Central Catholic to wrap up the regular season. After that the Hornets will await official word of who they’ll play in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs, which begin Saturday.
The impressive part of Emmaus’ 6-0 win over Northampton was that six goals were scored by five different players, with just Jon Heberlein picking up multiple goals. Emmaus (11-2-1 EPC, 12-3-1 overall) was relentless in front of the goal and took advantage of second opportunities.
“I thought we did a good job tonight offensively and did a good job crashing where we hit a bunch of initial shots and then ended up following in,” said Emmaus head coach John Cari. “I thought it was a good effort tonight.
“We know Brady [Northampton goalie Brady Rimple] and he’s a good goalkeeper. He did a good job tonight and he’s a very good shot-stopper, but just couldn’t hold on to a couple and we were right there to cash them in.”
Emmaus put the game away early when in a span of just 1:25, the Hornets scored three times on shots from Noah Ross, Max Hirschhorn and Heberlein. The quick, early scores not only put Northampton on its heels, but had the Kids in a deep hole against a team that has played strong defensively all season, allowing just six goals in 16 games.
“It was important to get off to a good start and get those three goals right away,” said Cari. “I thought it was really key for us to have that energy back. Just the first minute or two we were a little sluggish, but then all of a sudden we picked it up and that was important because we needed to get over that hangover and I was really pleased with how we bounced back tonight.”
James Haag added a fourth goal to give the Hornets a 4-0 lead going into halftime. Just four minutes into the second half Heberlein scored his second of the night on a rebound. With 7:29 left to play, Matheus Muller made it 6-0. Dakota Bauer had two assists, with Nick Cari and Justin Llado each picking up one in the game.
Bauer added his third assist of the week in the win over Whitehall and Llado, Cari and Thomas Hanvey all scored for Emmaus to down the Zephyrs 3-0. Sam Cho got the shutout against Northampton and Seth Hetrick added the shutout against Whitehall.
In addition to the varsity team playing well, Emmaus’ JV team has posted a perfect 16-0 mark this season beating Northampton 3-0 and downing the Zephyrs 4-0.
While the Hornets have wrapped up a spot in the EPC playoffs, where the Hornets will be seeded is still a question mark. They’re currently the No. 2 team behind Parkland, but there are five teams all within one win of Emmaus. If the Hornets sweep their two remaining games, they would clinch the number-two seed and host the No. 7 seed in the first round.