Cole’s goal helps EHS down K-Kids
In a game where both teams had a lot of scoring opportunities that they couldn’t cash in on, Emmaus wound up with a 1-0 win over Northampton to open the high school soccer season this past Saturday.
Grace Eisenhard’s shot bounded back to the front of the net and even though junior Sydney Cole had a Northampton defender on her, the things she learned in camp this summer came into play as she was there to fight off the defender for what looked like an easy goal.
“I wasn’t necessarily anticipating it,” said Cole. “But we’re taught to follow any shot on goal in case it comes back, so I was just doing what I was taught.”
Cole’s kick was one of six shots on goal for Emmaus, who also had just as many shots sail wide or high over the goal during the game. Northampton also had six shots on Hornet goalkeeper Alexa Ryan and another 10 that sailed off their mark throughout the game. Besides the errant shots, both teams had momentum stopped either by a misplay or a good defensive play by their opponent.
“Syd always finds herself in the right place and is always thinking ‘where can this ball go next and where do I need to be,’” said Emmaus head coach Sarah Oswald. “We’ve seen that from her at that JV level and in the preseason and I’m excited for her that she was able to get her real first varsity goal and it was a game-winner against Northampton. It was a big one.”
Both coaches conceded that some of the missed opportunities could have come because it was the first game of the season.
For Emmaus, it was the first time that the Hornets played full halves after their scrimmage was divided into 15-minute sections because of extreme heat.
The game exposed some things for Oswald to work on, but she was happy with the effort and believes they can do some repairs.
“There are definitely some things to work on and clean up,” said said. “We need to be tighter on the back line because they had a ton of attacking presence today and we didn’t always deal with that. As we go forward and play teams that have really, really good forwards, that’s going to hurt us.
“Offensively, we’ve struggled to finish. We found one goal but there could have been a ton more if we would have just finished. And it’s a matter of connecting some passes, too.”
Cole was playing her first varsity game for the Hornets and had a strong outing against Northampton. She admitted that there has been a lot to get used to and that there are still some things to work on both for her individually and for the team as they look to come together.
“I think right off the bat things are always a little frantic,” said Cole. “But once we get a couple more games in, things will be better.”
Tightening up on the holes in their game will be important for the Hornets to accomplish quickly because the schedule isn’t exactly their friend.
Rival Parkland comes to Memorial Field on Wednesday. The two teams played twice in the regular season last year and then met in both the EPC semifinals and the District 11 finals, with Parkland winning all four games.
The Hornets look to send an early message in their meeting with Parkland.
On Friday, Emmaus plays at Nazareth, which missed the EPC playoffs last season and was eliminated in the first round of districts.
The first nonconference game of the season will be at Memorial Field Saturday (Sept. 8) against Wilson West Lawn.