East Penn Press

Monday, September 23, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONEmmaus’ Andrew Gaines (above) and teammate Hudson Peck connected twice on scoring plays in a recent win over Northampton. PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSONEmmaus’ Andrew Gaines (above) and teammate Hudson Peck connected twice on scoring plays in a recent win over Northampton.
PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSON Emmaus' Eric Johnson tries to dribble past a Northampton defender during Saturday's win over the Kids. PRESS PHOTO BY CHUCK HIXSON Emmaus' Eric Johnson tries to dribble past a Northampton defender during Saturday's win over the Kids.

Boys soccer wins first two games

Thursday, September 5, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Sometimes, when teammates have played together enough, they develop a sixth sense about where the other guy is going to be and how they can get the ball to them.

Emmaus boys soccer players Andrew Gaines and Hudson Peck had that working for them on Saturday as Gaines twice fed Peck, who fired a shot into the net. The goal helped Emmaus to a 4-0 win over Northampton. The win came on the heels of a 1-0 win at Cumberland Valley on Friday, starting Emmaus with a 2-0 record for the season.

In the win at Cumberland Valley, Patrick Walsh took a feed from Marco Silva in the first half of the game and fed it into the net for the lone goal of the game. The defensive battle saw the Hornets get off just five shots on goal, while Cumberland Valley had just three shots on goal, all stopped by junior goalkeeper Chris Buck.

Buck had an even easier day against Northampton, having to turn away just one shot in the game.

With 12 minutes left to play in the first half, Emmaus suffered a blow when senior A.J. Febbraro was injured and left the game with what appears to be a broken wrist. The team played on and had two solid looks late in the first half, but Northampton goalie Brady Rimple was able to stop both shots, one coming from Silva and the other from Cayden Muthard.

While the first half ended in a scoreless tie, it took Emmaus just over six minutes to score in the second half when Gaines hit Peck, who fed a shot to the far front corner of the net past Rimple for the 1-0 lead.

“When A.J. went down, we really wanted to pick things up and make sure that we won this one for him,” said Peck of the team’s play in the second half. “He’s a big part of this team and we wanted him to know we were thinking of him and we wish him the best.”

Jake Groh picked up his first goal of the season with 20:54 left in the game. The Gaines to Pcek combo struck again with 11:39 left in regulation to make it 3-0, and after a few close calls, Silva got in the scoring column, taking a pass from Josh Whalen just over two minutes after Peck’s second goal.

“It started with us playing together on JV and we just worked well together there and it’s continued here on varsity,” said Peck.

The two wins give Emmaus momentum going into its first big test of the season when it faces Parkland at home on Wednesday. The two teams are used to battling multiple times throughout a season, often meeting in both the conference and district playoffs. The Trojans picked up a 3-0 win over Central Catholic Saturday in their first game of the season.

“That’s going to be a big test for us and it comes early in the season,” said Emmaus head coach John Cari. “The last few years we’ve played them somewhere in the postseason and it’s likely that will be the case again this year. They’re always good and we plan on going far ourselves, so this will be a fun test.”

In addition to Parkland, Emmaus plays at Nazareth on Friday, Downingtown West on Saturday and at Whitehall on Monday. After Wednesday’s game against Parkland, Emmaus doesn’t return home until next Wednesday when it hosts Easton.