Men Soccer’s ties with Emory after double overtime
The Washington University men’s soccer team tied with Emory University on Saturday afternoon in a grueling matchup that ended 0-0 after two overtimes.
The draw — the Bears’ first this season — brought the team to 7-1-1 on the year, and the team remained No. 9 in the United Soccer Coaches rankings Tuesday.
The opening minutes were not the start the Bears had wished for, as Emory dictated much of the game with ruthless intent. The Bears were extremely pressed out, putting them “on the backfoot for most of the first half,” head coach Joe Clarke said. Dominating much of the game possession, the Eagles registered several shots against WashU senior goalkeeper Matt Martin in early minutes, but the WashU defense got the job done and held off their attack.
The second half of the game saw a much-improved WashU that was better at handling Emory’s pressing style and physical nature. Sophomore John Daniels opened WashU’s second half with a shot in the 48th minute that was saved by the Emory goalkeeper. The Bears continued to challenge Emory, as they registered quality shots in the 64th, 65th and 79th minutes, but they were again kept out by Emory’s defense.
Going into the first overtime, both teams looked to reset. As they had shown throughout the match, Emory was better able to register shots, taking four to WashU’s zero in the period and finishing the afternoon with 19 total shots to WashU eight. The second overtime did not have much action going for it, as the inability to break the deadlock by both teams in the remaining 10 minutes meant that the game had to conclude at 0-0.
At the end of the game, head coach Clarke had all the respect for Emory. “All credit to Emory, they really used the ball very very well and made us chase it,” he said. “And then when we got the ball, they pressed us and we gave it away easily.”
Despite Clarke’s acknowledgment of the team’s “poor start” in the first half against a demanding Emory side, he was pleased with how they responded in the second half. “We did a little bit better at times putting them under pressure [and] started to force them to defend,” he said. “And they were using more energy in their back, so they weren’t quite as good going forward.”
Clarke credited the second half to Martin, who was named a University Athletic Association Defensive Athlete of the Week, and the three center backs. “Emory is very much a cross space team, get it high and serve a man. We played with three center backs in order to try and deal with that,” Clarke said.
Martin had a mixed reaction after the draw. “They were a great team [and] they made us look real bad,” he said.
Still, Martin had kind words for his teammates. “I think every clean sheet should be applauded so much because they always come out and have a great season,” he said, adding that despite the draw he thought the Bears can regroup and be ready for the next game.
The Bears take the field next on Friday, Oct. 15 against New York University on Francis Field at 8:00 p.m.