Sometimes it just takes one big play to get things going.
That was certainly the case Tuesday night, as senior Juan Luna (Mount Jackson, Va./Stonewall Jackson) broke a scoreless tie in the 68th minute before his teammates blew open a 6-0 ODAC win over visiting Emory & Henry. Six different Royals scored as EMU's soccer men earned their first league win of the season and improved to 7-3 overall.
The game was characterized by numerous scoring chances for both teams, although EMU had the best looks. The teams combined for 24 shots, including 14 on goal, in a scoreless first half, and 48 shots for the contest.
When Luna hit the net after an assist from David Shafer (Maitland, Fla./Bishop Moore Catholic), everything changed. Just over four minutes later, Shafer found Jesus Trejo (Winchester, Va./John Handley) with a long pass to the right side, freezing EHC's keeper and making for an easy 2-0 lead.
In the 79th minute, Eastern Mennonite pulled away. Shafer finally cashed in his own attempt, getting a quick touch pass from Trejo at the top of the box.
As subs took to the field, the Royals just kept on coming. Freshman Troy Davis (Gainesville, Va./Patriot) found a deflected ball in the box and went near post for a 4-0 cushion. A minute later, Joshua Chiquillo (Woodbridge, Va./Gar-Field) put a free kick in front of the goal where David Nester (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) bumped it in.
Chiquillo then added his own score in the 85th minute, with an easy tap-in after Austin LaPrad (Fuquay-Varina, N.C./Fuquay-Varina) put a cross through the hands of the Wasp keeper.
All told, the Royals put in six goals in a span of 16:43 for one of the biggest scoring explosions in program history.
The six goals were the most EMU has scored since a 6-0 win over Galluadet to open the 2005 season.
Eastern Mennonite ended with a 31-17 advantage in shots, including 22-8 on goal.
Keepers Cody Martin (Martinsville, Va./Carlisle) and Matthew Overacker (Mount Crawford, Va./Turner Ashby) each played a half to combine for the shutout. Martin made five saves while Overacker stopped three shots.
Samuel Irvin racked up 15 saves in front of the net for Emory & Henry (4-6-1/0-2-1 ODAC).
The Royals hope to carry the momentum into Saturday's road game, playing at Guilford College (1-10/1-1 ODAC) in a 7:30pm game in Greensboro, N.C.