Roanoke Squeaks Past Soccer Men, 1-0

The Royals honored their seniors before their final home game: (l-r) Zach Sauder, David Nester, Juan Luna, Grayson Mast, Braden Herman and Matthew Overacker. (photo by Ariel Bills)
The Royals honored their seniors before their final home game: (l-r) Zach Sauder, David Nester, Juan Luna, Grayson Mast, Braden Herman and Matthew Overacker. (photo by Ariel Bills)

The Royals locked up with Roanoke College Saturday night on Senior Recognition. Despite a solid effort against the ODAC's second-place team, a lone goal made the difference in a 1-0 loss.

The soccer men settle at 9-6 overall and 3-5 in the ODAC, sitting in a three-way tie for seventh place in the league alongside Randolph and Virginia Wesleyan. Eastern Mennonite plays at Shenandoah (0-7-1 ODAC) Tuesday afternoon at 4:00pm. The other two play night games on that final day of the regular season, with the WildCats at Guilford (2-6) and Virginia Wesleyan hosting first-place Lynchburg (8-0).

The top eight teams make the ODAC Tournament, which starts next Saturday.

The loss to Roanoke was just the third time this season EMU has been shutout. The Maroons took a high-volume approach on offense, launching 22 shots although only eight were on goal. Eastern Mennonite had seven shots with four on target.

After a scoreless first 70 minutes of play, Roanoke scored on a set piece. Chris Pikunas fired a corner from the right flag and perfectly placed it into the upper 90 of the far side for the lone goal.

The Royals ramped up the attack from there, with Emmanuel Boamah (Alexandria, Va./West Potomac) putting two shots on target and Daniel Obour (Alexandria, Va./Mount Vernon) firing a long rip from the left side with five minutes to play. The men had back-to-back corners with less than two minutes to play, but Roanoke's stifling defense denied any attempts in the sequence.

Caleb Lasrado (Woodbridge, Va./Forest Park) had EMU's only other shot on goal.

Senior Matthew Overacker (Mount Crawford, Va./Turner Ashby) made seven saves in his first 90-minute outing of the season.

Senior Recognition
The Royals honored their six seniors before the game: Matthew Overacker, Braden Herman (Waynesboro, Va./Fort Defiance), Grayson Mast (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite), Juan Luna (Mount Jackson, Va./Stonewall Jackson), Zach Sauder (Lyndhurst, Va./Stuarts Draft) and David Nester (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton). All six have been four-year members of the team, although five of them have missed significant time because of injuries over their career. Luna is a two-time All-ODAC honoree who is currently ninth in EMU history with 24 career goals, 11th with 14 career assists and 11th with 62 career points. Herman, Mast, Sauder and Nester have all been on the ODAC All-Academic Team.