The Oglethorpe men’s soccer team went toe-to-toe Tuesday night with an Emory team that is ranked 23rd in the Division III preseason coaches’ poll. They secured a 0-0 draw for their efforts and did so in front of a massive crowd at the Oglethorpe Track and Field, the largest ever for an event at the venue and one of the largest home crowds in Oglethorpe soccer history.
A lively throng of 484 people packed into the Oglethorpe Track and Field to watch the action and they saw a very entertaining game where both teams had chances to pick up the victory. Emory fired 14 shots to Oglethorpe’s nine and put three shots on goal to the home team’s two. The visiting Eagles had the best chance of the first half when Jason McCartney cannoned a shot off the left post from about 20 yards out. The Petrels were able to clear, though, and neither team came as close to scoring for the remainder of the period.
The Petrels saw an excellent scoring chance in the 52nd minute, just after the start of the second half. Sophomore midfielder Josh Hoeft got the ball on a breakaway and forced Emory goalkeeper Abe Hannigan to make a fingertip save to keep the game a scoreless tie. Neither team was able to break through over 90 minutes, though, sending the game to extra time.
The Petrels outshot Emory 3-0 in the first extra-time period, but were still unable to find the back of the net. The second extra-time period saw a couple of great chances to steal a golden goal and the victory, though, one for each side. Emory’s chance came first, in the 104th minute. The Eagles won a corner kick and Aidan Datene headed a ball at goal that was cleared off the line by an Oglethorpe defender. Emory’s follow-up shot was smothered by Oglethorpe senior goalkeeper Vaughn Moore and the game continued. Oglethorpe’s chance came in the game’s final minute, as with 30 seconds to go, they were able to send in a cross that Hoeft got a head to on the back post. It seemed to be heading for the bottom right corner of goal, but spun just wide at the last second.
“Tonight was a very competitive game,” said Head Coach Jon Akin. “Emory’s a quality team, but I thought we played well on our first time out. We pretty much had an equal amount of chances to win the game, I thought, and it was an evenly played match. We’ll build on this as we go into our next two this weekend.”
Emory took seven corner kicks in the game to Oglethorpe’s four, while Oglethorpe committed 16 fouls to Emory’s 13. Hoeft and sophomore midfielder Bailey Pinto picked up yellow cards for Oglethorpe while Aidan Datene picked up a booking for Emory.
The 0-0-1 Petrels will next be in action on Emory’s home field this weekend. They’ll take the short trip over to the Druid Hills neighborhood of Atlanta to take on Denison and St. Joseph’s (Long Island) in the Eagles’ Sonny Carter Invitational on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Both games will kick off at 11:30 a.m. The Petrels will not be back at home until Sept. 26, when they’ll make their Salamone Field debut against defending SAA champions Berry at 3 p.m.