Shank Sends Men To 2-1 Victory With 1:55 Left
They have won by shutout. They have lost close games. They have even lost in dramatic fashion. Wednesday night, the Eastern Mennonite men got their own dramatic win when sophomore Jacob Shank (West Liberty, OH/West Liberty-Salem) scored the game-winner with just 1:55 left in regulation, giving the Royals a potentially momentum-building 2-1 victory at Emory & Henry.
The host Wasps had gotten on the board first, connecting on a penalty kick just 7:30 into the game. EMU controlled the flow of the play, however, and earned the equalizer 15 minutes later, when Joao Downs (Limon, Costa Rica/Cologio de Limon) knocked in a goal to tie it at 1-1. Fellow defender Caleb Golladay (Mt. Jackson, VA/Stonewall Jackson) assisted Downs on the play.
Despite chances for both teams, the score remained tied for 66 more minutes. Emory & Henry had a number of shots in the final 10 minutes, but it was Shank who made the difference.
Getting just his third collegiate start, Shank pushed up on a breakaway as Christian Rhine (Palmyra, PA/Palmyra) dribbled down the center of the field. Rhine found Shank who punched the ball in from the left side for the late score, the first of his collegiate career. EMU's defense held the Wasps without another look over the final 1:55, as the Royals grabbed the 2-1 win.
The win gives Eastern Mennonite a 5-4 record in the ODAC, putting the men into a four-way tie for fourth place in the packed league standings. Randolph is a single point behind the foursome in eighth place, while Hampden-Sydney is ninth - just three points, or one win, out of the postseason tournament.
The Royals play at Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday, another of the teams tied at 5-4. They close the regular season by hosting ODAC-leading Washington and Lee next week Tuesday.
The men had a 16-7 edge in shots against Emory & Henry, including 11-3 on goal. Andrew Yoder (Harrisonburg, VA/Eastern Mennonite) made two saves for EMU, while Rhine led both teams with six shots. Shank added four.