After trailing in the first half, the EMU soccer men came back to best cross-town rival Bridgewater 2-1 in a tightly fought contest. Due to the unbalanced scheduling for soccer in the ODAC, this game was a non-conference matchup.
Both teams came out ready to go in this game as they were back-and-forth controlling the ball for the majority of the first half. Neither team could find much space to shoot as the Royals had four shots in the half and Bridgewater just three. However, even with few shots the Eagles struck first on a goal in the 29th minute from Sam Franklin.
The second half is when the rivalry kicked in. Each team came out with a scoring mindset looking to add a goal. By the 60th minute both teams had doubled their first half shot totals.
In the 68th minute, the Royals earned themselves a corner kick. Troy Davis (Gainesville, Va./Patriot) took the corner and launched the ball in before a BC defender redirected back outside the box. Tyler Johnson (Roanoke, Va./Home School) was there to collect the ball and fired a long strike to the upper left of the net past the diving goalkeeper to tie the game for EMU.
The Eagles committed a foul inside the box in the 74th minute that resulted in a yellow card and a penalty shot for the Royals. Emmanuel Boamah (Alexandria, Va./West Potomac) took the penalty shot and capitalized by sticking his first goal of the season into the left side to give the Royals a lead that they would hold on to for the rest of the game.
Bridgewater came close to tying the game back up in the 85th minute with three shots in the span of a minute that were all blocked by EMU defenders. The Royals defense proved to be the difference in this game as they held the Eagles to two corner kicks all game with none in the second half compared to EMU's nine. The Royals finished the game outshooting Bridgewater 16-13.
Improving their record to 2-2-1, the Royals will head up to Pennsylvania on Saturday to take on No. 1 Messiah, the defending national champions, in a 7:00pm game.