The Emory University men's soccer team will play its final home conference games of the season this weekend, playing host to Case Western Reserve University at 7:30 PM on Friday, October 12th, and the University of Rochester at 1:30 PM on Sunday, October 14th at the Woodruff Physical Education Center.
Prior to the start of the game against Rochester on Sunday, Emory will honor its seven graduating senior players - David Garofalo, Nick Jones, David Langton, Alistair Moore, Andrew Natalino, Alex Scott and Alex Wong. Over the past four seasons, these players have helped lead the Eagles to a 42-20-5 overall record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament during the 2010 campaign.
Fans can follow all of this weekend's action with both live statistics (http://www.go.emory.edu/LiveStats/MSocc/XLIVE.HTM) and a live video webcast (http://go.emory.edu/Webcasts/MSoccWebcast.html). In order to watch the webcast, you will need to have RealPlayer installed on your computer, which can be downloaded for free from real.com.
Emory will begin the weekend in a tie with Washington University (Mo.) for fourth place in the University Athletic Association (UAA), as both squads have posted 1-1-0 conference records. There is currently a three-way tie for the UAA lead, as fifth-ranked Carnegie Mellon, ninth-ranked Brandeis, and 20th-ranked New York University all stand at 1-0-1. Behind Emory in the standings are Rochester (0-0-2), Chicago (0-1-1) and Case (0-2-0).
Other action in the UAA on Friday will include Brandeis visiting Chicago (6:30 PM), Rochester at Carnegie Mellon (7:30 PM) and NYU at Washington U. (9:00 PM). On Sunday, Case will be at Carnegie Mellon (1:30 PM), NYU will play at Chicago (2:00 PM) and Brandeis will travel to Washington (2:30 PM).
Emory will be looking to bounce back from a 1-0 loss at Washington University (Mo.) last weekend, during which the Bears scored the only goal of the game in 88th minute. Despite allowing the late score, Emory's defense held the Bears to just four shots in the game, only two of which were on goal and only one of which was in the second half. The Eagles now stand at 6-5-1 for the season, including a record of 3-2-1 at home. The team's offense, which has totaled 28 goals this season, has been paced by sophomore Dylan Price (nine goals and two assists for 20 points) and Andrew Natalino (nine goals and one assist for 19 points). Defensively, the Eagles have allowed 15 goals during the campaign for a 1.19 team goals-against average, as freshman goalkeeper Abe Hannigan has gone 4-2-0 with a 0.92 GAA and a .700 save percentage. Emory has outshot opposing teams 233-118 this season, including a 99-60 edge in shots on goal.
The Eagles are led by head coach Sonny Travis, who is 74-25-6 during his five seasons at Emory, including three NCAA Tournament berths and a UAA Championship. His career 368-117-43 record ranks him 14th among active Division III coaches in victories, and his .738 winning percentage is the 10th-best among active D-III coaches. Travis will be joined by fourth-year assistant Ben Buerger, second-year goalkeeper coach Clayton Schmitt, and student assistant Dehmeh Smith.
Case Western Reserve Spartans
After the Spartans won a share of the UAA Championship and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history last season, the team has struggled in 2012, going 3-8-1 during the season. Case will come to Atlanta looking to put an end to a four-game losing streak, and stands at 2-4-1 in road games for the campaign. Last Saturday, the Spartans dropped a 2-0 decision at ninth-ranked Brandeis, despite playing a scoreless first half with the Judges. In the wake of the graduation of two-time All-American and UAA Player of the Year Vinny Bell, Case has generated just 13 goals this season, led by sophomore Patrick O'Day (four goals and one assist) and senior Eric Erb (three goals and one assist). Defensively, the team has allowed 23 goals for a 1.83 GAA, while senior goalkeeper Ryan Koepka has seen the majority of time in the net, recording a 1.92 GAA and a .636 save percentage. Case has been outshot 157-145 this season, including a 70-55 edge in shots on goal for opponents.
Case is led by head coach Dan Palmer, who has gone 88-60-16 during his nine seasons with the team, and holds a 134-104-23 record during his 14-year career, which includes a five-year stint at North Central College. He is assisted by Ben Yabrow, Vlado Hrelja and Ryko Marich.
Emory is 22-2-1 all-time against Case, including a record of 12-1-0 in games played in Atlanta. In 2011, Case came away with a wild 6-5 win against Emory in the second overtime in Cleveland, Ohio, tying the game with just six second left in regulation and winning on Erb's second goal of the game in the 102nd minute. Natalino has scored a goal against the Spartans in each of the last two meetings.
Rochester has rode one of the nation's best defenses this season to a 6-2-2 overall record, including a 3-0-1 mark in all games away from home. The Yellowjackets will begin the weekend with a four game unbeaten streak (2-0-2), and will play at fifth-ranked Carnegie Mellon on Friday. The team received votes in the latest D3Soccer.com national poll, as was ranked fourth in the NSCAA East Region poll earlier this week. Rochester's defense, which features 2011 all-UAA second team selection Jacob Seidlitz, is ranked 18th in Division III in both goals-against average (0.57 with six goals allowed) and shutout percentage (0.60), and 35th in save percentage (0.846). Senior goalkeeper Scott Garfing ranks 34th in Division III with a 0.644 GAA and 53rd with a 0.838 save percentage. Offensively, the Yellowjackets have scored 22 goals and rank 88th in Division III with 2.2 goals per game, led by Jack Thesing (five goals and one assist) and Alex Swanger (four goals). Rochester has outshot opponents 114-102 this year, including a 55-39 advantage in shots on goal.
Rochester is led by head coach Chris Apple, who is now in his 12th season at the team's helm, and has accumulated a career record of 148-39-30 with the Yellowjackets. He is assisted by Evan Schutt, Steve Christenson, and Matt Klosner.
Emory is 14-9-2 all-time against the University of Rochester, including wins in each of the last two meetings, and an 11-0-1 record in games played at Emory. Last season, the Eagles' claimed a 1-0 win in Rochester, behind an 11th minute header goal from Alex Scott off a corner kick from David Garofalo. Emory's defense limited the Yellowjackets to seven shots, only four of which were on goal, en route to the shutout. Garofalo has two career assists against Rochester, while Nick Jones has a goal and Natalino an assist during their careers against the Yellowjackets.
Emory is 74th in Division III in scoring offense (2.33 goals per game), 69th in total goals (28), 50th in total assists (22) and 65th in total points (78)... Price and Natalino are tied for 46th in Division III in total goals and 61st in goals per game, while Price ranks 66th in total points and 80th in points per game, and Natalino is 82nd in total points and 98th in points per game… Junior Andrew Jones is ranked 65th among Division III players with five assists and 89th in assists per game… Hannigan is ranked 74th among Division III goalkeepers in goals against average… Emory has outshot its opponent in 11 of 12 games this season, and has taken 10 shots or more than its opponent on seven occasions… The Eagles' defense has not allowed more than four shots on goal in its last five games, and has not given up double-digit shots on goal in its last 18 games… Emory has scored three or more goals six times this season, including four of the team's last five games, and has gone 6-1-0 in games where the offense has registered multiple goals.