The Emory University Men's Soccer team, coming off a 10-win campaign in 2016, opens the 2017 season this weekend with the annual Sonny Carter Invitational Tournament. The Eagles will host NC Wesleyan on Friday at 4:30 PM EST before taking on Pacific Lutheran at 7:00 PM EST on Saturday. Crosstown foe Oglethorpe University will also compete in the four-team invitational.
Interim Head Coach Cory Greiner Previews 2017 Season
2016 in Review
The Eagles finished the 2016 season with a 10-5-1 overall record, marking the 16th consecutive winning season for Emory and the 14th season in the last 15 years with at least 10 or more victories. The Eagles recorded two winning streaks of at least three games including a season-long stretch of five straight that included wins over Birmingham-Southern, Washington University, Case Western Reserve and Covenant.
Emory's 2016 slate of games ranked among the toughest in Division III, with a strength-of-schedule of .600, and six teams reaching the NCAA Tournament including eventual national semifinalist Brandeis University. The Eagles were 2-3-1 in such games against programs that earned postseason bids with victories over 8th-ranked WashU and Maryville University along with a tie against Carnegie Mellon University.
10 of the 14 Emory goal scorers from last season are back in 2017 including both double-digit point scorers in senior Jason McCartney and junior Moustafa Khattab. McCartney had a career season as a junior, posting team-highs in goals (7) and assists (7) en route to earning NSCAA South All-Region Second Team and UAA First Team honors. Khattab added five goals and four helpers for 14 points and tied McCartney for the team lead with three game-winning markers. Khattab was tabbed to his first All-UAA team, garnering Second Team acclaim.
All four key pieces of the Emory defensive unit return to the fold in 2017 with all four Eagles: seniors Cody Gardiner, Georges Daoud and juniors Aidan Datené, Evan Floersch appearing in at least 15 contests a season ago. As a clog, the Emory defense allowed just 20 goals in 16 games and recorded five shutouts.
Gardiner, who earned NSCAA South All-Region Third Team honors, added contributions on the offensive end for the Eagles, tallying a career-high five points (2G, 1A) to finish tied for fourth on the team.
The keeper position will have a new look as three Eagles: sophomore Trevor Stormes and freshmen newcomers Cole Gallagher and Nick Sheth will compete for playing time between the posts in 2017. Stormes saw just seven minutes of action as a rookie while Gallagher and Sheth join the Eagles coming off strong senior campaigns in high school.
The Eagles are set to welcome eight new freshmen and one junior transfer to the squad for the 2017 season. Tyler Santee (D/Jr./Huntersville, NC/Hopewell/UNC-Pembroke), Josh Berman (D/Westport, CT/Staples), Declan Cetta (D/Potomac, MD/The Potomac School), Gallagher (GK/Louisville, KY/Kentucky Country Day School), Patrick McCann (F/ Virginia Beach, VA/First Colonial), Max Mehlman (D/ Denver, CO/Kent Denver School), Nate Sampson (F/Fox Point, WI/Univ. School of Milwaukee), Sheth (GK/Elgin, SC/Spring Valley) and Blake Wheaton (M/Lovingston, VA/Nelson Country Day School)
Cory Greiner is in his first season as the team's Interim Head Coach after serving as an assistant coach for the previous four seasons. Greiner replaces Sonny Travis as the leader on the sidelines after Travis resigned in early August to become the Director of Athletic at Coe College.
Greiner's staff is rounded out by Clayton Schmitt, Dan Klinect and Felipe Quintero.
Following the annual Sonny Carter Invitational to open the season, the Eagles head to Lexington, VA for two games against 24th-ranked Washington & Lee University and Randolph College followed by a mid-week road matchup with Sewanee University on September 13th. Emory then closes out the month with three out of four games at the WoodPEC including a pair against 22nd-ranked Carthage College and WashU (RV).
The Eagles will be on the road for back-to-back matchups against Piedmont and 9th-ranked Chicago during the first week of October with the matchup versus the Maroons marking the first of three consecutive UAA matchups.
Emory closes out the non-conference slate with two against in-state foes versus Oglethorpe on October 18th and Berry on October 22nd before finishing the regular season with 20th-ranked Carnegie Mellon, Case Western and the University of Rochester.