The Emory University Men's Soccer team embarks on a four-game road swing to close out the 2016 regular season, first traveling to Lookout Mountain, GA this Saturday to face Covenant College in the last non-conference matchup of the year. Kickoff is slated for 4:00 pm on the mountain.
Emory University Eagles
The Eagles enter Saturday 8-3-1 overall and in second place in the University Athletic Association at 2-1-1 following a 1-0-1 record against Case Western Reserve and Carnegie Mellon last weekend and on Wednesday, the Blue and Gold debuted at sixth in the first NCAA regional rankings of the season. Junior Gabriel Vasconcelos lifted Emory to the win on Friday night against CWRU, scoring his first career goal in the 103rd minute to give the Eagles a 2-1 victory over the Spartans. Sophomore Moustafa Khattab added a goal in the contest, beating the Case keeper from close range for his fourth marker of the season. On Sunday, junior Jason McCartney accounted for the offense for the Eagles in a 1-1 tie with the Tartans. With the goal, McCartney finished the weekend with three points (1G, 1A) to increase his season total to 19 points, a mark that ranks third among UAA scorers and are the most by an Emory player since the 2013 season when Dylan Price registered 24. Juniors Cody Gardiner, Michael Carragher and sophomore Michael Stier added assists for the Eagles in the two games as Emory moved into second among UAA teams with 22 assists on the season. Junior Jake Deuel tied a career-high on Friday night with five saves, finishing the weekend with six saves and a 0.85 goals-against average. On the season, Deuel is 6-1-1 in eight starts with a 1.18 GAA to go along with 27 saves for a .730 save percentage.
Emory is under the leadership of Sonny Travis who has racked up a career record of 414-137-51 in 31-plus seasons with a 120-45-14 mark in 10 seasons with the Eagles. he assisted by Cory Greiner, Donovan Ricketts and Dan Klinect.
Covenant College Scots
Covenant comes into play Saturday winners of four of their last five to improve to 5-9-2 after opening the season 1-8-2. The Scots are led by a pair of underclassmen on the offensive end with sophomore Carl Simakoff and freshman Jesse Riggs combing for 15 of the team's 27 goals. Simakoff has found the back of the net a team-best eight times including the golden goal in Covenant's last contest, a 1-0 overtime victory against Piedmont. Simakoff has also added an assist for 17 points on the season. Riggs has gotten off to strong start to his career, registering seven goals, including two game-winners, and leads the Scots in assists (4) and points (18). Freshman Josh Brower has also began his career on a strong note, starting in all 16 contests and posting four goals and one assist for nine points. Junior Jonathan Crossman and freshman Paul Lemay have shared time at the goalkeeper position this season for the Scots. Crossman has played in 12 games, making nine starts, going 3-7-0 with a .179 GAA and 54 saves for a .771 save percentage. Lemay in 10 games (seven starts) is 2-2-2 with a goals against average of 1.59 while recording 25 saves for a .676 save percentage.
Covenant is led on the sidelines by Nathan Pifer who is in his eighth season with the program. During his tenure, the Scots are 81-64-16 including a berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2014. In Pifer's 20-year career, he is 279-145-30 with previous stops at UT-Martin (Women's), Midwestern State (Women's), King College and Montreat Anderson (JUCO).
Saturday marks the 19th meeting between the programs in the all-time series dating back to 1973. The Eagles own a 9-2-7 in the series against the Scots including wins in six of the last seven previous meetings. In the last meeting between the two schools in 2014, Emory earned a 2-1 double overtime at the Woodruff PE Center. Jason McCartney and Sebastian Hardington netted goals for the Eagles in the victory.
Emory continues its four-game road trip to conclude the regular season as the team heads to Waltham, MA to square off against Brandeis University on Friday night before taking on New York University on Sunday afternoon in Riverdale, NY.