The Emmaus High School boys soccer team had to wait three extra days to play in the District 11 Class 4A championship game after its opponent, Nazareth, was dealing with COVID issues that pushed back the game. Hornet senior Nathan Romig was waiting all season for his moment.
Romig picked the perfect time to record his first goal of the year, the game’s only goal, when he got a deflection on a shot by classmate Hudson Peck with 11:43 left in the second overtime period to send the Green Hornets to a 1-0 victory over Nazareth last Tuesday night at Whitehall High School.
It was the second straight district gold for Emmaus, which also won consecutive titles in 2015 and 2016.
“It’s amazing,” said Romig. “I never thought it would end like that. Coach [John Cari] just told me to get in front of the post. I got there. Hudson had a great shot at it. Then, I just put my foot out and hit it back through.”
The Green Hornets (13-1 overall) had been threatening on their offensive end much of the night, especially on corner set pieces. They held a 15-2 advantage over the Blue Eagles (12-2) in corner kicks. And the game-clinching goal came on the 15th and final one of the game.
After the ball was sent into the 18-yard box, Peck sent a ball toward goal that was met by the foot of Romig, which found the back of the net.
“We have been working on set pieces, especially corner kicks, a lot at practice,” Romig said. “I’m glad we were able to capitalize on one of them tonight.”
Cari was certainly glad to see Romig etch his name in the scoring column for the first time in 2020.
“Wow, that’s a great first goal of the season,” Cari said. “I’ll give him credit. He was a starter at the beginning, we made some adjustments. He was kind of frustrated with some playing time. I thought he had a really good night. He came off the bench and was just strong. I thought he had no problem going around the corners today. He took a couple real good shots. The second-half shot was a whiz that he just missed on. Really proud. He really had a great night. It’s very fitting that he gets to finish it off tonight.”
Junior goalie Ty Bleiler finished with four saves, for the Hornets including some crucial ones midway through the second half that kept the game scoreless.
Emmaus has nine seniors on the roster. And after a season in which they weren’t sure if they would suit up in the Green Hornets jersey again, going out with a district championship is something they will cherish forever.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Romig said of his career. “Just hard work all the time. The coaches really set us up to become champions.”
Emmaus advanced to the state tournament to take on LaSalle College, the first-place team out of District 12.