Parkland ends Hornets’ shutout streak, but drops season finale
Parkland and Emmaus are used to playing each other in high stakes games. Such was the case recently when the two met to finish the regular season schedule in a game that would decide who would be the top seed in the EPC tournament.
Parkland came out with an advantage in controlling the pace of the game. The Trojans pressured goalkeeper Colin Wilson for much of the early play with Emmaus getting some occasional challenges at the other end of the field.
The Hornets were able to convert one of those opportunities into a goal when Ryan Kiernan found Elijah Miller, who put a shot on goal that went past goalie Zach Ironside for the first goal of the game. Meanwhile, Wilson and the Emmaus defense, which came into the game with 16 straight shutouts, were able to turn away Parkland attackers.
“We had opportunities, including one where we had a point-blank header and their guy was able to make a play and deny us the goal,” said coach Scott Mang. “Maybe if we get that one and make it a 1-1 game, it’s a different game, but you have to hand it to them because their keeper made a good save.”
The second half belonged to Emmaus.
Sophomore Canyon Reinhardt passed off to Kai Mattern from the right side of the field to directly in front of the net approximately 10 yards out. Mattern put a strong shot on goal that trickled just past Ironside to give Emmaus a two-goal lead at the 4:40 mark of the second half. Later in the half, Ethan Ervin received a pass from Reinhardt and unloaded a shot from 25 yards out that found the back of the net to give the Hornets a three-goal lead.
Parkland continued to battle throughout the second half and with just over two minutes remaining in the game, Sam Masenheimer made the best of a low percentage opportunity and fired it past Wilson to make it a 3-1 game. The goal snapped the Emmaus shutout streak, denying the Hornets the opportunity to take it to a state record 17 straight shutouts.
The win gives Emmaus (16-0-1 EPC, 16-1-1 overall) the top seed in the playoffs with Parkland (16-1-0, 16-2-0) dropping to the second seed.
“A one or a two seed I don’t think is that different,” said Mang. “We’re on a separate side of the bracket [from Emmaus], so we both have to work against whoever we play and all of the top eight teams are good. It was a cruel game, it’s cruel. We had a lot of scoring opportunities and we couldn’t finish them.”
Mang was happy overall with his team’s play, but thought they may have pressed a little bit when Emmaus got the second goal and got away from their game plan that they had coming in.
“They’re the best defensive team we have seen all year, maybe one of the best defensive teams we have ever seen,” Mang said of Emmaus. “We passed the ball pretty well, but they were very tough to crack, and they beat us. They won every head ball, and we got a little panicked. They brought the sauce tonight.”