Parkland Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Bryce Shalbert boots a ball past a defender during an early-season game. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Bryce Shalbert boots a ball past a defender during an early-season game. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Late goal beats Emmaus

Thursday, September 13, 2018 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

The Emmaus and Parkland boys soccer teams know each other well. They see each other often each season, and sometimes even play each other four times in a year, like they did in 2017.

The Trojans were 4-0 against the Green Hornets last season, on their way to Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 championships, breaking Emmaus’ streak of two straight district titles.

Despite all of those setbacks last season, this year’s Emmaus team has a lot of talent and experience returning, while the Trojans lost more than half of their starting lineup.

The first meeting between the rivals in 2018 ended the same way as all of last year’s contests as the Hornets fell to Parkland. This one came on a last-second goal for 1-0 Trojan win last Wednesday night at Parkland High School in the Sixthh Annual Red Card for Cancer game.

Brice George took a quick dribble to the end line by the Emmaus goal, and before the ball crossed the touch line, he sent in a low, line-drive cross across the face of the six-yard box that was met by a powerful strike of Justin Douglas for the game’s only goal with 0:17 left.

“Brice is a good friend of mine,” said Douglas, the senior midfielder. “I knew once he got that ball wide he was coming across and he was going to get that ball to me. I just stood in the center and waited for it. I just had to shoot it and finish it.”

When it seemed destined that the game was bound for overtime, George made the quick move on a Hornet defender and somehow got a cross into the danger area. Fortunately for Parkland, the first foot to the ball was Douglas’.

“Any time you beat your rival, you can take off from that,” said head coach Patrick Birns. “We can definitely go forward from here. And to win it with 17 seconds left, it’s one of those games the boys will remember for a long time.”

The two teams were near identical in several categories. Both teams recorded four shots on goal. Emmaus had three corners compared to Parkland’s one. Trojan goalie Victor Baran finished with four saves, while Hornet goalie Chris Buck made two stops.

Parkland improved to 1-0-1 overall and in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference play. Birns is pleased about the early start to this season.

“I was really happy,” said Birns. “I told the guys this is a process. I knew [Emmaus] was loaded coming in and we were young. The first half we really looked good, I thought. The second half we looked tired, but you should be. I think we got 20 guys in. All in all, I was happy.”