Eureka Completes Historic Comeback Over Emmaus, 4-3

Photo courtesy of Mike Redmond.
Photo courtesy of Mike Redmond.

DUBUQUE, Iowa —Trailing Emmaus 3-0 at halftime, Eureka men's soccer coach Dwain Barker asked his team how it wanted to be remembered.

"That was the main topic of discussion at halftime," Barker said.  "What legacy do you want to leave? Do you want to roll over and give the game away, or do you want to create a legacy to remember?"

In the next 45 minutes, the Red Devils provided an answer, becoming the first team in program history to overcome a three-goal deficit with a 4-3 victory over the Eagles.

Freshman newcomer Iori Katakura (Tokyo, Japan/Kanto Interns) came off the bench and netted the first two goals of his collegiate career for the Red Devils.

In the 57th minute, he got into space on the outside and finished an assist by Michael Hansen (Peoria, Ill./Limestone) to put EC on the board. Then, after two more Red Devil goals tied the match, he put away the game-winner on a screamer just inside the 18-yard box with 19 seconds remaining.

Hansen had the assist again. He finished the match with an unassisted match-tying goal in the 75th minute and two assists.

He is now fourth in program history in assists with 11, surpassing Cody Halstead and Brady Thomas, and sixth in goals (16) and points (43).

Senior Adam Newell (Morton, Ill./Morton) scored his first goal of the season and fourth of his career off an assist from Ignacio Gutierrez (Madrid, Spain/El Prado) 10 minutes after Katakura's strike changed the match.

Barker said that the team fell into a hole by making simple mistakes in the back and failing to execute the game plan.

"The second half was completely different," he said. "They raised the tempo and actually played to our game plan.

"The goal was just to calm everyone down and have everyone believe in themselves."

Everyone on the roster, Barker emphasized, was integral to the win. Among the most significant contributions on the pitch were sophomore Austin Marburger's (Litchfield, Ill./Litchfield) ability to win balls out of the air and connect with the back line as a holding midfielder and freshman David Haage's (Springfield, Ill./Tri-City) improved showing as a left back.

Tuesday was the fifth time in program history that EC has managed to win a match after conceding five goals. The win was the Red Devils' second in dramatic fashion over Emmaus this season.

On Aug. 31, Emmaus struck first, but Hansen drilled two goals off penalty kicks —an equalizer in the 63rd minute and a golden goal in the 92nd — to seal a 2-1 season-opening overtime win.

 "I don't know what it is (about Emmaus)," Barker said with a laugh. "They always compete with us and I have nothing but respect for them."

The Red Devils (2-1) will next face Faith Baptist Bible (0-2) on the road on Saturday at 2 p.m.