Centre wins Bob Allen Classic with 3-2 victory over Emory
The Centre men's soccer team took an early lead and held on to defeat Emory 3-2 in the championship of the 23rd Annual Bob Allen Nissan Classic on Saturday in Danville, Ky.
The Colonels took control of the game early, scoring twice in the first nine minutes. Jeremy Carlson (Seattle, Wash.) got Centre on the board in the fourth minute, followed by Ryan Garvey (Louisville, Ky.) scoring five minutes later on an assist from Jack Goblirsch (Elizabethtown, Ky.).
"Our control in the first half is what really set the game for us," said Centre head coach Jeb Burch. "I thought our guys looked dangerous from the get go. We were clinical in our finishing, which is what we need in big games like this."
Not long after Centre built that lead, however, Emory answered with a score of its own when the Eagles' Andrew Nataliano found the back of the net in the 14th minute. Before the game went to halftime though, Centre found itself back up by two goals when Robbe Tarver (Houston, Texas) fired a free kick from the right side past Emory keeper Aram Keteyian.
Tarver's goal gave Centre a 3-1 halftime lead and was the final score of the night for the Colonels. Emory was on the attack for much of the second half and managed to score a second goal on a penalty kick by Nataliano with just under 20 minutes remaining, but the Centre defense was able to hold the rest of the way.
"I thought Emory adjusted well at halftime and the game became a little more wide open in the second half," Burch added. "But our guys held strong and showed great character. It was a great win for our boys."
For the game, Emory took 11 shots to Centre's nine, though Centre put seven of those on goal, compared with six for the Eagles. Centre goalkeeper Zach Sosnovich (Woodbridge, N.J.) and Keteyian each made four saves.
Centre improves its record to 3-1 on the season while Emory drops to 2-2-1. Centre finishes the Allen Classic 2-0 in its games while Emory went 1-1. Covenant, a 3-0 winner over Spalding in Saturday's first game, also split its two games in the tournament while Spalding went 0-2.
"We had another great Classic this year, and I'd like to thank Bob Allen for supporting it for 23 straight years," Burch finished.
Centre returns to action on the road next weekend with a trip to Kenyon on Friday followed by a game at Wooster on Sunday.