By Zack Penalva
The Eagles made it three wins on the season with a 5-0 rout over the College of Mount Saint Joseph Lions. The Eagles dominated the game from the first touch of the ball, and while many players impressed during the 90 minutes, the three-goal performance from junior Garret Davis was the most memorable
The scoring was opened by freshman Austin O’Brien. A poor clearance from the Lions after a blocked shot fell straight to feet of O’Brien who was able to convert from less than 10 yards out.
It became obvious after the first goal that Mount Saint Joseph was going to rely on long balls hoofed up from the back toward the forwards, a strategy that was largely neutralized by the alert play of defender Stephen Mitchell.
From a solid defense, the Eagles were able to string together passes and create attacks from their own side of the field. It was from one of these attacks that Asbury was able to get their second goal.
Winger Jesse Peterson received the ball and had enough speed to outpace his defenders down the right-hand side before being taken out by the Lion’s goalkeeper Austin Cagle outside of the 18-yard box. Cagle was given a yellow card and the ensuing free kick was drilled in low and flicked in by Davis from inside six yards.
Zack Andrews had a chance to put the Eagles three goals up before half-time after he controlled a cross from defender Hunter Dean but was unlucky to see his shot saved.
St. Joseph continued to struggle to attack during the second half; their most consistent threat came from set pieces and a reliance on the long throws from defender Zach Kuebler. The more they had to chase the game, the more players they had to push into the attacking third; this gamble backfired when good defense from Asbury transformed into a counter attack led by O’Brien. He was able to play the ball across the Lion’s backline to Peterson who tapped the ball back into the center of the field. Davis met the ball and easily finished the play off for his second goal.
There was little time to recover for the Lions before they were under attack again. Again, a cross from O’Brien found Davis at the back post. Davis brought the ball down and allowed himself time to pick his spot before finishing off his hat trick.
The last meaningful play of the game came from freshman Austin Bynum who was able to find the back of the net in the 67th minute. From then on, the Eagle’s attack slowed as new players were rotated on to the field and they saw the game out.
The result served to highlight the strengths of the Eagles’ side, most obviously the goal scoring eye of Garret Davis as well as the composure of the Eagles backline. The confidence from such a comprehensive win should serve as motivation as the Eagle’s prepare for their first KIAC game against Brescia University on Sept. 24.