DUBUQUE, Iowa—Andy Williams was wrong.
It was so cold in Dubuque yesterday (game-time temperature of 43 degrees, with wind chills in the 20's), the public address announcer played Christmas music over the loudspeakers before the opening kick between the Faith Eagles and the Emmaus Eagles. By the second half though, it was definitely not the most wonderful time of the year for the Faith Eagles, and the only jolly happy souls were the Emmaus players, who were clearly still frosty about being shutout in double overtime last week in Ankeny.
After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer between the two teams just a little over a week ago, the early stages of this contest looked like it would be another defensive battle, but Emmaus (6-3-1) broke through with 23 minutes remaining in the first half on a score from 30 feet.
Less than three minutes later, Cole Glanzer answered for the "good Eagles" on a long goal into the corner of the Emmaus net, matching the score at one apiece. It was the first score in nearly two and a half games for Faith, whose offense has struggled the past several weeks.
A scramble near the Faith net and an unfortunate deflection off a Faith defender led to the second goal of the half for Emmaus. They took a 2-1 lead into intermission, but the evenly played first half was no predictor of what was to come.
Things unraveled quickly for the good Eagles in the second half, with Emmaus scoring on a nice header in the opening minutes. Another goal made it 4-1 with 39 minutes remaining, and the struggling Faith offense had an uphill climb that was more daunting than the Fenelon Place Elevator hill in Dubuque.
Emmaus added two more goals, adding insult to injury, and won the contest 6-1. It was the worst loss of the year for Faith; nothing but a scary ghost story with tales of the glories of soccer games long, long ago.
Faith returns to action on Saturday at Pyche Field in Ankeny. The Eagles (6-4-1) will celebrate Senior Day against Maranatha at 1:00 p.m. and will try to right the ship as the regular season ends next week.