The Elizabethtown College men’s soccer team came into Saturday’s Senior Day showdown against Drew University with work left to do to reach the conference playoffs. Entering the game, the Blue Jays sat in a third place tie with Drew, Scranton and Moravian with 10 points each.
Etown put themselves in position to have a chance at making the playoffs in dramatic fashion. In the team’s last game on Oct. 22, the Blue Jays came back from a three-to-one deficit with two goals in the final two minutes of the game to salvage a tie with Goucher College. A loss would hurt Etown’s playoff chances. Fortunately for the Blue Jays, their final two games were against two of the teams currently in a third-place tie. The Blue Jays controlled their fate. Two wins and the Jays would be in. A loss would complicate the playoff picture.
On Saturday, Etown honored their ten seniors on Ira R. Herr Field. In what proved to be a pivotal match-up in the Landmark Conference, the Blue Jays could not find the back of the net against Drew. The Rangers broke the scoreless tie in the 55th minute when Eduardo Martinez put Drew ahead 1-0. The Rangers would not look back, holding on for a 1-0 victory over the Blue Jays.
Senior Andrew Sandridge had an opportunity in the 21st minute to break the 0-0 tie, but Drew goalkeeper Michael Reyes got enough of his fingertips on the ball to deflect the shot off the left post and away from the goal. Reyes kept all six of the Blue Jays’ shots out of goal that the afternoon.
The Blue Jays kept the offensive pressure on until the very end, but Reyes denied every chance.
Etown travels to the University of Scranton on Saturday, Nov. 1, for their final game of the regular season. The Blue Jays are in a must-win situation against the Royals. Etown is currently in a four-way tie for the final spot in the postseason with Scranton, Goucher College and Moravian College. Saturday’s game will kick off at 1 p.m.