Rhine’s Hat Trick Sends Royals To 3-2 Win In OT
ASHLAND, VA --- The Royals broke a four-game losing streak Wednesday, as freshman Christian Rhine (Palmyra, PA/Palmyra) notched his first career hat trick. His final score came late in overtime, sending Eastern Mennonite to a thrilling 3-2 win at Randolph-Macon.
The Yellow Jackets scored first, netting a goal in the 37th minute. The score remained 1-0 for more than 40 minutes before an explosion of goals in the final 12 minutes of regulation.
Rhine provided the first equalizer of night in the 79th minute, picking up a rebounded shot from fellow freshman Jonathan Bush (Pottstown, PA/Owen J. Roberts) and tying things at 1-1.
Five minutes later, Randolph-Macon matched Rhine's rebounded goal to go back in front 2-1. Rather than losing steam with just 6:40 left to play, the Royals gathered it. With 3:12 remaining, they got their second equalizer, as Rhine got an assist from Bush to make it 2-2.
EMU put two more shots on goal in the closing time, but the game slipped into overtime. The men controlled the extra session, firing three shots. The third was the clincher, as Rhine scored his hat trick with 1:59 to go in OT after getting a nice pass from Juan Flores (Mt. Jackson, VA/Stonewall Jackson), giving the Royals their first lead and the win.
The Yellow Jackets finished with a slight edge in shots at 19-15, but both teams had nine shots on goal. Rhine led all players with eight shots, including six that were on goal. Bush had three of his own targets.
Keeper Andrew Yoder (Harrisonburg, VA/Eastern Mennonite) made seven saves.
The win not only broke a string of four straight 2-1 losses for EMU, but the men also showed heart by coming from behind for the first time this season and also getting their first win in which they allowed a goal. The previous six wins had all come by shutout.
Eastern Mennonite is now 7-7-1 overall, including 4-3 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The Royals are home this weekend for Homecoming, hosting defensive Lynchburg at 7:30pm on Saturday. At halftime of the game, EMU will also have a special ceremony honoring the 1998 team, which won the ODAC Championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the National Tournament.