"Tearing Down the Net" w/ Tate McIntyre
Monday, September 27, 2010
Hi everyone; thanks for reading this week.

The season began unexpectedly poor for the Centenary Men's Soccer Team comparison with our expectations. We lost our first four regular season games, all to opponents who we considered beatable. Despite such a poor start, a string of good results in our conference games could dramatically change the outlook of our season. Saturday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Oral Roberts gave us our first chance to begin turning things around.

We arrived in Tulsa a day early thanks to Coach Orr who put us up in a hotel for the night. Traveling on Friday afternoon would afford us more rest as we would not have to wake up early on Saturday morning and spend the entire day on a bus. It also afforded us the opportunity to have a small practice session on Saturday morning which allowed us to get a good look at the field and see how the conditions would be for our first conference game. Everyone looked sharp in practice and it was back to the hotel to rest for a while and then get our pregame meal.

Before we knew it, our leisure time was up and it was time to get down to business. We arrived at the field several hours early to give everyone time to see the trainer if needed, and to give everyone time to prepare themselves mentally for what would be the biggest game of the season thus far.

Seven o'clock rolled around before we knew it, and next thing we knew the names of our starting eleven were being called out over the loudspeaker. The atmosphere was somewhat intimidating; as over 500 fans showed up for what was also Oral Roberts' conference opener. The whistle blew and the game was under way.

It took no time at all for Oral Roberts to apply the first pressure of the match, immediately earning a corner off of their first possession. It seemed like the Golden Eagles had the ball for the whole beginning portion of the match, and they capitalized in the seventh minute when one of their midfielders struck an unbelievable shot into our goal to take a 1-0 lead. The crowd roared.

In seasons past we might have gotten down on ourselves, but in what was such an important match for us we simply knew we needed to level the score, and soon. We stepped up our play in search of a goal and sure enough, five minutes later Aaron Bergman played a pass through the defense and I was fortunate enough to be able to slot the ball past the goalkeeper to tie the score.

The rest of the match was one of the most intense and physical matches I have ever been involved in, with both teams desperate to take the lead and get the win. However, after the remainder of regulation and an extra 20 minutes of overtime, the game ended in a 1-1 draw. While everyone would have liked to begin with an away win in conference, we were happy to take a point from the game.

We showered and hurried out to the bus to begin our journey back to Shreveport. The bus ride home was very quiet, as we were all physically exhausted from the game we had just played. We got back at a little after 5:00 AM.

Yes, we got a valuable away point in conference, but I think our best accomplishment on the night was our response to the adversities this game presented us with.  We aim to extend our good form in conference next at home to Western Illinois.

-Tate McIntyre