"Tearing Down the Net" w/ Tate McIntyre
Monday, October 4, 2010
Hello everyone, thanks for taking the time to read.

While our practice sessions during week one of conference play were both exciting and intense, week two amplified both of these two emotions in the days leading up to the game. Practice was very serious and business like, so much so that we earned a day of touch football to ease the tension a little. We had already earned a valuable point on the road versus Oral Roberts, and now were set to face the defending conference champions in Western Illinois.

Friday night was a nice change of pace, as we were in our home environment for the first time in about a month, during which time we always seemed to be on the road. Everyone just relaxed and enjoyed a good night's sleep, knowing what a physical and mental challenge we faced the next day.

After a morning and afternoon of laying around watching college football, 5:00 pm rolled around and it was time to head to the locker room in order to prepare. Upon taking the field for individual warm ups, it was apparent that conditions for the game would be ideal: cool temperatures, a slight breeze and a game under the lights in front of our friends and family. Needless to say, when the conditions are perfect like that, it gives you the sense that you have absolutely no excuses and a poor performance is not acceptable. We did not disappoint.

After the lineups were introduced and the national anthem played, our team was fired up and ready to go. The whistle blew and the game was underway, with Western in possession to begin. They were able to keep possession of the ball for extended periods of the time, but never really penetrated into our defense or created any truly dangerous opportunities. We had the best of the chances and outshot Western six to three in the first half, but couldn't seem to break through. That changed right before the half when a botched corner kick play led to Marcos Rodriguez firing a shot on goal, which proceeded to hit the post and bounce in off of the goalkeeper's face. It seemed like everything was going our way, we had finally gotten a lucky bounce and had scored right before the end of the half, leaving Western to think about the previous 45 minutes all throughout the break.

In the second half the game became much more fast paced and physical, with us fighting to obtain the goal that would put the game away and Western looking to draw even with us. After the teams traded chances Western was able to scramble the ball into the goal on a corner kick after a defensive error on our part. The physicality continued for the rest of regulation but nobody was able to score. We were once again headed for overtime.

The Centenary Men's Soccer Team considers overtime advantageously, as we have had numerous games go into OT in the past two years and had a positive outcome in many of them. We fought hard against our opponents, who we had now shared over 100 minutes on the field with, but neither team was able to find the winning goal and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. While we would have loved to win in front of our home crowd a draw was still another point to add to our total, and we had put ourselves into a good position heading into the rest of our conference games.

Saturday was a solid team effort all the way around with everyone pulling their weight so it is hard to single one person out. Having said that I would like to congratulate the whole team on a great battle, hopefully we can get that first conference win of the season next time out.