Blog: Tearing Down the Net w/ Tate McIntyre
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Hello everyone and welcome to my first installment of "Tearing Down the Net 2011" with me, Tate McIntyre.

Although we have not played an official game yet, the 2011 season already promises many new challenges for Centenary Men's Soccer, including the loss of a number of key contributors from last year, many new faces who must be integrated into the team, a new level of competition and a schedule that could prove to be tricky at times.

While a number of last year's seniors provided the young players with a sense of maturity and experience, we inevitably had to face the fact that they would not be here this year to provide those qualities, thrusting a number of players on the team into a position of leadership that is not familiar. However, from individual summer workouts, to our short yet intense (and extremely hot) preseason training, to our practices, it has become obvious to me that everybody is embracing the chance to show what kind of leaders we have on this team. Even the freshmen who have every right to be intimidated by their new surroundings have blended seamlessly into our set up and appear to be ready to contribute both on the field and off the field to our team's success. There is a very positive attitude about the team right now, as players are constantly encouraging each other to succeed whether an error is made or a fantastic play is executed. This sense of camaraderie is something that our team has not always possessed in the past and is something that could really benefit the 2011 team.

Another sign of maturity that many of our players have displayed is the acceptance of our re-classification to a Division III program and viewing it for all of the positives that can be derived from this season. This year's class of seniors has not had a winning season in our time at Centenary and we view this season as a chance to succeed rather than writing it off simply because we are not considered a Division I program any longer. While we do not plan to underestimate any of this year's opponents, we know the ability that this team has and look forward to putting the best product on the field that we possibly can.

The new combination of skill and teamwork was on display in our first and only preseason game this past Saturday in Sherman, TX against Austin College. With a 4:00 pm start time, fitness was going to be severely tested. Despite the weather conditions we came out from the start and controlled the game, creating opportunity after opportunity, only to see our efforts stopped by Austin College's goalkeeper. The starting lineup appeared to be on the same page and we had a good opportunity to put to use many of the new tactics we have discussed in practice. After the first period (we played three 30 minute periods Saturday) some of the new faces began to see action and did quite well. None of the freshman or returning players who have relatively little experience appeared rattled by the competitive and physical game and everyone put forth a great effort. Austin College broke through early in the third period after a defensive miscue and we were against the ropes. However, our maturity shown through again and only a few minutes later Ben Barcelona leveled the score at 1-1. Despite a flurry of chances for us at the end of the game we could not score again and the game ended 1-1. While we would have loved to win, there are a number of positives we are taking from the game that we can use in the future.

Unfortunately, at the end of the game I sustained an injury to my right foot which turned out to be a broken toe. The news was pretty devastating, as it puts in doubt what is most likely my last season of competitive soccer. All I can do now is stay positive and hope for the best, but I will undoubtedly be around the team at all times and will still be able to provide you with some insight into our lives on and off the field.

Lastly I would like to congratulate Ben Barcelona on a great first college goal. I know it will not be his last.