GoCentenary.com
Blog: Tearing Down the Net w/ Tate McIntyre
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Hi everyone and once again, welcome back to my blog.

Yes the 1-0 loss against LSUS last week stung a little bit, but as is the case in collegiate athletics, there is no time to dwell on the negative as the season will go on regardless. I think the best thing that could have happened to us after the disappointing loss to our new cross-town rivals was to begin ASC conference play, as we all wanted to show that we in fact can live up to our potential and win games that we are supposed to win. Following Monday's game, we had a few good days of practice and then it was time to begin our quest for an unbeaten season in ASC play.

The build up to Friday's game, as usual, was very relaxed when we first arrived at the locker room some three hours before the game. We had time to ourselves and had a chance to go out and watch the Ladies, who were also opening conference play against Schreiner University. Friday was quite warm and as the Ladies' game went into overtime, there was fear of maybe having a little too much time to warm up in the heat. However, the Ladies put Schreiner away relatively early in the extra period, providing us with a feeling of excitement as we took the field.

The game began in similar fashion to the other games we have played this year, with Centenary dominating possession among other statistical categories but failing to find the elusive early goal that would allow us to relax and play without the pressure of being tied with an opponent which we should have been ahead of. Halftime came and the score was 0-0, as we had squandered a number of decent goal scoring chances. As the game crept along, the familiar feeling of a game headed to overtime was upon us as it seemed that it was going to be another one of those days where the ball just doesn't seem to go in. However, in the 83rd minute Marcos Rodriguez and Kellan Klaus both hustled down the field for a two on one counter attack which resulted in Kellan poking in on a rebound what would be the game winning goal. Although the game was another case of us making it hard on ourselves, the most important thing was that we were 1-0 in conference play, which was exactly what our goal was for the day.

One aspect of our ASC play this year that is particularly unique in terms of the challenge it presents us is the scheduling, which sees us playing a number of games either back-to-back or separated by only one day. This past weekend was the first Friday-Saturday back-to-back that most of us played in years, but due to our positive result on Friday and our desire to go unbeaten in conference play spirits were high and motivation was not a problem when Saturday rolled around, despite any small aches and pains anyone picked up the day before.

The game against Texas Lutheran saw Centenary finally live up to our potential and accomplish what we know we can do almost every time we play: put the opponent away early. About 15 minutes into the game, a great passage of team play resulted in Gabriel Zahm hammering the ball into the goal. This seemed to be the opening of the flood gates as less than a minute later Marcos Rodriguez scored from distance to increase our lead to 2-0. Ten minutes later we were awarded a penalty kick for a foul in the penalty area, which RB Asenime coolly placed in the bottom corner for a 3-0 cushion. Shortly before halftime Spencer Nickerson was able to put home a close range opportunity which would be our final goal of the day despite numerous other chances. The game ended 4-0 and we were then 2-0 in conference play.

This performance should set the tone for the rest of our season, as now we have seen what we are capable of doing and should have the confidence to go out and do it every time we take the field. Congratulations to all of the players who scored their first collegiate goals this weekend (Kellan, R.B. and Spencer) as well as the handful of players who saw their first game time on Saturday against Texas Lutheran. 

Thanks for reading and I look forward to next week's installment.