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Blog: Tearing Down the Net w/ Tate McIntyre
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Hey everyone, thanks for reading this week's edition of Tearing Down the Net.

After an interesting weekend last week in which we played quite poorly but came away with two victories, this week it was important for us to step up our level of play and start earning the more convincing victories that we are capable of putting together. On the schedule was a Thursday home game against McMurry and a Saturday game against Hardin Simmons, also at home.

Thursday's opponent McMurry was a team that most predicted would be at the bottom of the conference. Despite the fact that they had been struggling, we saw them as a team who were desperate for a win and would throw everything they had at us. However, we knew if we could take our level of play up a notch then we had every chance of putting together a nice performance which would get us another win. Thursday evening we accomplished one of our goals which was to score early, as John Finn took a pass from Spencer Nickerson and tapped it in for a 1-0 lead. After the goal though, we hit what has become a customary lull to end the first half. Marcos Rodriguez took matters into his own hands right before halftime and dribbled through the McMurry defense before sliding the ball past the goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead which felt strange considering we had not really played well, but we still had dominated the stat sheet. 

A number of changes were made at halftime as Coach Orr attempted to inject some energy and enthusiasm into a game that had become quite lethargic. The move worked, as a number of players who had not seen extensive minutes played as a cohesive unit and dominated long stretches of the second half. John Seat out-jumped the McMurry goalkeeper's attempt to catch Danny Haar's cross and headed the ball into the goal for a 3-0 Centenary lead. We played considerably better for the rest of the game and only a late fluke penalty kick call denied us a shutout, as the McMurry player slid the ball past Chase Duet who had come on at halftime. All in all it was another unsatisfactory win, but a win nonetheless. All we could do after the game was look ahead to Saturday's game against Hardin Simmons and try to find ways to get better.

We all took Friday very easy (other than class of course) and tried to let our bodies heal after Thursday's game. Saturday we met in the locker room around 3:30 and began our customary pregame routines. After taking in some of the Ladies' game we started warm up and after a brief stint of preparation on Mayo Field, it was time to take on Hardin Simmons in what turned out to be quite a battle. HSU was the toughest opponent we have faced this year, and the game was very exciting and competitive. They were the first team we have played thus far who could rival our possession oriented style of play and individual skill. The first half saw both teams keep plenty of possession although we were the only team to create any serious scoring chances, which their keeper responded quite well to. After 45 minutes the game remained 0-0. 

The second half saw more of the same. While it was very competitive, we once again were the only team to create scoring chances, including two flurries of activity in which we recorded a number of shots back-to-back.  We were unable to find the net however and the game was headed for overtime. We met as a team before the overtime session began and reassured one another that we would remain together no matter what happened the rest of the game, and we set out to put HSU away for our first overtime win of the season. The first overtime period was rather uneventful, as the wear and tear of the previous 90 minutes of play was evident. We made a couple of personnel changes to start the second half which gave us some more energy and we began to take hold of the game again. We fired off four shots in the second period but none were good enough to beat the keeper and put the game away. After 110 minutes, the game ended in a draw.

Although we could have won, the effort put forth by all of the players was tremendous and we were very proud of that. A solid performance against a very good team was something to build on for the next games in which we will face some of the more highly ranked teams in the ASC. We head to Tyler on Thursday to face UT Tyler, and then we travel to Austin to take on Concordia on Saturday. Hopefully we can put it all together and get two positive results. 

Lastly I would like to congratulate John Seat for a great first collegiate goal and also Danny Haar for providing his first college assist.

Until next week.

-Tate McIntyre