"Tearing Down the Net" w/ Tate McIntyre
Monday, November 1, 2010
Hello everyone, and welcome to one of my last blogs of the soccer season.

A dismal performance in Indianapolis last weekend seemed to have killed our chances at reaching the conference tournament, but a string of results happened as we needed them too and a win this past weekend against IPFW would put us only one more win away from qualifying.

Saturday was an important night for a number of reasons. Although it was not our official senior night, it was the last time that any of our seniors would play on Mayo Field, the last home game as a Division I school for the program, and most importantly the game which could start our final push toward the conference tournament.

We have discovered throughout the year that we play at the same level in games as we do in the week of practice before them. That is to say, if we practice poorly we play poorly, and visa versa. This past week we focused on specific areas where we could exploit IPFW and had a solid four days of work.

After yet another relaxing Friday night at home, we had a team cookout open to family and friends on Saturday afternoon. The weather was beautiful and it was nice to see everyone out to celebrate the year that the Gents Men's Soccer Team has had. After the cookout we had a couple of hours of leisure time to enjoy before returning to the locker room to begin pregame activities.

When 4:30 rolled around everyone was in the locker room and the preparation had begun. We all knew that our season and everything we had worked for was at stake, and being the close-knit team that we are, we wanted our last game as a group to be memorable and successful.

Individual and team warm-ups had a good feel to them, as everyone seemed rather loose even though there was a great deal of pressure on us. After our warm-ups and introductions, the national anthem was played, the whistle blown, and the game had begun. We were immediately bolstered by a miserable attempt at a slide tackle by an IPFW player on Marcos Rodriguez which resulted in a red card. Although the other team having fewer players on the field is obviously an advantage for us, it also added to the pressure for us to be successful, which became even greater when we went into halftime tied at zero.

While a number of players were frustrated and there was a lot of argument amongst us, we sorted things out and took the field for the second half knowing that bad attitudes would only lead to our demise. Our change in mindset led to immediate dividends, as Heath Cox was able to squeeze the ball into the net from a tight angle. The goal completely changed the game, as we became increasingly confident and began to wear the other team down thanks to our man advantage. Later on in the game, I was able to obtain the ball in the other team's penalty box with time and space, and once again I found Heath Cox open for his second goal of the game.

After the goal, IPFW received another red card for foul language, and we had both a two goal advantage and a two man advantage. After the second goal, we simply began to keep possession and make the other team work while we drained the clock simultaneously. Time expired and we had accomplished every goal we had set for the night. A win and a little good fortune next Saturday at Oakland, and we will have reached the Summit League Conference Tournament.

This blog's shout out goes to all of the seniors who played their final game on Mayo Field this past Saturday: you have all been good examples for the younger players and have all been a pleasure to share the field with. However our goal has not yet been reached, so prepare for next weekend in Michigan.

A special thanks goes out to all those who helped prepare our afternoon cookout and our post game dinner.

Until next week!