Blog: Tearing Down the Net w/ Tate McIntyre
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hey everyone, welcome back to Tearing Down the Net.

After a successful start to Centenary's time in the ASC which saw us win both of our home games last weekend against Schreiner (1-0) and Texas Lutheran (4-0), we took our mini win streak to the road this past Thursday to face a talented Louisiana College team. Since we will be traveling with the Ladies this year for every conference road game (unfortunately for them), we left a few hours earlier than normal in order to give them ample time to prepare for their game which was before ours. The early arrival gave us time to relax, watch the Ladies dominate Louisiana College 3-0 and finally begin to make our personal preparations. Team warm-up took place behind the field since the Ladies were still playing, and after we finished and had a few minutes to get used to the turf surface of the game field, it was time for kickoff. 

In past blogs I have discussed the multitude of new challenges we will face this year, and the Louisiana College game presented us with even more. Not only we were forced to shuffle positions around due to a red card by defender Kyle Mehnert, but we were also playing on a turf surface which caused the ball to take some awkward bounces, against an opponent who was very athletic and quite skillful. The opening half was very eventful, with both teams attacking with speed and creating scoring chances. Our breakthrough came about mid-way through the half when Marcos Rodriguez was able to touch the ball around a defender and fire the ball into the top corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead. A frantic finish to the half saw our captain R.B. Asenime questionably red-carded for an innocent tackle. While we were bracing ourselves for playing the rest of the game down a man, Louisiana College received a red card no less than 30 seconds later to level the playing field.

The second half saw us dominate play as Louisiana College could not keep up with our athleticism and fitness. Marcos Rodriguez got his second goal of the game, followed by Cedric Nickerson and John Finn to run the score to 4-0. We kept the ball for the remainder of the half and the final buzzer sounded giving us the win and a 3-0 record in ASC play. The bus ride back was celebratory, but we knew we had to take advantage of the chance to rest since we would travel to Jackson, MS to play Mississippi College two days later.

Saturday morning we had to get up at the crack of dawn to be in the locker room at 6:00. As is to be expected, everyone was pretty sluggish but we managed to all be there on time and have a team discussion of our goals for the day. It goes without saying that we expected to return home that night 4-0 in conference. Since this bus ride was a little longer than normal and we departed so early, it was rather quiet as most everyone was sleeping. After a solid breakfast at Cracker Barrel everyone was a little more lively and the usual bus ride banter began as we drew nearer to Jackson. 

We arrived early enough to go out to explore the facilities and even meet some of the Mississippi College students who were putting on a social event near the field. The Ladies went out to warm up before their game while we stayed on the bus to relax and stay out of the heat. After taking in some of the Ladies' game against Mississippi College, we began warm-up and after a half-hour or so it was time to take the field. 

This game began quite similarly to our other games this year, with us dominating possession as our opponent attempted to disrupt our style of play with fouls and defense. We were able to break through with a Marcos Rodriguez PK goal and after a few more chances by each team, the half came to a close. Overall it was not an outstanding half from us, but we played very solid as a unit and easily dominated the stat sheet. 

As good as our first half was, our second half was equally bad. From the start we seemed nervous and we quickly conceded our first goal in conference and were tied 1-1. About five minutes later we trailed for the first time in conference as Mississippi College played a ball into the box and were fortunate enough to force the ball over the goal line. Our downward spiral continued as Robbie Ramirez was red-carded for a slide tackle, leaving us one man down and without Robbie for the next game. Mississippi College scored two more goals on fortunate bounces and the 4-1 route was complete.

This game taught us a lot in what it will take to be successful this year, which is teamwork, togetherness and toughness. At times against MC we forgot that we were all working together and that even when things are not going your way, you have to stick together. We are all looking forward to our next game against LeTourneau on Friday and we especially look forward to all of our fans coming out to help us rebound from this tough loss. 

Thanks and I look forward to next week.