Blog: Last Time Out w/ Candace Rushing
Monday, October 3, 2011
In my years of being a part of the Ladies soccer program at Centenary, I have yet to find a field that I enjoy playing on more than Mayo Field.  There is something indescribable about playing at home.  For those of you who have experienced competing in front of a crowd that cares about your purpose, you understand.   Kicking-off at home brings out my pride, my sense of investment, and my love for the Centenary Ladies soccer program.  I know when I list the characteristics above that I am not only speaking for myself, but for eighteen teammates as well. 

This past weekend began our four game home stay on Mayo Field.  ASC opponents LeTourneau and ETBU traveled the haul for Friday and Saturday game days.  Coming off of our first loss in conference play to Mississippi College the previous weekend, we were ready to return back to the winning column. As mentioned above, playing at home brings out qualities of players and teams that nothing else can.  I would venture to propose that our home field advantage assisted in propelling us toward two victories.  It feels good to be back home.

LeTourneau arrived at Centenary on Friday night having yet to record a conference win thus far.  Any athlete, however, knows that any team can be beaten on any given night.  With that mindset in place, we walked onto the field knowing that we were capable of beating LeTourneau, although it may be a challenge. Having played the YellowJackets in our previous season, we knew of both the strengths and weaknesses the team possessed. 

As the whistle blew and the clock started, we worked on playing our game while capitalizing on the weak spots of LeTourneau.  As expected, the opening fifteen minutes proved to be a battle.  It was not until the 15:26 mark that junior Allie Cortes found the back of the net.  For the remainder of the first half, we continued to possess the ball, allowing LeTourneau to just two shots.  Unfortunately, the lone goal from Cortes would be our only of the half. 

The second half played out similarly to the first.  Again, both teams fought, yet we maintained possession and simply outplayed the YellowJackets.  Junior Courtney Cleveland would score our second and last goal of the game off of a beautiful cross from fellow junior Holden Penney.  One down, one to go.

On Saturday prior to the ETBU game, head Coach Evans opened up his pre-game speech by saying, "There is nothing sweeter, other than maybe Momma Evans' kiss, than ruining an undefeated team's season by beating them."  ETBU came into Saturday evening's game with a record of 7-0-1 on the season, having been challenged, but not beaten. 

As the starting eleven huddled together before kick-off, we emphasized the need to maintain possession early.  A goal that we have in every game is to start off well.  If we start off well, we are bound to continue playing well.  Junior Traci Lee started us off on the right foot as she sank a shot just five minutes into the game.  Lee's goal proved to be enough in the first half, as ETBU would challenge freshman keeper Brittaney Dunn, however nothing could make it past her. 

The second half was a battle.  The play remained mainly even between the two sides until the eightieth minute of the game when ETBU scored a late goal to even the game at 1-1.   Ten minutes passed and regulation ended.  Overtime began just minutes later.  We attacked ETBU's net, creating chance after chance in the first four minutes.  It was not until about five minutes in that Penney would end the game with a golden goal off of a rebound from a goal kick.  We did it.  We beat an undefeated team. 

Coming home proved to be a success.  Both the Ladies and the Gents recorded two wins on the weekend and are looking forward to continuing the streak next weekend as we take on McMurry and Hardin Simmons.  We kick off at 4 pm both Thursday and Saturday afternoon this weekend.

Before you go, make sure to check out the video below from this weekend.