Gents shoot for five straight in SCAC Tournament opener
Thursday, November 1, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Centenary is peaking at the right time as the Gents take their four-match winning streak to the school’s first-ever Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.

The Gents (6-12, 2-8) enter the league tournament as the No. 6 seed and will battle No. 3 Southwestern University (12-7-1, 5-4-1) Friday at 7:30 p.m. Centenary dropped both meetings with the Pirates this season, 2-1 and 6-0. The winner will play No. 2 Colorado College (13-4-2, 6-2-2), which lost to Centenary at Mayo Field Oct. 26, 1-0.

Centenary is playing more confidently and cohesively than it has all season and expects a different outcome than the first two meetings.

“You don’t want to go into the tournament with unanswered questions, so it’s good that we’re starting to come together,” head coach David Orr said. “I’m not sure we’re at our top form yet, but I think we’re definitely in form to be competitive in the SCAC Championship Tournament.”

Seniors Adam Ghaemmaghami and Spencer Nickerson lead the Gents offense, which is averaging two goals per game during the four-match win streak. Nickerson netted the game-winning goal Tuesday night in the Gents season finale for his fifth goal, tying Ghaemmaghami for the team lead.

“I think the biggest thing that’s changed is really simple. We have more movement off the ball and more activity from all of the players, not just Spencer and Adam,” Orr said. “But they are the ones capitalizing from this. They’re doing a good job. There’s an overall team balance. We’re coming together, but not top form. Every day we’re seeing something better.”

The Gents defense has seen dramatic improvement over the last four games, allowing just a single goal. Senior goalkeeper Robbie Ramirez pitched three consecutive shutouts before surrendering a goal to Louisiana College. Ramirez has four shutouts this year.

“I think Robbie is more dialed in now than he was earlier in the season,” Orr said. “At the end of the season, you’re putting your best foot forward. Regarding the defense, that’s as big of a product of our ability to play better offense as it is how well they’re playing defense.”