We begin our player-written season re-caps with our elder states-man on the team, Greg Carnovale. Greg is in his final year and showing tremendous leadership so far this season. If everyone had his passion and enthusiasm the world would be a much happier (and chattier) place! Without further ado...
After finishing up an intense and successful preseason, with all the players putting in maximum effort, we were all ready to get the highly anticipated season under way against Oglethorpe College. We departed from Guilford at 8am, ready to get the five hour bus drive out of the way, so we could play our opening game of the season.
Before getting off the bus Coach wanted to start off the season well by giving us a pre-game talk that would even pump the average fan up. The talk was centered around getting mentally focused and thinking about what your individual job is on the field. Coach then gave out the starting line up and had us begin our pre-game warm up which went well as we got more anxious to get on the pitch and start the game.
We had no scouting report on Oglethorpe, and we didn’t care. All we cared about was playing our game and getting the win. After the pregame talk and warm-up was over we began our long anticipated start to what we hope is going to be a very successful season. The whistle blew and we were under way.
We started out in 4-1-3-2 formation, and we came out guns-a-blazen. The momentum was strongly with us in the first fifteen minutes, but being that Oglethorpe was strong and big, and we were more technical and faster, it was a fairly evenly played first half. At halftime Coach was satisfied at the collective effort the team was putting out on and off the field. We started the second half the same way we came on the first half.
The second half started with high pressure from both teams, but Oglethorpe managed to sneak the first goal in about 10 minutes in the second half. We quickly responded when we earned a free-kick on top of the eighteen. One of the best free-kick takers on the team, “Fredino” Gomez, confidently stepped up and buried the ball in the back of the net to tie the game up at 1-1. After we tied the game up, both teams began to feel the pressure and pick the speed of play up tremendously. With twenty minutes left in the game a soft foul was called at the top of the eighteen against us, which resulted in a free-kick goal from Oglethorpe. We refused to the let the game go, and did not drop our heads like in years past. We fought to get the passion back in our favor until the final whistle blew. However, unfortunately the end result did not go our way.
We were upset with the final result of the game, but knew that we didn’t lose from lack of effort. Coach spoke to us post game and told us he was happy with the over all effort we put in, and told us not to hang our heads low because Oglethorpe was a good team. He went on to explain that they were going to be one of the better teams we were going to face and if we continuously brought that kind of effort to the field every game we were going to be very successful. We headed back to the hotel, and were already focused on our next opponent and how we were going to beat them.
Greg Carnovale #23 (Sr, Captain)