After a hefty bus ride to Tennessee the whole team was ready to find their hotel room and get some much needed sleep. After waking up around 9 am and enjoying the breakfast provided by the hotel we hopped on the bus and started our ride up the side of the Appalachian Mountains. Although the scenery was beautiful, as we could see what felt like all of Tennessee, we kept our mind on our task at hand, which was to play successful soccer and further solidify our team chemistry. We knew the whole weekend was going to be a test of our skill and mental strength as we were in line to play two very good teams. We arrived on the campus at Covenant College and you could easily see the whole team was in game mode. The field was flawless and the weather matched as we started our warm-up. After a crisp warm-up coach brought us in and we discussed the game plan and saw the starters walk out onto the field for the kick off.
At 1 p.m. sharp the game was underway. Both teams took a few minutes to settle into the game, but gradually the ball started to move more fluidly and Guilford began to find success through our wide players. However, against the run of play, a through ball was sent in behind our defense to a Covenant forward clearly three yards offside. The linesman, however, decided it was not offside and the forward found the back of the net. Outcries from the sideline could be heard throughout the mountains, as we thought it was obvious, but assistant coach Zane Campbell made sure to keep us cool, calm and collected. Guilford continued to move the ball around well, but had a difficult time finding the final ball into goal scoring positions in the first half.
After a motivating half time speech, we were more than ready to start the second half. We knew we could get in behind Covenant and capitalize, but had to be patient in doing so. The second half did not start out exactly how we had planned as Covenant found the back of the net on a great strike by their forward. We knew it was going to be an uphill battle after this set back, but kept our composure and began to fight back. We saw most of the play throughout the second half, but the ball just wouldn’t find the goal. It seemed that we couldn’t even buy a break, until we finally scored a goal as Freddy Gomez dribbled into the box and sent a cross into the box, which was directed in by one of the Covenant defenders, although Drew Gunter, being one of our top finishers of the ball, was recorded as saying “I would have scored that one with my eyes closed if the defender didn’t touch it.”. But we will never know if this would have been the case. After the goal, we felt even more determination to get an equalizer as we continually found success on the wing. Our outside mids did a great job of providing services into the box creating goal scoring chances, but it wasn’t meant to be as the whistle blew signifying the end of the game. It was a tough loss, but we knew we had to shake it off and get back up on our feet for a tough game against Emory the following day.
Richard Page Jr. #10