The Toccoa Falls College Eagles traveled to Kissimmee, Florida, on November 8-10 to participate in their first national tournament since 2006. TFC earned the right to attend the national tournament when they defeated Clearwater Christian College in the south region final on October 27. As south region champions, TFC was given the #7 seed in the 8 team tournament.
The Eagles first round match up was against Northland International University. The Pioneers from Dunbar, Wisconsin, entered the tournament with a #2 seed and a 14-5-1 record. NIU was too much for the Eagles, and won the opening round 3-0. TFC then faced #3 Providence University College from Manitoba, Canada, in the consolation bracket. TFC surrendered a late goal to Providence (13-2-2), and lost 1-0.
In the final match of the tournament, the Eagles jumped to an early 2-0 lead over #8 Bible Baptist College with goals from seniors Tyler Timberlake and Phil Stice. BBC scored in the 41st minute to draw back a goal before the halftime whistle. Each team scored early in the second half for a 3-2 Eagles advantage. For the Eagles, Josh Gailer scored to put TFC back in front. The Eagles would surrender a late equalizer, and the match ended in a 3-3 draw. Coach Rob Worsley said, “I’m really proud of this team for all they accomplished. Our seniors Phil Stice and Tyler Timberlake had great seasons. We will return all but those two players, and we’ll be expecting a return trip to nationals next season.”
Sophomore goal keeper Elijah Smith was named to the all tournament team. In his fourth and final year for the Eagles, Timberlake led the Eagles (7-14-2) in scoring this season with 10 goals and 6 assists. Stice added 6 goals, and Gailer contributed five on the year. TFC’s All-American selections will be announced by the NSCAA on November 19.