The Toccoa Falls College men’s soccer team was defeated in a preseason scrimmage at Columbia International University on Saturday, 0 – 4.
The Rams opened the scoring in the 35th minute after a reasonably balanced opening to the match. Both teams had possession in dangerous territories, but the CIU’s Daniel Mallard opened the scoring and finished a Daniel Miele cross in front of the Eagles’ net. The first half ended with the Eagles trailing 0 – 1. Despite allowing the opening goal, Coach Rob Worsley was pleased with what he saw. “We were able to translate strategies from the training ground onto the game field in the first half. The first half, especially the first 25 minutes, exceeded my expectations in our first scrimmage.”
As TFC began to rotate depth onto the field early after the restart, the Rams capitalized on three TFC turnovers with goals in quick succession from Mitchell Roberts (52nd minute), Daniel Mallard (54th minute), and Daniel Miele (60th minute). In the attack, TFC’s Ben Maxey gave the Eagles their best scoring chance of the game with a powerful header that was redirected onto the post by CIU goalkeeper Jacob Rechenbach.
Coach Worsley said of the second half, “We really hurt ourselves by giving up the ball so easily in our defensive third. All four of CIU’s goals resulted from a turnover; that was disappointing, but those are correctable mistakes. Overall, we accomplished several of our pregame objectives; we got everyone into the game for significant minutes and we applied defensive pressure where we wanted to. Those are things I take away from the game, more so than the final score. Now we know what issues we have to address before the games that count begin.”
TFC’s regular season will begin on Monday as the Eagles travel to NAIA powerhouse Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. The TFC Classic will mark the beginning of the Eagles home schedule with games against NCCAA opponents Hillsdale College (7:00 pm) and Crown College (3:00 pm) on August 30 and 31, respectively.