The TFC Eagles opened their 2013 season on the road at NAIA powerhouse Bryan College on Monday night. The Bryan Lions are coming off a 12-4-2 season in which they climbed as high as #15 in the NAIA national poll. To open the 2013 campaign, the Eagles fell to the powerful Lions, 4 – 0.
Bryan College opened the match with high defensive intensity and converted on two early chances to lead 2-0 after the first 8 minutes of play. Scoring for the Lions were Jorge Gonzalez Giron and Dan Branley. Following the early shock, TFC settled in their team shape. Though their offensive chances were sparse in the first half, the Eagles played solidly on defense and kept the game at 2 – 0 at the half.
In the second, the Eagles found their offensive rhythm and challenged the Lions back line with sharp passing and runs. The Eagles were unable to put the ball in the back of the net despite having the momentum for spurts in the half. In the 79th minute, the Lions added a third goal on a nice one touch finish from a corner kick by Bryan’s Christoph Krekeler. The Lions put the match away in the 87th minute behind Dan Branley’s second goal of the match. For the Eagles, keeper Elijah Smith tallied 13 saves on Bryan’s 17 shots on frame.
TFC’s Coach Rob Worsley said of the loss, “I was impressed with the way we settled into the match after falling behind so earlier. We did a lot of good things against a very strong opponent. We were disappointed to give up the last two goals, but we will learn from those going forward.”
The Eagles home opening games of the season will be played on August 30 and 31 against Hillsdale College and Crown College (TN), respectively. The Hillsdale match will kick off at 7:00 PM while the Crown College game will be at 3:00 PM the following afternoon.