TFC’s men’s soccer team earned its first victory of the 2013 season on August 31 with a 2 – 0 defeat of Crown College (TN). The Eagles (1-1) held a distinctive advantage in shots and possession of the ball, but struggled to score until late in the match.
From the opening kick, the Eagles pressured Crown’s defense. It appeared as if an opening goal for TFC was inevitable, but the Eagles’ possession did not translate into the soccer ball crossing the goal line in the first half. At the halftime whistle, TFC held a 16 – 1 advantage in shots, including a strike from Sully Adams that ricocheted off the crossbar. TFC’s keeper Elijah Smith stifled Crown’s lone chance in the opening half by stonewalling a one-on-one break away.
The second half followed the same pattern until captain Josh Gailer earned TFC’s first goal of the season. With less than 10 minutes left in the game, Gailer won possession in the midfield and played the ball wide to Chris Chesnut. Gailer continued his run and Chesnut found his head for a perfect header to the far post. The Eagles would put the game away five minutes later as Stephen Lee doubled the Eagles lead, following an accurate pass from Joseph Faletto. In the end, TFC tallied 30 shots compared to five for Crown, and Smith finished with three saves on the day.
TFC Coach Rob Worsley said of the win, “It was good to see implementation of what we’re trying to do. We need to finish more chances, but I am encouraged we translated possession into shots. We just need to finish more of those shots. Overall, I’m pleased with the team effort and the way the back line is gelling to earn the shutout.”
The Eagles will host North Greenville University at home on September 5 at 7:00. TFC will finish the week on September 7 as they travel to nearby Franklin Springs to face Emmanuel College.
The Toccoa Falls College women’s soccer team will soon begin the 2013 campaign with sights set on a seed at the national tournament. The Lady Eagles will hope to combine their returning experience with several new faces in order to accomplish their team goals.
Lead by All-Region forward Liz Rice and All-American midfielder Lauren Howell, Toccoa Falls returns eleven players from the 2012 season in which they placed second at the south region tournament and finished 8-11. Returning as starters to the TFC defense are Elizabeth Mattison and Carolyn Berry. Last season, the Lady Eagles defense set a school record with 8 shut out wins. Also returning to the Lady Eagles starting lineup are midfielder Rachel Berry and goalkeeper Becca Heath.
The solid core of returning players will be joined by a skilled group of freshman and transfers. Darton College transfer Nicole Cooprider will contribute immediately for the Lady Eagles after a national tournament campaign with Darton College in 2012. Jessica Smith and Naomi Horton will play early and often at the beginning of their college careers.
Also new to the TFC women’s program will be Coach Jake Warren. Warren was announced as head coach shortly before preseason camp opened on August 15. Coach Warren said of the upcoming season, “This team is a young group consisting of mostly underclassmen. However, thanks to terrific senior leadership, the group has gelled exceptionally well, and we are ready for the tough test ahead.”
The women’s soccer schedule will provide several stiff tests for the Lady Eagles this season. Comprised of several NAIA schools and the defending national champions, TFC will have multiple opportunities to show their progression under Coach Warren.
The Lady Eagles will open region play on September 6 as they host Florida Christian College at 7:00 PM. TFC will travel to Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee, the following day to face Ohio Christian University. The Eagles will host 2012’s national champions and region rivals Clearwater Christian College on October 4 at 7:00 PM. The complete schedule can be found at www.tfc.edu/athletics.
The Toccoa Falls College volleyball team opened its season with a tri-match on August 31 as they hosted NAIA sides Tennessee Temple University and Point University. The Eagles fought hard as they faced the two scholarship schools, but fell short in each match, first in straight sets to Tennessee Temple then 1 – 3 against Point.
The Eagles opened with Tennessee Temple in the first of two matches on the day. The young Eagles were unable to gain traction and suffered a straight set defeat 13 – 25, 19 – 25, and 17 – 25.
Looking to recover from the loss to Tennessee Temple, the Eagles hosted Point University but were bested one set to three. After winning the opening set 25 – 19, the visitors rallied to win successive sets, 14 – 25, 11 – 25, and 15 – 25.
The Eagles and the Skyhawks remained tight at 7 – 7 in the first game until a 14 – 8 rally pushed the Eagles into a lead they would not relinquish. The Eagles took game one 25 – 19 behind four kills from freshman Nikki Eitutis and a combined five kills from Courtney Bechtold and Crystal Yang. Rachel Morris had 8 digs in the set from her libero position. TFC would struggle for points in the final three sets against Point and fell 1 – 3 in the end.
In the two matches, the Eagles were led on the attack by Courtney Bechtold’s 15 kills. Bechtold also recorded 19 digs. Hadley Harris recorded 6 kills, 34 assists, and 16 digs on the day. Britney Eitutis finished with 9 kills and Kim Crapse with 8. Rachel Morris led the team with 38 digs, and Crystal Yang contributed 17 digs.
The Eagles will travel to Truett-McConnell on September 4 and return to TFC for the annual North-South Tournament on September 6 and 7.