TFC soccer hosted Emmanuel College on Saturday night and were topped by the visiting Lions, 2 – 0. The Eagles have historically fought hard against the Lions, but the final scorelines have usually been one-sided results against the Eagles. Saturday’s match up had a different feel from the on-set. Though the undefeated Lions (3-0) escaped with a 2-0 victory, the Eagles (1-3) made notable strides in their play.
In the opening minutes of play, the Eagles proved they could stand their ground against the NAIA team from Franklin Springs. Emmanuel pressed the Eagles early, but were denied any real chances at goal by TFC’s team defense and keeper Elijah Smith. 30 minutes into the first half and the score still tied, Eagles forward Stephen Lee provided the best scoring chance of the game. Lee collected a loose ball in front of the Lions backline, beat his defender, and snuck a low shot beneath the Lions on-coming keeper. Before his shot could cross the goal line, it was cleared away by a hustling Emmanuel defender to disappoint Lee and home crowd that was already celebrating the goal.
The Lions broke the deadlock with less than five minutes remaining in the first half. Midfielder Morgan Anders received the ball outside the Eagles box, took a lateral dribble to his left, and beat Smith at the far post to give the visitors a 1-0 lead going into the intermission.
Alex Wright doubled the Lions advantage in the 67th minute of play with a bending shot from distance that hit the crossbar in the upper 90 and bounced in the Eagles goal. The Eagles earned a couple of late corner kicks, but were not able to seriously challenge the Lions goalie.
TFC head Coach Rob Worsley said the of loss, “Our guys showed a lot by bouncing back after Thursday’s game. We showed some of our potential tonight against a very strong opponent in Emmanuel.”
The Eagles will play at home on Thursday, September 12 against Bob Jones University. The women’s soccer team will host BJU at 5:00, and the men’s game will follow. The men will then travel to Warren Wilson College on Friday for a 4:00 PM kickoff.