The TFC women’s cross country team took first place at the North Georgia Tech Invitational on September 6. TFC topped teams from Reinhardt University, Georgia Military College, North Georgia Tech, and LaGrange College. TFC placed four runners in the top 10 including the first overall finisher, Clessie Kendrick. Kendrick finished the 5000 meter run with in a time of 23:11.18. Kendrick finished over a minute before the second place runner crossed the line. Jodi Braselton (26:06.07), Christine Wells (26:36.24), and Rebekah Stillwater (26:59.13) finished 6th, 7th, and 8th, respectively. Alisha Carson crossed in 11th place with a time of 27:18.86. Carson missed a top 10 finish by one-fifth of a second. Having five runners who crossed the finish line so closely together earned the Eagles a winning tally of 24 points. LaGrange College came in second with 49 points. Sarah Lockwood (27:59.83) and Crystal Hankin (28:45.30) rounded out the seven qualifying runners.
The men’s cross country team placed third out of five teams in the men’s 8000 meter run. The Eagles finished with a team time of 42:28, nearly ten minutes behind the winners from Reinhardt University. TFC’s Evan Garrett finished 17th out of 28 with a time of 37:08. Andrew Collins followed in 21st place (39:55). Ian Caudill (23rd), Dwayne Miller (27th), and Jeremiah Klinect (28th) rounded out the field of qualifiers.
First year coach Ben Pigott said of the race, “[I am] very pleased with the women’s competitiveness and team unity. They paced each other throughout the race and finished strong. Clessie Kendrick’s leadership in training” deserves credit for the women’s top-placed finish.
The harriers from TFC will next run at Truett-McConnell on September 20.
FRONT L>R (holding trophy) – Emily Kressman, Cristi Schmidt BACK L>R – Rebecca Stillwell, Christi Wells, Alisha Carlson, Clessie Kendricks, Crystal Hankin, Sarah Lockwood, Jodi Brasselton
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 the 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 of the 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.
The TFC Lady Eagles (1-2) and first year head coach Jake Warren earned their first victory of the young season on September 6. TFC hosted and defeated region foe Florida Christian College 5 – 0 behind four goals and an assist from forward Lizz Rice.
Rice and the Eagles attack scored early and often to put the game out of reach away from the visiting Suns. Nicole Cooprider scored the first goal of her TFC career in the win. Coach Jake Warren said, “This was a real team effort, and it is nice to get the first win of the season.”
After a late Friday evening win over Florida Christian, the Eagles left early Saturday morning to travel to Crown College in Knoxville, Tennessee, to face Ohio Christian University on a neutral field. TFC held a 3-2 lead in the 85th minute, but the Eagles succumbed to the heat and conditions of games on back to back days. The OCU Trailblazers scored two goals in the final five minutes to steal a 4-3 win from TFC. In the loss, Rice netted two more goals and senior captain Lauren Howell contributed with two assists. “The Ohio Christian game was a tough one after a short turnaround and a long drive. We did some really good things despite the unfavorable conditions,” said Coach Warren.
TFC will host Bob Jones University at 5:00 PM on September 12. Following the women’s game, the TFC men’s team will also face BJU. The Lady Eagles will finish the week with a road game on September 14 at LaGrange College.
The volleyball team at Toccoa Falls College hosted the annual North-South tournament on September 6 and 7. The round-robin tournament pitted members of the NCCAA south region and included Clearwater Christian College, Pensacola Christian College, Trinity Baptist College, Trinity College of Florida, Johnson University and Piedmont International University.
TFC went 2 – 2 as tournament hosts and defeated Trinity College of Florida and Trinity Baptist but dropped matches to Pensacola Christian and Clearwater Christian.
The Eagles earned their first victory of the season on Friday by topping the visiting Tigers of Trinity College in five sets, 25 – 18, 20 – 25, 20 – 25, 25 – 15, and 15 -12. Kim Crapes led the Eagles attack with 6 service aces and 11 kills, both team highs. Britney Eitutis recorded 9 kills, and Hadley Harris and Crystal Yang contributed 7 and 6 kills, respectively. Harris also guided the Eagles attack with 24 assists. Defensively, TFC kept several would-be-points off the floor with 100 team digs on the night. Rachel Morris led the way with 33 digs. Yang had 17, and Courtney Bechtold added 16 digs.
On Saturday, Trinity Baptist College was defeated by TFC in the three sets, 25 – 18, 25 – 12, and 25 – 17. The visiting Eagles of Trinity Baptist were overwhelmed by the attack and defense of the home Eagles of TFC. Rachel Morris and Nikki Eitutis each had 10 digs in the win to co-lead the Eagles defensive efforts. Courtney Bechtold and Hadley Harris combined for 13 digs. Britney Eitutis led TFC with 9 of the team’s 29 kills. Kim Crapse and Bechtold combined for 9 additional kills. Setter Hadley Harris assisted on 19 points.
With the two wins in the tournament, the Eagles improved their season record to 2 – 5 overall but sit at 2 – 2 in conference play. The Eagles will host Piedmont College on September 10 at 7:00 PM. On Saturday TFC will travel to Macon, Georgia, to face hosts Wesleyan College and Coastal Georgia University in a tri-match.
“After being together for just two and a half weeks, I am pleased we came out of this weekend 2-2,” said Coach Selina Slate. “We did some really good things this past weekend, and we are going to build on that. We are a young team with so much potential. I can’t wait to see where we will be at the end of October when we see these teams again at the region tournament.”