The TFC Eagles played host to the Huntingdon Hawks on Wednesday night before a strong mid-week crowd. The visiting Hawks from Montgomery, Alabama, entered the match at an even 2-2-2. The Hawks (NCAA DIII) defeated Tennessee Temple 1-0 in their previous match. TFC was victorious 4-1 at Warren Wilson last Friday to bring their record to 2-4 prior to the Huntingdon game. Wednesday’s match was evenly played, but the Eagles topped the Hawks 1-0 in dramatic fashion.
As the match began, both teams challenged the opposition’s back line. TFC had two quality chances within the opening minutes of the match off Huntingdon turnovers in the midfield but were denied by goal keeper Dominique Thomas. Halfway through the opening period, TFC captain Josh Gailer sent an attempted cross to the back post. Gailer’s cross overshot all targets including goal keeper Thomas but pierced the back of the net for a fortuitous 1-0 Eagles lead. Gailer’s goal was his third of the year to tie him for the team lead with forward Stephen Lee. Despite falling behind, the Hawks held an advantage in the final 15 minutes of the first half but were unfortunate not to beat TFC’s goalie Elijah Smith.
After halftime, the sides remained even in possession and shots on frame until the Hawks again had the Eagles defense reeling in the last 20 minutes as TFC clung to a 1-0 lead. Despite several good looks on goal and quick through balls, the Hawks could not find the right combination to equalize the score. The Hawks best chance came with under 10 seconds on the clock. Huntingdon’s Desmond Ibie found himself behind the Eagles defense on the left flank. Ibie’s low ball crossed the face of goal and managed to split the legs of an oncoming teammate before rolling harmlessly to the touchline as the clock expired.
The Eagles more than held their own for large portions of the match and out shot the Hawks 14-10 on the night. Thomas finished with 6 saves on the night, while his counterpart Elijah Smith was credit with four saves.
Having won back to back games for the first time this season, the Eagles now sit at 3-4 on the year as they head into conference play this weekend. TFC will host region opponent Trinity Baptist College (2-2-1) on Friday at 7:00 PM.