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Sports Update 09/15 – 09/21
Written by
mens-soccer2

Athletics:

The TFC athletic department is pleased to announce its partnership with the communications department and Professor Curt Wanner to provide free, live streaming of TFC’s athletic events.

Beginning on September 18 with the women’s 5:00 PM soccer match with Huntingdon College and the succeeding men’s match, boosters, parents, and recruits will be able to cheer on the Eagles from anywhere in the world. Please bookmark the streaming link:

Streaming

Thank you for your continued support of TFC Athletics. Go Eagles!

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Cross Country Men:

The men’s cross country team was one of 8 schools to participate at the Truett-McConnell Invitational on September 20. The Eagles placed 6th at the event with a team average of 41:02 in the 8k race.

Evan Garrett led TFC and placed 32nd out of 64 runners with a time of 39:35. Mitchell Thompson finished right behind Garrett in 33rd position (40:32). Also placing for TFC was Alex Runyans (41:36), Ian Caudill (43:58), and Andrew Collins (44:22). Runyans, Caudill, and Collins finished 36th, 40th, and 43rd positions, respectively. Dwayne Miller also participated for the Eagles and completed the course in 47th with a time of 50:38.

Cross Country Women:

TFC’s women’s cross country team also participated at the Truett-McConell Invitational on September 20. The Lady Eagles finished third out of 7 full teams that participated in the 5k event. As a team, TFC finished with an average time of 26:13.

In her last event, Clessie Kendrick was the overall number one finisher at the North Georgia Tech event earlier this month. At Truett-McConnell, Kendrick again led TFC and finished fifth overall at 23:56. Jodi Brasleton (25:29) finished 15thout of 63 runners, and Christine Wells placed 18th with a time of 26:23. Rebekah Stillwell and Alisha Carson rounded out qualifying runners for TFC at 21st and 26th overall. Sarah Lockwood (29:05), Crystal Hankin (30:43), Emily Kresman (34:37) and Christina Schmidt (37:42) also participated for TFC.

The men’s and women’s teams will both participate at the Southern Wesleyan Invitational in Central, South Carolina, on September 28. On October 5, TFC will participate at the local Currahee Mountain event at 7:45 AM.

Soccer Men:

The TFC Eagles played host to the Huntingdon Hawks on September 16. 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.

Toccoa Falls College Eagles opened region play on the night of September 20 as they hosted the Trinity Baptist College Eagles in front of a raucous home crowd. Trinity Baptist entered the match at 2-4-1. TBC’s lone tie was in region play at Clearwater Christian College in their last match before traveling to Toccoa, 3-3. TFC was seeking their third consecutive victory after they defeated Huntingdon College 1-0 on September 18. Toccoa Falls and Trinity were both ranked as the #9 team in the country in the latest NCCAA D2 poll. In the Trinity match, the home supporters were treated to a roller coast match that could be described as a “tale of two halves.” The home Eagles were forced to make an exciting comeback to push the game into double overtime, but fell short to the visiting Eagles in the end, 3-2.

Within the opening five minutes of the match, TFC’s captain Josh Gailer was forced to be substituted off the field with a foot injury that required prolonged attention from the trainer. With Gailer off the field, TFC struggled to maintain possession of the ball and fell behind 1-0 just 13 minutes into the match with a strike from TBC’s Josh O’hara. Trinity Baptist finished off the dominating opening period with O’hara’s second strike of the game to give Trinity a dominating 2-0 halftime lead.

In the opening half, Trinity held a wide margin in the statistical category of shots. Toccoa managed just three shots in the first half, two of which came from set pieces, while Trinity racked up 10 shots in the half including a strike that hit the post. Down 2-0 and seeking answers, Coach Rob Worsley challenged the team in his halftime talk.

“Trinity Baptist came out firing on all cylinders, and we struggled in the first half with their high pressure and quick counters,” said Coach Worsley. “I challenged the guys to settle down and possess the ball. We felt like if we could get one goal, we could ride that momentum to a win.”

Forward Stephen Lee provided the early goal for which the Eagles had been searching. Lee’s goal and the re-entry of Gailer into the game energized the team and supporters alike. TFC continued to barrage Trinity’s goal with several dangerous corner kicks and shots on target. With a tidal wave of momentum, TFC was unfortunate not to equalize on several occasions. Freshman Joseph Faletto missed the frame by inches from a corner kick and Mike Howell’s scramble shot was cleared off the goal line by a defender after beating TBC’s goal keeper. The inevitable game tying goal finally came with just 15 minutes remaining, when Howell buried a shot near post off a throw in from Gailer. With the score knotted at 2-2, the match headed to overtime.

Josh Gailer was presented with an immediate chance to end the game within the first two minutes of overtime, but an impressive one-on-one save from Trinity’s Mootiz Rubyae kept the game alive. Despite out shooting Trinity in the first overtime 4-1, TFC was unable to find the golden goal.

In the second overtime, both sides showed fatigue and the quality of play dropped. Neither side had a quality chance on frame until Trinity’s Danial Stone found himself one-on-one with TFC’s keeper Elijah Smith. After 117 minutes of play, Stone ended the match with the golden goal that Stone slotted past Smith. Trinity escaped with a 3-2 win despite being out shot 15-9 after the halftime intermission.

TFC (3-5) will look to bounce back on the road this Thursday at Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Eagles will then host Tennessee Temple on Saturday at 3:00 PM.

Soccer Women:

The TFC Lady Eagles hosted NCAA DIII Huntingdon College from Montgomery, Alabama, on September 18. Huntingdon entered the match with a 1-1 record and were victorious in their last match, a 2-0 victory over Judson. In TFC’s last match, the Lady Eagles (1-4) were defeated 2-1 in overtime at LaGrange College. The visiting Lady Hawks controlled the majority of the match and topped the Lady Eagles 1-0 in double overtime.

After a scoreless regulation and first overtime period, TFC was just 77 seconds away from squeaking out a scoreless draw against a talented Huntingdon squad. However, Huntingdon’s Christian Bolden ended the game with a dramatic golden goal via a cross from a Huntingdon winger.

The loss to Huntingdon was TFC’s second straight overtime defeat to a NCAA DIII opponent, and the Lady Eagles fourth loss by a single goal differential.

The Lady Eagles hosted Warren Wilson College on September 21 in a rain-soaked match in which the weather made it difficult for either side to control the ball and complete passes. After losing four consecutive one goal games, TFC found themselves on the correct side of a 1-0 win as they topped the Warren Wilson Owls.

The lone goal of the match occurred in the early going as TFC’s Lizz Rice crossed the ball into the box. Instead of finding a teammate, the ball ricocheted off an Owl defender and into the back of the net. Following the auspicious start, TFC created several more chances but were unable to increase their lead. Contrarily, Warren Wilson struggled to break down the Lady Eagles defense.

With the win, TFC improved to 2-5 on the season. The Lady Eagles will travel to Oglethorpe University on September 26 for a 4:30 PM match.

Volleyball:

The Lady Eagles hosted region opponent Trinity Baptist College on September 20. TFC had most recently been defeated at the Wesleyan College tri-match by Wesleyan and Coastal Georgia. Trinity Baptist entered the TFC match with a record of 2-13 with their most recent defeat at the hands of Trinity College of Florida. The TFC Lady Eagles topped the TBC Lady Eagles in set straights; 25 – 13, 25 – 22, and 25 – 20.

In the opening game, TFC controlled the play with 6 team service aces and were benefactors of 12 Trinity errors. The second set was also won by the home side behind 11 team kills and 8 assists from setter Hadley Harris. Libero Rachel Morris recorded 10 of her 22 digs in the second set. In the match winning third set, Harris again recorded 8 assists on TFC’s 13 team kills.

Overall, Harris recorded a team high 20 assists. In addition to Morris’ 22 digs, Courtney Bechtold contributed 16 digs of her own. Bechtold led the team with 9 kills in the win. Kim Crapse and Britney Eitutis combined for 10 additional kills.

With the win over Trinity, TFC improves to 3-8 overall and 3-2 in region play. TFC will travel to Catawba Valley on Tuesday before hosting Agnes Scott College on September 27 at 7:00 PM. The Lady Eagles will finish the week on September 28 at a tri-match in Knoxville, Tennessee, where they will square off with hosts Johnson University and Ohio Christian University.