TFC men’s soccer traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, on Thursday night for a non-region NCCAA D2 game at Johnson University. TFC entered the match looking to rebound from their heartbreaking defeat last Friday to Trinity Baptist College in double overtime, 3-2. Johnson was also defeated in their previous match, a 3-0 region loss to Ohio Christian University. In Thursday’s match, TFC pressured the Johnson Royals from the onset and were victorious 4-0.
In the opening minutes of play, TFC pressed the Johnson goal repeatedly, but were denied by the crossbar from a Nate Dority rocket and lacked the finishing touch on several chances. Halfway through the opening period, junior Dustin Martin, who is 10 months removed from ACL surgery, broke the deadlock with a right-footed strike from a corner that the defense failed to clear. Freshman Mike Bailey extended the Eagles first half lead to 2-0 with his second career goal from an assist from Josh Gailer with 10 minutes remaining in the half.
Johnson continued to fight after the intermission but were unfortunate not to get on the scoreboard despite positive looks on goal. TFC also searched to increase their lead but struck the frame twice more in the second half. Forward Stephen Lee earned his fifth tally of the season in the 70th minute, and senior Mike Howell buried his second goal of the season just five minutes later for the final 4-0 score.
“We have been focusing on finishing our chances on goal, and we improved in that area tonight for the most part,” said Coach Rob Worsley. “I was anxious to see how we would respond after our last match, and the guys answered that question early. I’m proud of the way we rebounded and improved tonight.”
TFC (4-5) will host Tennessee Temple University on Saturday at 3:00 PM.