Truett-McConnell defeats Rams, 3-2
Rams fall in season opener
Sports Information Department BC
August 28, 2012
The Bluefield College men’s soccer team opened the 2012 regular season on Tuesday afternoon with a tough 3-2 loss on the road to Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia.
The Rams (0-1) traveled six hours south to face Southern States foe, TMC, looking to defend a 3-0 win from a year ago in Bluefield. This time around the conditions were much tougher with both teams battling a consistent downpour of rain for all 90 minutes.
Bluefield controlled a majority of the play in the first half, pressuring the Bears’ defense in their back third of the field.
They nearly got on the board in the 25th minute, when left back James Gunn made a terrific run through the middle of the field. His pace carried him all the way to the corner of the six-yard box creating a 1v1 with the goalkeeper. His unselfishness was a Truett blessing, as he left the ball off for a slashing Ram attacker but it was cleared out with no clear shot on frame.
Truett-McConnell began to combine more nearing the middle portion of the first half, but after a turnover in the middle area of the field, the Rams countered quickly after the referee allowed play continue on a Bears foul. Defender James Gunn would pick up the 50/50 ball, finding a speedy Chris Gummer on the left flank.
Gummer got in behind the right defender, took a touch into space and pounded a shot near post past the outstretched Bears keeper. Gummer’s first goal of the season gave Bluefield the 1-0 advantage in the 35th minute.
Bluefield continued to earn chances and possession until a Truett attack inside the box resulted in a penalty kick for the home side on a controversial shoulder shove from behind in the box. After two re-attempts at the penalty line, TMC had a third attempt to slot the penalty past GK Jefferson Watson in the 40th minute to even the game at 1-1 heading into halftime.
The second half started off a little sluggish by both sides, but the Rams were victim to getting down early in the final frame as Bears tallied on a Bluefield mishap down the right side deep in BC’s defensive third.
A ball that looked to have been out of behinds, Truett-McConnell continued to play, beat a Bluefield defender past the endline and drove a slow-skipping ball into the box for TMC’s Conway to tally and give the home team a 2-1 edge in the 65th minute of play.
Bluefield didn’t take long to respond to the challenge. The Rams created a nice buildup down the center portion of the field into the right edge of the 18-yard box. Bluefield’s midfielders finally found the feet of flashy FWD Erik Albarran inside the box. Albarran’s creativity and quick change of direction caught Truett’s centerback off-guard and Bluefield earned a penalty kick of their own. Freshman Albarran stepped up and cleanly finished the chance from 12 yards out to square the game up at 2-2 in the 66th minute.
After an emotional final twenty minutes of play tied at 2-2, Bluefield’s poor decision-making caused them the final goal with just under ten minutes to play. Inerrant distribution out of the back into the center portion of the pitch caused a turnover in the back third of Bluefield’s space.
TMC didn’t take long to take advantage as they snatched the ball up and quickly attacked the Bluefield goal with advantage and tallied on a 1-2 combination in the 83rd minute passed the diving Watson.
The Rams pushed numbers forward for the final seven minutes, as Albarran’s final strike with 20 seconds left nearly snuck into the near post, but it was denied by the Truett goalkeeper.
Bluefield couldn’t get the equalizer in the end as they would drop their season opener ahead of a busy month of September in Bluefield College soccer.
The Rams return home on Thursday, Aug. 30 when they host Chowan (NC) at 5 p.m. following the women's game at 3 p.m. at the East River Soccer Complex.