The women’s soccer team traveled to Tennessee last Thursday to take on the Johnson University Royals. Last season, the Bruins had little trouble with the Royals, beating them 5-0 and 8-1.

The Bruins came out and quickly took control of the game. They set the pace, maintained ball possession, and the defense absorbed any offensive threats. Sophomore forward Lauren Peek was the first Bruin to score. “Spencer Martin gave me a through ball and I put it in the corner,” said Peek. Sarah Porch, Leah Edwards and Bethany Davis also scored to give the Bruins a 4-0 halftime lead.

As the second half commenced, the Bruins stopped focusing on increasing the lead. “Coach definitely wanted us to work on ball movement,” explained Peek. “The main goal was to move the ball around the 18 yard box. He wants to work on that for future games.” Rebecca Luttrell made the score 5-0 with a goal off a corner kick. Controlled ball movement, solid defense, and a good conversion percentage gave the Bruins the edge in this match.

Just two days later, the Bruins women headed to compete with the Truett-McConnell College Bears. The Bears were 7-0 at home, but the Bruins hadn’t lost in eight games. “We knew coming into the game that Truett would be a tougher match than some recent ones we’ve had,” said senior Sarah Porch. “Coach helped prepare us mentally and motivated us to keep our heads in the game and play hard.”

The Bruins’ style of play against the Bears would contrast with the way they played Johnson University. They played tough, scrappy soccer, and both teams went hard for every loose ball. Both teams had good looks at the goal, and neither decisively controlled possession. After the first half, the score was 2-1 in the Bears’ favor.

The Bruins came out with even more energy in the second half. They worked down the field and created several good looks, but they couldn’t finish with another goal. Truett-McConnell countered effectively and added two goals to their scoring column. “Our defense actually played very well,” said Bruins goalkeeper Tori Anderson. “Two of the four goals were freak goals. They would kick a corner and someone would head it and the ball would ricochet in. They were goals that usually only happen once every couple games.”

The Bruins women will compete next against Bluefield College on Oct.15.