Both the Bruins men’s and women’s intercollegiate soccer teams took on the Tennessee Temple Crusaders last Saturday, Oct. 26, with both teams looking to improve their three-game winning streak and finish the season strong.
The Bruins women, entering their fifth match in eight days, went into Saturday’s game following a 1-0 victory against Freed-Hardeman University. The Crusaders were not the only thing the Bruins had to overcome on Saturday, as fatigue and injuries proved to be another factor in Saturday’s game equation.
Agility and speed were characteristic of the women’s team all season, and despite the hard week, they showed no change in character. Right from the opening whistle, the Bruins maneuvered the ball well and controlled possession. Senior Becca Luttrell beat Temple’s goalkeeper twice in the first half before the Crusaders could even set up a viable goal opportunity. Temple eventually answered the two quick goals and scored off of a corner kick just prior to the break, making the score 2-1.
The Bruins continued to play strong in the second half and brought more offensive aggression as they looked to extend their lead. They created many chances on goal, and eventually Luttrell completed her hat trick, giving the Bruins a 3-1 edge.
The Crusaders capitalized on a penalty kick late in the game, but the Bruins held on and tallied a 3-2 victory as they finished the regular season with an 11-4-2 record. They’ll prepare to travel to Florida next week for the NCCAA DII South Regional Finals.
The Bruins men have also made a spectacular run here at the end of the season, winning five of their last six games. The Bruins, entering the game against Temple after a 1-0 win over Freed-Hardeman, exemplified many aspects of Saturday’s game: namely pressure, quality possession and sheer dominance.
The Bruins came out of the gate strong and played to make a statement. They claimed the tempo of the game and created opportunities from all angles. Before long, sophomore Ryan McCarty beat Temple’s goalkeeper and gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins continued to play with obvious passion, and any chance created by the Crusaders was either doused out by the Bruins defense or cleaned up by junior goalkeeper Joseph Wooster.
Bruins sophomore Vince Wilson added to the game with a strong shot that gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead going into the half.
The Bruins had more work to do after the break. Sophomore Travis Woodham and freshman Eric Moisant both added to the scoring column as the Crusaders’ respective category remained blank for the duration of the game. The defeat tallied the fifth clean sheet for the Bruins defense and the ninth win for the team.
“Our team is finding our rhythm as the season closes, and we will look to finish strong and as a unit for our last game,” Woodham said. The team will go into their final regular-season match with a 9-6-1 record.