The Bob Jones University menâ€™s soccer team hosted Georgia Gwinnett College Saturday for the 2015 Senior Night, but the Bruins were defeated by the Grizzlies 2-0, to fall to 10-6 on the season.
In the first half, the Grizzlies quickly made their way into the Bruinsâ€™ defensive third to earn a corner, but AJ Redlinger easily cleared the cross from danger.
Both teams possessed the ball well early in the match. Bruin senior Ryan McCarty found a strong opportunity with a long dribble toward the goal, but he was stopped by the Grizzliesâ€™ stout defense.
The Grizzliesâ€™ Jon Connor retaliated by taking a shot on goal, but Bruins goalkeeper Philip Gibble easily picked it up and cleared it.
One of the best chances in the first half for the Bruins came just a few minutes later. The Bruins earned a free kick just outside the penalty box, but Matt Mooreâ€™s strike was fired straight into the Grizzliesâ€™ wall.
Soon after, Stephen Grider sent a pass to Karl Walker, but Lewis Sharpe, the Grizzlies goalkeeper, stopped Walkerâ€™s powerful shot. On the other end, Gibble had an extraordinary first half with five tough saves for the Bruins.
Senior Travis Woodham also had a strong half defensively, as his positioning constantly disrupted the Grizzliesâ€™ offense.
â€śI was feeling nervous playing for the last time in front of the home crowd,â€ť Ryan McCarty said. â€śPlaying has been a big part of my college life since freshman year.â€ť
At halftime, seniors Daniel Herr, Ryan McCarty, Matt Moore, Travis Woodham and Joseph Wooster were all honored for their dedication to the Bruins and the University.
â€śThere is nothing like playing here at Bob Jones,â€ť Woodham said. â€śI definitely think we have the best fan base in the nation. We are thankful for their support throughout these four years, and I am grateful for the opportunity to play here.â€ť
Early in the second half, BJUâ€™s Moore was fouled 10 yards beyond the penalty box, but Sharpe stopped Garrett Martinâ€™s free kick. Soon after, the Grizzliesâ€™ Martin Toribio capitalized off a corner kick to put GGC up 1-0.
With 15 minutes left in the half, Andreas Ytterstrom found the ball in the middle of the Bruinsâ€™ penalty box and buried it in the back of the net. Despite several counters by the Bruins, the Grizzlies held on to win the match 2-0.
â€śWe needed to be more consistent with the ball movement,â€ť head coach Jesse McCormick said.
â€śThere were moments we were clicking and were on, but those opportunities were coming five or ten minutes apart. We wanted to be a little more dynamic on the attack.â€ť
The Bruins have time to recover, as they will compete in the NCCAA DI South regional tournament Nov. 18-20.