The Bruin men will host the Clearwater Christian College Cougars tonight in a highly anticipated cross-division match contrasting NCCAA Division 1 and Division 2 talent.
The Cougars entered the season as the No. 5 ranked D2 school in the NCCAA and have since built a 9-6 record, while Coach Jesse McCormick’s inaugural Bruins team has amassed five wins in nine attempts at the Division 1 level.
The Bruins and Cougars have shared only two opponents this season, Toccoa Falls and Columbia International University, the new home of Clearwater’s previous coach, James Whitaker. BJU and CCC both defeated Toccoa Falls earlier in the season, but the Bruins steamrolled Columbia International 4-0 while CCC lost to the Rams 2-1.
Watch for Cougars’ senior Drew Custer to mix it up with defenders Joel Cave and David Overly on the Bruins’ turf. Custer has six goals on the year to lead CCC, as well as three assists and three previous years of intercollegiate soccer experience. Also dangerous is Anthony DeRosse, who has three goals and two assists on the season in spite of splitting time between midfield and goal.
The Bruins’ defense has recorded three shutouts in the last three games, so expect intense pressure on the ball from BJU’s well-rested back line, which hasn’t played since the Oct. 5 match against Hiwassee College. Also, don’t be surprised to see the Bruins’ continually improving possession-oriented offense perform well against what is expected to be a more difficult opponent.
This highly anticipated match will enjoy an even more exciting atmosphere because of Bruin Mania and the tipoff of Bruin basketball later in the evening, as well as a large traveling contingency of Clearwater fans.