The Bruins hosted a scrimmage tournament at Alumni Stadium on April 5, winning once and losing twice. The teams competing were Truett-McConnell College, Toccoa Falls College and the University of Georgia women’s club soccer team.
The Bruins, winning the Division II NCCAA National Championship last season, have been training for the short spring season. The team has competed in a few scrimmages and round robin tournaments this spring to practice for the 2014 fall season, and Saturday’s tournament ended the spring season.
The Bruins faced Truett-McConnell College for their first game and finished the first half down 3-0, before shutting out TMC for the whole second half. TMC managed the ball well and trapped the Bruins, pressuring them and prohibiting good passes. The Bruins’ second half improvement still left them in the deficit, however, and the Bruins lost 3-0.
Midfielder Adi Blaj said, “It was a rough start, but if you look at the second half versus first half, we didn’t let anything in. We took charge. We put them on the defensive in the last ten minutes. We definitely improved.”
Coach Carmichael said, “It was a shaky first half, and we made some adjustments at halftime. The whole thing was experimental with different positioning and differences with the play. I thought the first half was decent, not great, but the second half was better.”
“Right from the get-go we started passing and possessing,” Blaj said. “Our movement sideline-to-sideline was great, we were passing in the back, crossing the field, getting the ball to the forwards, and we had a lot of chances on the sides crossing in. But it was a 3-0 game.”
The Bruins faced two more games, losing next against the University of Georgia women’s club soccer team but winning their last game against Toccoa Falls. Improvement was made throughout the day, and the win at the end was a fitting finish to the spring season.
The Bruins will train over the summer to prepare for the busy fall season.
“We start up preseason three weeks before school starts, and our fall schedule is crazy busy,” Blaj said. “We have a team summer workout that we’re supposed to do, specific exercises, and moves to do every single day. It’s a mix between weight lifting and endurance running, spring work, ball work. It’s about two hours every day.”