The Bruins women’s soccer team played a much-anticipated game Saturday in Clearwater, Florida, going head-to-head with the Clearwater Christian College Cougars.
The game ended in a 0-0 tie as both teams’ defense countered well against the opposing offenses.
The teams have developed a friendly but competitive rivalry as of late, as the Bruins defeated the Cougars 1-0 in last year’s national championship game. The Bruins and Cougars played on three occasions last season, with the first game ending in a tie during the regular season. The second game went to Clearwater, who claimed a 2-1 victory over the Lady Bruins as well as the title of Regional Champions. The Bruins then received a spot in the national tournament, which gave them hope to make it to the title game.
The Bruins met the Cougars in the championship game and desperately wanted to prove that they deserved the title of national champions.
Although rainy conditions added difficulty to the second half, the Bruins’ Rebecca Luttrell was able to put in the lone goal of the game and give the Bruins the win over the defending national champion Cougars.
This year is a whole new chapter for the Bruins as well as the Cougars, however, and both teams had to focus on the task at hand last weekend. Although neither team had forgotten what happened last year, each team had to play with a clear mind, expecting nothing but the best effort from its opponent.
Both teams played hard in the wet conditions, as the field was saturated from an earlier rain. The Bruins, missing several of their starters, were unable to score in regulation or in either of the two extra periods. They did, however, play good, strong defense and were able to thwart all scoring attempts that came from the pounding Cougar offensive. Senior goalkeeper Tori Anderson also played well, clearing every shot that came her way. In the end, both teams were forced to settle for an anticlimactic tie, unable to best their opponent.
The Bruins now hold a record of 7-3-2 and a No. 2 ranking, after losing the No. 1 spot in a loss earlier this season to Toccoa Falls College.
The Cougars, ranked No. 1 before their match with the Bruins, are now 6-4-1.
The Bruins host the Tennessee Temple Crusaders tonight, with the men playing at 6 p.m. and the women competing at 8 p.m.