The Bob Jones University men’s soccer season came to an end Thursday, Nov. 19, in the NCCAA DI South Regional Playoff as they fell to the Southern Wesleyan Warriors 5-2 in the semi-final round.
Head coach Jesse McCormick remained positive through the disappointment.
“I am very pleased [with] how things went this season,” McCormick said. “We wanted to put ourselves in position for an opportunity to go to nationals, and we did just that. The final game was disappointing, but we were very competitive in our region.”
The Bruins entered regionals as the No. 3 seed in the region, and Southern Wesleyan at the No. 2 spot.
The Warriors beat the Bruins earlier in the season 1-0.
The weather was not favorable as the match began.
Both teams looked to gain possession of the ball, but possession went back and forth in the early stages of the match.
With 24 minutes left, the Warriors capitalized on a mishandling of the ball by the Bruins goalkeeper Philip Gibble to put them ahead 1-0.
The Warriors took the momentum from the first goal to score twice more in the next few minutes of the match, bringing the score to 3-0.
The Bruins retaliated as Derek Doran sent a nice ball to Stephen Grider who buried the ball for the Bruins.
The Warrior led 3-1 at halftime.
The second half the Bruins looked for a comeback.
The Bruins took control as they dominated possession, and put themselves in position to score.
Senior Ryan McCarty put a nice header in the back of the net to shorten the Warriors’ lead.
“The seniors have been instrumental in the program, not only on the field, but also off the field.” McCormick said. “They have become leaders on the team, and God has really worked in all of their lives.”
The Warriors quickly shut down the Bruins’ advances as they scored twice more in the next few minutes.
The Bruins pressured the Warriors’ goal, but none of their shots found the back of the net.
The Bruins 2015 season ended with a hard loss of 5-2; they ended with a 10-7 record.
“Overall, our level of play and speed of play have gone up this year,” McCormick said.
He reminded the team of their victories this past season and remained positive on the prospects of the team for future seasons.
“Some key moments were we had a stretch of five tough games and had a big win over Daulton State on the road,” McCormick said.
“We followed up with a win over Reinhardt 3-2 at home. Our Homecoming win against Chowan; we had great support from the University family with over 4,100 people at the game. From last year to this year, we have taken huge strides forward.”