The Tennessee Wesleyan College men's soccer played NCAA III powerhouse Maryville College on Wednesday. The teams played each other last season in a game that went all the way through double over time and ended 2-2. This season Maryville had started excellently boasting a one hundred percent record and were ranked fifteenth in the nation. TWC had also started the season well with a record of played four, won three, lost one and were confident going into the game.
TWC started the game very slowly and were immediately put on the back foot by Maryville's all action soccer. They were getting the ball forward quickly and pressing TWC all over the field. Once the game settled down TWC gained a little foot hold and were looking dangerous through Luke Winter on the counter attack. Maryville continued to press and were getting a lot of joy through their movement going forward, no team had a clear cut change until Maryville broke the deadlock in the twenty eighth minute. A goal kick was played long by the Maryville goal keeper, the ball bobbled around the midfield Maryville forward Tyler Tinker blocked TWC's attempted clearance and the ball fell right into the path of Travis Bolton who had a clear run straight to the TWC goal. As TWC's goal keeper Josh Leader came out to challenge the striker, Bolton slid the ball into the corner of the TWC goal. This was the only goal of the half and the teams went into the locker rooms TWC 0 Maryville 1.
The TWC coaching staff must have had some stern words at half time because the players came out of the locker room absolutely flying, it was as if a different TWC team came out for the second half. They took Maryville a bit by surprise and they struggled to deal with the intensity of TWC's play. The pressure was now firmly on the visiting team and every time TWC went forward they looked like creating a goal scoring opportunity. Even though TWC was camped in the Maryville half for most of the second period Maryville still looked dangerous on the counter attack. TWC were pressing for the equalizer and almost had it in the eighty sixth minute of the game when Justin Walker delivered a cross from the right, Luke Winter rose just in front of the Maryville goal keeper but only a last ditch aerial challenge from the center half prevented the goal. This was the final action of the high paced game, the final score TWC 0 Maryville 1.
The Bulldogs play in their first AAC match on Saturday at Virginia Intermont at 4:00 pm.