Tennessee Wesleyan College played a home game against Appalachian Athletic Conference rival Reinhardt University yesterday. Reinhardt had been flying high this season, they won their first six games and at their highest were ranked #24 in the nation, but they had lost their last two games and were itching to get back to winning ways. Reinhardt had knocked TWC out of the play offs last season on penalty kicks so the TWC boys were ready to set the record straight.
The game started with Reinhardt on the front foot, they were dominating the possession, but were never able to create a goal scoring opportunity. They were pressuring TWC high up the field and forcing them to play very direct. Luke Winter was working tirelessly up front for TWC and his hard work was rewarded after eleven minutes of the game. He picked the pocket of Reinhardt defender Jack Coulton on the edge of their penalty area ran past the other center back Jake Kimmel and hit an unstoppable drive into the top corner of the net. It was a goal scored against the run of play and purely down to the work rate and persistence of Winter.
TWC doubled their lead at thirty two minutes when the excellent Winter won a free kick just outside the Reinhardt box. He stepped up to take it himself, the kick hit the wall and went straight up in the air, he was quickest to react, rose above the Reinhardt defense to head the ball across to Richard Zuzart who's shot was deflected right into the path of Garrett Koon who took a touch and calmly slotted the ball past the Reinhardt goal keeper and into the corner of the net. This made the score going into half time TWC 2 Reinhardt 0.
TWC came out after the half with a determined look in their eyes and went about the task of keeping their fifth clean sheet of the season. They were keeping the ball well and their well organized back four looked fully in control. They extended the lead further when Garret Koon did some excellent work down the right wing and delivered a dangerous low cross, Luke Winter almost got the touch to put the ball into the net, but it ended up going all the way through to Richard Zuzart who had the simple task of side footing the ball into the net. It was no more than TWC deserved for their excellent play.
Reinhardt was looking dangerous on the counter, especially through their excellent midfielder John Connolly. They almost pulled a goal back when they broke down their right wing through Sam Barnsley, he got to the byline and pulled the ball back to striker Jansen Berry who's first time shot was destined for the top corner until TWC's goal keeper Josh Leader leaped to his left and extended his left hand to paw the ball around the post. This was the last action of an excellent game for TWC that ended 3-0.
TWC's next game is on Saturday in Chattanooga against Tennessee Temple, kicking off at 11am.