The Tennessee Wesleyan College men's soccer team travelled the short distance down interstate 75 to Cleveland, TN to play Lee University on Friday night. Both teams are currently receiving votes nationally, so the game was set up to be a good one.
The game started quickly, tackles were flying in, passions were high and both teams were clearly up for the game. TWC scored first in the eighth minute, they won a corner on the Lee left, Theo Dweh took it and over hit it past the back post, Laurence Hutchinson was there to pick it up, and he played it to Juan Pedro Alba who gave it straight back to Hutchinson. Alba found space in the Lee area, Hutchinson again found him and Alba rifled a left footed drive past the flailing Lee goal keeper and into the corner of the net.
Within three minutes Lee had equalized, Sebastian Vallejo battled for the ball on their left wing he hooked a left footed cross over his shoulder, Lee's Sias Reyneke was quickest to react and he headed the ball past the helpless Clark Lydon in the TWC goal.
TWC took the lead for the second time in the half when Theo Dweh who was beginning to cause the Lee defenders problems won the ball and played it to Pedro Alba who ran at the heart of the Lee defense and slotted a perfectly timed through ball to Luke Winter. Winter still had a lot of work to do, he shifted the ball onto his right foot and slammed a shot off the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Again within minutes of taking to lead TWC were pegged back. Another cross from Lee's left this time from Josh Ball was powerfully headed home by Luke Cuthbert at the back post. The score after a fantastic half of soccer was 2-2.
TWC again came back out on the front foot. Luke Winter was continuing to look threatening and it was he who had the first chance of the half, he powered past his marker and fired his shot just over the bar. Minutes later it was the crossbar that came to Lee's rescue, TWC's John Carrier was taken down on the edge of the Lee box, Winter stepped up to take the free kick, his shot rattled the bar.
TWC were on top and looking good, then the major turning point of the game came in the sixty fifth minute when one of the TWC defenders was given a red card for a dangerous tackle. TWC had to make some changes, but the team responded well. They were matching the Lee team with one less player. Chances came and went for both teams, but a string of excellent saves by both keepers kept the score at 2-2 at end of the second half.
With the score still tied the game went into two periods of golden goal overtime. TWC were again looking threatening, with John Carrier running at the Lee back line, but Lee was beginning to make their one man advantage pay. At times in the overtime periods TWC rode their luck and again Clark Lydon in goal came to their rescue. When the final whistle blew score was TWC 2 Lee University 2.
TWC's next game is at home on Wednesday against Reinhardt University at 4:15pm. It is TWC's first home game of the season and their first Appalachian Athletic Conference game.