Tennessee Wesleyan College men's soccer team traveled to Bluefield, VA on Saturday to play Bluefield College in what is TWC's longest in conference road trips on the schedule. Bluefield was on the bottom of the Appalachian Athletic Conference with a played four, lost four record. TWC on the other hand was jointly on the top in the conference with three wins, no losses and a draw. On paper it looked to be an easy game, but soccer games are not played on paper.
TWC started the game with a lot of possession, but never really looked threatening in the Bluefield half of the field. Bluefield was defending deep and looking to catch TWC on the counter attack. TWC looked sluggish, this could have had something to do with the playing surface which was very hard under foot and the grass looked to have not been cut in a long time. Bluefield was clearly used to the surface and their style of play was condusive to it. Bluefield opened the scoring in the 33rd minute when Nago Mbengue ran with the ball out wide, crossed it and the ball was slid into the open net. This served as a wake up call for TWC who equalized a minute later. TWC's John Carrier took a corner from the right, the ball bounced around the Bluefield box and was finally guided into the back of the net by Josh Simnett. TWC had some good chances to take the lead before the break, but they couldn't find the net, the score at halftime was TWC 1 Bluefield 1.
TWC came out better in the second half and looked threatening right from the whistle. John Carrier and Pedro Alba looked dangerous up front and were causing the Bluefield defense to scramble. After a good spell of pressure TWC finally took the lead in the 60th minute, Ryan Smith picked the ball up in the Bluefield half and played an inch perfect through ball that found John Carrier in a breakaway with the Bluefield goalkeeper. Carrier kept his cool and lifted the ball over him and into the back of the net. TWC should have scored more goals in the second half with Stefan Hatfield hitting the post and missing a plethora of chances.
In the last minute of the game Bluefield won a corner, a scuffle broke out in the TWC box and resulted in the referee sending one player from both teams off. This was the final incident of the game which ended TWC 2 Bluefield 1.
TWC's next game is Tuesday October 12th away at Covenant College, it will be a tough game for TWC because Covenant has won eight games in a row.