Looking at the Maryville College Men’s soccer team’s record from last season, you would see a record of 13 wins, five losses and one tie. To some, five losses would not be a big deal, but to those on the team, there was one particular loss that was heartbreaking.
It was Sept. 11, 2010, in Lynchburg, Va. The Scots controlled most of the game against the Lynchburg College Hornets, and in the beginning of the second half, Tom Webster found the back of the net to give the boys the lead.
The team continued to rally, shot after shot, but nothing was falling. With just three minutes left in the game, Lynchburg scrounged up a way to even up the match with a score of 1-1.
This meant overtime.
For the first 10 minutes, the match remained even. Just moments after the second 10-minute half began, the Hornets managed to slip a goal past the Scots keeper, Bryan Walker. Looking back now, some players from the team could say they were physically watching their chance at making it into the NCAA tournament slip away from them.
The Scots did not receive a bid into the National Tournament last year. Fortunately, this year, the boys may have a chance to redeem themselves.
On Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, just a day shy of being one year later, Maryville College faced the Hornets for a rematch.
After months and months of preparation, and a year of contemplating what could have been done differently, the Scots knew one thing: they had to win. This year, the stakes were much higher. Just days before the match, Lynchburg’s men’s team was ranked No. 2 in the nation.
This did not stop tamper with the Scots’ confidence, and the team stepped out on the pitch ready to battle.
Early into the game, senior Tom Webster found the top of sophomore Tyler Tinker’s head to give the team the lead, making it a 1-0 game and forcing Lynchburg to play up hill.
Maryville’s rookie goalie, Zack Gutzman, stopped everything that Lynchburg threw at him the rest of the day, including a counterattack from the Hornets in the final seconds, earning him his second shutout of the season.
Everything the soccer Scots have worked for the past year finally paid off.
The team worked together as a whole. The offense outshot Lynchburg 16-8 in just the first half; the goalkeeper stopped anything that came his way; the midfield tussled in the air; and the defense contested each and every ball.
One outstanding player of the weekend was another freshman, fullback Payne Fisher. The engineering major from Columbia, Tenn., earned the Shellenberger Classic’s tournament MVP.
Other members of the Scots earning awards last weekend included Gutzman, senior Jake Holt, junior John “Scottie” Robertson and Tinker, all of whom were named to the all-tournament team.
The Scots are set to play their first home game on Wednesday, Sept. 21, against Transylvania at 7 p.m. The men then hit the road on Saturday, Sept. 24, for a match against Oglethorpe at 7 p.m.