Lady Barons come out even, form unbeaten streak

MOUNT VERNON -- It has been said that a tie game is just about as exciting as watching paint dry or like kissing your sister.

For the Brewton-Parker College Lady Barons soccer team, however, their scoreless tie Saturday at Southern Wesleyan University proved to be a real nail-biter, said Lady Barons coach Bill Glass.

The teams fought to the draw after 90 minutes of regulation time and 20 minutes of overtime in the Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference match in Central, S.C.

The deadlock followed Brewton-Parker's 1-0 win over Wesleyan College in Macon on Sept. 13, thus forming the Lady Barons' first unbeaten streak since the 2001 team won two straight.

"They did a great job moving the ball around and playing little through balls," Glass said of the host Lady Warriors on Saturday, "but we always seemed to come up with an answer."

Often that answer was provided by the Lady Barons' outstanding sophomore goalkeeper, Michelle McRaven of Brunswick, who had 13 saves in the match.

Southern Wesleyan (5-1-2 overall, 2-0-1 GACC) had 22 shots on goal, more than three times as many as the Lady Barons' seven, but Brewton-Parker (1-6-1, 0-1-1) actually had the edge in corner kicks with five as opposed to Southern Wesleyan's four.

"Sophomore Ashly Meyer of Alma, Ontario, served in some very dangerous balls on corners," Glass said. "We really had some great opportunities to score the game-winner but just could not finish."

Still, Glass considered the result excellent considering that the Lady Barons played without subs, were one player down for a long stretch and really do not have experienced players at every position.

"We might have scored a goal or two against Southern Wesleyan by pushing more players up into the attack," Glass said. "But in the process, we would surely have given up more then we scored."

Glass said the Lady Barons' midfield play was the key to their success in the match, with Karen Taylor, a junior from Burlington, Ontario, and Meyer combining in central midfield to break up Southern Wesleyan attacks and quickly launch counterattacks.

"Karen Taylor, along with Kendra Sewell -- a senior from Canton -- are our captains, they both play centrally, lead by example and are very vocal," said Glass.

Outside midfielders Erin Bower, a freshman from Waycross, and sophomore Brandi Culpepper of Virginia Beach, Va., served as targets for outlet passes during Brewton-Parker attacks then got back to help out on defense when needed.

"Brandi and Erin both had their best match of the year," Glass said.

After the game, Glass said several spectators who have been following the Lady Barons noted the improved teamwork over the last two outings.

"Earlier in the season, we had a tendency for some of our players to lose patience, forget the game plan and go off buccaneering on their own, thus leaving big gaps for our opponents to exploit on counters," Glass said.

"On Saturday, we played together as a team on both sides of the ball, held our shape and were able to stymie the other team while creating occasional chances for ourselves, I was very pleased with this effort."

The Lady Barons' improvement set the table for what will be a very busy week, with four matches scheduled in a five-day stretch.

After playing Oglethorpe University at home Tuesday afternoon, Brewton-Parker visits the University of South Carolina-Aiken for a 5 p.m. match Wednesday.

The Lady Barons then travel to Brevard, N.C., for action in the Brevard College Tournament, with a Friday match against Southern Virginia University at 4:30 p.m. and an 11 a.m. game Saturday against Brevard.

Brewton-Parker returns to GACC action Wednesday, Oct. 1, with a 4 p.m. match at Shorter College in Rome.