Barons riding high into postseason despite losses

By Bill Glass
BPC Public Relations
MOUNT VERNON -- The Brewton-Parker College men's soccer team put its nine-game winning streak on the line when the Barons headed to Alabama last week to play two away games against top-notch competition.

On Oct. 23 in Montgomery, the Barons saw the win streak come to an end against Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference-leading Auburn University Montgomery as the Barons absorbed a 2-1 loss to the NAIA nationally ranked No. 2 Senators.

"I was not unhappy with the way we played," Barons coach Ben Moore said. "They got one goal on a corner kick and one off a mistake we made in the back."

The Barons' lone score was put in by freshman midfielder Iain Thomson of London, Ontario, assisted by freshman forward Nick Reynolds of Richmond Hill. The Barons had 12 shots on goal versus 11 for AUM, along with five corner kicks to the Senators' four.

"Our stats looked very good against AUM," said Moore, whose team finished the GACC season with a 4-2 record and in a tie for second place with Reinhardt College while AUM went 6-0. "We out-shot them."

The Barons then headed south to Mobile, Ala., for a match against NAIA Region XIII power Spring Hill College. Again, Brewton-Parker came away with a loss -- the final result was 2-0 -- but this time Moore was not happy with his team.

"They did not play the way I asked them to," he said. "We play a possession game, but for some reason our guys just went out there and started whacking it."

After a scoreless first half, as the Barons allowed themselves to be drawn into an exchange of long balls, the tide shifted in favor of Spring Hill, a team that customarily plays it long.

First, the Badgers scored on a shot that deflected off two players before it went in. "Our keeper had no chance on that one," Moore said.

Spring Hill's insurance goal came in a driving rain off a cross pass played into the box. The ball got loose and was finally hammered home by a Spring Hill player standing on the back corner of the 6-yard box. "It was a lack of marking," Moore said.

In the end, Spring Hill took 16 shots on goal as opposed to 11 by Brewton-Parker. "We just did not possess the ball and as a result they out-shot us," Moore said.

One positive to come out of the AUM and Spring Hill games is that, despite the losses, the Barons (10-6 overall) entered the postseason at their peak level of play.

"Teams like AUM and Spring Hill bring out the best in you," Moore said. "We will be ready to hit the ground running this week."

The Barons opened play in the GACC conference tournament at home in a quarterfinal match against Emmanuel on Tuesday, with the winner advancing to the GACC Final Four in Montgomery on Friday.

The championship finals will be Saturday, and the Barons also could be involved in Region XIII beginning next week.