Lady Barons finish season with losses, turn attention to next year

MOUNT VERNON -- The Brewton-Parker women's soccer team rounded out its season last weekend in Alabama against two perennial powerhouse teams, Auburn University Montgomery and Spring Hill College.

In the AUM game, in the teams' Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference regular-season finale played on Oct. 23 in Montgomery, the Lady Barons came out flat and quickly found themselves behind.

They went on to absorb a 9-0 shellacking at the hands of the more powerful AUM team, which finished the GACC season at 7-0.

"I was impressed that our ladies were able to get it together during the middle portion of the game despite our worst start of the year," said Lady Barons coach Bill Glass, whose first team at Brewton-Parker finished 2-17-1 overall and 0-6-1 in the conference. "But in the end stages, as in the beginning, we lacked cohesion and intensity."

AUM (9-4-2 overall and ranked No. 17 nationally by the NAIA) out-shot the Lady Barons 34-4, with all four BPC shots coming from sophomore midfielder Ashley Meyer of Alma, Ontario. Brewton-Parker sophomore goalkeeper Michelle McRaven of Brunswick was called upon to make 29 saves in the game.

After that game, the Lady Barons traveled to Mobile, Ala., for their last game of the year, a non-conference meeting against Spring Hill College on Oct. 24.

The next morning, the team went out early to a nearby park for a short practice session and team meeting. During the meeting, players publicly stated their goals for the upcoming match.

That evening, the Lady Barons came out and played 90 minutes of hard soccer. Spring Hill, aware of BPC's dismal showing the day before, was expecting a walkover. What the Lady Badgers got instead was a dogfight.

"Our ladies fought for every ball," Glass said. "It was a great way to end the season."

Glass said it is a measure of the strength of the Spring Hill side that the Lady Badgers still prevailed by a score of 5-0 despite BPC's best efforts.

Spring Hill scored one goal on a penalty kick and one on a set piece, while the other three they earned in the run-of-play. Despite the lopsided score, Glass was pleased.

"I am not going to start naming the names of those who stood out in this game because it would just be a recitation of our entire roster," he said, " but one person who has just been great all year once again left it all on the field and that was senior Kendra Sewell of Canton, playing in her last college game."

After the game, the BPC players were proud that they had accomplished the goals they had set for themselves that morning and exuberantly celebrated the satisfactory conclusion to their season by emptying a full 20-gallon drum of ice water over their coach.

The Brewton-Parker women's soccer program now looks forward to some off-season conditioning, a few spring scrimmages and a lot of recruiting activity between now and next year.

Glass has sent letters out to close to 100 prospective players and talked with more than 20 who are interested in coming to Brewton-Parker. The school is already processing applications from five soccer players for the fall 2004 semester.

"We will have a strong group of returning players along with a solid corps of freshman at the start of our next season," Glass said. "The players and I are already excited about playing next year."