Lady Barons high-spirited despite loss to North Georgia

MOUNT VERNON -- A visitor to the Brewton-Parker College women's soccer team's locker room Saturday afternoon, after the Lady Barons' 3-0 loss to North Georgia College and State University, probably would have been baffled by the cheerful banter going around the room and the smiles on the faces of the Lady Barons.

"Isn't this the losing team?" the hypothetical visitor might ask. Although the Lady Barons lost the Georgia-Alabama Carolina Conference game at the Ed Moses Soccer Field, they played tough and gave the heavily favored visitors about all the competition they really wanted.

"This was our best performance end-to-end of the season," said Bill Glass, first-year coach of the Lady Barons. "We played 90 minutes of strong determined soccer."

The Lady Barons came out seeking to establish a strong midfield presence in front of their reliable back line. To accomplish this they moved sophomore Kelly Mosley of Appling from left back to left midfield, where she joined the usual midfielders -- junior Karen Taylor of Burlington, Ontario; sophomore Ashley Meyer of Alma Ontario; and sophomore Brandi Culpepper of Virginia Beach, Va.

This move was made possible by the recent strong defensive play of freshman forward Ginny Ashley of Adel, who was moved to the left back position for this game.

At the outset of the game it was apparent that the Lady Barons were holding their own in the midfield, disrupting North Georgia's attack and launching counter-attacks out of the midfield.

"This was not what North Georgia expected of us," Glass said. "We had them on their back heels for most of the first half."

The first 40 minutes of the match the game was scoreless, although both Brewton-Parker and North Georgia were able to create good chances for themselves. Then, with five minutes left in the first half, North Georgia scored a brilliant goal from the left side, which deflected into the net off the far post.

The Lady Barons kept their cool despite this goal, came out in the second half sticking to their game plan and immediately threatened with a strong shot on goal by Meyer. As the half wore on, however, nagging injuries, a bee sting and a lack of reserves took their toll.

First, the visiting Lady Saints (5-3-2 overall, 4-1 GACC) scored on a penalty kick and a little later they got their final goal when the Lady Barons' back line got out of sync temporarily due to some miscommunication among the players.

"We were unable to keep up the pressure on North Georgia in the second half and as result just gave them to many opportunities," Glass said. "It was not a matter of letting up -- there was absolutely no let-up -- it was just that when we had to reshuffled the lineup during the game in order to replace injured players, we lost the ability to take the game to our opponent that we had at the start."

The Lady Barons strong play against North Georgia went a long way toward assuaging the pain that was felt by the team after their 1-0 loss at home to Emmanuel College on Oct. 7 last Tuesday when, after 85 minutes of solid play, the Brewton-Parker team was scored on with less then five minutes to go by an Emmanuel player who Glass said appeared to be offside.

"That was a heartbreaker," Glass said. "But the ladies put that game in their rear-view mirror and came out with a winning attitude against North Georgia -- that's the character of this team."

The Lady Barons (2-13-1, 0-4-1 GACC) play their last home game of the season on Wednesday against the Indiana-based University of Saint Francis starting at 3 p.m. Brewton-Parker then will travel to Gainesville, Ga., on Saturday for a GACC match against Brenau University beginning at noon.

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Brewton-Parker College midfielder Ashley Meyer (No. 9) a sophomore from Alma, Ontario, passes the ball to freshman forward Brittany Evans of Louisville, Ga., in the Lady Barons' Oct. 7 game against Emmanuel College at the Ed Moses Soccer Field on the Brewton-Parker campus in Mount Vernon. (Photo by Charles Conkin)