Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

September 11, 2012

Concord men's soccer plays first home match today

CU takes on WVU-Tech at 4 p.m.

ATHENS — The Concord University men’s soccer team has had to visit other schools for their first four games of the season. Today at 4 p.m., the tables will be turned as the Mountain Lions take to Anderson Field for their first home match of the year against WVU–Tech.

“It is an advantage,” Concord head coach Steve Barrett said on Monday evening. “Going away, there are a lot of factors — going on that bus, being in a strange place. The crowd at other places [can] give you a hard time.

“We’re at home, we’ve got the fans,” he said. “It should be hard to beat a team at home. ... We know how hard it is.”

He said he will tell his young team, “Let’s not let them take anything from us. We can make it hard for them, uncomfortable for them, to come here and play.”

Concord (1-2-1) is coming off a 2-1 loss Sunday at West Virginia Wesleyan College in their first conference match of the season.

The Golden Bears of WVU–Tech, members of the NAIA, come to Athens from Montgomery with a 3-0 record and the top ranking in their league, the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. They beat Pikeville (Ky.) 9-0 on Sunday.

“That’s going to be a difficult game,” Barrett said. “They score goals, and quite a few of them. ... It’s tough to know how good they are, but what we do know is they’re 3-0 and they’ve scored 16 goals in three games.”

Concord stocked up its roster with freshmen in the off-season, a move that Barrett said is “working out well.” There are 12 eligible newcomers, and the coach noted, “Six or seven of them have started at some point.”

He said the freshmen have contributed to “a different mentality. They’ve got great attitudes, and that helps.”

“At the same time, they’re learning, as such, on the job. That’s just part of starting so many youngsters. They’re going to make mistakes. The last few games they’ve made fewer of them. They’ve been competitive, and will continue to be as they get better.”

Barrett added, “The returning players have blended in with them. They have brought the level of competition up.”

Concord’s season began with an 8-0 loss to Trevecca Nazarene on Aug. 31 at Muskingum University in Ohio. The next day ended with a scoreless tie with Muskingum.

“Talk about freshmen, they grew up in a hurry,” Barrett said about the season start.

The Mountain Lions’ win came last Thursday, 2-0 against Bluefield College, with goals by Richard Vincent and Cameron Russell.

Barrett said about Sunday’s encounter at Buckhannon, “Wesleyan, again this year they’re one of the better teams. To go there and lose 2-1 is not that bad. Of course, you always want to win.”

The Bobcats scored their goals in the first 22 minutes and Concord held its own the rest of the way.

“The second half, we gave them some problems, and that’s encouraging,” Barrett said. “We felt at the end had a good chance to equalize and just came up short. ... We have to score more goals. That’s something we’re working on.”

“We didn’t outshoot them, but we restricted them,” he said. “To put it simply, just stop the opposition from scoring, and put the ball in the net, and we win. We’ve been stopping them. ... I think our defenders have done a good job.”

Senior goalkeeper Matt Hamilton has 15 saves and two shutouts to his credit.

“He’s solid back there,” Barrett said. In the Wesleyan game, “He pulled off a couple of good saves. He’s playing his part.”

Junior Tyler Farrar scored Concord’s lone goal at Wesleyan, and at Muskingum he issued seven shots, two on goal. He is CU’s statistical leader with 10 shots, a goal and an assist.

Barrett said, “We’re expecting big things from him. He’s done a good job. He had a nice assist against Bluefield College. That’s what we’re expecting from him, to be in the thick of it, with the position he plays and his build.”

Asked about the rest of the conference schedule, Barrett said, “We’ll definitely be competitive. Conference wins are hard to come by, [but] I feel good. We’re doing some things well. We just have to play a complete game.”

The next WVIAC match for Concord will be Sunday at 2 p.m., hosting Shepherd at Anderson Field.

The Bluefield College volleyball team is also scheduled to play its home opener this evening at the Dome Gymnasium. The Lady Rams will take on Mid-South Conference opponent UVa-Wise at 6 p.m.

— Contact Tom Bone at

tbone@bdtonline.com

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