Barons advance in GACC tourney after rain-soaked 4-2 win
By Bill Glass
BPC Public Relations
Neither rain nor mud nor standing water kept the Brewton-Parker College men's soccer team from its appointed semifinal round in the Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference postseason tournament, scheduled for this weekend in Montgomery, Ala.
The Barons prevailed over a driving rain and defeated Emmanuel College 4-2 Tuesday, Oct. 28 in the first round of the GACC men's soccer playoffs at BPC's Ed Moses Soccer Field in Mount Vernon.
The game was surprisingly well played despite abysmal conditions with Brewton-Parker (11-6) establishing its typical possession style of soccer, which depends on speed of play, timing of supporting runs and accurately placed passes.
The Barons' first goal was a beautiful example of that as junior sweeper Juan Henao of Medellin, Colombia, came out of the back to run on to a ball played to him by freshman forward Nick Reynolds of Richmond Hill. Once behind the defenders, Henao took the Emmanuel keeper on and beat him with his third goal of the season to make the score 1-0.
Later in the first half, it was Reynolds' turn to finish as senior midfielder Jason Ford of Trincity, Trinidad and Tobago, played a brilliant ball through into the top left corner of the Emmanuel penalty box and Reynolds beat the keeper to it and slid it into the empty net in making the score 2-0 at halftime.
In the second half, the Barons picked up where they left off as freshman midfielder Denis Warnier of Brussels, Belgium, served a beautiful cross onto Reynolds' head, and Reynolds lost no time in burying it for his second goal - and seventh of the year - for a 3-0 Brewton-Parker lead.
As the intensity of the rain seemed to pick up and pools of standing water formed on the field, it became more difficult to put combinations together and turnovers by both teams increased.
These conditions favored the defense and Emmanuel (11-7), which had not been able to establish any possession during the game but was able to mount counterattacks off BPC turnovers. This led to the Lions' first goal in the 65th minute when a hard shot taken from the 25-yard line deflected off two Baron players and went in.
Ten minutes later, the visitors scored again when Emmanuel's sweeper came out of the back to join in a counterattack and was left unmarked at the top of the 6-yard box for an easy shot on goal, cutting Brewton-Parker's lead to 3-2.
The goals enlivened the visitors but to no avail as the Lions had the same problem controlling the ball as the Barons. Emmanuel's hopes were dashed when Brewton-Parker freshman forward Early Jackson of St. Marys won a ball in the midfield and relayed it to Warnier for the final score of the game and Warnier's second goal of the fall.
Barons coach Ben Moore was pleased with his team's performance in the run of play but not with the finishing. "We should have had more goals, we had a couple opportunities we should have finished but didn't," he said.
The third-seeded Barons move on to a GACC tournament semifinal match against No. 2 seed Reinhardt College on Friday night, Oct. 31, at 7:30 Central Time in Montgomery, and a win there would lead to a final game the next day against either regular-season conference champion Auburn University Montgomery or No. 5 seed Southern Wesleyan University (S.C.) at 1:30 p.m.
"We have to win the conference in order to advance to the regional," Moore said. "The keys will be controlling the tempo, possessing the ball, marking out the other teams forwards and finishing."
Brewton-Parker College freshman forward Nick Reynolds (No. 10 in white) of
Richmond Hill slips a shot past the Emmanuel College goalkeeper for a first-half
goal in the teams' Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference postseason tournament
first-round match Tuesday, Oct. 28, at BPC's Ed Moses Soccer Field in Mount
Vernon. Reynolds scored two goals and assisted on another in the Barons' 4-2
victory. (Photo by Charles Conkin)