December 4, 2006

2006 Alumni Letter & Season Review

Banner Elk, NC--The Bobcats had very high expectations going into last season and with a final record of, 8-7-3 it was a disappointing end to a very promising start.

The Bobcats opened the 2006 campaign against very strong competition on the 25th and 28th of August against Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke. Both teams were highly ranked in the Southeast Region going into the games. The Bobcats beat Francis Marion with a very convincing 4-1 win, and then turned around 2 days later and tied UNC Pembroke 1-1. The next two fixtures had the Bobcats traveling to Clayton State for the "Laker shootout", a tournament involving Lees-McRae, Clayton State, Queens, and North Georgia. The Bobcats played two games against Clayton State and North Georgia, winning both games and taking the winners trophy back to Banner Elk. The Clayton State game was arguably the best of the Bobcats season as they showed much character coming back from a two goal deficit to win the game 3-2 in the final minutes. The game against North Georgia was a much easier contest as the Bobcats ran away 4-1 winners.

After a great start to the season the Bobcats were on a high, ranked 2nd in the Southeast Region and 21st in the Nation. The next fixture came with much anticipation and excitement as the Bobcats faced Lander, a team they had beaten last season, and a team that stood between the Bobcats and a 1st place ranking in the Southeast region. The game was very much an anti-climax for the Bobcats as a very impressive Lander team punished every Bobcat mistake to win the game 5-1.

However the Bobcats were able to bounce back and win the next game against Anderson 3-2, putting the team on a high going into the game against rivals Queens University. The Bobcats started well scoring first and holding onto the lead for much of the game until the final minutes when Queens found an equalizer. The game went back and forth through two periods of overtime before Queens got the winner. This was the start of a disappointing losing streak for the Bobcats as they lost the next two games against King College, and a very close encounter with USC Upstate.
The Bobcats played really well against USC Upstate but fell to the Spartans, ranked 7th in the nation at the time, 0-1. The Bobcats took away the positives from their previous game, snapping their losing streak with a well rounded team effort defeating conference foe Coker, 4-1. This game sparked a run of undefeated games for the Bobcats as they were able to win two and tie two of their next four games, beating St Andrews 3-0 and getting results at both Erskine and Limestone, 1-1 and 2-2 respectively. The final win of the four games came against Mount Olive on Homecoming. The Bobcats honored fallen teammate Michael Shope, presenting his parents with a signed soccer ball from all the players and a bouquet of flowers before the game. Gifts that Michael himself would have received on his senior day. It was a fitting game to honor Shopey's memory as he had got both winning goals in the previous two years the Bobcats faced Mount Olive. The Bobcats did not disappoint Shopey as they played some of the best soccer they had all year running away with the 2-0 win.
Unfortunately this was one of the last good games the Bobcats would play as they lost the next two games out of three losing to Pfeiffer 2-1, and Belmont Abbey 3-1. The Bobcats would finish the conference in 6th place meaning they would play 3rd place Limestone in the Quarter Final of the Tournament in Gaffney, South Carolina. The Bobcats were in poor form going into the tournament but still very optimistic about their chances having shown earlier in the season they can beat the best teams in the Region. The game and final result was a very disappointing way to go out with the Bobcats losing 4-0.

The Bobcats were ranked 13th in the country during the season, which was the highest ranking in the program's history. This followed the 2005 season in which the team was ranked nationally for 3 weeks.

There were some good individual performances throughout the season, but the Bobcats never consistently came together as a team. Notable performances from some individuals on the season came from Berin Boracic as he led the Bobcat scoring charts with 15 goals, earning him first team all conference, and second team all region honors. Matthew lacey was able to score 8 goals from midfield and led as a captain throughout earning him second team all conference and second team all region honors.

Alumni Game

We have set the date for the 2007 Alumni game, last year was a great turnout and we are hoping for even more this year. The current Bobcats will face the alumni March 24th 2007 in a 1:00pm kickoff. Afterwards, all former and current members of the team are invited to the Banner Elk Café for a post match meal. After that I am sure the alumni will party the night away and catch up on old memories!

Thanks to all he guys that came out and played last year and we hope to see you again this time around. Last years Alumni team consisted of:

Goalkeeper - Calvin Dixon (2004)
Defender- Ian Batson (2004)
Defender- Luke Patterson (2003)
Defender- Jeff Tate (2003)
Defender- Nik Nixon (2004)
Midfield-Chris Whalley (Head coach)
Midfield- Josh Gillon (2003)
Midfield- Callan Welder (1999)
Midfield- Nick Young (2002)
Forward- Les Brousssard (1927)
Forward- Sebastian Wild