The Bobcats had one of the toughest spring schedules of the past decade set and along with an injury hit team did themselves proud against some of the best teams in the country.
The season kicked off with games against King College and Carson Newman College. Both games were played at Carson Newman and the bobcats were able to tie King with a score of 2-2 with Kyle McGimsey and Diego Cordiero getting on the score sheet for the Bobcats. Straight after this game the Bobcats would turn around and face Carson Newman ranked #15 in the nation and while they put up a good fight Carson Newman came away with the 1-0 victory.
The Bobcats would struggle to score goals throughout the spring as they were never able to play with an out and out forward because of injuries. Ian Dargavel, usually a center half for the Bobcats would play up front for much of the spring.
Next on the schedule for the Bobcats were UNCG, Gardner Webb, and Guildford. All games were played at UNCG. The first game for the Bobcats would be against UNCG who had finished the season #15 in the nation. It was always going to be a tough game for the Bobcats with only a days rest and injury hit squad but again they would put up a good fight only losing the game 1-0. It did not get any easier for the Bobcats as they turned right around and played Gardner Webb who had competed in the NCAA tournament last season. Again the Bobcats would fight hard but as they started to become tired in the late stages Gardner Webb would snatch a dubious penalty goal for the 1-0 victory. Finally the Bobcats would finish out the day with a 0-0 against Guildford.
Next on the schedule were UNC Chapel Hill and Campbell, both games were played at Elon University. UNC Chapel hill had finished last season #19 in the nation and were able to defeat the Bobcats 2-0. However it was a closer game than the score line suggests as the Bobcats fought hard but made mistakes for the goals conceded. Straight after this game the Bobcats would turn around and play Campbell finishing that game with a 1-1 tie. Kyle McGimsey would score for the Bobcats after a great finish on a through ball. However the Bobcats would give away an unnecessary free-kick on the edge of the box after a late tackle giving Campbell the chance to tie the game.
Next on the schedule was a trip close to home against local rivals Appalachian State. The Bobcats would travel to Boone and play both Appalachian State and Emory and Henry College. The first game was against Emory and Henry and the Bobcats played some of their best soccer of the spring winning the game 5-0. Scorers for the Bobcats were Jonathan Bownes (2), Matthew Lacey, Andre Melkonyan, and Michael Lind. The Bobcats would then turn around and play Appalachian State in a local rivalry, with both teams out to get bragging rights it was a close affair with the Bobcats fighting hard to try and get the win. Finally the game ended 0-0 and was probably a fair result with both teams having chances to win the game.
The final trip on the Bobcat schedule would be to Lenoir Rhyne College to face Lenoir Rhyne and Darlington. The first game would be against Lenoir Rhyne and former Bobcat Coach Adrian Blewitt. Lenoir finished last season #5 in the Nation and it was always going to be a tough game for the Bobcats. However the game was a close affair with Bobcats going down 1-0 off a free kick after the Bobcat goalkeeper Dylan Lawrence handled the ball outside the box. The final game of the spring would be against Darlington and the Bobcats would finish on a high winning the game 2-0. Matthew Lacey and Diego Cordiero would score for the Bobcats.
Chris Whalley Commented:
"It was always going to be a tough spring for us because not only did we play top quality opposition but due to injuries we had a depleted squad. This is hard for any team especially when you are playing at times 3 games in one day. I am pleased with the boy's efforts this spring and I think it has been a very successful one as we have been able to see people play in different positions and given guys plenty of playing time. We competed well against some of the best teams in the nation; however I definitely look forward to next season when we can start playing with a full squad again."