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Cougars Fall Short in Tuneup for National Tournament


(11/3/09) Clearwater Christian College travelled to Warner University to face the Lions in a tuneup for the upcoming National Tournament. The Cougars came into the match riding a 13 game unbeaten streak and were hoping to upset the Lions, the defending champ in the tough NAIA Sun Conference.

The game started slowly as both teams tried to find their rhythm early on. The Cougar defense played very well as they were able to shut down the Warner attack for most of the first half. Midway through the 1st half, Warner had the first quality chance to score, but goalkeeper Anthony DeRosse came up big for the Cougars with a terrific reaction save to keep the game scoreless. Minutes later, the Cougars had a great opportunity to take the lead when Drew Custer found Adam Stallings with a great ball around the penalty spot but Adam's shot missed over the goal. Only minutes from halftime, Warner's Gary Smith found himself alone behind the Cougar defense following a deflection and beat the keeper. There was some confusion on the play as the linesman had flagged him for offside, but after some discussion the referee signaled that the goal was good to put Warner up 1-0 going into the half.

The second half continued much like the first, with neither team able to generate many quality scoring chances. Late in the match, the Cougars pushed forward trying to generate the game tying goal. Juan Robayo was able to free himself and almost had the game tying goal when he hit a volley from 30 yards out that hit the crossbar. With less than 2 minutes to go in the match, Warner was able to get in behind the Cougar defense on a 1 v 1 opportunity that was saved by goalkeeper Jarrod Bergey, but the rebound came to Pablo Anselmo who buried the shot to seal the match for the Lions.

The Cougars will be travelling to Kissimmee, Florida for the NCCAA II National Tournament next week where they are seeded #3 and will face the #6 seed Northland in the quarterfinal match. For more information on the tournament, go to http://www.thenccaa.org/d2menssoccerchamp.htm.