The Patrick Henry College Sentinels recently beat out the Mid-Atlantic Christian University in a soccer game that ended with a final score of 2-1, marking the first win of the season for a young team with a number of new players. The PHC Sentinels had challenged MACU on the road once before this season, coming away with a 2-2 tie—a game the team knew it could have won. Since then, they had been looking forward to a chance to take their performance to a higher level in a rematch. Head Coach, Ben Purnell, had expressed that the team felt like they could have won that game.
"With the way our guys played, we should have won, to be honest, but I'm not going to complain about going on the road against a tough, well-coached team and getting a tie," Purnell said.
This past week, the Sentinels got their shot at a rematch and made the most of the opportunity.
Frank Dalton, a captain of the team, had this to say about their performance:
After a five-hour drive last Saturday to play MACU, we were encouraged by pulling out a tie in a game that we knew we could have won.
All of the guys were hungry for more, and the intensity that we showed in practice that week showed it. The big squad turnover that we had after last season has been one of the bigger challenges as the coaches have still been moving things around in the squad to find the best lineup and combinations that we can field. The tie last week was the first time that our new 4-4-2 formation clicked and the coaches effectively adjusted a few things from that game to this last one.
Everything fell into place. I'm especially proud of our defense and how much they've grown. The starting back four is composed of two freshmen and two other athletes who've played soccer for a very short time and were on the bench last season. Their effort and impact on the team cannot be understated. I also wanted to throw a shout-out to Ezra Nakamura for playing through a quad contusion this last Saturday. His hustle is invaluable to our team.
In short, I'm proud and grateful to be sharing the field with all of these guys. Even the boys who aren't getting a lot of playing time are contributing by showing up to practice and showing commitment and effort. Our primary mission as a team this season is to win, but at a deeper level we're working hard to shape the PHC culture in regards to sports.
Every single athlete on the team is working hard to make PHC sports something we can all respect and take pride in. If we're looking to be excellent as a school then why not extend that to sports as well?
Patrick Henry College aims to create a new generation of Christian leaders. Part of that training means playing well on the soccer field and doing one's best in every area of life. To learn more about what goes behind that mindset of excellence, click below!