Thomas Campbell Blog #12: Goin' to the dance
Thomas Campbell is a senior forward on the UNC Greensboro men's soccer team. This year will be different for the three-year starter, however. Campbell, UNCG's leading scorer last season, will be sitting out his redshirt season while recovering from a knee injury he suffered last spring. Each Friday, Campbell will blog about the Spartans' soccer season, his teammates, his classes and his journey back to the soccer pitch in the rehab process.
It has been a very exciting week for the UNCG Men's Soccer team. We had a great weekend on the road at the conference tournament. On Friday, we played Georgia Southern in the semifinal. It was a hard-fought game and both teams had a couple chances but could not finish them. The game ended up going into penalty kicks and Nate Berry came up big. We ended up winning 3-2 in PK's with Nate saving 2 of them. It was very exciting to get the win and the first time in conference history that a seventh seed advanced to the final.
Saturday was a relaxing day. The conference tournament was at Davidson. It's only an hour and 15 minutes from UNCG, so we were able to come home. The guys spent Saturday getting treatments and preparing themselves for the conference tournament final on Sunday. Saturday night was another fun team night. We went bowling once again. Tebatso Manyama officially takes over the ranks as the worst bowler in the history of bowling. Last blog I said that coach Brittsan might have been the worst bowler ever but after Saturday night Tebatso is officially the worst after shooting a 23 through 7 frames. That is absolutely terrible.
After bowling we went to a team dinner again at Kabuto, a
Japanese steakhouse in town. It has seemed to work so far since
every pregame meal there has been followed by a win.
Sunday was an exciting day. We left Greensboro at 9 am for a 1 pm kickoff. For me, even though I am not playing this year it was my fourth SoCon tournament final in four years. The game was against College of Charleston, who won there semi-final game vs. Elon by a score of 4-1. The game started very fast paced. It took a good 15 minutes for the game to settle down and for each team to set there own rhythm.
The first half was scoreless until the last 30 seconds when Corey Maret scored. We went into halftime very hyped up and were determined to finish the game. We came out in the second half playing very well but gave up a good goal about halfway through the second half. That tied the game 1-1.
After they had tied the game it was pretty frantic until Tebatso broke through and scored to take the lead at 2-1. We held on to that 2-1 lead and won our third SoCon tournament title in 4 years. Although I did not play in it this year, it is my third SoCon tournament title in 4 years. This win gave us an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament as well which is a great turn around to a season full of many lows. Jokull Elisabetaron, Tebatso, Matt Elliot, and Joe Burnett all made the tournament team. Joe won tournament MVP.
It was a great accomplishment for him as this was his first full season of action since he has been here at UNCG. After living with Joe my sophomore year and witnessing all his hard work and determination to become a full-time starter, it was nice to see all his hard work pay off.
The bus ride home was even better then winning. It has been a
team joke since I was a freshman for Jokull to sing Hotel
California by the Eagles. On the bus ride home he got the
microphone and belted out a classic version of the Eagles jam.
Monday was another busy day. I had rehab in the morning and a drug test at 4 o'clock. (Any time one of our teams qualifies for the tournament, we do it as standard policy.) The NCAA tournament selection show was on at 6pm, so the whole team met at a restaurant on campus to watch it on TV. The local news and campus media people were all there to witness the team's reaction. We ended up with a great draw facing Duke on the road Friday evening at 7pm. Duke is a very good team so it's going to be a good challenge for us.
The rest of the week went very slow and was very cold. I've had my basic schedule of rehab in the morning, class in the afternoon followed by weights and practice. The team has been playing very well and practice has continued to be very good. We have peaked at the right time and hopefully the guys don't just settle for an NCAA appearance. Hopefully they want to get a couple wins and try and get past the Sweet 16 since we have never done that here at UNCG. It's going to be a challenge so let's see how we do.
Till next time... adios.
Thomas Campbell, #7, UNCG Men's Soccer
- UNCG -