Wednesday, August 10, 2016

February Wrap-Up

  The young Vikings have wrapped up their toughest February in program history.  These out-of-conference contests weathered the Vikings and will prepare them for a strong SAA run despite their 2-3 losing record.  February's contests began when the young Vikings hosted Colorado College who had beat BC 10-0 in 2015.  Berry jumped out to a 2-0 score and trailed 5-4 at the half.  Despite losing 14-8 to the Tigers who advanced to the NCAA tournament, they proved that the 2016 team is a formidable one.  Two days later, Berry avenged the loss with a 17-9 win over Methodist, who was coached by Berry College's former Assistant Zach Nedbalski and alumni Max Smerka.
  The Vikings then played host to #15 ranked Roanoke and took their lumps often against the storied program.  "It was certainly an eye opener for our 15 freshmen," explained Coach Gilbert.  "I want Roanoke and teams like them on the schedule to show us the level that we need to play at to be a National force.  We are certainly competitive in the SAA, but I want to be competitive on a National level," Gilbert added.  
  Again, Berry bounced back with a win against their in-state opponent, Piedmont with a 12-3 win which featured 6 different scorers.  The following weekend the Vikings took an 11 hour ride North to face #4 ranked Denison University, where Coach Gilbert had previously coached as an Assistant, however the Big Red were too much for the Vikings and handed them their 3rd loss of the month.  Denison went on to advance to the NCAA Semi-Finals before falling to National Champion Salisbury University.

  "February is a time to mature and get more competitive, and while some programs would be happy with an undefeated record, I would rather play in championships and these games help us take steps in that direction,"  Gilbert explained.  He then added "it's not how you play in the beginning of the year, as much as how you are playing at the end of April that matters the most to me."

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