Chants of “Mighty Banyans” were heard loud and clear on Sept. 3 at the Robert L. Taylor Community Center in Newtown, where students and faculty gathered to watch the New College Mighty Banyans Soccer Team take on the Florida College Falcons. It was their first game and many of New College’s new athletics coaches were in attendance. Interim President Richard Corcoran also joined to watch and support the new team in their first win.
There were some returning New College students at this game, but a majority of the student crowd was made up of athletes from the newly formed basketball, baseball, soccer and softball programs. Parents of Florida College (FC) students came to support the Falcons, and though they were few compared to the New College crowd, they chanted loudly and gave their team some much needed encouragement as they entered the second half down 2-0. The game was fought hard, and both teams were fairly physical with one another. In one play, a Falcons player ran straight into one of the Banyans and launched him off the field, out of bounds, and stared him down. Luckily, the player was not hurt in the incident. There were a few collisions in the second half that had the audience worried, but both teams left the field without any major injury.
The halftime show was interesting to watch. The Mighty Banyans tested the skills of the students in the Athletics Department with a soccer drill race. There were two teams consisting of three students from various sports each dribbling around soccer cones, and whichever team won would advance to the next round. There were three rounds, the first being the men’s baseball team going up against players from women’s basketball. The baseball players won the first round, next up was the men’s basketball team against the women’s softball team. The men’s basketball team emerged victorious in that round. In the final round, they played against men’s baseball players, and the men’s basketball team won the halftime show game.
Going into the second half, the Falcons had to step up if they were going to have a chance of winning against the Banyans. They needed to respond, and they did, coming out of the gate with a goal, making the score 2-1. Although they scored that goal, there was little they could do afterwards as the Banyans stepped up both their offensive and defensive efforts.
Push they did, as the Falcons forced a penalty kick with about ten minutes to spare, which they scored. In soccer, ten minutes on the clock is not a lot of time, so both teams had to stay focused. The Banyans were sharper, defending well and getting a stop every time the Falcons pushed it up the field. The Banyans ended up scoring yet another goal as well during this second period, and with that the Banyans earned their first win in program history and their regular season, with the final score set at 3-2.
After the game, there were the usual sportsmanlike pleasantries, with both teams lining up to shake hands. The coaches, along with Corcoran, headed out to the field to take pictures with the players and congratulate them on their hard-fought first win.