Coaches sometimes find it hard to gauge just where their team stands in the national picture when it comes to early season competition. That will not be the issue for Tim Wolz and his St. Catharine College Patriots. They will open the season Saturday at 4:00 against visiting Lindsey Wilson, the defending NAIA National Champions who finished last season 23-0.
“You’d like to think that it would be a good time to play them in the first game,” said Wolz, “but really there is no good time to catch them.”
The Patriots got their first look at an outside opponent Saturday when they hosted Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. They blanked the Barons 5-0 as they completely dominated the contest.
“It was good to finally play against someone other than your own team,” said Wolz. “It was good experience for our young guys to get in some real game competition.”
And while Wolz will be counting on a handful of young players this season, he is relying heavily on a senior corps to rebound from last year’s 3-14-1 campaign in which the Patriots were 1-6 in the Mid-South Conference.
“We have a lot of experience coming back which should be a big asset for us,” Wolz added. “We have to stay healthy and get some good leadership from our four seniors and improved play from our younger guys.”
In Saturday’s win the Patriots got two goals from sophomore Ashley Woods (Manchester, England), and one each from Raymond Mkandama (Kigoma, Tanzania), Derek Cissell (Lebanon, Ky.) and Rex Catron (Winchester, Ky.). St. Catharine stifled the Barons’ offense, allowing them just one shot on goal.
“One big thing we need to work on is possessing the ball,” Wolz stated. “We need to take more time with the ball.”
The Patriots’ final pre-season scrimmage is today (Wednesday) at home against Spalding University at 6:00. The regular season opener at Barber Field against Lindsey Wilson begins at 4:00.