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Saturday, September 12, 2009When Lipscomb Bisons soccer coach Charles Morrow makes out his line-up each game, one of his biggest decisions is who to play in net.
Both Brent McGee and Patrick Walsh, both sophomores, have spent time in goal the past two seasons. Often they have split either halves or games.
“Last year we split up games with them early on,” said Morrow. “About the middle of the season Patrick sort of won the battle and he ended up winning the starting job.
“We split up games and sometimes we split up halves. We are getting better results this year by splitting games instead of halves.”
McGee started against Michigan State Friday night; a 2-0 loss in the first round of the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Morrow did not say if McGee or Walsh would be in goal Sunday when the Bisons play host Michigan at 1:30 Sunday afternoon in the second round.
Michigan, 8-1 in its own tournament over the past five seasons, beat Wright State 3-0 Friday night with a strong effort late in the game.
Michigan is 3-1-0. Lipscomb is 2-1-1.
Both players have all the tools to be successful as goalkeepers, but there are differences in the way each one approaches the job.
“Brent, because of his size, has more of a physical presence,” said Morrow. “But Patrick is not a small guy by any means.
“Patrick probably reads the game better and is more technical. Patrick is probably a better shot stopper where Brent is probably better on balls that have been served.”
But when Morrow provides these contrasts he is quick to point out that any differences between McGee and marginal.
“Right now, Brent is solid and consistent,” said Morrow. “Patrick is also solid and consistent, but he has shown both in games last year and in training that he has the ability to come up with a big time save. He will get to a ball and make a save that he has no business saving.”
Both have recorded a shutout this season.
Morrow thinks the best thing about having two talented goalkeepers is that they have both adjusted to sharing time in the net.
“It is a healthy competition,” said Morrow. “They work well together in training. There is no animosity. And I have seen situations where that is not always the case.
“They understand the situation. They handle it well. I am not totally set on having one starting goalkeeper by a certain date. As long as they are handling it the way they are handling it, then it will be a good situation for everybody.”
Actually, Morrow has three talented net minders. Sophomore Joey DeRosa shutout every team he faced during spring games.
“Joey is also a very good goalkeeper,” said Morrow. “We are fortunate to have three good ones.”