Oxford Lady Eagles eager for their first win

OXFORD -- Although the Oxford College women's soccer team lost its season opener last Friday at Judson College in Alabama, Lady Eagles coach Gregory Moss-Brown said the Lady Eagles are eager to even their record at their home opener on Thursday.

The Lady Eagles, who fell to Judson 4-0, will welcome Tennessee-Temple at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bivings Field on the Oxford College campus.

"We're ready," said Moss-Brown, in his second season coaching at Oxford, on Monday morning. "We're a little banged up after Friday's game. It was tough in the sense that (Judson's) numbers were so far superior -- they had 24 players. The girls persisted and had a great showing; I was very impressed with their ability. We could work a little harder on our fitness, but we have a couple of days to rest and train and then we'll see how it goes."

The only Division III team in Georgia at the National Junior College Athletic Association level, Oxford has a 13-player roster and Moss-Brown said he expects to bring in another player this week.

"We play all Division I teams in Georgia," he said. "That makes things challenging, but we're holding on strong."

A native of London, Moss-Brown came to America as a teenager to play soccer at Hartwick College in upstate New York (where he was a two-time All-America selection) and has been involved in coaching for more than two decades.

After a four-year career as a professional player, Moss-Brown served as an assistant coach at Bard College in New York and coached at his alma mater, at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., and on the high school level in Louisville, Ky.

Prior to arriving in Newton County, Moss-Brown coached for a year at State University of New York-Cobleskill. In addition to his coaching duties, Moss-Brown will teach in Oxford's Health Science/Physical Education Department.

"Coming to Oxford gives me the opportunity to continue teaching and coach at the college level," he said. "It's wonderful to teach and work in this kind of academic environment."

The Lady Eagles saw eight players graduate and added five new players in the offseason. Moss-Brown said it's a challenge to recruit for Oxford (which doesn't provide athletic scholarships), but he's pleased to welcome players he feels will make "a good fit."

"Last year was my first year and all the players were ones I inherited," he said. "To get into the recruiting flow, you really need a good four years to find your niche. Sometimes it's a challenge recruiting, but it's part of the job. Four of our players from last season went on to try out for the team at Emory, so that's a pitch we offer here -- come here and then go on and play at Emory."

Oxford will be captained this year by Allison Gilland, a sophomore midfielder from Conyers (Young American Christian), and Anna Bausum, a sophomore midfielder from Richmond Hill. Moss-Brown said he was particularly pleased with the play of freshman Kalysea Lovan, a midfielder/forward from nearby Grayson.

"She's settled in fabulously and will be an impact player for us," Moss-Brown said of Lovan.

For more information on the Oxford College women's soccer team, visit http://oxford.emory.edu/athletics/ or Oxford College Athletics on Facebook.