VIDEO: Kavi Luchowa Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The men's soccer team opened its home schedule with an electric 4-2 win over Clayton State on Saturday and now looks to keep the momentum going, heading back onto the road for the first South Atlantic Conference game against Mars Hill.
Saturday's victory saw a quick 3-0 C-N lead within the first 10 minutes of play. Sophomore Tobias Solem Karlsen had two goals in that span of time before finding the back of the net just 20 seconds into the second half to give him a hat trick on the evening, marking the first time in exactly two years that an Eagle had completed the feat. His performance garnered a Co-Player of the Week honor from the SAC on Monday.
"To come home and play at home and get a good win like that, it sends out a good message to other teams that we're strong at home," assistant coach Kavi Luchowa said. "We don't have that many home games, but they're the ones that we need to be winning and anything else is a bonus."
The Eagles dominated on both sides of the ball, holding the Lakers to just one goal heading into the half. Opportunities opened up after Karlsen's final goal in the second half, but neither team could fully capitalize. The Lakers attempted to make a comeback but their one goal in the second was all they were allowed.
With a conference opponent on the horizon, the attention shifts to staying poised heading into the fourth road game in a two-week span.
"We're pretty confident in our playing style right now that we'll go out and play our game," Luchowa said. "It's another away game but the boys know now how to kind of prepare for these away games. They've had a few games under their belt now away and they know they need to get themselves mentally ready at the right time and do things they need to do, so they should be ready."
Mars Hill stands at 0-3 on the season after dropping two straight shutout games to Limestone and Mount Olive before losing their home-opener to King (Tenn.) on Sept. 6.
The Lions return four of its goalscoreres from last season, including Stian Sanner and Oscar Mitchell who combined for 7 of the Lions 22 goals in 2016. Both received SAC preseason honors in August with junior defenseman Mitchell named to the All-SAC First Team while Sanner, the senior forward, was named to the Second Team.
Head Coach Gary Hamel is in his sixth season at the helm of the Mars Hill team with an overall record of 40-43-6, 28-22-3 in SAC competitions.
Last season, the Lions finished with a 6-10-1 record, 4-6-1 in SAC competitions. They landed at 7th in the SAC standings at the end of 2016 and were slated to finish in that same spot in the conference's preseason poll for 2017.