VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The men's soccer team looks to improve to 2-0 on the season as the Eagles travel to Lees-McRae for Wednesday's match.
The Eagles (1-0) started the season with an impressive 3-0 win on Saturday at North Greenville, propelled by goals from veterans Tom Read and Johann Pereira. C-N outshot the Crusaders 15-7 in the competition with NGU putting up no shots on goal. Goalkeeper Twan Verweij needed to make no saves on the two shots he faced, helping him to pick up a clean sheet in his debut for the Eagles.
"We went up one-nil up and then kind of lost our way under pressure, but regained ourselves well and respond after the halftime talk, put in a better performance in the second half," head coach Stephen Lyons said of the team's performance. "For me that's, you know, what we're looking for as coaches, how do they respond under a bit of pressure."
Coming off of his first win leading the Orange and Blue, Lyons now looks to taking on Lees-McRae for the first time ever as a coach.
Heading into the second game and second straight road contest, the Eagles will be taking on yet another Conference Carolinas opponent. Lees-McRae comes into the game with a 1-0-1 record on the season after a pair of non-conference games this past weekend at Wingate. The Bobcats faced Rollins on Friday in a game that resulted in a 3-3 draw while their first win came against Saint Leo on Saturday, 3-1.
Lees-McRae returns its three top goal scorers from last season in senior Tom Deeley and juniors Pol Vassart and Palle Jespersen. The three accounted for a combined 25 goals in 2016.
Deeley was one of three players named as Conference Carolinas players to watch for the Bobcats. He is currently tied for 10th in Lees-McRae history with 24 goals and tied for fifth-more match-winning goals in program history with six. The midfielder has already scored three goals this season.
The Bobcats finished 2016 with a 5-14-0 record, 4-6-0 in Conference Carolinas play and were picked to finish seventh in their preseason poll.
"Lees-McRae have started very, very well," Lyons said. "Definitely not a team we can take lightly, even based on previous results, but we're excited to go at it again and put in another good performance."
Since their first meeting in 1997, the Bobcats hold a 5-6 advantage in the series. Carson-Newman has won the past four matches against Lees-McRae with two goals being all that the Eagles needed to net in each win.