JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – A draw on Wednesday night at Mars Hill opened the South Atlantic Conference schedule for the Eagles. The team now looks to a three-game homestand, starting with a meeting against Newberry on Saturday.
After 110 minutes of play, neither team was able to capitalize on the breaks set before them to score in the midweek match-up with the Lions. The Eagles launched 13 shots compared to nine from Mars Hill, both teams setting two on goal.
"I felt we could've gotten a little more out of the game, really, especially pushing toward the end of the regular 90 minutes and then into overtime" head coach Stephen Lyons analyzed of his team's Wednesday performance. "I thought we were the dominant team, creating some very good opportunities.
"I thought we were doing some really good things, just didn't quite have that final touch when we needed it."
The Eagles moved to 2-1-1 (0-0-1 SAC) on the season after the first draw for the program since Nov. 22, 2013 in an NCAA Southeast Regional match against Lander that placed C-N in the Elite Eight that season. The last 0-0 draw in conference play came on Oct. 19, 2011 against Mars Hill, also on the road.
Carson-Newman now sets its sights on another conference match at the friendly confines of McCown Field this Saturday against Newberry.
The Wolves ended 2016 with a 5-10-2 record, 2-7-2 in South Atlantic Conference play. They finished last in the SAC standings at the end of the season and were slated to finish in that same spot in the conference's preseason poll for 2017.
Second-year head coach Bryce Cooper's squad features two top returning players from last season in junior goalkeeper Bradley Dixon and junior midfielder Fabrizio Bucco, who serve as the captains for Newberry's team this season.
Dixon totaled a conference leading 104 saves with 34 goals allowed in 2016. Bucco made 21 shots with 3 finding the back of the net last season.
Last season's matchup at Newberry saw the Wolves suffering a shutout, the third consecutive clean sheet the Eagles had recorded in 2016 before completing three more later in the season.
The Wolves were shutout in their 2017 season opener by Belmont Abbey in a 4-0 decision. They followed the home-opener with a four-game road trip starting at USC Aiken that finished in a 2-2 draw. Their game against Francis Marion on Sept. 9 was canceled due to Hurricane Irma. Before heading to Mossy Creek, the team won their conference opener against Coker with a 4-3 victory that included a hat trick from Till Neumann.
Heading into the second home game of the season, Lyons hopes his team can keep the home field advantage seen in last Saturday's victory over Clayton State strong heading into the matchup with Newberry.
"You really want your home field to be somewhere that is very difficult for teams to come in and get a result," Lyons mentioned. "We certainly plan on making it that way as well. Any conference game is going to be a tough test, whether it's on the road or at home."
The Eagles lead the series against Newberry 22-0-1 and are currently on a 16-game winning streak. The 2001 meeting between the teams resulted in 2-2 tie, the only non-winning result in the series that dates back to 1995.