VIDEO: Jonny Le Quesne Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – After finishing out a three-game homestand on Saturday, Carson-Newman looks ahead to its fourth road trip of the season as the team visits the Chargers of Alabama Huntsville.
The Eagles (5-1-1, 2-0-1) swept their three straight home games with shutout victories. Saturday's 2-0 win over Queens (N.C.) was highlighted by goals from Jonny Le Quese and Tom Rankin, both scoring their first career goals.
"I was just lucky the ball came to me near the box and I got the shot away," Le Quesne said. "It's a nice feeling to get a good goal, but it was obviously good to get a win."
Le Quesne got C-N on the board first with a sixth minute goal on a shot from outside of the 18 yard box following a deflection from Queens on a cross.
Rankin's goal would come in the 67th minute of play, taking a pass from Ashley Kelynack to launch a shot into the left side of the net from nearly 35 yards out.
The Eagles' defense continued their strong run, holding the Royals to 11 shots on the afternoon. Goalkeeper Twan Verweij saved all seven shots he faces, putting him at 16 saves on the season.
Despite being a midfielder, Le Quesne was moved around to different areas of the field in Saturday's game, a move that head coach Stephen Lyons said was big in Le Quesne's performance in the victory.
"It's been a weird season for me, I've been filling in at defender," the midfielder said. "So, going back to midfield was just a pleasure."
On the other side of the pitch, Queen's net-minder Ben Wallace was only able to save four of the six shots he faced from Carson-Newman.
The victory extends the Eagles unbeaten streak to five games, a run that started with a Sept. 9 win over Clayton State. Carson-Newman has not allowed a goal in 385 minutes of play since that game, when the Lakers scored a goal in the final five minutes of play in a 4-2 Eagles win.
Now the Eagles look to continue their winning ways, as they head back on the road for their fourth of 11 road games.
"[The three-straight home wins] came at a good time for us really to get that confidence up," coach Lyons said. "We're going on the road for a fair bit over the next couple of weeks, so to kind of get a good start in conference play was big and the guys can just carry that confidence into the next game on Tuesday."
The Chargers ended last season with a 6-10-1 record, going 4-4-1 in Gulf South Conference play. They landed at sixth in the postseason standings and were expected to finish in that same spot in the conference's preseason poll.
Head coach Chris Kranjc is in his second season with Alabama Huntsville. His team returns seven starters from last year's team, including leading goal scorers James Narke, Corentin Diverres, Khalil Bell, Guy Clennett and Tucker Watts. Both goalkeepers from last year's squad, Gabriel Chilas and Myles Fullen, also make their return to the net this season. They combined for 72 saves on 215 shots faced, 29 goals allowed and two total shutouts.
In his first year, the team participated in the GSC tournament, losing in the first round to West Florida, 2-1. Two of his players, Hermann Bjornsson and Narke, were named as Division II Conference Commissioners Association Men's Soccer All-South Region First and Second Team members, respectively. Bjornsson also earned an All-American honorable mention status.
This game marks the first time the Chargers have faced a South Atlantic Conference team since 2015 when they opened their season on the road with a 3-1 loss at Mossy Creek against the Eagles. Polyminos Avgousti, Thibault Mathorez and Lucas Siqueira all scored goals for C-N in that game.
Alabama Huntsville stands at .500 on the season with a 3-3-0 record, 2-0-0 in Gulf South Conference play.
The Eagles trail the series with a 3-4-0 record, the Chargers winning four straight in 1995, 1996, 1999 and 2014.
"We know what [the coaches] have asked of us this season and the depth we have on the bench coming off," Le Quesne analyzed. "If we keep playing the way we're playing, we'll be good."
Tuesday's game is slated to begin at 5 p.m. EST. Alabama Huntsville will provide a live stream along with live stats. Follow @CNathletics for events during the match.