JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – After winning a pair of shutout road games last week, the 25th-ranked Eagles prepare to head back to McCown Field on Wednesday night to tussle with conference foe Lincoln Memorial.
C-N enters the match ranked for the first time since 2015 when the team was No. 14 in the country.
The Eagles (7-1-1, 4-0-1) defeated Anderson (S.C.) at Trojan Stadium on Saturday in a 4-0 victory.
"We defended very well as a team and created a lot of opportunities through that, definitely in the first half. I thought we were pretty clinical with the opportunities that we had," head coach Stephen Lyons asserted of his squad. "There still improvements that we are working on in all aspects, but especially in pressing for opportunities."
C-N scored three goals within the first 25 minutes of play to jump out to a strong lead that the Trojans could not battle back from, with goals coming from Thibault Mathorez, Ashley Kelynack and Tom Read. In the 61st minute of play, Tobias Solem Karlsen netted the dagger to seal the win.
Read and Karlsen now lead the team with six goals apiece.
Goalkeeper Twan Verweij saved the only shot he faced in the match, giving him three on the week as the Eagles completed their seventh clean sheet of the season and fifth-straight clean sheet. The senior was named the South Atlantic Conference's AstroTurf Player of the Week on Monday, making him the first C-N goalkeeper to receive the honor.
"Part of the success in these shutouts goes to the entire team because we defend as a group," Lyons mentioned. "Twan has done a good job when called upon which gives us confidence not just in the back four but for the rest of the team knowing that he has there and has their back when he's needed."
With their small but victorious road stint behind them, the Eagles' Wednesday matchup will be just the fifth of the season in a schedule that is full of roadtrips. The team currently stands at 4-0 in games at McCown Field this season.
C-N will play host to the Railsplitters of Lincoln Memorial, a team that has a 5-1-2 record overall while going 2-1-1 in games away from Harrogate, Tenn.
The team is led by head coach Helio D'Anna, who is in his 15th season with the Railsplitters, collecting a 162-76-27 record. He has coached the Railsplitters to four SAC championships and two NCAA national tournament appearances along with two regional titles and an appearance in the 2007 NCAA National Championship game.
Lincoln Memorial returns 16 players from last year's team, including forwards Danilo da Silva and Victor Peres, who were named 2016 Conference First and Second Team members, respectively. They both made it onto the First Team list prior to this season. da Silva currently leads the team in all statistical categories with 15 points, three assists, 18 shots on goal, six goals, 30 shots and three game-winning goals.
Junior Caleb Cothrin has guarded the Railsplitters net for most of the season, starting in all seven of the games he has played in. He has recorded a conference-leading 36 saves while allowing 7 goals on the season, obtaining a 4-1-2 record in the process with three shutouts, enough for third, just three saves behind C-N's Verweij.
The team leads the South Atlantic Conference in red cards (3), but are second in shots on goal per game (7.63), won-lost-tied percentage (0.750) and yellow cards (22). Nationally, their highest ranking is seventh in yellow cards.
"It's going to take a really big performance because this LMU team is really good and has good results," Lyons said. "There's a reason why they were ranked in the top 20, so it's going to be another big test for us, but we have the home field advantage and we should be confident to come in and play our game to keep building on the results that we've had so far."
The Railsplitters lead the series 15-12-3, going 8-6-0 in games at Mossy Creek. They won last year's contest in Jefferson City, 1-0. Victor Peres scored the only goal of the game on a free kick that sailed past Eagles' net minder Aaron Zavolokin in the 28th minute.
Wednesday's conference match is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. A live broadcast and stats will be provided by the Eagle Sports Network from McCown Field. Follow @CNathletics for events during the match.