JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Tobias Solem Karlsen's second hat trick of the season highlighted the No. 25 Eagles 3-0 win over the visiting Railsplitters of Lincoln Memorial on a physical Wednesday night at McCown Field.
The victory marks the Eagles' (8-1-1, 5-0-1) best start through 10 games since 2007 when the Eagles went 9-1 to start the season. The loss in that span came against LMU in a 1-0 decision.
C-N extends its unbeaten streak to eight games with six-straight shutout victories. The team has yet to all an opposition goal in 655 minutes of play. The last time an opposing team scored fell on the last time Karlsen scored a hat trick in a 4-2 victory over Clayton State on Sept. 9.
"Definitely a great performance from the guys. We definitely got a great result," head coach Stephen Lyons said of his team's outing. "LMU are a very, very good side so to win 3-0 and keep another clean sheet and scoring three goals was a fantastic performance for the team."
VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview
Karlsen capitalized late in the first half to put the Eagles on the board first. Jonny Le Quesne was able to settle the ball before passing off to Karlsen. The sophomore raced forward a few feet toward the goal before sending a shot that skid past a diving Caleb Cothrin to find the backright side of the net.
In the 56th minute of play, a quick pass from Will Sainsbury-Logan into a mass of players ended up in the possession of Karlsen yet again, allowing him to set up a striker from atop the 18-yard box that made a sailing curve over a leaping Cothrin to put the Eagles up 2-0.
"We were able to capitalize on the opportunities they gave us on the counter, as well," Lyons mentioned. "It's just been a process all season that we talk about with the guys, putting in the work rate and every single game they've been doing that. I feel like every game we're getting better and just want to keep heading in that direction."
In the final 6 minutes of play, Tom Read went down in the box, setting up for a penalty kick for the Eagles. Karlsen lined up for it and sent a shot right into the middle of the net, past Cothrin who slid to his right, to seal the win and the hat trick.
"Joe Taylor would've taken that PK but I asked him nicely," Karlsen said. "He asked, 'Do you want a hat trick?' and I said, 'yes, please,' and I got it. All I could think was get it in the goal."
Karlsen now has a team-leading nine goals on the season with two hat tricks. He was the leading shooter for Carson-Newman with seven shots, three of those on goal.
The Railsplitters (5-2-2, 1-2-2) were able to match C-N in shots heading into the half with 5 apiece, but couldn't contain the Eagles in the second half, being outshot by the Eagles 16-11. Danilo da Silva led the way for LMU with five shots, only one making its way on goal.
C-N has now outshot opponents 152-97.
LMU's Miguel Reis had a rocket that launched off of the top of the post in the 67th minute that had a strong chance of being a goal, just over the head of Eagles' goalkeeper Twan Verweij. That was his only shot of the match.
Verweij, the AstroTurf SAC Men's Soccer Player of the Week this week, now has 7.1 shutouts on the season. He saved all three shots that he faced in front of the net.
"The back four with Twan (Verweij) and the group have been fantastic all season," Lyons mentioned. "But again, it's a team effort when we're defending."
Carson-Newman heads back onto the road Saturday night for a matchup with the Catawba Indians of Catawba College. That game is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. Live stats will be provided by Catawba. Follow @CNathletics for updates throughout the match.