VIDEO: Thaylan Silva Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – After a seventh straight win on Saturday night, the No. 21 Eagles now look ahead to yet another road trip, this time making the trek to Young Harris, Ga. for a Wednesday night match against the No. 7 Mountain Lions.
Saturday's 3-0 victory over Catawba extended Carson-Newman's (9-1-1, 6-0-1) unbeaten streak to nine games and moved the Eagles to the top of the South Atlantic Conference standings, surpassing Wingate who won a nonconference game against Clayton State on Saturday.
Tobias Solem Karlsen got the Eagles on the board first for his fifth time this season with a shot from 12-yards out to the back left of the net in the 14th minute.
At the 75th minute, freshman Thaylan Silva picked up his first career goal on an unassisted shot that skipped past a diving Evan Jeckells, also finding the net's back left corner.
"Honestly, it was great. The guys were making fun of that because every game, I had gotten close but I had not scored yet, so it was amazing for me," Silva said. "Finally I was able to help them with a goal."
Later at the 81:48 mark, Jonny Le Quesne made a pass to Karlsen that led to the final goal of the game, giving Karlsen his 11th goal on the season.
Karlsen's two goals in the win completed a week of five goals, the other three coming off his second hat trick last Wednesday against LMU, helping him to win his second AstroTurf Player of the Week honor on the season. His 11 goals on the season leads the team and the conference, landing him at 8th nationally. He was also named the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Men's Soccer Player of the Week after last week's performance.
The shutout moves the Eagles to 745 minutes of play without a goal allowed for the opposition. The team's eight successive games without allowing a goal is the longest scoreless streak against opponents in program history, surpassing the previous streak of five games which the team achieved most recently in 2006.
Carson-Newman now prepares for a week full of stiff competition, first in a midweek battle with seventh-ranked Young Harris, marking C-N's second time facing a ranked opponent this season.
"I think this is probably the biggest week of the program this season," Karlsen said of the upcoming matchups. "It can determine the season pretty well."
The Mountain Lions enter the game at 9-1-1, currently riding a seven game winning streak. Their non-winning games came against South Atlantic Conference opponents in back-to-back weeks with a 1-1 decision against Tusculum followed by a 2-1 loss to No. 24 Lincoln Memorial. The Mountain Lions are 7-0-1 in games played at the Young Harris Soccer and Lacrosse Field this season.
The team is led by head coach Mark McKeever, who is in his 13th season at the helm of the men's soccer program. The Mountain Lions have garnered a 165-61-12 record during his time with the team.
McKeever's squad leads the PBC in corner kicks per game (6.36), save percentage (0.816), team goals against average (0.786), won-lost-tied percentage (0.864) and yellow cards (24). They're are eighth nationally for assists per game.
Young Harris returns 18 players this season including Carlos Gomez, Sam Jones and Marco Micaletto who were all named to the preseason All-PBC team. Gomez and Micaletto lead the conference in game-winning goals with three each.
Alex Iglesias has guarded the net in all 11 of the Mountain Lions' games this season, allowing just 9 goals with 39 saves. He has also recorded four shutouts.
This is the 7th meeting between C-N and Young Harris with the Mountain Lions holding a substantial 1-5-0 overall record. Carson-Newman has yet to win a game in three trips to Young Harris.
The last meeting on Oct. 12 2016 saw the Mountain Lions taking a 2-1 win at McCown Field. YHC's goalkeeper Anton Viden sent out a free kick that found the head of Ramin Varnhorn near the 18-yard box. His header sent the ball over to Mikie Rowe who subsequently lofted a cross shot back to Varnhorn who headed it into the back of the net from the six-yard box to win it.
"They are a great team," Silva said. "It will be a huge game, an important game, so we have to be prepared and come out flying against them.
"Even though it's not a conference game, it's important for us so we've got to be prepared."
Wednesday's game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at the Young Harris College Soccer and Lacrosse Field. Video and live stats will be provided by Young Harris while live updates will be available throughout the match from @CNathletics.