VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – After suffering back-to-back losses last week, the Eagles now look forward to getting back on the winning track with a visit to Greeneville, Tenn. to take on Tusculum.
Saturday's 7-1 loss to visiting Wingate on Senior Night was the first time since 2002 that the Eagles (9-3-1, 6-1-1) conceded seven goals in a game. It also marked the team's first conference loss of the season and the first loss at home, closing out home games for the regular season.
"Obviously a disappointing result, for sure," head coach Stephen Lyons said of the loss. "The mistakes we made, Wingate capitalized on, and, when you're playing good opposition, that's going to happen."
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the 27th minute of play and held that lead heading into the half.
In second half action, Wingate added on four more goals before Tom Read put the Eagles on the board at the 85:45 minute mark with a header from nearly 18 yards out off of a free kick from Jonny Le Quesne to make the score 7-1.
The goal was Read's second of the week and the second-straight scored in the final 80 minutes of play from the senior.
"(The players) work hard to leave it on the field. You know, certain areas, I think, we just need to kind of channel that work rate and make it an intelligent performance, as well," Lyons mentioned.
Twan Verweij was busy in front of the net, facing nine shots on goal with just two saves, moving his record on the year to 8-3-1.
The physical match-up ended with the second consecutive game with 33 total fouls compiled the two teams, 12 called on the Eagles with 21 against Wingate.
Carson-Newman now makes the trip to Greeneville on Wednesday night to take on yet another South Atlantic Conference rival, the Pioneers of Tusculum.
Seventh-year head coach Allen Vital served as the C-N men's soccer head coach from 1998-2010. He has gone 2-3-2 against his former team since taking the reins at Tusculum in 2011. He holds a 57-68-15 overall record with the Pioneers.
Tusculum enters the game with a 1-6-5 record going 1-3-3 in conference play. The team's only win of the season so far was against Anderson (S.C.) back on Sept. 23. The Pioneers most recent game on Oct. 13 resulted in a 1-1 draw against Mars Hill.
"We have to respect Tusculum," Lyons said. "Even though their record isn't the greatest, we've watched a lot of video, we've seen them play and we know that they are a better team than their record suggests."
The team was voted to finish second in the conference with 86 points, receiving just one first place vote in the preseason poll. Just nine players return to the roster this year, including Preseason All-Conference First Team selection Georgios Charkoutsakis and Second Team selections Andreas Kvam, Ivan Andabak and Pau Peiro.
Ivan Safranic and Alejandro Quiriti have split time in front of the net for the Pioneers this season, each starting in six games. Safranic has allowed six goals on 27 saves for a 1-2-3 record while Quiriti has compiled a 0-4-2 record with 13 goals allowed and 27 saves.
Oscar Rubio Jimenez leads the team with four goals on 20 shots, 11 of his shots falling on goal. The freshman has one assist along with a game-winning goal that he scored against Anderson (S.C.) in the 2-0 victory over the Trojans.
The midweek match will be the 33rd meeting between the rivals. Tusculum leads the series 15-13-4 with a 6-5-1 record in home games.
The Eagles have a two-game winning streak on the Pioneers after the 2-1 double-overtime victory last season. The seventh-ranked scored the first goal in the 21st minute from Andre De Giorgie in the 18-yard box. Marius Staalby equalized the score with a header off of a launch from Tom Read just 12 minutes later. The score stayed knotted at one until Thibault Mathorez headed a goal at the 107:44 mark to solidify the upset.
"I think we still have the right combination, so I've got every bit of faith in this group to bounce back starting on Wednesday and then push forward for a strong end to the season," Lyons said.