Third ranked opponent of the season lies ahead for C-N

Third ranked opponent of the season lies ahead for C-N

VIDEO: Kavi Luchowa Interview

C-N Match Notes

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The ninth road match of the season sends the Eagles to South Carolina for a matchup with the No. 17 Bearcats of Lander on Saturday evening.

Carson-Newman (9-3-2, 6-1-2) looks to bounce back after a 2-2 draw against Tusculum on Wednesday night.

After struggling in the first half with the Pioneers jumping out to a 2-0 leading heading into the break, a team talk at halftime motivated the Eagles to fight back in the second half.

"It was a tough team talk and it's not one that you really want to be giving, but sometimes you have to," assistant coach Kavi Luchowa said of the discussion. "They reacted and I felt it was all us in the second half."

Freshman Thaylan Silva scored a goal in the 61st minute, heading in a cross from senior Tom Read. The goal cut the Pioneer lead to one.

Almost 20 minutes later, Read had his own turn to score, cutting past a Tusculum defender to shoot a goal from 15 yards away to equalize the score.

The game was sent into overtime for the 10th time in series history, but neither team could capitalize on the opportunities set before them as the game ended in a tie.

Read moved to second in career shots attempted in C-N program history with 208. His assist on Silva's goal makes him just one assist shy of matching the program's career record of 32, achieved by Brad Cobbs from 2002-05.

The team now faces a break in conference play, heading to Greenwood, S.C. for a game against No. 17 Lander (9-2-1, 5-0-1 PBC).

Lander is the third ranked team Carson-Newman has faced this season.

"We know how good they are and (the boys) know how good they are in terms of their footballing ability and they've shown it throughout the season," Luchowa mentioned. "If (the team) just carry on believing that in themselves and come out flying and do the things that we need them to do, I mean, we should be out there competing with this team tomorrow."

The Bearcats come from the Peach Belt Conference, marking the third PBC opponent the Eagles have faced in 2017. C-N holds a 12-16-3 record all-time against PBC teams, going 1-1-0 this season after defeating Clayton State, 4-2, on Sept. 9 but losing to No. 7 Young Harris, 3-1, on Oct. 11.

Lander enters the game with a 9-2-1 record going 5-0-1 in conference play. The team's losses this season have come against South Atlantic Conference opponents (Lenoir-Rhyne 3-0 and Anderson 3-2).

Head coach Lee Squires is in his third season at the helm of the Bearcats program, recording a 23-6-2 record overall. During his tenure, the team has made two PBC Tournament championship appearances while advancing to the National Tournament twice.

Lander returns 24 players this season including preseason All-PBC team selections seniors Sam Lofts and Jamie North and junior Jordan Skelton. Lofts leads the team with six goals on 46 shots, 26 of those falling on goal. He has started in 10 of the team's 12 games this season.

Dean Cowdroy has played a majority of the games in front of the net for the Bearcats this season, compiling a 6-0-1 record through 11 games he has appeared in. He has allowed 12 goals on 35 saves with five shutouts.

The sophomore goalkeeper has a 0.745 save percentage, good enough for third in the Peach Belt Conference. His five shutouts lead the PBC, making him 23rd in the nation.

Squires' crew leads the Peach Belt Conference in assists per game (2.25), points per game (7.75), scoring offense (2.75), shutout percentage (0.417), total assists (27), total goals (33) and total points (93). The Bearcats' are ninth in the nation for assists per game and points per game.

"I'm confident that we can go out there and get a good result and get back to kind of the ranking-wise where we need to be, and showing everyone that we are a good side," Luchowa said.

This is just the eighth meeting between the two teams with the Bearcats holding a 3-2-2 advantage. They are 2-0-1 against the Eagles in home games.

The Eagles stay on the road this weekend with a trip to No. 17 Lander. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Van Taylor Stadium. Live stats will be available courtesy of Lander. Follow @CNathletics for updates throughout the match.

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