VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman fired nearly five times the shots seen by North Greenville with most of them coming from Ashley Kelynack (High Wycombe, England) on Tuesday night as the Eagles won 3-0 to open home action at McCown Field.
Carson-Newman (2-0) shot 36 shots on the night, the most a C-N team has scored since taking 30 against Brevard back on October 24, 2012. As for shots on goal, the Eagles tallied 14. The Crusaders (1-1) struggled to find opportunities in the match, only being able to take 7 shots which matched the last lowest allowed by an opponent on Oct. 28, 2017 against Coker.
"We talked about coming out with good, high tempo and moving the ball, good organization when we lose the ball, and I thought the boys executed well, deserved the 3-0 win" head coach Stephen Lyons said. "We probably could have scored more on the night with the shot count, but we'll take it and, again, good to keep that clean sheet run going as well."
Kelynack, alone, accounted for 14 of the shots C-N took with four landing on target. He had one of the best nights of his career in terms of scoring, notching his first multi-goal game. This was also the first game in which he had scored a goal since Sept. 30 of last season against Anderson.
VIDEO: Ashley Kelynack Interview
"It's always good to score a few goals," Kelynack mentioned, "but overall it's good to have players around you that leave you open and get you in those opportunities to score goals. It's good to get back on the scoresheet."
His first goal came in the 56th minute on a quick sequence following a corner kick. Once the ball had finished being bobbled around the middle of the 18-yard box, Tom Rankin (Birmingham, England) kicked the ball slightly over to an open Kensho Yoshikoshi (Japan) who quickly tipped it to a waiting Kelynack. His shot from just inside the 18-yard box ricocheted off of the left post and into the net.
Lead extended! Kelynack connects with the left post but the ball finds its way in!@CNmenssoccer 2@Crusader_Sports 0— C-N Athletics (@CNathletics) September 4, 2018
�� https://t.co/hXALrZiL4v pic.twitter.com/CdLNxkpGx7
Later in the 69th minute, Kelynack made a lone breakaway toward the goal until NGU's Bradley Jennings caught up in an attempt to make a play. Kelynack was able to escape him with a quick little two-step, sending Jennings past him before sending the ball to the right side of the net from the left corner of the 18-yard box.
"He's a fantastic player, thought he had a great game tonight," Lyons said about the forward. "He's really kind of buying into the new system and what we're asking of him. He's also coming out and doing bits on his own and just really pleased he's getting the reward for it."
Aside from Kelynack sealing the deal for the Eagles in the second half, Rankin was the one who got the ball rolling for Carson-Newman's scoring in the contest back in the 20th minute.
Jonny Le Quesne (Jersey, Channel Islands) sent the ball over to a wide-open Rankin up above the 18-yard box, giving him the chance to net a goal in the top shelf to put the Eagles up 1-0. That was the only goal scored in the first half despite five-of-17 shots landing on goal for C-N in the frame.
North Greenville's Noah Kendrick faced a demanding occasion in front of the net, being called upon for 11 saves. On the other side of the pitch, Twan Verweij (Utrecht, Netherlands) only needed to make one save on the night. That save happened in the 70th minute as Will Moy took a header just outside the six-yard box that landed in the hands of a leaping Verweij right in front of the top left corner of the net.
Carson-Newman led just about every category in the matchup. Apart from the shot differential, the corner kick difference was also staggering with C-N taking 16 to just one from NGU.
The overall series record now stands at 6-0 all-time against the Crusaders with half of those wins coming on the banks of Mossy Creek. C-N is also now 16-9-1 in home openers since 1993.
The Eagles head back on the road for a four-game stint away from McCown Field, first with a trip down I-75 to face Barry at Baylor High School in Chattanooga, Tenn. That match is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday evening. Live stats will be available for the match at cneagles.com/livestats.