VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman looks to extend its winning streak to three matches on Saturday with a non-conference face-off against Alabama Huntsville.
The Eagles (5-1) come into their second-straight home match after a 4-1 win over Coker on Saturday that was highlighted by a Tobias Solem Karlsen hat trick. He adds the three-goal outing to his list of hat tricks, the previous two coming in 2017 against Clayton State and Lincoln Memorial.
The most recent hat trick helped him to attain Player of the Week accolades from the SAC and the Tennessee Sportswriters Association. The Eagles now have two players who have landed on both weekly awards lists this season, the other being Ashley Kelynack on Sept. 11.
Karlsen's six goals and 13 points are league-highs while Kelynack shares the second spot in the SAC with three assists.
Following a week highlighted by four goals and two game-winners, @CNmenssoccer's Tobias Solem Karlsen has been named @SAC_Athletics Offensive and TSWA Player of the Week.— C-N Athletics (@CNathletics) September 25, 2018
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"We know what the guys can do," coach Stephen Lyons said. "It's great for the individuals. I know that the individuals want the team to get the success as well which is a big thing. They get goals because the team are working hard for them, to create opportunities. It's nice to see them getting recognized."
The Eagles share the conference lead for assists at 11. Outside of that, they are in the top-five in eight other categories including second-place totals with 15 goals, 103 shots, 2.50 goals for average and 17.2 goals per game average.
A win on Saturday against Alabama Huntsville (4-3-1) would be the 300th victory in C-N's 32 years as a program. It would also mark the second milestone reached by Carson-Newman in a week as Lyons picked up his 100th career win last Saturday.
"I hadn't really thought about it too much, and I don't know if that means I'm just really old, but we'll take it," Lyons said. "It was a good win for the guys over the weekend. It's nice to win 100 and hoping to make it plenty more this season and going forward."
UAH ventures into Mossy Creek following a 1-0 loss to Union on Tuesday. The team strung together three-straight wins from Sept. 9 to 16. That streak came to an end with a 0-0 tie to Christian Brothers on Friday.
This is the only match against a GSC team on the docket for Lyons' group this season. Against current teams from the GSC, the Eagles are 8-9-1 all time.
The Chargers sit at second-place in the Gulf South Conference standings with a 2-1-1 clip in league action and seven points, trailing Lee by two points. They are tied for the second-most goals allowed in the GSC with 18. UAH has taken the most attempts at penalty kicks this season with four but have only successfully connected on two.
First-year coach John Carrier returns to the program after a stint at Bryan College last season where he served as the primary assistant coach for the men's soccer program. Prior to that, he was an assistant at UAH for three years.
For Lyons, the coaching match is important because Carrier happens to be one of his first recruits when he became a coach. This match will mark the first time Lyons has coached against one of his previous players.
"I think they're going to be a better organized team than last year," Lyons said. "They have a new coach that I know pretty well. We just have to treat every opponent the same and respect them. Stick to our game plan and take our opportunities when they come."
This season, the Chargers are led by senior forward Guy Clennett, who was deemed a preseason All-GSC selection after netting three goals with three assists for nine points in 2017. This year, he has three goals with a pair of assists for eight points.
Prior to the season, sophomore transfer Rafa Moreno was lauded as a top newcomer by the GSC in early August. Moreno has had a strong campaign thus far, leading the team with seven goals. His lone multi-goal game came on Sept. 14 against Delta State, connecting with the back of the net twice during that match. He is second in the conference for goals.
Goalkeeper Myles Fullen has started in all eight matches for UAH this year. He has allowed 10 goals while making 32 saves with two shutouts, tied for the second-most in the GSC.
This will be the ninth meeting between the teams with the overall record deadlocked at four wins apiece. Since the first meeting in 1993, the Eagles have been outscored by UAH 20-15 while also going 2-1 in matches played in Mossy Creek.
The Chargers hosted the Eagles last season with C-N shutting them down, 4-0. Three different Eagles scored goals in the affair including Tobias Solem Karlsen, Tom Read and Collin Hensel. The Eagles found the back of the net three times in the second half with the 14-minute scoring spree starting on an own goal by UAH in the 73rd minute after a corner kick from Read.
The win marked the fourth-straight win for C-N and its sixth consecutive unbeaten result. It was also their fifth-straight match without a goal allowed, making it the longest streak since 2006 when C-N allowed zero goals through five games.
Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. on Saturday. A live broadcast will be available at cneagles.com/live for those who cannot make it to McCown Field.