VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – A penalty kick in the 89th minute shutdown Carson-Newman's comeback bid, falling to No. 10 Lander 2-1 on Wednesday night at McCown Field.
The Eagles (6-3-1) conceded two penalty kicks on the evening, marking the first time an opponent has scored multiple penalty kicks since Sept. 16, 2003 when Lees-McRae scored two in a 4-3 en route to a 4-3 win.
"Overall, I thought we played a good game; thought it was an even match," coach Stephen Lyons said. "I thought in the second half we were probably the better team for long spells of it. Very disappointed with the way it ended."
C-N extends its winless streak to three matches with the loss. This is also its first defeat to a ranked team at home since 2013 when it fell to No. 10 Wingate 2-1 on Sept. 14. Beyond that, the defeat is the first against a top-10 team at home since that loss to Wingate.
The team now sits at 4-1 against non-conference opponents this season.
Carson-Newman has loss two-straight to Lander (9-1-1) with the Bearcats taking their first victory in Jefferson City since 1997.
Both team's struggled to get shots off in the contest with the first one of the day coming in the 14th minute when George Knight sent an attempt that was saved by Verweij.
Carson-Newman's best attempt for a shot came in the 32nd minute when Tobias Solem Karlsen (Kongsvinger, Norway) gained a great look at the goal, sending a powerful shot that hit the right post.
Karlsen was the leading shot-taker for the Eagles in the entire contest, sending four attempts with none falling on target.
A foul in the 18-yard box set Lander up for a penalty kick. Jordan Skelton sent the ball past the left side of Twan Verweij (Utrecht, Netherlands) to put the Bearcats up 1-0 in the 40th minute.
The PK marked the first successful attempt by a C-N opponent this season.
Lander held a 1-0 lead through the rest of the first half, marking the first time this season that the Eagles have trailed at the break.
Carson-Newman could not land either of its two shots on goal in the first frame, getting outshot 4-2. Its pair of shots were the lowest amount the team has attempted in the first half this season. It was also the first time since an Oct. 11, 2017 meeting with No. 7 Young Harris that C-N was unable to get a shot on goal.
The Eagles answered in the 51st minute by capitalizing on a defensive miscue by Lander. Kyle Ferguson attempted a drop-off back to Jacob Withers that was stolen by a lurking Greg Evans (Wrexham, Wales). The junior midfielder skirted around Withers to send the ball into the back right of the net for his first career goal.
"Great individual effort from Greg to work his way into that goal and a nice little finish," Lyons said. "The other players feed off it. Whoever's kind of doing the press and putting the tackles in, it makes a difference and, again, I thought we did that tonight."
The match remained tied until the 89th minute when contact in the box led to a yellow card on Ben King (Hertfordshire, England), giving Lander its second penalty kick of the contest. Skelton once again lined up for the attempt, this time sending a shot past Verweij, this time into the back left corner as the C-N goalkeeper fell to the right, giving Lander the final lead it needed.
The goal was the latest scored by an Eagle opponent this season.
Carson-Newman was held to just six shots on the night, most of those coming in the last 45 minutes, while Lander sent out 10. Evans and Jonny Le Quesne (Jersey, Channel Islands) were the only Eagles to land a shot on goal at one apiece.
The six shots sent by C-N marked the fewest shots taken by the team since Oct. 15, 2016 when six were attempted in a 2-1 loss to Wingate.
Skelton and Jamie North led the Bearcats with a pair of shots and shots on goal apiece.
Verweij saved five of the seven shots he faced, his third-highest tally of the season. On the other end of the pitch, Withers needed just one save, matching his second-lowest number of the year.
Now that the five-match homestand has concluded, Carson-Newman hits the road to Charlotte, N.C. to face South Atlantic Conference foe Queens. That match is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. from Dickson Field. The folks at Queens will provide live video and stats of the contest.