JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – After completing a five-match homestand, the Carson-Newman men's soccer team hits the road for the first time in nearly three weeks for a South Atlantic Conference Saturday battle against Queens from Dickson Field in Charlotte, N.C.
This is the fourth road match of the season for the Eagles (6-3-1 2-2-1 SAC), standing at 2-1 in games where they are the visitors. In terms of conference road contests, the Eagles are 1-1 with a 1-0 loss at Lenoir-Rhyne on Sept. 12 that was followed by a 3-2 win at Lincoln Memorial. Since 1993, road games against the league have given the Eagles a 62-36-11 record.
The Eagles are still searching for a win in the month of October as they have gone winless in their last three outings.
"It's always a little bit different going back on the road," coach Stephen Lyons said. "Queens plays on turf so it's going to be a different surface, as well, but it's part of what you get used to. I think we'll just adapt.
"Looking forward to this match because it's a big weekend for us in the season. Everything is wide-open in the conference right now so we've just got to go in, put in a positive performance and get a positive result."
Carson-Newman's will be facing arguably its most critical test of the conference slate this season against a Queens (7-2-1, 4-1-0 SAC) side that leads the conference with 26 goals and 17 assists. Beyond that, it also leads with 2.60 goals for average and a .208 shot percentage.
Overall, eighth-year coach Oliver Carias' team is in the top-five of seven categories in the league.
"It's going to be a big game on the road," Lyons said. "We know Queens has been doing well, their record is good. Their front line is very strong and create a lot of opportunities. We just need to get good pressure on them to force them backward and sideways.
"I think defensively, the guys have done very well. We've limited a lot of the top teams that we've played to very few chances. The big thing is going to be cutting out silly mistakes."
The Royals come into the match a week removed from their last trip to the pitch that resulted in a 3-2 loss to Lenoir-Rhyne last Saturday. The loss put Queens into second place in the league standings, tied with Tusculum at 12 points.
Queens has been nearly perfect at home this season with a 3-0-1 record. Its last loss at home came on Oct. 21, 2017 in a 2-1 loss to Coker.
Senior forward Edmundo Robinson, a preseason All-SAC first team selection, leads the team in four categories so far this season with five goals, 12 points, 36 shots and 17 shots on goal. His 36 shots are good enough for second in the SAC. He is coming off of a 2017 campaign that saw him make the All-Conference first team, D2CCA All-Southeast Region second team and United Soccer Coaches All-Region lists after leading Queens with 29 points and 13 goals.
Alberto Morales is tied for first in the league with three game-winners while Oemer Okyar is tied for first in penalty kicks, making two of his three attempts.
Also returning for the Royals this season are sophomore defender Michael Hornsby and senior midfielder Liam Doyle, making the preseason All-Conference first and second teams, respectively.
Junior goalkeeper Sebastian Kalk has started in all 10 matches for Queens this season, saving 33 of the 90 shots he has faced.
Saturday is the 11th meeting between the two sides with Carson-Newman trailing the all-time series by a slim 4-5-1 margin since its inception in 1992. In that time, Queens has built a slight 2-1 lead in matches it has hosted against the Eagles. Since Queens joined the SAC in 2013, the record stands at 2-2-1. C-N has not seen a win at Queens since Oct. 25, 2014 when it picked up a 2-0 victory.
The last meeting between these two sides was a SAC Quarterfinal battle at McCown Field on Oct 31, 2017 that needed an overtime period to determine a winner. Second-seeded C-N struck first with a goal from Collin Hensel in the 27th minute to hold a 1-0 lead heading into the break.
Seventh-seeded Queens bounced back early in the second half with goals in the 58th and 69th minutes to jump out to a 2-1 lead. With less than seven minutes remaining in regulation, Tom Read gathered a rebound off of a blocked shot to tie the game at deuces, sending it into overtime. A mere 49 seconds into overtime, a foul in the 18-yeard box set up a penalty kick for the Royals. Okyar sent a shot past Twan Verweij, diving in the opposite direction, to end the game and the Eagles season. It was C-N's first trip to the conference tournament since 2015.
Saturday's match is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Queens will provide live video and stats of the contest.