VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Now that Carson-Newman is back in the win column after a much needed positive result at Queens on Saturday, it gears up for more South Atlantic Conference actions as it hosts Mars Hill at McCown Field on Wednesday night.
"It was big to get back to winning ways against a quality conference opponent," coach Stephen Lyons said. "I thought the guys played really well, earned the result and it will be a good one to build on now."
The Eagles (7-3-1, 3-2-1 SAC) erased a three-match winless streak on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over Queens, their first win there since Oct. 25, 2014. Bill Hadam (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Quinton Carey (Edmond, Okla.) both scored their first goals of the season in the win.
Saturday's result helped C-N to move into a tie for fifth in the league standings, still eight points behind Lenoir-Rhyne at the top of the chart.
Carson-Newman has not seen a win on its home pitch since its 2-1 win over Alabama Huntsville on Sept. 29. Since then, it has gone 0-2-1 in home games.
"You go into every game wanting to get that result so, at home especially, it would be nice to build on it. The games that we have played have been against quality opposition, as well, so the boys just need to be confident in what they're doing.
"We had multiple players chip in in the last game and stepping up so that's great to see at a good time in the season."
The second of five-straight conference contests brings Mars Hill (6-5-1, 2-4-1 SAC) to town, a side that is also coming off of a much-needed victory when they defeated Shaw on Saturday, 2-1. Like Carson-Newman, the win alieved a three-match winless streak.
The Lions, currently tied for eighth in the conference, have not seen a SAC win since Sept. 26 when they took down Catawba, 6-2. Outside of that, their only other league victory came on Sept. 19 with a 2-1 decision over Lenoir-Rhyne.
Mars Hill is the only team in the SAC that has not recorded a shutout this season but it has been on the losing end of three shutouts.
Road matches have not been friendly for the Lions thus far, losing all four of their matches away from Meares Stadium. In those games, they have been outscored 14-2. They have not recorded a road win since a 1-0 victory at Lincoln Memorial on Oct. 18, 2017.
"(Mars Hill) have had some great results and kinda been a little bit inconsistent at times," Lyons said. "They beat (Lenoir-Rhyne) which is a good result for them, draw with Newberry, so, again, it's going to be a tough game. We've got to be ready for it and make sure that we come out and execute the game plan and kind of build on the performance on Saturday."
First-year coach Gregg Munn's group is in the top-five of eight statistical categories in the conference. It has accounted for the second-most saves at 51 while allowing the third-most goal with 24 and the third-best shot percentage with a .150 clip.
Sebastian Bertilsson currently leads the team with six goals, 13 points, 31 shots and 10 shots on goal this season. The sophomore forward is tied for third and second in the league for goals and assists, respectively.
Senior defender Oscar Mitchell returns to the team this season. The preseason All-Conference first team selection has netted two goals this season, both being a team-high amount of game-winners.
Brian Salzman has been the primary Lion in front of the net, starting in all 12 of the matches with a 6-5-1 record. His 50 saves are a league-leading number. He has allowed a SAC-high 23 goals for a 1.92 goals allowed average with a .680 save clip. He has yet to record a shutout this year.
Wednesday is the 34th meeting between the Eagles and Lions with C-N leading 19-10-4 dating back to 1989. In that time, the Eagles have gone 7-6-1 in games played in Jefferson City.
The last time these two sides faced off resulted in a 0-0 draw at Meares Stadium on Sept. 13, 2017. Carson-Newman outshot Mars Hill 13-9 through the 110 minutes of play. Tom Read led the Orange and Blue with six attempts, one of those shots landing on frame. As for the Lions, Oscar Mitchell was the leading shot taker with three, one of his attempts also landing on goal. It was the first 0-0 draw for the Eagles since a 2013 contest with Lander in the NCAA Tournament and the first in SAC play since a 2011 meeting with Mars Hill.
Wednesday's match will begin at 7:30 p.m. from McCown Field. Fans who cannot make it to Mossy Creek for the midweek match can enjoy a live broadcast from the Eagles Sports Network on cneagles.com/live.