VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – With a fair majority of its nonconference slate behind it, Carson-Newman turns its sights to the start of South Atlantic Conference action as Lincoln Memorial visits McCown Field for a Wednesday evening match under the lights.
Five of the next six games Carson-Newman (2-1, 0-0 SAC) plays will take place on the banks of Mossy Creek including a three-match homestand that begins on Wednesday.
Against conference teams, the Eagles have gone 133-87-20 with a 15-13-2 standing in league lidlifters. Since 1990, the Eagles have gone 85-49-9 in those home games while going 65-45-13 conference road trips.
"You always want to make the home field a bit of a fortress," Carson-Newman coach Stephen Lyons said. "It's important that we learn quickly from our mistakes at Lee, look to correct them in the first game here against LMU and just look to build on that."
Carson-Newman will be looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season, falling 1-0 to Lee on Saturday. The Flames fired off the most shots of any C-N opponent this season with 15.
As for Lincoln Memorial (0-1-2, 0-0 SAC), it will be looking for its first win of the season. Its latest appearance on the pitch resulted in a 3-1 loss against No. 4 Young Harris on Saturday. Facing a 2-0 deficit as halftime approached, freshman midfielder Sonnie Mathis put the Railsplitters within one, scoring off of a pass from Mateo Bufalo in the 41st minute. Young Harris separated itself with a goal from Christian Kirchhoff in the 66th minute, giving LMU its first loss of the season.
First-year coach Robert Spain's group landed at sixth on the South Atlantic Conference preseason poll after an 8-4-4 season last year, 5-2-3 in league action. Their campaign came to a close in the SAC Quarterfinal with a 2-1 loss to fourth-seeded Anderson. They bring back preseason All-SAC picks Alan Brandao and Julio Neto this season, both on the defensive unit.
Aside from Brandao, the Railsplitters lose three of their four All-SAC picks from a year ago, including D2CCA All-Region picks Felipe De Sousa and Victor Peres. The duo combined for 14 goals and 10 assists for 38 points last year.
"I think coach Spain has done a great job so far even though the results don't reflect it," Lyons said. "We know they're going to be a very well-organized team defensively and then offensively, they've got some technical players that are going to be a threat. We know it's going to be a very difficult game so the boys have got to be switched on, stick to the game plan and take the opportunities when they come."
This match-up marks the 32nd overall meeting and the 16th time the two sides have met on the banks of Mossy Creek. The Eagles look to win their third-straight match over their conference foe.
In the past five meetings, Carson-Newman has seen just one loss to LMU, coming in a 1-0 loss in 2016. In that span, C-N has outscored the Railsplitters 10-6.
Last year's meeting between C-N and LMU resulted in the Orange and Blue picking up its first SAC win of the season, 3-2, in Harrogate. The Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the break thanks to a penalty kick from Ashley Kelynack and a Samuel Jenkins header off a corner. The Railsplitters responded quickly in the second half with a pair of goals, but their threat did not last long. Tobias Solem Karlsen netted the dagger in the 60th minute for a lead the Eagles held on to despite chances from LMU. The emotional game came with 13 bookings total, the most of any C-N match in the 2018 season, with the three red cards all being shown to the 'Splitters.
Kick-off between the Eagles and Railsplitters slated for 7:30 p.m. Fans who cannot make it to McCown Field can sit back and enjoy the Eagle Sports Network's live broadcast of the match along with live stats.