Cobras stun Eagles with bounce from SAC Tournament


VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Despite numerous opportunities created through its fourth-most shot attempts on the season, top-seeded Carson-Newman faced a 5-1 upset at the hands of eighth-seeded Coker in the South Atlantic Conference quarterfinal on Saturday night at McCown Field.

"Obviously beyond gutted with the result," Carson-Newman coach Stephen Lyons said. "I think if you look at the game, we actually played some really good football. I  think we outshot them, had more corners than them, but on the day, you know, their keeper made a couple of big saves and they had been extremely clinical when they had the opportunity. Just disappointed all around with the result."

This is the second-straight home quarterfinal loss that Carson-Newman (10-4-3) has faced, the last coming in a 3-2 overtime decision against Queens on Oct. 31, 2017.

Within the series with Coker (10-7), the Cobras take back the advantage in the series at 5-4 overall, halting a two-match losing skid to the Eagles. C-N has only seen one win on its home pitch against Coker, sitting in a 3-1 deficit in such matches.

Ten Eagles attempted shots in the contest with seven sending out multiple attempts. Carson-Newman landed 12 of its 26 attempts on frame, tying for the second-most shots on goal for the group this season. The five goals scored by Coker are the most seen by a C-N opponent since Oct. 14, 2017 when Wingate put up a 7-1 effort.

It was Coker that made the first break in the match when Coker's netminder Guilermo Falo-Ejea cleared a pass to Riccardo Ricci got past a couple looming Eagles to send a long cross to Christian Provenzano that he launched past a falling Bram Kaarsgaren (Den Bosch, The Netherlands) to put Coker up 1-0 in the 45th minute.

By the break, C-N already held a 13-9 shooting advantage.

In the 48th, Provenzano provided a side-look pass-off Lucas Miguel Castrillo that he sent sailing from just about 19 yards out into the back right of the net for a 2-0 lead.

The Cobras tacked on a staunch 3-0 advantage in the 60th minute with Provenzano once again logging a helping hand, sending a pass near the six-yard box where Jacques Fokam-Sandeu quickly scored.

C-N didn't see a goal until the 64th minute when Sofian Maghouz (London, England) sent a short cross ahead to an open Tobias Solem Karlsen (Kongsvinger, Norway). He quickly sent a quick right boot across the way and into the back left corner of the net, past Coker's Falo-Ejea, cutting the deficit to two at 3-1.

With his seventh goal on the season, Solem Karlsen moved to stand-alone seventh on the program's career goals list with 29.

"If I'm honest, I still thought we were going to get ourselves back in the game," Lyons said. "We had all the momentum, were creating the opportunities. Obviously pushing guys forward, you're going to be vulnerable to the counter-attack and, again, they didn't get that many but when they had them or got the opportunities, they were just clinical today."

The Eagles saw their SAC Tournament run come to an end with Coker scoring twice within the last 10 minutes of the match. Provenzano added on another goal with a steal and score in the 82nd minute before Adam Kennedy sent in the dagger as time expired. He picked up his own shot deflection before sending a shot that hit off of the hands of Kaarsgaren before going over his head and hitting off of the inner portion of the crossbar.

Solem Karlsen and Maghouz combined for 12 of C-N's 26 shots. Solem Karlsen led everyone with seven shot attempts and three on goal. He also moved up the career totals list with the eighth-most shots at 174 and tying Sindre Welo's seventh-most shots on goal total from 2012-15 at 78. Maghouz sent five with a pair on frame.

Provenzano's six points in the match are the most an individual C-N opponent has seen this year. He led the Cobras with five shot attempts, two on frame.

Kaarsgaren gobbled up half of the 10 shots that went his way on the night. The Eagles plethora of shots forced Falo-Ejea to stay on his toes for 11 saves in the contest, tying the most grabs by a C-N opposing keeper this season.

Carson-Newman must now wait to find out its NCAA Tournament fate, currently sitting at No. 10 in Super-Region 2 per the latest ranking that was released on Wednesday.  The NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Selection Show is set for Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. For all the latest news and notes revolving around the program, check back to

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