JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – After getting off to a 0-2 start to 2018, second-ranked Carson-Newman will take on Lees-McRae on Wednesday looking to defend the friendly confines of McCown Field. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m.
The Eagles have remained unbeaten at home for the past two seasons having not lost a game since Sept. 11 of 2015 to Ohio Dominican by a final of 2-1.
C-N has dropped the first two games to open up the year for the first time since the beginning of the 2014 season in losses to Tampa (5-0) and Saint Leo (6-0). The end of that same season was the last time the team had lost two-straight when they ended the year with four consecutive losses.
Simon Duffy's squad has an overall record of 35-10 against Conference Carolina teams, however, Lees-McRae (0-2) has defeated the Eagles a total of seven times with the next closest team having two in Belmont Abbey. C-N is scheduled to play the Crusaders later this season. The Eagles are riding a four-game win streak against L-M.
"They also came up against very two good teams to start the season," Coach Duffy said. "I'm hoping we can continue off where we ended last season with playing at home. We can definitely take something from the weekend and take advantage of our opportunities."
The Bobcats come off 1-0 and 2-0 losses to Lenoir-Rhyne (8/30) and Lynn (9/1) at home to open up the year despite unbelievable performances by goalkeeper Alexis Feely. The senior out of Raleigh, N.C. recorded 15 saves against the Bears and 10 in the matchup against the Fighting Knights. Both games were at home.
Feely finished second in nation with 144 saves in 2017 and was named the Conference Carolinas Defensive Player of the Year as well as All-league First-Team honors
Lees-McRae went 5-12-3 in 2017, which included a 2-8-2 record on the road. L-M had just 16 goals in 20 games while allowing 28.
The conference Carolinas member Collected four of its five wins in conference games in 2017, having an overall record of 4-5-2. 13 of their 16 goals came in conference matches.
Lees-McRae was o-4 against SAC opponents last year dropping games to No. 12 C-N (4-0), Lincoln Memorial (2-0), at L-R (2-1) and at Tusculum (2-0). Returners Magda Mosengo (London, England) and Emilee Futrell (Wilson, N.C.) each grabbed the first two goals for the Eagles on the road before Lauren Wade added two in the final 15 minutes in the win.
"They'll be determined especially up against us they aren't going to lie down," Duffy added. "It's all hands on deck on Wednesday. I'm hoping the girls will understand it's not going to come easy."
L-M is led by head coach Kiko Magana who enters his fourth season at the helm. He played for the Men's team at Lees-Mcrae from 2005-08 and was a key component of the 2007 squad who went to the elite 8 (21-2-1). Overall record as coach at l-M is 17-37-4.
The Bobcats were picked fourth to finish in the league: Feely, Autumn Esposito, and Kiara Montenegro were selected as players to watch for the Bobcats this fall. Eposito named to the Conference Carolinas All-Tournament Team last season after scoring the game-winning goal against Chowan to lift the Bobcats to the championship game. Montenegro returns scorer from last season netting five goals as a freshman with three game-winners. She was elected to the All-Conference third-team.