Video: Simon Duffy Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - Wednesday featured a lot of firsts for the Carson-Newman Women's Soccer club in a dominant 7-0 win over Lees-McRae in the home opener from McCown Field.
Simon Duffy's squad improves on its home unbeaten streak in which the program has not lost since Sept. 11 of 2015 when they dropped a match 3-1 to Ohio Dominican. It was the largest win for the Eagles since beating Coker by the same final in 2016.
Carson-Newman (1-2) struck first in the 13th minute when Magda Mosengo (London, England) carried the ball into the box as Lees-McRae (0-3) senior goalkeeper Alexis Feely promptly made an aggressive play to knock the ball away from the senior forward. The preseason first-team all-conference player was able to regain possession and drill the ball into the back of an empty net from the right corner of the 18-yard box making the game 1-0.
The Eagles ended the half with some fireworks as Elena Propst (Maiden, N.C.) earned her first tally as an Eagle on a pass from Allie-Anne Blackburn (Franklin, Tenn.) who would later build on her evening.
Propst took a cross from the junior forward right on the doorstep near the left post knocking down the ball and making a touch around Feely to finish with her left foot.
Blackburn followed up the Propst goal just over three minutes later on a dish from Sydney Spadafora (Collierville, Tenn.) which was collected a few feet above the 18-yard box. Blackburn took one touch and bent the ball past two Bobcat defenders before it got past a diving Feely into the left side of the net.
She decided to test her right foot moments later after taking a touch pass from Emma Daniels (Knoxville, Tenn.). Blackburn unleashed a rocket from 25 yards out as the ball tipped of the glove of the Bobcat keeper and into the top left of the net. Entering the day, the forward had just two goals to her resume, doubling the total in a span of three minutes to help the Eagles jump out to a 4-0 lead after 45 minutes.
"I'm just really happy for this team to get the win especially coming off two hard games from this past weekend," Blackburn mentioned. "The intensity we had against Columbus State in the second half was what we wanted to play with tonight. It's just been awesome to see the freshmen step on the field and the level shows no drop off at all. I was so excited for her to get a goal. I was just as excited for her to get a goal as I was for me."
The Eagles got off and running straight out of the locker room to begin the second half as sophomore Emilee Futrell (Wilson, N.C.) collected a rebound of a Mosengo shot to net home her third goal of the season, all of which have come in the past two games.
Defender Averi Williams (Powell, Tenn.) and Mosengo made one of the prettiest connections you'll see all season in the 62nd minute when the senior centre back delivered a ball into the box from near midfield. Mosengo split two Bobcat defenders performing a perfect touch to finish with the left foot.
C-N would take advantage once again in the 80th minute when freshman Lauren Hattery (Canton, Ohio) hit Blackburn with a perfect through ball up the middle of the field giving the forward a one-on-one opportunity, as she chipped the ball past Feely for the first hat trick of the 2018 season for C-N.
"She was just feeling it today you could tell," Duffy said. "The transitional movement and getting upfield, the combination play is what we are accustomed to playing and it showed there. Happy for all the freshman who got in there as well to keep them as fresh as we could."
It was the Eagles first hat trick since Mosengo collected three in a six-goal drubbing of Columbus State in the 2017 Southeast Region Title match.
C-N pushes to 9-7-1 all-time against the Bobcats on its way to a fifth-straight win, outscoring L-M 17-0 over that stretch. The program is now 36-10 all-time against Conference Carolina teams and has not allowed a goal to a league opponent since 2013.
Junior goalkeeper Jasmine Rizk collected the first solo shutout in the first win of her career needing to stop just one shot. The defense for Duffy's group allowed just six shots, with the lone one on frame.
C-N, on the other hand, ripped off 35 shots, 20 of which were on goal. Feely was tagged for all seven goals, marking the most she has allowed in her career and the most since allowing five in her freshman season to Pfeiffer. The last time the Eagles tallied over 30 shots came in a win over King last season when they put forth 31.
The Eagles will enter a four-game road stretch starting with Lee University on Saturday, Sept. 8th. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.