JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Simon Duffy's team will be put to the test once again early in 2018 when they travel to Cleveland, Tenn. to take on the Flames of Lee University. Game time for Saturday is slated to kick off at 7:00 p.m.
"It's going to be a tough test after seeing them last year at our place in regional play," Duffy explained. "They have a very good squad returning and we hope the confidence from Wednesday will carry over moving forward. If you're not patient enough you can be stifled and make poor decisions. Hopefully, the shooting boots are still on for Saturday."
The Carson-Newman women's soccer program is in search of their 300th win all-time, currently sitting at 299 after Wednesday's 7-0 win over Lees-McRae.
Lee University has the edge in the series history 3-2, two of which have come on their home soil. It's the first time these two teams have met since 2010 when the Flames dropped the Eagles 4-2 in Cleveland. Both programs had played three years in a row from 2008-10 but prior hadn't played since the 1994-95 seasons in which the Eagles collected both of their wins in the series.
Lee (2-0-1) comes off a 3-2 win over No. 18 Georgia College on Thursday as sophomore midfielder Kelsey Yoder scored off a free kick in the 89th minute.
The early season matchups provided a 3-1 over Trevecca Nazerene at home on Sept. 3. Rollins College and Lee ended with a 2-2 tie in the season opener 2018 opener on Aug. 30 in Florida.
In 2017, the Flames made a run into the NCAA tournament making an appearance in the South Region Title match after wins over Florida Tech (2-0) and Nova Southeastern (1-1, 3-2 in PKs). Lee ran into West Florida in the region title which also went into penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie through 110 minutes. The Argonauts prevailed 3-2.
The Gulf South Conference team went 12-2 in conference play a year ago with a home record of 8-2. Lee was 3-0 against ranked opponents during the regular season with wins against #13 North Georgia (4-3), #17 Mississippi College (1-0/OT) and #8 North Alabama (1-0).
No. 8 Lee defeated Mississippi College again in the league title match by a final of 1-0. It was their first GSC Championship after Mississippi knocked off the Flames in penalty kicks the year prior.
Lee, along with the Carson-Newman at No. 2, was ranked No. 9 to start the season but both fell out of the top-25 in the latest United Soccer Coaches polls.
The Flames were picked to finish third in the GSC after garnering a total of 150 points and three first-place votes. Mississippi College checked in at No. 2 with 153 points and four first-place votes. West Florida sat atop the preseason rankings with six first-place votes and 161 points.
Chris Hennessey leads the program into his fourth season at the helm. All three years his team has made the NCAA tournament while accumulating a record of 42-12-8.
The Eagles come off the dominant 7-0 win at home against Lees-McRae on Wednesday but will immediately hit the road once again after beginning the first two games of the year in Columbus, Ga. Saturday's matchup with the Flames will begin a four-game road trip for C-N who doesn't return home until Sept. 22nd.
The Eagles moved to 14-11-2 all-time against Gulf South Conference teams after falling in the 2018 season opener to West Florida.
Duffy will return starting goalkeeper Jackie Burns and midfielder Catarina Realista after the duo missed the first three games due to invites to play with their national teams for the World Cup Qualifiers.