ROCK HILL, S.C. – Carson-Newman goalkeeper Jackie Burns returned to the starting XI on Sept. 8 after international duties had her playing for her home country. Four days and two wins later, the junior posted a clean sheet at Lenoir-Rhyne in the team's conference opener collecting four saves as she's been named Defensive Player of the Week by the South Atlantic Conference this morning. The honor is the first of an already illustrious career as an Eagle.
"I just love coming back and playing with this team coming off of what we did last year," Burns stated. "I know we have a lot of belief her and have the drive to go forward. It's great coming back even after the experience I've had with Northern Ireland and hopefully I can bring some of that back to the team."
Burns (Cookstown, Northern Ireland) was not only dominant in the 1-0 win over the regionally-ranked Bears on Sept. 12, but the shutout held some historic value. It marked the 26th solo clean sheet in her career moving Burns into second all-time in SAC history. Her total holds at 26.3 due to shutouts split between two goalkeepers.
The clean sheet against Lenoir-Rhyne which moved her into second all-time in @SAC_Athletics history for shutouts earns Jackie Burns Defensive Player of the Week honors for @CNWSoccer �� pic.twitter.com/FdaoqZAem0— C-N Athletics (@CNathletics) September 18, 2018
"Having the girls on the back line, they're strong and committed and not afraid to make a tackle," Burns mentioned. "They make it an easy day at the office sometimes for me."
The third-year starter needs just one more solo shutout to pass current leader Alexis Jones who holds the league lead with an overall total of 26.7. Jones led a well-respected Wingate program from 2014-17. Burns has plenty of time to distance herself from the pack after recording 14 clean sheets during her freshman year, only to follow it up with 11 last season in the team's trip to the National Championship.
She holds a career record of 40-5-2 at Mossy Creek with a career goal against average of 0.55 and a save percentage .851.
Burns and the Eagles will make the trip to Harrogate, Tenn. on Wednesday to take on the Railsplitters. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m.