JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Heading into its third-straight road game, Carson-Newman will look to extend its three-game winning streak on Wednesday when they travel down the road into Harrogate, Tenn. to take on conference foe Lincoln Memorial.
C-N (3-2, 1-0 SAC) leads the all-time series 16-7-1 boasting an 8-3 record on the road. The Railsplitters (3-1, 0-0 SAC) have lost five out of the last six matches including each of the last four. The lone win came in overtime during the 2014 regular season.
Lincoln Memorial readies for its first SAC game of the season after Hurricane Florence canceled their match against Queens on Sept. 12. LMU comes off a 3-0 win over USC Aiken on Sept. 9 with its lone loss coming on Sept. 5 at Young Harris by a final of 2-0.
The Railsplitters join the Eagles as teams who have had an extended time off, however, LMU's goes all the way back to that Sept. 9 game against USC Aiken, a 10-day layoff as opposed to seven for C-N.
"It just seems like we haven't been home yet," Coach Simon Duffy said. "I think it was a much-needed couple of days break since we've been away from home, but looking forward against the test tomorrow. I think our team is ready to go."
LMU looks to bounce back after a 2017 chirpy matchup in Jeff City in which the Railsplitters fell 5-2. They were picked to finish 8th in the South Atlantic Conference preseason polls receiving 46 points ahead of Newberry (39), Mars Hill (25) and Coker (21).
"I know it's going to be a good test regardless," Duffy added. "If we are firing on all cylinders it should be a good thing for us. We've discussed to our girls at the beginning of the year that preseason polls really don't mean anything."
Defender Courtney Boyd was the lone Railsplitter to crack preseason all-league honors as she represented the second-team. The senior Boyd started all 17 games for LMU last season collecting two goals and one assist.
The Railsplitters are led by Sean Fraiser who made the jump as an assistant from the University of Charleston, a team which went 19-3- 2 and made an appearance in the National Championship game. He was hired by LMU in January of 2017 going 7-10 overall in his first year but just 2-8 in conference matches with the pair of wins coming against the bottom of the barrel in the league in Mars Hill (3-2), and Newberry (1-0) who went on to face C-N in the SAC tourney opening round as an eight seed.
After its 1-0 win to open up the conference slate against Lenoir-Rhyne last week, C-N moved to 28-3-2 against conference opponents over the last three regular-season meetings outscoring opponents 102-23. Including tournament matches, the record improves to 37-3-2 with a difference in scoring of 122-25.
Junior goalkeeper Jackie Burns earned her 26th career solo shutout in the win, moving into second all-time in SAC history, needing just one more to become the league's all-time leader. Her performance earned her Defensive Player of the Week from the conference.
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
"It's great to have her and Catarina Realista back," Duffy mentioned. "Delighted for her, but I think she would be the first to tell you as long as we are holding that trophy at the end of the season then that'll be all the accolades that she needs."
Eagles look to keep the momentum moving as the group has collected three-straight wins with victories over Lees McRae (7-0), Lee Univ. (3-2/OT), and Lenoir-Rhyne (1-0).
Duffy's group has moved back into the top-25 to No. 21 after being absent the previous two weeks when it had started at No. 2 heading into the year. Eagles also continue its rise in the southeast region polls as they make way into the third spot behind Georgia College (5-0-0) and Columbus State (3-0-1).