JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Looking for its fifth-straight win since dropping the first to games against nationally ranked teams, No. 21 Carson-Newman hosts a conference match with the Coker Cobras on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start.
Simon Duffy's squad (4-2, 2-0 SAC) returns home for just the second time this season. The last match came against Lees-McRae on September 6 in a 7-0 win for C-N. All five of the Eagles remaining matches on their record have come on the road.
"It'll be good to return home, it feels like we haven't been there in forever," Duffy said. "It's a team that will work extremely hard but it will be good to get another conference game under our belt tomorrow especially at home. Hopefully we can score a little bit but hope we play a good full 90 minutes."
The Eagles continue to boast a stellar home record over the last three-plus seasons. The program remains unbeaten at McCown Field having not lost at home since Sept. 11, 2015, against Ohio Dominican.
C-N will also look to extend its win streak against the Cobras (0-2. 0-0 SAC) to four games, though the conference foe holds an overall edge in the series with a 6-3-1 record. The Eagles are just 1-4 in home games against Coker, however, in the last three meetings between the two teams, C-N has outscored the Cobras 17-0.
C-N is 29-3-2 against conference opponents over the last three regular-season meetings outscoring opponents 107-25. Including tournament matches, the record improves to 38-3-2 with a difference in scoring of 127-27. The Eagles have won 13-consecutive matches against South Atlantic Conference opponents including the NCAA tourney match with Queens last season, plus the three victories en route to a league championship.
There are a number of records for C-N on the backburner following its 5-2 win over Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday in Harrogate. Magda Mosengo (London, England) moved into 10th all-time in program history with a total of 25. She remains five short of making the leap to 7th place.
Holly-Talbut Smith (Crawley, England) is one assist away from moving into a three-way tie for third all-time in the program for career assists. She currently has a total of 24. Averi Williams (Powell, Tenn.) is just under 200 minutes away from eclipsing 6000 minutes played in her C-N career.
Jackie Burns (Cookstown, Northern Ireland) remains just one clean sheet shy of grabbing the all-time record in career shutouts in SAC history currently holding a number of 26.3. Alexis Jones (Wingate) has the lead with 26.7 from 2014-17.
"Coker is a good team as they pose as a threat in every game they play," Duffy mentioned. "They have a good group of midfielders, their goalkeeper is stellar. We need to make sure the chances we create and the shots we take are of high quality."
Coker joined the South Atlantic Conference as a member in July of 2013 making the jump from the Conference Carolinas. The Cobras have played Carson-Newman just seven times in its history holding the aforementioned series lead at 6-3-1. They won or tied the first seven meetings with the Eagles but have lost the last three contests. The first meeting came all the way back in 1991 when the teams met for three-straight seasons. It took till 20 years later and a move to the SAC for the two teams to meet again.
The Cobras have played just two games in 2018 due to postponements of S.C. Beaufort and Wingate due to Hurricane Florence. Coker has not played since Sept. 5 when they traveled to Francis Marion falling in a 4-2 decision. The Cobras opened up the year at home on August 30th when they fell to Barton 2-0.
Coker was selected to finish last in the league following the preseason polls collecting 21 points, behind Mars Hill with 25 and Newberry rounding out the bottom three with 39. The team went 3-11-1 in 2017 with a conference record of 1-9, the lone win coming against Lincoln Memorial at home against 1-0. LMU went 7-10 overall but just 2-8 in conference games.
Sophomore Goalkeeper Samantha Hoffman was the lone player to be named to preseason all-conference teams with a second-team nomination. She started in 11 of 12 matches in 2017, recording two victories, including two shutouts against Shaw and St. Andrews. She was a second-team All-SAC selection following the regular season.
The group is led by Thom Jones who enters his first season at the helm. He spent the past 11 years as the head coach at Campbellsville Univ. recording a career record of 132-82-12. Led Campbellsville to their first NAIA National Tournament appearance in school history in 2015 with the most wins in program history with 19.