TIGERVILLE, S.C. – Despite a flurry of chances to capture a goal in the first half of play with gusts of momentum at its back, Carson-Newman's inability to find the back of the mesh would ultimately lead to a 1-0 defeat at North Greenville.
"Just need to want it more than the other team," head coach Simon Duffy said following the loss. "They had more desire, more heart and intensity than us throughout the game and in the second half (North Greenville) were leaps and bounds the better team than us."
It was a tale of two separate stanzas at the synthetic turf confines of Pepsi Stadium, as the Eagles (6-4, 4-1 South Atlantic Conference) moved with conviction at game's start. In the first 90 seconds C-N managed to earn a pair of corner kicks with a season-high, first-half total of six corners taken throughout the opening 45 minutes of play. The Eagles cracked 11 shots to open the game before half, with five landing on target and requiring the attention of Crusaders goalie Brianna Rowe.
North Greenville's (6-2, 4-1 Conference Carolinas) slow start would result in only taking one shot through the entire first period, matching the season-low in shots allowed by the Eagles previously in a contest against Newberry on Sept. 21.
After the 15-minute intermission, however, the Crusaders were able to get more offensive touches on the ball while stymieing the Eagles in the offensive third. The lone corner kick on the evening for North Greenville ended up being the slight opening that they would need. As a host of bodies collided near the six-yard box, the ball was able to find its way onto the head of sophomore defense Abby Robinson and past senior goalie Jasmine Rizk (Andersonville, Tenn.) for the contest's lone score.
It is the fourth contest in 10 games on the 2019 campaign that has ended in a final of 1-0. The Eagles are 2-2 overall those games. It is also the fourth time this season that C-N has failed to score. The match also marks the first time since Nov. 4, 2018 in the SAC Championship Game against Lincoln Memorial that C-N managed to out-shoot its opponent in a losing effort.
With the loss, the Eagles now move to 1-2 in road contests.
Looking to fight back, C-N will travel to Coker on Saturday for a matinee matchup that is set for a noon kick.