Thursday, September 18, 2008
Lipscomb’s Bisons will play host to their first ever soccer tournament this Friday and Sunday.
The Hyatt Place Select-Brentwood Invitational will also feature Belmont University (3-2-0), UNC-Asheville (1-2-1) and Presbyterian College (1-3-1). The Bisons are 1-4-1.
Morrow views the tournament as another major step in the evolution of the program.
“When I first got here we didn’t have any problems getting games,” said fourth-year coach Charles Morrow. “Other teams were anxious to play, even on our home field, because they saw it as a win. Now for us to get quality opponents at home we almost have to do a tournament so we can offer more than one game.
“It is a huge step for us to select the teams we have coming in and to play at home. When you look at any major program they have two or three major tournaments. This is a big step for us. It is something the players are excited about.”
Belmont will play UNC-Asheville Friday at 5 followed by Lipscomb and Presbyterian at 7:30. Morrow is familiar with Presbyterian having coached against them when he was at Belmont Abbey as head coach.
“What you get from Presbyterian is a very disciplined, hard-working team,” said Morrow. “They will work and high pressure you for 90 minutes. They are tough team to play against because they work extremely hard. Soccer is a sport where hard work and effort can make up for a lot.
“It will be a good challenge for us. Presbyterian is a school that is where we were seven or eight years ago. They are in the second year of provisional membership in NCAA Division I. It would be easy for our guys to look at this game and say they are a young Division I program that we beat last year so we should win this game. If we approach it that way they will beat us. We have come in focused and ready to play.”
Sunday Belmont and Presbyterian will play at noon. Lipscomb and UNC-Asheville will meet at 2:30.
“Asheville lost their best player who was a defensive force,” Morrow said. “They will be a gritty team. I think in my four years here this is my third time to play them. We are 1-1 against them.”
The Bisons will not face Belmont in this tournament, but Morrow will be watching them closely.
“Belmont has had some good success,” Morrow said. “They are very organized defensively. It will be good to see them one last time before we have to play them in another week or two.”
All games are being played at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
The Bisons start a young team with six freshmen, three sophomores, one junior and one senior. Sophomore forward Miguel DaSilva leads the Bisons in both points (seven) and goals (three). Freshman forward Andrew Chamberlain is second in points (four) and goals (two).
“The challenge is to go from being a team that can play with anybody at times to a team that can play with anybody for 90 minutes,” Morrow said. “It is not about fitness. It is more about focus and doing the little things for the whole game.
“The good thing is the talent is there. The little things are keeping us from having the success we are wanting.”