Lipscomb Bisons’ soccer coach Charles Morrow certainly didn’t do himself any favors when picking teams for the Hyatt Place Select/Lipscomb Invitational.
Joining Lipscomb in the tournament are UNC Asheville, the defending champion; UAB, ranked this week in the top 25 in the country; and long-time rival Belmont. The Bisons will play UNC Asheville Friday night at 7 and will face UAB Sunday at 4. They will not play Belmont.
‘This is going to be a very competitive tournament.” Morrow said. “UNC Asheville is a physical team that works extremely hard. It sounds like they a fairly direct team which is a different type of style and good for us to play against.
“When UNC Asheville gets the ball the plan is to get the ball to the frontrunners as quickly as possible. The backs will target the forwards pretty exclusively. The midfield is there to pick up the pieces.”
UNC Asheville’s players should be well-rested since they haven’t played since Sept. 8. In last year’s tournament UNC Asheville beat both Lipscomb and Belmont by 2-1 scores.
UAB, 3-1, is ranked 25th in the nation this week by College Soccer News. They are ranked No. 4 in the South Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
“UAB plays in a great conference in Conference USA,” Morrow said. “UAB will also be very physical, but in a different kind of way.
“UAB is going to be very fast and quick. UAB is going to move the ball well and be very technical. I am really looking forward to that match-up as well.”
The Bisons are 2-2, having won their last two outings this past weekend in the Belmont Invitational with a 3-1 win over Gardner-Webb and a 3-1 victory over Centenary.
“Scoring multiple goals in a game always helps the confidence,” Morrow said. “But we should have scored a lot more.
“It is good we were able to score goals. But I think in both games we left a lot of goals out there. I understand we are going to have missed opportunities. Every team does. That’s what makes the game enjoyable and maddening at the same time.”
Garret Pettis and Miguel DaSilva each have two goals this season for the Bisons. Joey Chiappetta has three assists.
“The guys that we expect to score are scoring and new guys are stepping up,” Morrow said. “But there are too many opportunities that are still being left out there. I expect it to improve as we go along.”
On the field both games will offer different styles. Morrow is looking forward to seeing how his team performs against two different approaches to a game.
“UNC Asheville plays a system that is similar to what we saw against both Gardner-Webb and Centenary,” Morrow said. “There are not a whole lot of changes that we will have to do, at least in that first game.
“Asheville is a game that will be more of a battle to determine which style is going to win out. The question is which team is going to be able to impose its will on the other team.”
The Bisons play a possession style of game, but they can also take a more direct approach offensively.
“Our style is very similar to UAB’s,” Morrow said. “It will be interesting. I think it will be a fun game to watch. “
Morrow thinks hosting a tournament provides an extra boost for the soccer program each season.
“The crowd and the home field advantage are big,” Morrow said. “This creates something else on campus for the students to do.
“We have tried to create an event type of environment for our home games. On Fridays there will be live music and food.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.