Friday night at 6 the Bisons visit Xavier in Cincinnati. Sunday at 10 a.m. they will play Bowling Green State in Bowling Green, Ohio.
“The last three weeks we have played really well,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said. “We haven’t gotten the results that we wanted, but we have played well.
“We are looking to tie everything together and we are really looking for consistency in all areas. There certainly have been some things we needed to address such as goaltending. Hopefully, this weekend we will find some consistency.”
Brent McGee has started in goal the first six games, but Morrow has hinted that freshman Isaac Pile, who has been playing in the midfield, may get the start against Xavier.
Morrow has liked the play of midfielder/forward Nick Bibb, midfielder Joey Chiappetta and defender Kevin Barbar.
“Bibb is fast and quick,” Morrow said. “Barbar came from a very competitive club team with the best system in the country right now. Joey probably got overlooked a little bit in the recruiting process based on where he was from and who he was playing for.”
Barbar and Chiapetta have been consistent performers.
“Barbar moves well for his size,” Morrow said. “A lot of players who are 6-foot-3 or taller don’t move really well. He is quick and he has good feet.
“Chiappetta’s style is real simple. He is not going to dazzle you with stuff, but he is so steady. He is a good passer and he keeps the ball moving. He doesn’t lose the ball a whole lot. He might be the guy who makes the pass before scoring or who makes the pass before the pass that scores the goal.”
The Bisons, winners of three of their last four games, have faced several strong opponents in the past few weeks. The National Soccer Coaches Association poll for this week ranks Tulsa in second, Louisville in eighth and SMU in ninth. UAB is 24th in one poll and in the NSCA poll they are 26th.
Xavier, 0-2-2, opens a three-game home stand starting with the Bisons, 3-3-0, at Xavier Soccer Complex.
“I think we are a lot better than our record indicates,” Morrow said. “I don’t think we feel like a .500 team.”
Xavier has allowed only two goals in 400 minutes this season. They are ranked 11th in goals against per game and 19th in shutout percentage.
“Both Xavier and Bowling Green State will be contrasts in style for us,” Morrow said. “I think both teams are more direct. It will be a good challenge for us to see if we can stick to our style versus two teams that are going to be disruptive.”
The Xavier game will be played on artificial turf, the first time the Bisons have played on that type of field since he has been head coach.
“It is going to be really, really fast,” Morrow said. “Most of our players have played on turf with their club teams. We have practiced on Vanderbilt’s turf. We are not going to use it as an excuse if we don’t play well.”
The Bisons are coming off of a 4-0 shutout by UAB in the finals of the Hyatt Place Select/Lipscomb Invitational Sunday afternoon. “We are creating chances,” Morrow said. “We are being dangerous. I’m not frustrated with the offensive production.
“UAB felt very fortunate to get a shutout. Their coach admitted to us that we should have scored two goals. He told us it wasn’t because our players didn’t hit the ball well or that we weren’t creating. Their goaltender made amazing saves.”
Morrow also likes what he is seeing from his defenders.
“I look at the goals we have given up and it is not because of team defense,” Morrow said. “We have a tough stretch ahead of us. We have to have some consistency.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.