That mission has been accomplished as the Bisons, the No. 4 seed, play host to Campbell, the No. 5 seed Saturday at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex. Game time is 1 p.m.
“Campbell has some very good players and some dynamic players,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said. “At this point in the year anything can happen. We are not looking past Campbell at all.”
“If you look at it from the top seed to the sixth seed I feel line anyone can win it. There is not a lot that separates the team.”
In order to reach the second goal, the Bisons have to win which earns them a trip to Johnson City to take on ETSU, the top seed in the conference in the semifinals Nov. 11. The finals will be held Nov. 13 at ETSU with the winner advancing to the NCAA Tournament, the Bisons ultimate goal.
The Bisons beat Campbell 2-1 Oct. 20 in Buies Creek to earn the right to host a first round game. Morrow doesn’t think playing the Camels again in such a short time span will be a problem.
The Bisons are 9-8-0 overall, 5-4-0 in the conference. Campbell is 6-8-4, 4-5-0 in the A-Sun. In the series overall Campbell holds a 5-2-1 advantage but has only won once in the last four meetings.
“In one respect it is tough because it was a hard-fought game,” Morrow said. “There are some things that make it tough but I don’t mind it.
“We know exactly what they have. They know exactly what we have. There is not a whole lot that will be different.”
The Bisons are led offensively by forward Garret Pettis, a First Team All A-Sun selection, who has seven goals. Forward Miguel DaSilva, a Second Team All A-Sun pick, has six.
Pettis scored what proved to be the game-winning goal against Campbell to close out the regular season.
“I think we match up very well with our backs and their forwards,” Morrow said. “At midfield they did some different things the last time we played them that took us some time to adjust, but I think we match up well in the midfield.
“They have a pretty dynamic player in Mitchell Cardenas. I thought Angel Chairez did an unbelievable job against him in the last game. In the last game we got to them with our forwards and midfielders.”
One difference, however, for the Bisons will be the return of defender Kevin Barbar to the starting lineup. Barbar, a member of the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team, sat out the last Campbell game.
“Having Kevin back will help us out a lot defensively,” Morrow said.
Morrow thinks his players are physically fit at this stage of the season.
“There is not one team this season that our players thought we more fit than us with the exception of maybe Louisville which was a game early in the season,” Morrow said. “I think fitness for us is a strong suit.”
The Bisons are 2-2-1 in A-Sun Tournament games. The tie was decided by a shootout, a loss to Jacksonville in 2008. This is the fourth straight season that the Bisons have qualified for the tournament.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.