NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb University men’s soccer team has a busy weekend ahead, with a Thursday night road match at High Point, beginning at 7 p.m. The Bison will then make the long bus ride home for a day of class and training in preparation of their Sunday afternoon tilt, at home against Xavier at 2 p.m.
Lipscomb opened the season with a home loss to Georgia State, 1-0, Friday afternoon on an 86th-minute Panther goal after a hard-fought defensive struggle. The Bison hit the road for a Sunday night match at Memphis, coming out on the losing end by a 4-1 tally despite six saves from keeper Brent McGee and a goal from junior Jeremy Reid.
McGee pulled off 10 saves in the season’s first weekend in the face of near-constant pressure, facing 29 shots in two games, including 15 on goal.
Boosting the Bison hopes heading in to the weekend are the return of a couple of key players from injury. Sophomores Nick Bibb and Kevin Barbar have been sidelined since the UAB exhibition game and bring a much-needed boost in experience and energy for the Bison.
The High Point Panthers come off a 0-0 draw last weekend against rival Elon, the only game the Panthers played during the season’s opening weekend.
High Point went 16-4-1 in 2010, losing to Coastal Carolina in the Big South championship game. The Panthers were and remain an offensive juggernaut, scoring 49 team goals in 2010. Five players, four of whom return for 2011, scored 20 points or more last season, led by Hermann Trophy candidate Karo Okiomah.
This will be the first match-up between the Bison and High Point in history.
Sunday, Lipscomb will host 2010 NCAA College Cup Tournament qualifier Xavier, who earned the automatic bid from the Atlantic 10 before falling to West Virginia in the tournament’s opening round.
The Musketeers finished 10-7-4 in 2010, with one of those 10 victories coming in a 1-0 win over Lipscomb, Sep. 24. A 41st-minute goal by Andy Dimby was the difference, though Lipscomb’s Garret Pettis (five shots) did his best to get the Bison on the board. Keeper Justin Marshall earned the shutout for Xavier that day, and returns in net for the Musketeers in 2011.
Xavier opens its regular season tomorrow night against Marshall. The Musketeers defeated 17th-ranked Indiana and tied 12th-ranked Notre Dame in exhibition action.
Lipscomb gets a nice break following Sunday’s game and won’t have to travel far for next weekend’s contests, when they participate in the Belmont Tournament, against VMI (Fri., Sept. 9, 3:30 p.m.) and Georgia Southern (Sun., Sept. 11, 12:05 p.m.)
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