Regrouping when things aren’t going your way is one of the most difficult aspects of sports. For the Lipscomb men’s soccer team, this weekend offers the opportunity for redemption after an 0-4-0 start that saw the Bisons offense score just one goal.
Friday Lipscomb will begin play in the Mafiaoszo Belmont Tournament against VMI with a 3:30 p.m. match. Sunday, the Bison will be back on the pitch at E.S. Rose Park for a 12:05 p.m. match-up against Georgia Southern.
The Bisons were blanked in both matches last weekend, falling to High Point (3-1) last Thursday and dropping a rainy 1-0 home match to Xavier, Sunday. The lone goal in last week’s matches was attained via own goal at High Point; the Bisons haven’t netted a goal since Jeremy Reid’s 74th minute goal at Memphis in the second game of the season.
The defense has come under fire and performed admirably, though it has been beset by injury throughout the early part of the campaign. In addition to senior keeper Brent McGee’s steady, inspired play in net, players such as freshmen Ben Gates and Omar Djabi have stepped up to contribute on the backline.
In a statistical anomaly that bodes well for the Bisons, they have played the most games in the A-Sun (four) but are the only squad in the conference that has yet to be whistled for an offside penalty.
This will be the first time that Lipscomb has faced either VMI or Georgia Southern; though neither has faced a common opponent of Lipscomb’s so far in 2011, Georgia Southern destroyed Atlantic Sun foe North Florida, 5-0, to open the season; the Bisons defeated North Florida, 3-2, in the midst of a four-match winning streak last season.
Neither opponent is off to a roaring start; VMI is 0-3-0, with losses to North Carolina State, Army and NJIT to their credit. The Keydets have been offensively challenged early on, mustering only two goals in three matches.
The Georgia Southern offense has been more high-flying (10 goals in three games), but is showing signs of regressing. After their opening-night shellacking of North Florida, 5-0, the Panthers dropped a double-overtime match to Winthrop (5-4) and drew with Gardner-Webb, 1-1.
The Bisons will host their own tournament, next weekend, when Belmont, IPFW and Bowling Green descend upon the campus for the Hyatt Place Select/Lipscomb Invitational Tournament, Sept. 16-18.
Check back on Lipscombsports.com for more information on the Bison soccer team, and be sure to follow us on Twitter (@LUMSoccer) and like us on Facebook (Lipscomb University Men’s Soccer Team).