NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With lofty expectations surrounding the 2014 season, the Lipscomb men’s soccer team opened fall camp Monday with a pair of sessions on the practice field.
Head coach Charles Morrow was excited to get back on the pitch.
“Today has been highly anticipated by the coaches and players alike,” Morrow said. “Coming off the spring season where we had players playing all across the country, it’s exciting to get the guys back on campus so we can see how they have progressed.”
In 2013, the Bisons finished third in the league at 9-9-2 and made a trip to the semifinals of the A-Sun Tournament for the fifth time the last seven years, falling to ETSU 1-0.
At year’s end, Morrow was named A-Sun Coach of the Year. It was the first time in program history a Lipscomb coach has earned the honor.
Highlighting a senior-laden squad is Omar Djabi, the reigning A-Sun Player of the Year. The senior from Venezuela led the league in goals (9) and points (21) last season.
Anchoring a defensive line that recorded seven shutouts and allowed the second-fewest goals in the A-Sun in 2013, Luke Gearin returns for his final season wearing the purple and gold.
Gearin finished second on the team with five goals, including the game-winner in the first round of the conference tournament against Jacksonville. He earned a spot on the All-Conference second team after recording 10 points on the year.
The captain has many goals this season, but there is one that means so much more.
“This team is capable of doing big things,” Gearin said. “We want to win the national championship. Our goal for this year is to first win the A-Sun regular season, then the conference tournament and hopefully win a few games in the NCAA Tournament before making that final goal.”
Other notable returnees include; Reece Holcombe (Second Team All-Conference), Micah Bledsoe (All-Freshman Team), Cameron Botes (All-Freshman Team) and Scout Monteith (All-Freshman Team).
With plenty of experience returning, there will be opportunities for the freshmen to step up and put a footprint on the season.
“Our incoming freshmen will have a significant impact on this year’s result,” Morrow said. “With the number, and specifically the talent level we are bringing in, we expect major contributions right away from several of them.”
The Bisons will face arch-rival Belmont on Saturday August 16 in the first of two exhibition matches. Kick-off will be 7 p.m. at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
The regular season gets started on the road at Xavier on August 29th.