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8/29/2014 | Cincinnati, Ohio | Attendance: 1129
Friday, August 29, 2014
CINCINNATI, Ohio – Two Bisons scored their first-career goals to help lead the Lipscomb men’s soccer team to an exciting season-opening 3-2 decision over Xavier Friday night at the rain-soaked Xavier Soccer Complex.
“To beat a team like Xavier, a team that has been to the NCAA Tournament the last few years, is huge for our program,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said. “As happy as I am to get a win over a Big East Conference team, I believe that was a very solid performance from our group.”
It is Lipscomb’s first-ever win over Xavier and a Big East Conference foe.
The Bisons improve to 1-0 while Xavier falls to 0-1.
Battling back-and-forth through the first 44 minutes, neither team could capitalize on their shots. But with 30 seconds until the break, Lipscomb drew first blood when junior midfielder Anthony Cedano connected on a header for his first-career goal to give the Bisons a 1-0 lead.
“Anthony is a guy who started as a freshman, but last season he found himself on the wrong side of things with some other guys playing so well,” Morrow said. “But he handled it with maturity and has worked so hard over the last six months. It is really good to see him bear the fruits of his labor.”
Preseason Atlantic Sun Conference Co-Player of the Year, Omar Djabi, assisted on the goal.
With the spirits high and a momentum swing in hand, the Bisons came out attacking early in the second period.
Redshirt junior Matt Kerridge doubled Lipscomb’s lead, 2-0, just three minutes into the half when he received a pass from Reece Holcombe and beat two Musketeer defenders before sliding the ball past the goalie.
It was his first goal in his four-year career while donning the Purple and Gold.
“Matt Kerridge is one of the more underrated players in our conference, no question” said Morrow. “He has been on the verge of a having a breakout season.
“He suffered an injury and was redshirted because of it. The things he has done for our program in the last two years is undeniable. He played great in the spring and is primed to have a great year for us. I couldn’t me more proud of what he has done.”
Holcombe was credited with the assist on Kerridge’s effort.
Freshman goalie Nate Davis got his first collegiate start in the net for Morrow’s squad and had a clean sheet deep into the second period until Xavier’s Jalen Brown scored at 80:27 to cut Lipscomb’s lead in half, 2-1.
Rather than getting discouraged, Holcombe decided to put his name in the scoring column. It took the preseason All-Conference selection all of 17 seconds to do just that.
Freshman Ivan Alvarado, playing in his first collegiate game, played a through ball to set up Holcombe’s goal for a 3-1 Bison lead.
“Ivan is such a quality player,” said Morrow. “We had very high expectations for him coming into the season. He has the potential to be one of the better players we have ever had here at Lipscomb.”
The score was Holcombe’s seventh-career goal.
With the clock waning in the closing minutes and needing to score twice, Xavier brought four men forward in search of a goal. XU’s Brown found one, punching in his second goal of the night in the 87th minute from four yards out to round out the scoring.
Morrow liked everything he saw from his team in the win, but was most proud of what he got out of his freshmen.
“Our freshmen were outstanding tonight,” Morrow said. “Although we have a very seasoned group, three freshmen started for us.
“Jonathan Ramirez had a quality preseason and looked really good tonight. We think Joe Kerridge is going to be spectacular for us. He is very similar to his brother, Matt. We are looking for big things from him.”
Davis collected five saves in net for Lipscomb. Eric Osswald was credited with two stops for Xavier.
“What Nate Davis has done is no small task,” Morrow said. “Micah Bledsoe is a very good goalkeeper and started every game for us last season, but for Nate to come in and do the things he has done was big.
“Our goalkeeper situation is a good thing to have because they all could play at any time and have our trust. The whole crew is very, very solid.”
With Lipscomb playing its first five matches away from home, it was key to get a road win over a national power like Xavier.
“We are nowhere near where we need to be right now,” Morrow said. “But the thing is we now have confidence.
“Confidence is a huge thing to have and to get a win to start off the season is big. Bigger than that is getting a win on the road and knowing they can go on the road to get a result helps their confidence.”
UP NEXT: The Bisons have a quick turnaround as they travel to Eastern Illinois on Monday for a 2 p.m. match.
“The main thing we have to do is get some rest and recover,” Morrow said. “As coaches we have to get the players ready to go out on Monday and compete again. With a two-game weekend, you tend to pour everything into the first match. We have a lot of work to do as coaches to get ready for the second.
“Our entire coaching staff has done a tremendous job and we will begin to prepare for Eastern Illinois on the ride home. We will be ready.”
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