|August 26, 2016||1st||2nd||Final|
|LIP||51:57||MONTEITH, Scout (PAYNTER, Logan )|
|LIP||78:45||SAKOU, Ivan (LEIJA, Javier , SHAHEED, Malik)|
|Stats at a Glance||FAUM||LIP|
|Shots (on Goal)||6 (4)||10 (7)|
|August 28, 2016||1st||2nd||Final|
|LIP||9:33||PAYNTER, Logan (SANTEL, Brandon )|
|LIP||52:51||PAYNTER, Logan (EAGER, Austin )|
|LIP||88:31||SMITH, Kyle (SAKOU, Ivan )|
|Stats at a Glance||WIUM||LIP|
|Shots (on Goal)||1 (0)||13 (5)|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men’s soccer team is set to open its 2016 season with a pair of matches this weekend at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
On Friday the Bisons will host Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. before welcoming Western Illinois at 1 p.m. Sunday. The matches are a part of the inaugural Lipscomb/Belmont Challenge.
The Bisons are entering their 12th season of play under the vision of head coach Charles Morrow and he has the program eyeing its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
For the most part last season was a disappointing year for Lipscomb as it finished 6-10-1 overall, but in the end the Bisons managed to reach the Atlantic Sun semifinals for a fourth straight season before falling in double overtime to North Florida.
Lipscomb will have plenty of firepower to lean upon in 2016. Leading the way is preseason ASUN Player of the Year Ivan Alvarado. He is a two-time first team all-conference selection and an all-region honoree in 2015. He posted four goals and four assists as a sophomore to tie for the team lead with 12 points.
Logan Paynter, a preseason all-conference selection, is the returning leading scorer with six goals. The duo was one of the highest scoring tandems in the league a season ago, combining for 24 points.
Micah Bledsoe regained the number one spot between the net and started all 16 games he played in last season. Bledsoe returns as the preseason ASUN Goalkeeper of the Year with 40 starts under his belt. He enters his final season in Nashville with more career saves (153) than any other active goalie in the league. He also enters the season with 10 career shutouts to his name.
Defender Cameron Botes was one of three players to start all 17 games for the Bisons and he returns to help anchor the defense.
For those unable to attend the matches, there will be live stats available at LipscombSports.com.
SCOUTING FLORIDA ATLANTIC:
Head Coach Kos Donev enters his 29th campaign atop the Florida Atlantic men’s soccer program after coming off a disappointing season where they finished last season 2-12-1 overall as a member of Conference USA.
The Owls return 13 players from 2015 and will welcome 17 newcomers.
Thomas Gallitz is the top returning scorer from a year ago with three goals. He finished as a third team All-Conference selection with seven points in the campaign.
Phillip Hitpass returns after starting nine matches in net for the Owls where he stopped a team-high 35 shots.
SCOUTING WESTERN ILLINOIS:
Head coach Eric Johnson looks to begin his 20th season at the helm of the Western Illinois program.
The Leathernecks were picked to finish fourth in the Summit League preseason coaches’ poll after finishing 2015 with a mark of 6-11-1.
WIU returns 17 players to the program while welcoming 11 newcomers this season.
Western Illinois looked impressive during its preseason matches, earning a 2-1 win over DePaul and a 2-0 victory over Quincy.
Junior Aziz Tahir led the way with two goals in the win over DePaul. Also finding the back of the net were Armel Kouassi and Jacob Bevan.
- Lipscomb trails in the all-time series with FAU, 1-2, The last meeting between the schools came in 2005 when the Owls edged the Bisons 3-1 in Boca Raton, Florida. The only meeting between the programs in Nashville saw the Owls take a 6-0 victory in 2004. Lipscomb only win in the series was a 3-2 decision in 2003.
- Sunday’s match will be the first-ever meeting between Lipscomb and Western Illinois.
- The Bisons return 18 players, including 10 who made at least one start in 2015. Joining the mix will be 12 newcomers, including one transfer – Ivan Sakou (VCU).
- Senior Jose Chavez returns to the pitch after missing all of last season with injury. He has seven goals and five assists for his career.
After the two matches this weekend, Lipscomb will travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia State in a 6:30 p.m. tilt on Friday, September 2nd.