|August 25, 2017||1st||2nd||Final|
|LIP||50:56||REZA, Eduardo (ALVARADO, Ivan )|
|Stats at a Glance||NIAM||LIP|
|Shots (on Goal)||8 (4)||13 (6)|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men’s soccer team will kick off its 2017 campaign at home on Friday night with first-time opponent Niagara.
The Bisons will be looking to build on the momentum from last year’s 10-win season which saw them finish 49th nationally in RPI and advance to the ASUN semifinals for the five consecutive season.
Expectations for the squad are high as the Bisons were picked third in the ASUN Preseason Coaches Poll, just one voting point behind second-place North Florida. Three members of the 2017 team were selected as Preseason All-ASUN honorees including defender Joe Kerridge, midfielder Ivan Alvarado and forward Logan Paynter.
Lipscomb will also have experience on its side in 2017. With 10 seniors and five juniors, the Bisons boast the most upperclassmen of any ASUN team. They return eight of their 11 starters from a year ago including the entire backline which contributed to allowing a paltry 22 goals on the 2016 campaign and earning six shutouts, the second-most in program history.
On the offensive side of the pitch, the two leading goal scorers return as Paynter and forward Ivan Sakou will look to replicate their success from a year ago. The two strikers combined for 17 goals, the second-most from a pair of strikers in the ASUN. Leading set-up man and three-time ASUN First Teamer Ivan Alvarado also returns for his final season with the Bisons. Alvarado contributed four assists last year giving him 16 in three seasons with the club, one shy of the program-record 17.
The game will not be broadcast will live stats can be found at LINK.
Head coach Bill Boyle begins his second season at the helm of the Purple Eagles. In Boyle’s inaugural campaign, Niagara finished with a 3-6-1 record, good for eighth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).
They return their leading points scorer, sophomore Mackenzie Roach, who was a MAAC All-Rookie team member last season as a freshman. Roach potted two goals and three assists last year. No Purple Eagle scored more than two goals last season, as the team combined to score just 12 goals in 17 games.
Keeper Steve Casey returns after starting 16 games as a sophomore in 2016. Casey allowed 1.31 goals per game last year.
- Lipscomb and Niagara have never faced off. It will be the first time the Bisons have played an opponent from the MAAC.
- The only ASUN opponent Niagara has faced is NJIT. The Purple Eagles have lost to the Highlanders 3-2 each of the last two years.
- This is the first game the Highlanders have played in the state of Tennessee.
The Bisons will hit the road for their first away game on Monday as they take on South Florida at 6:00pm CT.