NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lady Bisons soccer team begins the Atlantic Sun schedule, this weekend, when they travel to conference-leading Mercer (Sept. 23, 6 p.m.) and Kennesaw State (Sept. 25, 12 noon) for the first steps down the path to the conference tournament.
The Lady Bisons have hit a rough patch, losing three straight since defeating Southern Miss, Sept. 9. Lipscomb has been hit with a wave of injuries recently and will be short-handed once more this weekend.
Lipscomb fell to a rejuvenated Austin Peay side, 5-0, last Thursday, before losing a heartbreaker to Tennessee Tech 2-1, Sunday. Against the Lady Eagles, Lipscomb was only able to play 13 players, with five making their season’s first start.
One of the most important returners for Lipscomb this weekend will be leading scorer Meghan McGuire. The senior has four of Lipscomb’s nine goals this season, tied for fourth in the A-Sun.
The defense has come under heavy fire recently, with opponents taking an average of 22.67 shots per game. Junior Erin Zerio has saved a higher percentage of shots on goal than Lipscomb’s opposing keepers, but the Lady Bisons defense will have to limit the opponents amount of chances.
Zerio enters the weekend with 40 saves and a 1.37 goals against average.
Mercer owns an A-Sun best 6-2-0 non-conference mark, the most victories for an A-Sun women’s team in non-conference play since Belmont won six in 2007. Mercer’s six wins have all come via shutout; the Bears have allowed a conference-low six goals in 2011.
Last week, the Bears picked up twin 4-0 victories over Presbyterian and Alabama State, with Danielle Hesse picking up three goals total. Hesse, Emerald Phillips and Olivia Tucker have paced the Bears offense this season, led by Tucker’s five goals and 11 points.
Last season, Mercer defeated Lipscomb 4-0 on Sept. 19. Phillips scored a goal for the Bears, while the departed Kacie Hudson added two. For the first time in school history, the Lady Bisons failed to get off a single shot during the game.
The Owls of Kennesaw State bring in the conference’s leading goal scorer in the form of redshirt freshman Katrina Frost, who’s contributed eight goals to the Owl attack this year. Frost is one of six Division I transfers on the roster for coach Rob King this season.
Kennesaw State is 4-3-1 this season, with only a Sept. 2 loss to Samford blemishing the Owls home record. The Lady Bisons will be going for their first victory in four tries at Kennesaw State.
Last year, Lipscomb dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker to Kennesaw State behind a last-second goal from Brittany Vining. That outcome reversed what had moments before been joy for the Lady Bisons after Andie Thornton’s 89th-minute goal tied the match.
Lipscomb will finally return home next weekend when they host ETSU (Sep. 30, 7 p.m.) and USC Upstate (Oct. 2, 1 p.m.) in A-Sun action.
Check back on Lipscombsports.com for more information on the Lady Bison soccer team, and be sure to follow us on Twitter (@Lipscombwsoccer) and like us on Facebook (Lipscomb Women’s Soccer).
- Mercer leads the A-Sun at 6-2-0. Florida Gulf Coast is just behind at 5-3-1 with a conference-best 3-1 road record.
- ETSU boasts one of the nation’s best offenses, averaging 2.57 goals per game (23rd in the NCAA).
- McGuire is tied for fourth in the conference with four goals and tied for fifth with eight points.
- Junior keeper Erin Zerio is one of the top netminders in the conference, with 40 saves (third) and a 1.73 GAA (fifth).