NASHVILLE, Tenn. – First-year head coach Kevin O’Brien and the Lipscomb women’s soccer team will kick off their 2012 season, Friday, Aug. 17, when they host Jackson State in a non-conference match-up. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex. Admission is free to all soccer matches.
“I’m just chomping at the bit to see how the team does, and to be able to evaluate them under the pressure of a match,” O’Brien said. “Just to see where we need to go from here to make it a successful campaign. It’s never just about one game or one result, it’s about how did we do from start to finish and I want us to finish strong.”
Under new leadership, the Lady Bisons look to improve on their 4-13-1 record from a year ago. The Lady Bisons return 11 letter winners from last season which include six startsers. Senior goalkeeper Erin Zerio will once again handle duties in the box. Senior Andie Thornton, who led the Lady Bisons in scoring just two seasons ago, returns to the defensive line. Captain and senior defensemen Kameron Stilwell is expected to anchor the defense.
The Lady Bisons also welcome 14 new faces to the program including midfielder Callie Cavanaugh, a transfer from Clemson and Nicole Marton a three-time All-State honoree in West Virginia.
The Lady Tigers, the Southwestern Athletic Conference East Division favorite, ended last season 7-9-1 while performing to a 3-0-1 record in SWAC East play. Under the leadership of first-year head coach Dean Joseph, the Lady Tigers had midfielder Kimberlie Hernandez chosen as a Preseason All-SWAC team member.
Following Friday’s contest, the Bisons travel to Cincinnati, Ohio, on Monday Aug. 20 for a 7 p.m. match-up with Xavier. The Musketeers are coming off a 7-8-3 season in 2011 and have been chosen to finish 11th in the Atlantic 10 Conference this season.
“I’m optimistic,” O’Brien said. “I feel like they have learned and absorbed a lot and hopefully they go out and give a performance that can ultimately result in a victory.”