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Lady Bisons can't overcome tall order against Mercer

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oct. 12, 2007

Final Stats

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons opened with a goal, but gave up two in a 2-1 loss Friday night to Mercer in an Atlantic Sun game at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.

Junior defender Leisli Lopez turned a pass from freshman midfielder Kate Spellman into her first goal of the season as she took a shot about six yards out from the right side of the goal at the 2:55 mark of the first period.

Mercer, the tallest team the Lady Bisons have faced, used their size to take over the game.

Mercer tied the game at the 19:43 mark of the first half as defender Kacie Hudson scored off a rebound.

Defender Erin Theobald, stationed in the middle of the box, sent home a corner kick from midfielder Meghan Castaldo at 51:59 of the second half for what proved to be the game-winner for Mercer. Castaldo also assisted on the Hudson goal.

"They were really good," said Lipscomb coach Jon Ireland. "I think Mercer could win the conference. That is by far the best team we have played all year."

The Lady Bisons were out-shot 30-5. Mercer also held the advantage in shots on goal with eight compared to two by the Lady Bisons.

"We were under so much pressure because of their team speed and size," Ireland said. "We had trouble possessing the ball and getting loose balls.

"At the end, especially the last 20 minutes, we stepped it up. We were a little more dangerous. I'm very proud of them. They could have caved in. They hung in there when there were a lot of reasons they could have quit."

Lopez and freshman forward Halie Proffitt each had a shot on goal for the Lady Bisons.

Mercer goalkeeper Jean Worts made on save. Lady Bisons goalkeeper Katie Shelton made six saves.

"The last three or four weeks our defense has improved so much even against a team that out-shot us because of their huge height advantage. We had a chance to win at the end.

"Our whole team had to step up more than they have all year because of Mercer's height. I told then they might not get the ball, but they had to jump. They had to give an effort."

The Lady Bisons return to action in the A-Sun on the road Sunday afternoon when they face Kennesaw State at 21.

"Kennesaw State is a lot like Mercer," Ireland said. "They have speed and skill like Mercer, but they don't have the height."

The Lady Bisons are 3-9-1, 1-3-1 in the A-Sun. Mercer is 6-5-1, 4-1 in the conference.