Their first eight games are part of their won-lost record, but all of those games have been dress rehearsals for the Atlantic Sun season opener. Thursday night at 6 in Buies Creek, N.C. , the Lady Bisons will face Campbell.
The Lady Bisons (2-6) will be out to end a five-game losing streak. Campbell is 5-4, winning its last two games by 1-0 sores against High Point and Radford.
“We have been talking all year that these non-conference games were to prepare us for the conference,” said Lady Bisons coach Jon Ireland. “The bottom line is you want to win, but it doesn’t matter what you do in the non-conference games. Once you start conference play it is a whole new season.
“That is what we have been emphasizing with our players. We don’t want them to be discouraged because it is a brand new season starting Thursday night. Everything that has happened is in the past.”
The Lady Bisons have scored only four goals this season. They have never scored a goal against Campbell.
“We are still a work in progress offensively,” said Ireland. “That is something we are going to have to continue to work on. We will have to continue to fight to come with some goals.”
Defender Katie Wood scored the only goal in the two weekend games for the Lady Bisons. While Ireland would like to see more goals production from his forwards and midfielders he expects Wood to be contributor offensively.
“Katie is very dangerous on set pieces,” said Ireland. “She is very dangerous on corner kicks and free kicks.
“We have had eight games to work on some things. Hopefully, we have fixed some things that have been broken.”
Defensively, the Lady Bisons, who start four freshmen on the back line and have a freshman in goal, have allowed 16 goals, including a season-high four in each of their last two games at Ball State and IUPUI.
“We have been giving up some really cheap goals,” said Ireland. “That is something we have been really working hard on as well. We want them to be more organized and understand what they need to do.”
The Lady Bisons have never beaten Campbell. The Camels have a 5-0-1 record overall against the Lady Bisons. The Lady Bisons and Camels played to a 0-0 tie in 2007.
“Campbell is very good at home,” said Ireland. “And this is obviously a difficult trip. It will be a real challenge to start the conference off this way.
“They are off to one of their best starts. They will pose a lot of problems. They are very good at passing. They are very physical. They work very hard. They are very organized.”
The Lady Bisons are back at home Tuesday night at 7 to host Belmont in the women’s soccer version of the “Battle of the Boulevard” at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.