Game time is at 7 at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex. The Lady Bisons are 2-7, 0-1 in the conference. Belmont, 4-4-1, 1-0 in the A-Sun; has won its last three matches.
“It’s a conference game and every conference game is big,” said Lady Bisons coach Jon Ireland. “But, obviously, the stakes are always higher since its Belmont.
“We have such a big rivalry. It doesn’t matter what the records are. It is always going to be a big game.”
Ireland’s starting line-up will be filled with freshmen who don’t really know what the rivalry with Belmont means. Ally Marler will be in goal. Katie Wood, Taylor Ann Summers and Kameron Stilwell will be on the back as defenders. Martika Powe will start in the midfield. Emily Longden will play a forward spot.
“You don’t understand the rivalry until you play in it,” said Ireland. “We want to treat it like any other game and make sure we do everything we can to make sure we prepare the right way.
“We are using the depth that we have. In terms of the freshmen that are healthy they are all going to get in so we are playing 10 or 11 every game. I have told them they have enough games under their belts and enough experience at this point that they should be making the same mistakes they made earlier in the year.”
Powe has been one of the most consistent of the freshmen players.
“She is a tremendous defender,” said Ireland. “She is a tremendous ball winner. She sees the game very well. She can kind of settle things down.”
A large crowd is expected and Ireland thinks that is a plus, especially for his younger players.
“I’d love to see a big crowd out there for our second conference game, especially since it is against Belmont,” said Ireland.
The Lady Bisons fell 3-2 to Campbell in the A-Sun opener Thursday night in Buies Creek, N.C. Freshman Andie Thornton scored her first ever collegiate goal and Danielle Bethke added a goal. It was the first multi-goal game of the season for the Lady Bisons.
“It was disappointing again how we gave up some cheap goals,” said Ireland. “We came back and tied the game and had a chance to go ahead. We have to quit putting ourselves in a hole. Once again it comes down to youthful mistakes we have to get corrected.”
Belmont beat Campbell 2-1 in overtime Saturday night in Buies Creek.
“Belmont is very good,” said Ireland. ‘They started off the season really slow. They seemed to struggle offensively, but now they’ve got it fixed. They are on a roll right now.”