Friday night at 7 the Lady Bisons, 4-9, 0-5 in the Atlantic Sun, will face North Florida, 5-8, 4-2 in the conference. The game will also be “Senior Night” with Kate Spellman and Lacey Cross being honored. North Florida is second in the conference behind both Florida Gulf Coast and Jacksonville. Sunday afternoon at noon the Lady Bisons face Jacksonville.
Both games will be played at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
“They are two of the top teams in the conference right now,” Lady Bisons coach Jon Ireland said. “They are also two of the most powerful offensive teams.”
The all-time series between the Lady Bisons and North Florida is 2-2-1. The last time North Florida beat the Lady Bisons was 1-0 Oct. 12, 2006 at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
“We have usually played well at night,” Ireland said. “We have been very close in some of these games this season. It has just come down to mistakes we have made. We have been very competitive except for our game with Mercer.
“From an attacking standpoint we haven’t been able to find a goal. We have made some mistakes defensively and when you can’t score a goal the results are not going to go your way.”
The Lady Bisons will pay extra attention to a pair of freshmen forwards from North Florida. Lauren Hopfensperger leads the team with seven goals. She is tied for the A-Sun Conference lead overall. Carolina Lencina has scored four goals for North Florida.
“I have heard several people say that Lencina might be the best player in the conference,” Ireland said. “We will have a tremendous challenge from a defensive standpoint to try and shut down the forwards.”
Ireland praised the work ethics of both Spellman and Cross who have balanced the academic and time demands of pursuing degrees in nursing with soccer practice and games.
“They have both given a ton to our program,” Ireland said. “It is pretty amazing that they have been able to play soccer at this level and pursue nursing.
“In your junior and senior years nursing is a full-time job. It has taken tremendous self-discipline and sacrifice from both of them. We hope we can send them off this weekend with good results.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.