NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb women’s soccer team will close out its regular season when they host Florida Gulf Coast (Oct. 21, 7 p.m.) and Stetson (Oct. 23, 1 p.m.) at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex. Friday will be Senior Night, where the Lipscomb women’s soccer program will say goodbye to three of the most important players in program history: Danielle Bethke, Kirsten Heikkinen and Meghan McGuire.
Lipscomb (4-11-1, 2-5-0 in the Atlantic Sun) enters the weekend needing favorable results to stay in the thick of the A-Sun race. With only two tournament spots up for grabs in the final weekend of the season, the Lady Bisons need to earn points in both contests to reach the tournament.
The Lady Bisons dropped decisions at Jacksonville (2-0) and North Florida (4-0) last weekend. Offensively, the Lady Bisons could only muster seven shots combined in two games, including a disappointing one shot against North Florida.
Keeper Erin Zerio did her part over the weekend, making an astounding 21 saves over two games. She enters this weekend with 87 saves this season.
Florida Gulf Coast was picked to be conference champion at the start of 2011 and hasn’t disappointed. FGCU has not been defeated in the conference this season, and has not allowed a goal to a conference opponent in 2011. The Lady Eagles haven’t given up a goal since losing to No. 9 Florida, 5-0, on Sept. 11.
Ashley Ciesielczyk (12 assists) and Gina Petracco (seven goals) have led the FGCU offense in 2011, but the goalkeeping of Stephanie Powers has been even better. Powers has been nearly perfect this season, posting 10 shutouts and making 70 saves while allowing only 12 goals through 16 games.
Stetson is in the same boat as the Lady Bisons, needing victories to keep their postseason hopes afloat. The Hatters offense is coming around at the right time; Stetson has scored nine goals in its previous two games.
Stetson has allowed 41 goals this season, a rate of 2.64 per game. While the Hatters offense has picked up the slack with 23 goals of its own, Stetson has suffered big losses to Embry-Riddle (5-2), Colgate (4-1), Army (5-1) and ETSU (6-3).
If the Lady Bisons qualify for the A-Sun tournament, they will travel to the higher seeds campus, Oct. 29, for the opening round of the A-Sun women’s soccer tournament. If Lipscomb is lower than sixth place in the A-Sun after this weekend, the Lady Bisons season will be over.
Check LipscombSports.com for more information on the Lady Bison soccer team, and follow us on Twitter (@Lipscombwsoccer) and like us on Facebook (Lipscomb Women’s Soccer).
Opponents Last Matches
Gulf Coast scored a dozen goals last weekend, defeating USC Upstate (9-0) and ETSU (3-0) in the Eagles final regular-season home matches this season. The Eagles swept the weekly A-Sun awards, with Olivia Elias (three goals, three assists) and KC Correllus (lead defender in both shutouts) earning accolades. Stetson dropped a game to ETSU (6-3), before rebounding to defeat Upstate by the same score. Kait Jones got a hat trick against Upstate, while Katie O’Kennedy scored a goal in each game.
Last Time Against This Week’s Opponent
Lipscomb fell to Stetson (2-0) and Florida Gulf Coast (4-1) in 2010. Erin Zerio made five saves against Stetson. Against Gulf Coast, Courtney Williams scored her first career goal and Zerio made six saves, but Olivia Elias scored twice to lead the Eagles attack.
North Florida Blasts Lady Bisons In Final Road Match
North Florida outshot Lipscomb 22-1 and four different Lady Ospreys scored goals to give North Florida the 4-0 victory. The loss was Lipscomb’s final road game of the season; Lipscomb finished 0-8-0 on the road.
Lady Bisons Offense Goes Silent against Jacksonville
Erin Zerio made 10 saves, but Liz Fink and Emily Culbreth scored for Jacksonville and Lipscomb couldn’t answer, falling 2-0 to end their two-game win streak. Jacksonville outshot Lipscomb 25-6 in this game.
Lady Bisons Moving Up the All-Time Lists
Several Lady Bisons are moving up the career lists as we get further into the season. McGuire is tied for third all-time with eight career goals and is one point behind Hallie Proffitt for third all-time. Bethke overtook Proffitt for second all-time in shots with 86 and is five behind Melissa Chambers for most all-time. Erin Zerio passed Adrienne Childers for second-most saves all-time; she now has 229.