NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb (1-0-0, 0-0-0 Atlantic Sun) women’s soccer team opened the 2012 season and the Kevin O’Brien era with a 2-0 shutout victory over Jackson State (0-1-0, 0-0-0 SWAC) on Friday evening at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
“We are a young team with lots of freshmen playing,” O’Brien said. “I was a bit concerned as the head coach, are they going to let the occasion get to them and come in a bit rattled but I thought we came out with much more intensity and much more commitment to play both sides of the ball.”
Sophomore Baylee Linnell picked up a loose ball in the 37th minute beating a defender and crossing up the goalkeeper for the 1-0 Lady Bisons lead.
“She is a persistent player, to begin with, which is a good thing,” O’Brien said. On top of it she has extraordinary pace. When you combine those two, it’s a wonderful combination.”
In the 58th minute, freshman Molly Bray tacked on another goal for Lipscomb as she hit a 40-yard shot glancing off the Jackson State goalkeeper’s fingertips and into the goal.
“It was a brilliant goal, and quite honestly I hadn’t seen that out of her yet in training,” O’Brien said. “I knew she was good midfielder, knew she was a good possession player and understood the game at a high level but I hadn’t seen her score like that in preseason. What an awesome surprise and hopefully, there is a lot more to come.”
Senior goalkeeper Erin Zerio earned the shutout on opening night stopping the only shot she faced.
The Lipscomb defense only allowed Jackson State to shoot three shots, with just the one on goal.
In contrast, the Lady Bisons tallied 17 shots, landing 10 on goal including five shots from Emily Shuler and four shots from Caroline Chadwell, both freshmen playing in their first collegiate game.
“I thought some of the movement was very good,” O’Brien said. “The running was good and the playing off one another was good. So I was encouraged. I believe if we continue to come together well as a team, then scoring multiple goals per game is realistic for this group."
Lipscomb looks to pick up their second win in as many games as they travel to Xavier for a 7 p.m. match against the Musketeers on Monday, Aug. 20. Live stats and live video will be offered for free from the Xavier athletics website.