ANDERSON, S.C. – After the latest NCAA Southeast Regional rankings were announced on Wednesday, Saturday’s match will feature two teams in the top eight as No. 8 Anderson University men’s soccer welcomes No. 4 Carson-Newman to Trojan Stadium in South Atlantic Conference action. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Anderson picked up its 10th win of the season with a non-conference victory over in-state rival Francis Marion on Wednesday. With the win, AU joins Queens, Wingate and Carson-Newman as the only teams in the SAC with 10 or more wins on the year. Overall, the Trojans are 10-4-3 on the season and 4-4-2 in the SAC, clinching an unbeaten record against non-conference opponents for the season.
With a win on Saturday, AU would ensure a position in the 2013 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament, but with a loss and a win by Lenoir-Rhyne and Catawba, the Trojans would wind up out of the tournament. Anderson currently sits in seventh place in the conference standings, a point behind Mars Hill and a point ahead of the Indians and Bears who are tied for the eighth spot. If AU fails to qualify for the postseason tournament, it would eliminate the possibility of Anderson’s fourth straight tournament championship.
Redshirt sophomore Benoit Torres and graduate student Bernd Muxel each scored in the 2-1 victory over FMU. The 2-1 victory adds to AU’s total goals scored of 33, 13 more than its opponents for the season. Leading the way for the Trojan offense is redshirt sophomore Andre Carle who has 10 goals to his credit, but has failed to score since scoring two goals in a 2-1 over UNC Pembroke on Oct. 16. Freshman Aaron Roberson is second on the team in goals with five, while redshirt freshman Henrique Gazzi leads the team and is second in the conference in assists with seven.
Defensively, freshman goalkeeper Bo Haug has been in the Anderson goal for nine of the team’s 10 victories. Haug is one of three goalkeepers in the conference with a goals against average under one, as the freshman holds a 0.95 average which ranks third in the league. Haug also ranks fourth in the league in saves with 55 and fifth in save percentage with a .775 average.
After beginning the year with a 2-2 record, Carson-Newman enters the weekend with an 11-4 overall record, including a current six-match winning streak. The Eagles have stormed up the conference standings and are currently third, three points behind SAC leader, Queens, which has 24. On their current winning streak, the Eagles have outscored their opponents 13-3, highlighted by a 4-0 rout of Coker on Oct. 19. Most recently, the Eagles fended off in-state rival Tusculum 1-0 in overtime.
Leading the way for Carson-Newman has been junior forward Ross Frame who is in the top five in all offensive categories within the SAC. Frame ranks second in goals (13), first in assists (nine), first in points (35) and third in shots (62). The junior has posted five of the team’s 13 goals during the winning streak.
Senior goalkeeper Rumwald Le Guevel has played in over 1,369 minutes in goal this season, posting 69 saves and four shutouts. Le Guevel matches C-N’s 11-4 record and holds a 1.12 goals against average.
Anderson and Carson-Newman have squared off four times since AU joined the SAC in 2010 with the series being even at 2-2. In all four matches, the score has been decided by two goals or more, as last year’s meeting being the most lopsided score of the season when the Eagles took a 4-1 win. In 2011, AU bested Carson-Newman with a 3-1 win, while the most important victory came in 2010 when Anderson eliminated the Eagles from the SAC Tournament with a 2-0 opening round win.