ANDERSON, S.C. – With a berth in the 2013 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament on the line, Anderson University women’s soccer needs to earn a victory over Carson-Newman in its regular season finale on Saturday. Kickoff from Trojan Stadium is set for 1 p.m.
Anderson comes into the weekend winners in three of its last four, as its winning streak was snapped last Saturday by the hands of Wingate, which is currently second in the conference standings. Despite their most recent success, the Trojans find themselves in a “win and you are in” scenario as they currently stand in ninth place in the league standings, one point behind Saturday’s opponent, Carson-Newman. With a win, AU will receive a necessary three points which would move them into the seventh or eighth position in the conference standings.
With everything at stake on Saturday, the Trojans hold a 5-7-4 overall record with a 3-3-4 mark in league play. For the year, AU and its opponents are even on the season, each scoring 20 goals and notching 14 assists. Despite being even for the offensive categories, the Black and Gold have allowed 38 more shots, as senior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Neipp has been a major factor keeping the Trojans in matches during her 14 starts on the year.
Neipp ranks second in the league with 93 saves and a .853 save percentage. The senior also holds a 1.09 goals against average with 5.1 shutouts on the year. With her latest clean sheet coming against Brevard (10/22), Neipp moved into a tie for seventh all-time in the SAC for career shutouts with 21.4. Neipp is also on pace to set a new career high in saves, needing just three to set a new high, which was set during the 2010 and 2012 seasons.
Senior Krystal Goss continues to provide the offense for the Trojans with her 14 points on the season (five goals, four assists). Her point total ties her for 10th in the league, as she now holds 20 goals for her stellar career.
Sitting in eighth place in the league standings, Carson-Newman enters the weekend with a 6-6-3 overall record and a 4-4-2 mark in league play. Most recently, the Eagles are coming off a 2-0 loss to in-state rival Tusculum on Wednesday night. Despite the .500 record, C-N has posted four wins away from home, highlighted by road wins over Catawba, Lincoln Memorial and Coker. Carson-Newman is currently unbeaten is its last five contests, going 3-0-2 in the span.
Offensively, C-N is led by the duo of sophomore Sidnee Edwards and freshman Gabrielle Gianeselli who each have four goals on the year. Gianeselli leads the way in points with 11, closely following sophomore Mikayla Gregg, who has posted three goals and four assists on the year. Edwards has had the most chances of the C-N strikers, as she has notched 31 shots with 20 coming on goal.
Senior Tiarna McKenna has seen the most action in goal for the Eagles, making 12 starts and recording a 5-4-1 mark for the year. McKenna is responsible for two clean sheets with 60 saves on the year. Freshman Katy Hill has also seen action in goal, as she is 1-1-1 with 24 saves.
Since joining the SAC in 2010, the Trojans hold an advantage in the series with a 2-1 record. After losing its first match with Carson-Newman as conference foes, AU has taken two straight from C-N after posting back-to-back 1-0 wins in 2011 and 2012.