Bears Begin Defense of Title as A-Sun Play Opens
MACON, Ga. – The Mercer women's soccer team opens up its Atlantic Sun conference schedule this weekend as Lipscomb and Belmont head to Bear Field for matches on Friday and Sunday respectively.
The Bears come into A-Sun play atop the conference with a 6-2 overall record, including all six wins coming by way of shutout. The six shutouts place the Bears seventh in nation in shutout percentage, and the team as a whole ranks among the top 40 programs in the country in three other statistical categories (goals against average - No. 38, won-lost-tied percentage - No. 37 and save percentage - No 37).
Mercer shutout both teams last season in Nashville, and has not lost to either Lipscomb or Belmont in the regular season in the last six years.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
LIPSCOMB – Friday Sept. 23, 2011- 7 p.m. – ORANGE OUT
The Lady Bisons come into Friday's match riding a three game losing streak with a 2-6-1 overall record. However, the Bisons record may be a little deceiving with four of their six losses coming by just one goal and a quality win over Southern Miss.
Mercer holds a 7-1-1 all-time record against Lipscomb and has outscored the Lady Bisons 10-1 over the last two meetings. Last season senior Emerald Phillips and sophomore Nadja Kolliesuah each had a goal en route to the 4-0 shutout.
Senior Meghan McGuire has started and played in eight of the nine games this season for Lipscomb and leads the Lady Bisons with four goals and seven shots on goal. Junior goalkeeper Erin Zerio has made an impressive 40 saves on the year and comes in with a 2-5-1 overall record in goal.
BELMONT – Sunday Sept. 25, 2011 – 1 p.m.
The Bears have also dominated the overall series against Belmont, maintaining a 7-1-4 overall record. The last time Belmont played at Bear Field the teams ended in a 0-0 tie in 2009. The Bruins open A-Sun play on Friday evening up the road at Kennesaw St. and come into conference play with a 3-4 overall record.
The Bruins have scored just nine goals on the season while giving up 13 and are led individually by Taylor Smith who has three goals on the year. This will be the last time the Bears and Bruins meet in a regular season conference match as Belmont leaves the A-Sun for the Ohio Valley Conference next year.