Women’s soccer to meet Jacksonville State in divisional road matchup

Women’s soccer to meet Jacksonville State in divisional road matchup

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Bellarmine University women’s soccer team will compete in its first West Division road game when the Knights head to Jacksonville State for a 2 p.m. (ET) contest Sunday in ASUN action.

STAY AFLOAT

Bellarmine (3-5-5) is 1-4 overall in the ASUN and Jacksonville State (6-7-1) is 2-3, but they’re both only 0-1 in the division, which largely dictates the ASUN Tournament field.

With four divisional contests left, this matchup included, neither the Knights nor Gamecocks will want to face a steep climb after two games.

“There’s no sugar coating or denying that there is extra pressure for both teams to get a result and not fall too far into a hole to start divisional play,” Knights Coach Chris Tinius said. “It’s really going to come down to who can manage that and create their own momentum.”

LAST TIME OUT

Bellarmine dropped a 2-0 decision Thursday to visiting Lipscomb to open West Division play. The ASUN preseason co-favorite Bisons scored twice in roughly the first 20 minutes, a quick start that’s a real rarity for the Knights to allow.

By contrast, Bellarmine limited North Florida — the other league co-favorite — to only two shots in a scoreless first half in a Sept. 30 home game.

“Lipscomb is one of the most talented teams in the league, in the top tier if not at the top,” Tinius said. “The disappointing thing was our lack of commitment to the game plan in a few spots and lack of competitiveness to start the game. I thought we had turned a corner on that over the last few matches.”

ABOUT JACKSONVILLE STATE

Jacksonville State is coming off a 5-0 loss at Central Arkansas on Thursday, but the Gamecocks preceded that with a 4-2 win over a Stetson squad that knocked off Bellarmine in double overtime.

Jacksonville State also boasts a notable 1-0 win over Kennesaw State. Cephana Deane, Nyeemah Beckles and Cynthia Bagozzi have combined for 12 goals, with Deane pacing the Gamecocks with five.

“This is going to be a real test for us,” Tinius said. “We’re coming off of a difficult stretch and now you get a road Sunday game after a long bus ride. They will be coming in a bit weary as well.” 

A CLOSER LOOK

Bellarmine dived into its bench a little deeper than usual against a squad the quality of Lipscomb, and Tinius was encouraged by what he saw. While the Knights conceded the two early goals, they withstood Lipscomb’s unrelenting play thereafter.

“I thought the second half wasn’t the prettiest soccer but we competed. Specifically, we decided we were going to get some younger players some minutes in that type of game that maybe they didn’t get against UNF or FGCU,” Tinius said. “That could have gone either way, but to their credit I thought they brought some good energy and gave us a lift. There were definitely some positives to take from the second half and try to spin into Sunday’s game.”

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