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Golden Eagles flock to Lipscomb for first road affair of 2022

Golden Eagles flock to Lipscomb for first road affair of 2022

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Fresh off its first match of the 2022 campaign, the Tennessee Tech soccer team will hit the road for the first time this year, as the Golden Eagles get set to make the short trip to Nashville for a Sunday evening battle with Lipscomb. Kickoff from Music City is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.

A look at Tennessee Tech

TTU (0-1-0) unwrapped the season with a narrow 1-0 loss at the hands of IUPUI Thursday night in Cookeville. Scoreless with under 10 minutes left in regulation, the Jaguars put one into the back of the net in the 81st minute for the tilt's lone goal.

The Golden Eagles attempted nine shots in the match, spread across eight different players. Yao Giada Zhou led the Tech charge with two tries. Sophomore goalkeeper Maggie Conrad collected three saves in her collegiate debut.

TTU's tangle with Lipscomb is the first of four road non-conference clashes for the purple and gold, with the quartet of contests all taking place in the state of Tennessee. The Golden Eagles will travel to Chattanooga on Sept. 1, UT on Sept. 4 and Middle Tennessee on Sept. 8.

TTU was picked to finish in third in the OVC's Predicted Order of Finish. Chloe Smith, who garnered an All-OVC first-team selection last year, was chosen as Tech's Player to Watch heading into the year. The Cincinnati, Ohio native finished sixth in the OVC with 12 points, tied for seventh in the conference with four goals and tied for sixth in the league with four assists last season.

A look at Lipscomb

The Bisons (0-1-0) prepare for their home opener on the heels of a 5-0 season-opening defeat at the University of Texas Thursday night. Lipscomb yielded a pair of first-half scores and a trio of second-half goals in the lopsided loss. The Bisons managed 10 shots in the tilt, led by Faith Adams' three attempts.

Lipscomb was tabbed as the league favorite in the ASUN Preseason Coaches Poll after the Bisons took home their third conference title in the last four years a season ago. Lipscomb rattled off a 15-5-1 overall mark with a 7-2-0 league ledger and went on to capture the ASUN Tournament title behind three wins in the conference tourney that saw the Bisons outscore their opponents 11-0 in the trio of matches.  

Four Bisons secured spots on the preseason All-ASUN squad, headlined by Shelby Craft's selection as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and CJ Graham as the Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year. The reigning two-time ASUN Defensive Player of the Year, Craft, is coming off a season in which she helped anchor a defense that led the country with 13 shutouts and allowed just 13 goals in 21 matches. Individually, Graham was between the pipes for all 13 clean sheets.

Molly Grant and Kelli Beiler rounded out Lispcomb's four on the preseason team. Grant tallied eight goals and five assists in the fall of 2021, while Beiler suffered a season-ending injury in just the second match last season, but collected nine goals in the 2021 spring campaign.

Inside the series

Sunday's showdown will mark the 10th get-together in the all-time series between Tech and Lipscomb. The Golden Eagles have a 7-2 edge in the set, although the Bisons bested Tech in the last meeting with a 2-0 nod in Cookeville on Sept. 15, 2019.

Photo by Jim Dillon

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