JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Wednesday evening under the lights proved to be tough sledding for the Carson-Newman Eagles, as they fell short to the No. 11 Lenoir-Rhyne Bears 3-0.
"They're a very good side, plain and simple," coach Simon Duffy said postgame. "We get what we deserve and in the first half they deserved it. We outshot them in the first half what class does because they had three shots on goal and it's three goals."
Senior midfielder Abigael McGarel opened the scoring in the 18th minute on a penalty kick opportunity for the Bears (9-0, 4-0 South Atlantic Conference). Cheating over to the left side of the goal, goalie Jasmine Rizk (Andersonville, Tenn.) was deceived as McGarel pocketed the ball into the bottom right corner of the mesh. It was the first penalty kick goal allowed by Rizk all season and McGarel's seventh goal (tied for team lead) on her campaign.
Keeping pace with her teammate in goals scored, Bears senior midfielder Aqsa Mushtaq added to the tally for LR in the 33rd minute, a goal that split a number of Eagles (5-3, 3-1 SAC) while landing on the right-hand side of the net.
Moments before the first half concluded, senior forward Hannah Van Eerden launched a ball into the ball of the net to put the Bears up a trio of scores. The score would remain throughout the duration of the second half with C-N only registering two shots in the final stanza.
Three goals allowed in a losing effort is the most since Nov. 4, 2018 when the Eagles lost against Lincoln Memorial in the semifinals of the South Atlantic Conference Championships. With the loss, C-N falls to sole possession of third in the SAC standings with Lenoir-Rhyne and Wingate in a deadlocked battle for the top of the table.
The Eagles' one shot on goal in the game came off the boot of senior Sydney Spadafora (Collierville, Tenn.) in the 54th minute. It is the lowest amount of shots on goal all season.
Despite the limited amount of offensive chances, the Eagles did show spurts of offensive pressure throughout the second half. Duffy said that while their players such as Mushtaq and Van Eerden were able to have special moments, C-N never had their special stars shine as bright.
"We showed some character in the second half and fought through and we tried to push on a bit and obviously get a couple of goals back, it wasn't (meant) to be, but let's see how we can bounce back," Duffy said.
Looking to get back on track, the Eagles will host Queens Saturday at 5 p.m.