Eagles tame Lions in SAC play, maintain pace at top of table

Box Score

MARS HILL, N.C. – Junior forward Emilee Futrell (Wilson, N.C.) scored her second brace on the season in less than a minute of play to seal a midweek SAC contest against Mars Hill by a 3-0 final Wednesday.

"We needed a performance and we talked about having a clean sheet, and that was a vital part of the game," said Eagles head coach Simon Duffy. "Thought we went about very well, kept on plugging away and got two goals in quick succession there in the second half to take it home."

Carson-Newman (8-4, 6-1 South Atlantic Conference) opened the scoring in the 33rd minute with a looping goal scored by sophomore forward Elena Propst (Maiden, N.C.). By the end of the first 45 minutes of play, the Eagles had out shot Mars Hill (1-10-1, 0-6 SAC) by a 12-3 margin and only allowed one shot on goal – tying a season-low for one half of play.

While both teams had near opportunities throughout the duration of the second half of play, the proverbial sealed-off goal was broken through by Futrell in the 85th minute when she received a pass from senior Delaney Griffin (Franklin, Tenn.) and fired it home past Lions goalie Victoria Forren.

Exactly 47 seconds later, Futrell found the back of the twine once more off an assist from senior midfielder Lara Hallgrimsdottir (Kopavogur, Iceland). The forward's sixth goal on the season now places her in the top-10 among all goal scorers in the SAC. Scoring her first brace on the 2019 campaign against Belmont Abbey on Sept. 25, Futrell now has three career braces as an Eagle, with her first coming last year against Columbus State.

"Our movement was good and just that final pass or final ball in, a through ball, was just maybe a bit off at times tonight, but very happy we were able to get Emilee through there," Duffy said. "Two very, very important goals that killed off the game."

A stifling defensive effort aided C-N in delivering a decisive victory on the road. The Eagles only allowed five shots altogether, with only two landing on target and requiring the attention of senior goalie Jasmine Rizk (Andersonville, Tenn.). Two shots allowed on goal ties a season-low for a third time, with the other two times coming against Newberry and North Greenville.

C-N only conceded two fouls on the evening as well, a mark that is now the lowest on the season and the lowest since Oct. 5, 2016 in a match against King, a team that, at the time, was led by Duffy.

Nineteen shots overall is the highest mark for the Eagles since Oct. 5 in a game against Queens that saw 30 shots taken. C-N is a flawless 6-0-0 when they shoot above its current average of 17.2 shots per game.

With the victory, C-N has managed to keep pace with the top of the table which features Wingate and Lenoir-Rhyne. At 6-1 in SAC play, the Eagles have a 3.5 game advantage over fourth-place Catawba, who is currently 3-2-1, respectively.

Heading into the fall break with a win in their pocket, the Eagles will use Thursday and Friday to review film and train before enjoying their first weekend off since the beginning of the season in early September.

Next Wednesday, however, will see C-N continue a five-game road trip as the team will travel to Limestone for a quick nonconference match against another Conference Carolinas foe.