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Men's Soccer to open conference play against Belmont
Coach Charles Morrow
Coach Charles Morrow

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Soccer’s version of the “Battle of the Boulevard” is going to be taking place in a more distant location.

Due to preparations for the Presidential Debate at Belmont, the Bruins home game with the Lipscomb Bisons Friday night, the second annual "Battle of the Boulevard" Cup, will be played at Drakes Creek Park in Hendersonville, about a 45-minute drive from campus. Game time is at 7 for the Atlantic Sun opener for both teams.

Lipscomb is 4-5-0. Belmont is 5-4-0.

The Bisons tied Belmont 0-0 in 2007 during the regular season. In the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament the Bisons prevailed 1-0 against Belmont.

“The Belmont game very is significant because it is a conference game and we want to win every conference game,” said Bisons coach Charles Morrow. “We go into every conference game with the anticipation we are going to find success, but with the understanding that things may happen that are out of our control.

“It is significant from the standpoint that this is a rivalry. We have had some recent success against Belmont and we want to continue that.

“There are a lot of bragging rights that go with this game. But at the end of the day it is no more important than any other conference game. It is hard for us to wrap our hands around that because it is such a huge rivalry.”

Morrow’s team is entering the game with a great deal of confidence, having won three of their last four games.

“There is no question how our players feel about who is the better team and who should be on top,” Morrow said. “At the same time we know that the best team doesn’t always win.”

Morrow’s concern is making sure his team can overcome Belmont’s style of play.

“Belmont plays a disruptive style,” Morrow said. “We are trying to build an attack, spread a team out and look for opportunities to create goal-scoring opportunities. That is who we are.

“Belmont is just looking to dump balls in to create havoc. There is a definite shape they play with, and they stay pretty organized with that shape. But when they attack we are going to throw numbers and bodies at them and make them deal with balls behind their defense.

“The other thing Belmont does is pack the middle. We want to use the whole field and spread teams out. They are so compact in the midfield that it is hard to defend those numbers and it also hard to attack through the middle because they clog it up so much. It is a frustrating style that presents problems that are unique to that style of play.”

The big challenge for the Bisons is to not get caught up in Belmont’ style of play.

“We have conditioned our players to focus on going into this game and play our style,” Morrow said. “If we play our style, stick to our game plan and play well the results are going to take care of themselves.”

The Bisons lead the conference in goals with 16 and are second in goals per game with 1.78. They also lead in shots with 147, an average of 16.3 per game and points with 45, an average of 5 per game.

The Bisons are tied with Stetson for first in assists with 13 and are second in assists per game with 1.44.

Starting with the Belmont game the Bisons will be centering their attention on winning enough games to earn a berth in the A-Sun Tournament and then playing for seeding.