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Ireland predicts Lady Bisons can have best season ever

Monday, September 03, 2007

Sept. 3, 2007

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After watching his Lady Bisons soccer team over the Labor Day weekend, first-year coach Jon Ireland has decided the real season doesn't start until Friday.

The Lady Bisons opened the season Friday night with a 2-0 home loss to Tennessee-Martin and followed with a 4-0 road loss at Murray University in Murray, Ky., Sunday. Both programs are from the Ohio Valley Conference.

Lipscomb goalkeeper Katie Shelton made 10 saves against Murray. Lacey Cross, Halie Proffitt and Kate Spellman, all freshmen, each had one shot on goal for the Lady Bisons.

"We have a lot of youth and inexperience," Ireland said. "At one point we had nine freshmen on the field at Murray State. We have to address that.

"We are going to look at these first two games as preseason games. The lessons we learned should help us Friday night as we play the first of three straight home games.

Labor Day Monday was anything but a holiday for the Lady Bisons. They were in the weight room at 8 a.m. and then met with Ireland for a meeting as they start preparations for Friday's visit from Central Arkansas.

"I told them I still think we have the chance to have the best season in the history of the program," said Ireland who helped turnaround programs at both Harding and Faulkner before coming to Lipscomb. "The players were pretty disappointed after the Murray State game."

Ireland points to an improvement by the team in terms of the mental side of the game, as opposed to the physical part. He uses much of his practice time working on the mental aspects of soccer such as focus and properly executing the game.

"We work hard during the week," Ireland said. "I want them to have success on the field during games. We are going to be addressing what we have to do to change our position. We have to deal with the mental aspect of winning."