ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Fresh off a key Big South Conference road win, the UNC Asheville men's soccer team will be back in action when the Bulldogs host defending Big South Conference champion and 20th-ranked Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon at Greenwood Field starting at 2:30 p.m. The match will be video-streamed at www.uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville (3-6-3, 2-1-1 BSC) is coming off a 2-0 victory at Winthrop Wednesday night. It was the Bulldogs first win in Rock Hill since the 2000 season. However, it's time to turn the page and to focus on an exceptional Coastal Carolina squad. The Chanticleers are 10-2-0 on the season and 4-0 in league play. CCU enters Saturday's match at Greenwood Field with a six-game winning streak.
The game with the Chanticleers will be Asheville's second in two weeks with a nationally-ranked team. The Bulldogs fell in overtime last week (Oct. 4), 2-1 at UNC Chapel Hill.
"Coastal Carolina is a team that could obviously win our league and then win some matches in the NCAA Tournament," stated Bulldog coach Matt Kern. "They have no weakness. They're exceptionally fast up front, strong in the midfield and back, as well. Coastal's record is impressive because it's beaten some very good teams out of conference in Ohio State and Virginia Commonwealth. We're going to have to have another superb effort out of our guys to get a result on Saturday."
Asheville has been battling all year. Five of the Bulldogs six losses have been by one goal. They've played six overtime matches, including four of the last five games.
"Our guys are improving and getting better. We just need to finish a little better and start getting some results," commented Kern.
UNC Asheville is in a five-way tie in the Big South Conference for most shutouts with three.
Senior goalkeeper Lassi Hurskainen is second in the league in goals against with a 1.31 goals against average. He leads the BSC in save percentage at .832.
The Bulldogs have not defeated Coastal Carolina since a 1-0 victory in Conway during the 2004 regular season. The Chanticeers have won eight straight in the series with six of those wins by one goal.
Asheville is 3-6-3 on the season but only been out-scored 17-15 on the year. Nine of the Bulldogs 12 matches have been one-goal affairs or ties.
Today's match marks the second of five straight Saturday home matches for the Bulldogs. Asheville has just played three home games on the year and is 1-0-2 in those contests.