Asheville's match with the Runnin' Bulldogs is a key one in league standings. Gardner-Webb (6-6-2, 3-2-0 BSC) is tied for second place in the conference with Radford. Asheville (2-2-1, 2-2-1 BSC) is right behind both teams in fourth place. And there's a pretty good log-jam behind the Bulldogs.
Asheville is coming off a frustrating 3-0 loss to Big South leader and nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs let a goal in the first 30 seconds of the match and then allowed the Chanticleers to score twice in the final 10 minutes while Asheville was sending men forward to get a goal.
"We played some really good soccer at times on Saturday against Coastal Carolina. The score doesn't indicate how close the match was," commented Bulldog coach Matt Kern. "However, when you have opportunities to score you have to put the ball into the back of the net. We needed to play just a little better on Saturday."
Kern faces a Gardner-Webb team that pounded the Bulldogs last season at home, 3-0. The Runnin' Bulldogs have posted some solid wins this year.
"Any road match is challenging, and Gardner-Webb is extremely tough to beat on the road," explained Kern. "They really took it to us last season, and hopefully we can learn from that match. We're going to have to really play well to get a result."
The Bulldogs return home on Saturday to face Campbell on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. The Camel program is in their first year of Big South Conference play after re-joining the league this past summer.
Asheville has only been shut out twice this season after being blanked eight times in 2010.
Senior goalkeeper Lassi Hurskainen is ranked first nationally in total saves with 87. His saves per game mark (6.69) are second nationally.
The Bulldogs have only scored two goals in the first half this season. They have scored 13 goals in either the second half or overtime.
Asheville has won two straight Big South Conference road games. The first time the Bulldogs have accomplished that since the 2009 season.
The Bulldogs are looking for their first regular-season win over Gardner-Webb since the 2007 season when Asheville recorded a 4-0 win at Greenwood Field. The Bulldogs have not won at GWU since a 2-0 triumph in the 2004 season.
Five of the Bulldogs seven losses have come by one goal with two being in overtime.