Scots face conference rival Piedmont on Friday

September 24, 2002

The Lady Scots and Fighting Scots soccer teams both face conference rival Piedmont College at home on Fri, Sept. 27. The Lady Scots play at 2 p.m., and the men's match-up follows with kickoff scheduled for 4 p.m.

To the players, beating Piedmont College could not be sweeter for a couple of reasons. First, the rivalry between Maryville and Piedmont is a tradition. Every game between each team is a hard-fought battle with games often decided in overtime.

Second, Piedmont is the strongest conference opponent presently. If the Fighting Scots (6-3-0) win against the Lions (3-0-1), they will have the number one seed in the Great South Athletic Conference Tournament. If the Lady Scots (10-3-0) win, they will mathematically have the number one seed in the tournament, which also means they do not have to play a game in the first round.

According to Pepe Fernandez, head coach of MC's men's and women's soccer programs, injuries may play a factor in the game against the Lady Lions (5-2-0). Presently, three key players for the Lady Scots are nursing injuries: Meghann French, Tiffany Heiple, and Jennifer LeBar. Heiple was starting center midfield and LeBar was the starting sweeper for the Lady Scots. Without these two, the Lady Scots could definitely be at a disadvantage. (LeBar is the only injured player out of these three that might be able to play on Friday.)

For the men's team to be victorious, the Scots need to "relax and play possession," said Fernandez.

"Our speed is on the outside, and we need to make Piedmont play our game," he added.

The men's team, which is younger than previous squads, has had some trouble relaxing and playing its game in the last couple weeks on the road. Twice the Scots have had to come from behind to win because of weak first-half efforts.

"Our upperclassmen need to get the younger guys on the team ready to play against big rivals because the younger players don't realize what kind of a game it's going to be," Fernandez said.

All soccer games are open to the public. Admission is free.