Centenary hosts pair of top-ranked foes in SCAC play
Thursday, September 27, 2012

SHREVEPORT – Centenary’s first-ever Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference home contests couldn’t be any tougher, or more unusual.

The Ladies (3-2-1) and Gents (2-5, 0-1) rarely host top-ranked foes, much less host two in the same night. Visiting Trinity University holds the No. 1 ranking in both men’s and women’s Division III soccer, each squad still undefeated this season.

The Gents will kick off Friday’s doubleheader at 5 p.m. against the Tigers (8-0-1, 2-0 SCAC), which has outscored its opponents 25-5, including five shutouts. The Ladies follow against Trinity’s women (6-0-1, 2-0) at 7 p.m.

“I don’t want to downplay it or make it seem like Trinity isn’t worthy of everyone’s accolades and appreciation of how good they are and their consistency, but we’re going into this game like any other game,” Gents head coach David Orr said. “Everyone knows they’re No. 1 in the nation. If you don’t approach it the same way, then you do a disservice to your team and honestly to Trinity.”

Centenary looks for the upset bid, trying to snap a two-match losing streak. The last time Trinity’s men lost a regular-season contest was Oct. 2, 2010 in a 1-0 loss to then-undefeated Christopher Newport.

“Just a couple of seasons ago, we played top-25 Division 1 programs and I look at this game and don’t see much difference,” Orr said. “We’re playing a good opponent. The most important thing everyone’s thinking about is getting back to level in conference. That’s what we’re looking at most right now.”

The upset would keep Centenary in the mix for a SCAC Championship run.

The Ladies host the nation’s top-ranked team in the nightcap, trying to snap the Tigers five-match winning streak.

Mary Hardin-Baylor handed Trinity’s women their last regular-season loss in the 2010 season debut, 4-0. Since then, the Tigers have rattled off 34 straight regular-season wins heading into Mayo Field.

“Our team is really excited about playing with top team,” Ladies head coach Glenn Evans said. “I wish we were going in full strength, having two, possibly three starters out.”

Two of the Ladies top three scorers, Carly Slovensky (eight points) and Amanda Atwell (four points), along with Hannah Bate, are likely to miss the showdown due to injuries.

With such a significant freshman class, Evans said this game could affect the next three years.

“This would be a shot in the arm,” he said. “That would be the confidence the freshman class is looking for since it’s so large. That would set the tone for the next three years.”