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September 4, 2010

Cram the Complex: Soccer hosts UNC-Asheville Sunday afternoon

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Returning home for the first time since their exhibition match against Tennessee Wesleyan on Aug. 14, the Golden Eagle soccer team is anxious to match up against UNC-Asheville in the Sunday's matinee game at 3 p.m.

The Golden Eagles are coming off of a hard-fought, 2-0 loss to Vanderbilt on Friday evening, and will be looking to use that experience to adjust their style and team cohesion against Asheville.

Tech traveled to Asheville last season for the first ever meeting between the two teams, firing 16 shots on UNCA to their 14. Returning sophomore and OVC All-Newcomer Andrea Meloff put TTU on the board in the 20th minute of that match for the first goal of the game.

UNCA notched two goals in the second half of the game to claim the win. This season, however, Tech has been notoriously stronger later in the game, a team trait that will benefit them should they get on the board early.

It will also undoubtedly benefit the Golden Eagles to be returning 20 letterwinners from last season, all of whom saw the Bulldogs in action in 2009. Meloff combined with nine teammates in the last match-up for the 16 shots on the game, all of whom are returning players this season.

"Putting the first points on the board on Sunday will be crucial for us," said head Coach Daniel Brizard. "One of our goals as we go deeper into the season is to be more of an offensive threat early on.

"Our defensive line is working harder on starting our attack from the backfield, which means staying more organized and controlled in our own half," he continued. "If we can get a smooth transition from our defense to our attacking line early on in the game, we'll be in a good position to be successful."

The Golden Eagles will be on the road again next weekend, participating in the Samford Tournament in Birmingham, Ala. There they'll take on Georgia Souther on Friday at 3:30 p.m. (CST) and Samford on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (CST).