Buffaloes use depth during winning streak
Sep 28, 2012 at 8:43 PM
Milligan College has a lot of weapons in men’s soccer, and opponents never know which one will go off on a given night.
The Buffs won their fifth straight match Tuesday night, getting two goals from senior midfielder Nimely Robertson to defeat Mid-Continent University of Kentucky 2-1.
“He’s a very athletic guy, very fast, very explosive,” coach Adam Laney said Thursday. “We tend to use him as an attacker because very few defenders can keep up with him. We ask him to run at guys one versus one and cause problems, which he often does.”
Robertson, a native of Liberia, has four goals on the season. That’s second on the team to Chris Ochieng’s eight.
Three other Buffs have at least two goals, including Nahom Tekle, who leads them in assists, with seven.
“It’s probably a scouting nightmare for other teams trying to figure out who to key on,” said Laney.
The Buffs sport a 7-2 record and lead the Appalachian Athletic Conference standings at 4-0. The only other team without a loss is 22nd-ranked Bryan, which is 4-0-1.
Those teams won’t meet until Oct. 20 in Dayton. Milligan will host Union (2-6, 0-3) on Saturday night.
“What we’re learning this season is we have to show up every night expecting a battle,” said Laney. “We’re slowly figuring things out, but I can’t really be upset because we’re getting results.”
Milligan is also leading the way in AAC volleyball.
Picked third in the preseason, behind Union and Bryan, the Buffs are 5-0 and the only unbeaten in the league. They’re 10-6 overall after winning six of their last seven matches.
“We’re sitting pretty good right now,” said coach Doneva Bays. “Our six losses have come against good teams. I feel like the strength of our schedule has helped us in conference play.”
The Buffs already have a 3-1 win over Union. They have yet to play Bryan but will see the Lions next week in Dayton.
Bays likes the makeup of this Milligan team, fueled by the senior leadership of setter Chelsea Spivey.
“The team morale is a lot different,” she said. “We’re all one family instead of smaller cliques like in the past. This is my fifth year here, and we’re starting to get a tradition going with the kids. It makes coaching fun.”
The Buffs make a swing through Georgia this weekend, playing tonight at Reinhardt and at Point on Saturday.
The women’s soccer team picked up a 2-1 win over an NCAA Division II team Wednesday night at Mars Hill.
Teagan Wood tied the game with a goal early in the second half, and Jacklyn Orange knocked home the winner two minutes into overtime on a header off a corner kick by Caroline Gill. Lauren McInturff had 11 saves in goal.
“It was a great result against higher-caliber competition,” said coach Lisa Buckley. “We’re still making a few too many mistakes, but we have this gritty mentality. We work super hard regardless of the score and have some great leaders.”
Buckley pointed to Wood, a sophomore forward from Kingsport, junior midfielder Grace Shawley of Mineral Springs, N.C., and sophomore forward Lauren Brewer of Knoxville.
“Lauren Brewer came off a freshman year that was so-so, and she’s playing the best soccer of her life,” said Buckley.
The Lady Buffs are 5-4-1 overall and 2-1-1 as they prepare for a Senior Day match Saturday against Union.
Meagan Wright was Monday named the AAC women’s cross country runner of the week.
The freshman from Florence, S.C., captured individual honors in a strong NCAA Division II field last Saturday at the Bulldog Stampede hosted by Wingate University. Wright covered the 5-kilometer course in 19:09 as Milligan claimed the team championship for the second straight meet.
She had finished second a week earlier in her college debut at the Carson-Newman Invitational.
The Lady Buffs are ranked 14th nationally in the NAIA poll this week as they head into the UNC-Asheville Invitational on Saturday.