Men’s soccer opens up their 2018 season Wednesday by hosting University of Pikeville at 7 p.m. on Anglin Field. Volleyball hosts its 11th annual Milligan Mountain Madness and will have matches at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday.
Furthermore, it will be the first road match of the season for women’s soccer as the Lady Buffs travel to North Greenville University for a 1 p.m. Saturday match, beginning a string of four straight away from home.
The men’s soccer team begins a new era Wednesday as it takes the field under the helm of first-year head coach David Lilly.
The Buffs will be led by their six seniors in Nazren Habte, Tayzere Arnott, Jack Royston, Jonathan Russell, Bradley Hammond and Luke Dove, who are expected to help set the foundation for the future of the program.
“This senior class is going to have a massive influence on the direction of this program moving forward,” Lilly said. “In their time here they have seen it all and have made it clear how much this program means to them and where they want it to be. As a coaching staff, we only get to see the guys for a limited amount each day. The seniors have an important job setting the tone for the moments away from the field when [coaches’] eyes are not watching the guys. It’s in those moments we will know if we have the right culture and if we deserve to compete at the highest levels. They are going to play a big part in setting the foundation for lasting success here at Milligan.”
Including the six seniors, the team returns 16 players from last season and welcomed in 13 newcomers in the offseason. So far the players have really meshed well, and the team has taken positive strides since the spring, according to Lilly.
On the schedule
The Buffs will open the season with six of eight at Anglin Field and begin conference play with a road matchup against Tennessee Wesleyan on Saturday, Sept. 8.
Wednesday, Sept. 19, will harbor one of the biggest matches of the season for Milligan as the Buffs host Appalachian Athletic Conference preseason favorite Reinhardt.
The end of the regular season provides a tough road for the Buffs as they will have to play three straight on the road before facing Union at home Wednesday, Oct. 24, for the finale.
OTHER TEAMS IN ACTION
Last week saw the start to volleyball season and women’s soccer season. While the latter team lost a close one in its first and only match, the former took off to two straight wins, both in straight sets.
Julie Dockery and Alyssa Rupert were instrumental to the volleyball team’s success and were named Appalachian Athletic Conference athletes of the week as a result. Dockery posted 17 kills and only one error in two matches, while Rupert had 36 digs for an average of six digs per set.
Milligan’s two victories were against Fisk University (25-9, 25-14, 25-15) and Pensacola Christian College (25-20, 25-17, 25-14).
In women’s soccer action, the Lady Buffs lost a 4-3 decision to University of Rio Grande. Milligan jumped out to an early lead with a goal from freshman Ashlen Burch — only to see Rio score the next three to take a 3-1 lead.
Amy Olvera and Bekah Cundiff helped Milligan draw back even at 3-3 with back-to-back goals midway through the second half, but Rio Grande had the final answer with the match-winning goal in the 83rd minute.