Lacrosse hosts Mercer and Richmond this weekend

Kayla Reilly (ScarboroughPhotography.com)
Kayla Reilly (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

LAX Twitter | LAX Facebook | LAX Instagram

BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- Campbell will open a five-game homestand at Barker-Lane Stadium with a pair of games this coming weekend.

The Camels will take on Mercer Friday at 5 p.m. before facing off against Richmond Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission to both games are free.

Live stats for both contests will be available through gocamels.com while Sunday's game will be broadcast on the Big South Network with Evan Budrovich and Sal Mercogliano on the call. Live in-game updates from both games will also be posted on the Camels' Twitter page, @GoCamelsWLAX.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

LAST TIME OUT: Campbell (2-4) scored three unanswered goals in the final ten minutes of play to earn a 9-8 victory over Davidson last Sunday. Sam Carey scored the equalizer with 10:39 left in the second and Melissa Placek clinched the win with her second goal of the day with 52 seconds remaining.

ON THE OFFENSE: Campbell features a balanced scoring attack from a variety of scoring options. Nine different players have found the back of the cage for the Camels this season in an offense that is averaging 10.67 goals per game. That's currently the second-highest average in the Big South and the 69th in the country.

LEADING THE WAY: Kayla Reilly and Placek are the leaders the Camel offense. Reilly has a team-high 24 points on 13 goals and 11 assists. She is averaging 1.83 assists per game, and that tally leads the conference. Placek has 12 goals and five assists to go with a team-high 30 draw controls. That's an average of 5.00 draws per contests, which ranks 25th nationally.

A LITTLE DEFNESIVE: The Camels feature a veteran defensive unit headlined by Big South Preseason Defensive Player of the year Erin O'Hara and fifth-year senior April Reinhart. Megan Reilly has also started every contest in the back and Amanda Chasin has seen significant minutes. Campbell's scoring defense stands second in in the league and 70th nationally, as opponents are averaging 13.00 goals per game.

BETWEEN THE PIPES: Senior Merredith Bechler has started all six games in the cage this season for the Camels. Her 8.50 saves per game and 0.411 save percentage both rank second in the league while Her 51 total saves stands third. Bechler is the Camels' all-time leader for minutes and appearances in goal. Sophomore Kylie Haarhoff made her first appearance of the season vs. La Salle and earned the win.

MAKING AN EARLY IMPACT: Numerous members of the Camels' freshman class have already made significant impacts early in their careers. Tina Ricci ranks third on the team in points with 12 on eight goals and four assists. Carey has started all six contests and ranks second on the team in draw controls with 18. Katie Matz scored the game-winning goal vs. La Salle while Maia Walters made her first career start vs. the Explorers. Allison Waldhauser made her first career appearance at Davidson in the defensive unit.

LIMITING MISCUES: The Camels are averaging the second fewest turnovers in the league with just 15.50 per game, which ranks 24th nationally.

CONTROLING THE DRAW: Campbell is averaging 13.83 draw controls per contest. That tally ranks second in the Big South and 26th nationally.

HEAD COACH DAWN EASLEY: Campbell head coach Dawn Easley is in her fourth season in Buies Creek after leading the Camels to the most successful season in program history last year. She led the Camels to their first postseason victory and they advanced to the Big South semifinals. Easley has mentored 12 All-Big South honorees in three years at Campbell.

CAMELS PICKED THIRD: Campbell received its highest preseason billing in program history when the Big South coaches picked the Camels to finish third in the league standings. High Point was tabbed as the preseason favorites followed by defending champions Winthrop in second.

ALL-TIME SERIES: The Camels and Bears have played the last two seasons with Campbell winning both matchups. CU has outscored Mercer 29-16 between both contests. Sunday will be the first ever meeting between Campbell and Richmond.

SCOUTING THE BEARS: Mercer (5-1) enters today's game as winners of four-straight after defeating Army 14-13 last weekend. The Bears feature the top scoring offense in the country with an average of 17.83 goals per game. Mercer also ranks first nationally in points (27.83 pg) and ground balls (26.50 pg). Lindsey Zeltwanger is the national leader for assists with 3.33 per game and she ranks second nationally in points with 6.67 per game. Kate Leone leads the Bear offense with an average of 3.50 goals per game.

SCOUTING THE SPIDERS: Richmond (3-3) has dropped its previous two contests, the last coming against James Madison, who is receiving votes in the national poll. The Spiders own the top scoring defense in the Atlantic-10, as they are allowing just 9.67 goals per game. Richmond's scoring margin is +2.50 with an average of 12.17 goals per game. UR owns the fourth-best free position percentage in the country at 0.621. Sam Giersbach has a team-high 25 points on 19 goals and six assists while Marissa Brown has a team-high 11 assists. In goal, Megan Gianforte has made 57 saves with a .496 save percentage and 9.67 goals against average.

LOOKING AHEAD: Following this weekend's action, the Camels will welcome its first ACC opponent to the Creek when Campbell faces Virginia Tech on Friday, March 24.