First place Camels continue Big South play at Longwood Wednesday

Sam Carey (scarboroughphotography.com)
Sam Carey (scarboroughphotography.com)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- Campbell will look to stay in first place in the Big South Conference and will put its perfect 3-0 league record on the line Wednesday afternoon at Longwood. First draw is set for 3 p.m.

The game will be broadcast on the Big South Network and live stats will be available through gocamels.com. Live in-game updates will also be posted on the Camels' Twitter page, @GoCamelsWLAX.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

LAST TIME OUT: Sarah Paul scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Camels (6-6, 3-0 BSC) a dramatic 12-11 win at Liberty last Saturday. Melissa Placek registered the game-tying goal with 27 seconds left and Merredith Bechler made a key save in the Flames' lone first offensive possession of the extra frame before setting up Paul for the crucial score. Placek led the Camels with three goals while Paul had four points on four goals and four assists.

ON THE OFFENSE: Campbell features a balanced attack from a variety of scoring options. 11 different players have found the back of the cage for the Camels this season in an offense that is averaging 11.17 goals per game. That's currently the third-highest tally in the Big South.

LEADING THE WAY: Kayla Reilly and Placek are the leaders the Camel offense. Reilly has cumulated a team-high 46 points on 20 goals and 26 assists. She is averaging 2.7 assists per game, which stands second in the conference and 24th nationally. Placek has a team-high 29 goals and 10 assists to go with a team-high 58 draw controls. That's an average of 4.83 draws per contests, which ranks third in the Big South and 28th nationally.

A LITTLE DEFENSIVE: Campbell's scoring defense stands second in the league, as opponents are averaging 12.83 goals per game. 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 game and Amanda Chasin has seen significant minutes. Allison Waldhauser has started the past four contests.

BETWEEN THE PIPES: Bechler has started nine games in goal, but all three Camel goalkeepers have seen time in the cage this season. Bechler owns a 0.400 save percentage, which ranks fourth in the Big South, while Her 7.45 saves per game and 12.30 goals against average stands third. Alex Salim has appeared in three games and has nine saves while Kylie Haarhoff started versus Virginia Tech and earned the win over La Salle.

EARLY IMPRESSIONS: 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 27 on 16 goals and 11 assists. Sam Carey has started every contest and ranks second on the team in draw controls with 38. Katie Matz has scored in eight of 10 games she has appeared and netted the game-winning goal versus La Salle.

LIMITING MISCUES: CU is averaging the fewest turnovers in the league with just 15.83 miscues per game, which ranks 24th nationally.

CONTROLLING THE DRAW: Campbell is averaging 14.00 draw controls per contest. That tally ranks second in the Big South and 25th nationally.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: During Campbell's three-game conference winning streak, the Camels are averaging 23.67 points per game, which ranks second in the league. Campbell is scoring 15.33 goals per game and giving up just 9.68 goals per game. The Camels are needing just 7.33 saves per contest while their goalkeepers' save percentage sits at .423 (4th BSC).

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 coached CU in its first postseason victory to advance to its first 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: Campbell has played Longwood more than any other opponent in its five-year history. The Lancers have won five of the six all-time meetings including all four regular season matchups. CU defeated LWU 14-5 in last season's Big South Championship quarterfinal. Longwood has scored 86 goals between the six games compared to Campbell's 59 goals.

SCOUTING THE LANCERS: Longwood (5-89, 1-2) owns a conference win over Radford but has dropped its last two games to Liberty and High Point. LWU is led by Stephanie Roberts, who has tallied 26 goals on a league-high 0.591 shooting percentage. In the cage, Imani West leads the Big South in saves with 9.00 per game and 108 total. Her 0.419 save percentage also tops the league but her 15.45 goals against average ranks just sixth. The Lancers are averaging 10.23 goals per game while giving up 14.92 goals per contest.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Camels will play their final home game of the regular season at Barker-Lane Stadium on Saturday against Gardner-Webb at 1 p.m. Prior to the contest, the team will honor its three seniors; Bechler, O'Hara and Reinhart.