Alex Marr’s goal in the ninth minute gave Cumberland an early lead, but Milligan netted four straight goals, including a hat trick from Jonathan Colson, and the Buffaloes posted a 4-2 season-opening victory over CU on Friday at Lindsey Donnell Stadium-Kirk Field.
With impending weather forecasted for this afternoon and evening, Saturday’s schedule of matches has been changed. Milligan and Lyon will now play at 10 a.m. followed by Cumberland and Georgia Gwinnett in the season-opening classic.
Marr posted the first goal of the match, finding an empty net after a mistake by Milligan keeper Dan Ball in the ninth minute, but the visitors quickly answer, with Colson heading in a long throw-in from Ryan Reilly just less than a minute later, knotting the match at one.
Neither team mustered much in the way of consistent possession and attacking for most of the rest of the period until Tapiwa Kaseke just beat CU keeper Ian Hamilton to a long ball from Jesse Ramoya near the top of the box, sending it into the back of the net just before the half.
Milligan kept up the pressure early in the second half as well, with Lewis Grant’s corner kick headed to the far post by Calvin Mangunda and Colson put in the goal from point-blank range in the 51st minute. Then a mistake by Hamilton allowed for an early goal by Colson in the 55th minute, with the keeper dropping a long free kick while he was backing into the net. Colson punched it home into the empty net for a 4-1 Buffs advantage.
Sophomore Elliot Goodwin found the back of the net for the Bulldogs in the 65th minute, taking a long pass from Cooke Tomlin and beating the keeper from a tough angle down the leftside, but Cumberland was unable to connect short passes in the box over the final 25 minutes and its best chance, a soft shot in a crowd by Sam Sheen with about 14 minutes to play was cleared off the line by Milligan’s Bruce Olivier.
Hamilton finished with three saves while Bell had two saves for Milligan.