Rhianne Parsons’ goal in the 74th minute from the top of the box proved to be the game-winner in an otherwise hard-fought match, giving 13th-ranked Cumberland a 1-0 victory No. 22 Brenau University in women’s soccer action Sunday at Lindsey Donnell Stadium-Kirk Field.
Cumberland (2-0-0) controlled play for much of the match and outshot the Tigers, 17-10, but Brenau keeper Tori Brown made two excellent saves in the first half and the Bulldogs were unable to create many good scoring chances until the final minutes of the match.
Taylor Nay fed Parsons at the top of the box coming from the right and the senior made a nice turn outside, creating just enough space between her and the defender to get off the hard spot, low and left, beating a diving Brown for her second goal of the season.
The Cumberland defense left little space for Brenau All-Americans Esther Anyanwu (forward) and Linda Chukwuji (midfield), with the duo’s best chances called back because of offsides in the first half. CU keeper Lindsay Kitson made six saves in the match, with Brenau’s best opportunity on a corner kick midway through the second period.
Kitson made a point-blank save on Chukwuji and then a teammate on the back post prevented the rebound from going in the next as well, preserving the scoreless game. About 10 minutes later Parsons found the back of the net, her 32nd career goal for the Bulldogs.
Cumberland continues its current five-match homestand this Friday with a 3 p.m. match against SCAD-Savannah and opens Mid-South Conference action September 10 at home versus Campbellsville University.