NASHVILLE — Andy Marr and Harry Mason both scored in the second half and Cumberland dominated the first 30 minutes of action, but Geoff Bowman posted a natural hat trick and 20th-ranked Indiana Wesleyan registered a 4-2 victory over the Bulldogs here Friday in the Trevecca Nazarene Invitational.
Cumberland (1-5-0) controlled the action through much of the first half, especially down the right side, but the Bulldogs managed just one excellent scoring chance, with Rodrick Zacharias just beating IWU keeper Josh Goepper to a bouncing ball about 12 yards from net. Zacharias just won the race, but his one-touch over Goepper’s head went wide of the net.
The Wildcats (4-2-0) got on the board in the 31st minute when Jacob Beerman sent a long ball to the far best. Keaton Albert headed the ball to the front of the net and Bowman finished, sending the Bulldogs into a tailspin for the final minutes of the half.
A giveaway near the top of the box led to the next IWU goal, with Seth Kintigh feeding Bowman for a point-blank shot from 10 yards and a 2-0 Wildcats edge in the 33rd minute. A bad foul just outside the 18-yard circle set up Bowman’s final score, with the senior’s free kick just nicking the underside of the cross bar and falling over the goal line in the 38th minute.
Albert assisted on IWU’s last goal as well, with his free kick finding the head of Taylor Lehman in the 41st minute for a 4-0 halftime lead.
Cumberland picked up the pace in the second half despite a pair of injuries in the opening period that sidelined freshman Elliot Goodwin and Eric Clark. The Bulldogs kept the pressure on the Wildcats and finally broke through in the 76th minute when Mason’s shot was saved but Marr, a freshman playing in just his second match, was there for the rebound.
Three minutes later the two players combined for another score, this time Marr finding Mason deep in the box. The senior turned and his left-footed shot sailed past IWU keeper Zach Hammon, cutting the deficit in half.
Cumberland almost score again in the last five minutes, as Luke Wilson picked up a loose ball just inside the 18-yard box, but Hammon made a tremendous save, snatching the blast head-high and stopping any Bulldog momentum in the final moments of the match.
Cumberland will face Trinity International on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Trevecca before finally playing at home (for just the second time all season) this coming Tuesday against Campbellsville at 4 p.m.