Meaghan Lyons netted her first goal of the season near the end of the first half and Rhianne Parsons added another in the 58th minute, as Cumberland posted a 2-0 victory over Union University in women’s soccer action Wednesday at Lindsey Donnell Stadium-Kirk Field.
The Bulldogs (5-1-0) were less-than-impressive in the victory, missing a slew of good scoring chances, but Lyons’ goal in the 38th minute seemed to relax the squad and Cumberland held possession for close to 85 percent of the match.
Parsons netted her team-leading fourth goal of the year just after the break and just missed another excellent chance later in the period. Cumberland outshot Union, 21-9, and forced Union keeper Emily Waggoner into seven saves.
The Bulldogs were unable to finish a host of excellent chances in the first half, with Waggoner making four saves, three on shots by Parsons.
Cumberland finally got on the board in the 38th minute, with Lyons taking a pass from Taylor Nay and blasting a shot from 25 yards that sailed just over the head of Waggoner, curving just inside the post for her first goal of the season.
Union nearly tied the match before the half, as Kayleigh Patterson’s header off a corner hit the crossbar and bounced out. Union had three straight corner kicks in the final minutes of the period, but Renee LaRose cleared out the first and third ones, keeping the one-goal lead for CU at intermission.
Parsons won a scramble for the ball near the top of the box early in the second half and found herself all alone near the penalty spot, beating Waggoner low and right.
Cumberland will head to 10th-ranked West Florida this Saturday for a 1 p.m. match against the defending NCAA Division II national champions.
Women's soccer ranked 18th; Nay named TSWA Player of the Week
Cumberland is ranked 18th in the latest edition of the 2013 NAIA women’s soccer coaches top 25 poll, the national office announced Tuesday.
Sophomore Taylor Nay was also named Player of the Week by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association.
The Bulldogs won both of their matches last week, a 2-0 victory over Campbellsville in the Mid-South Conference opener and a 2-1 win versus Trinity International.
Nay assisted on the first goal in the victory over Campbellsville and netted both against Trinity International. She assisted on Shauna Gilpin's score in the 17th minute versus Campbellsville, sliding a ball through the defense before Gilpin finished for an early lead.
Against TIU, the Sherwood Park, Alberta, native scored twice in the first five minutes of the second half, erasing a 1-0 deficit. She beat two defenders to a ball down the right side and buried a shot into the upper 90 in the 48th minute, knotting the match.
Less than three minutes later Nay lofted a cross from the right sideline that became trouble for the TIU keeper, who tried to pin the ball to the crossbar but was unable to hold on, with the ball falling over the goal line before she could gain complete control.
She is tied for the team lead with three goals and two assists through five matches for the Bulldogs, who played host to Union University on Wednesday before traveling to defending NCAA Division II champion West Florida on Saturday.