BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Two first-half goals proved to be enough for Union College Saturday as the Bulldogs held off Cumberland (Tenn.) University 2-1 in the championship match of the Golden Corral Bulldog Soccer Classic.
The classic's most valuable player award went to Brett Smith (Berea, Ky.) as the junior scored the eventual game-winning goal in the 12th minute of play. His assist came from Chris Elliott (Isle of Wight, England). Union's first score came via a penalty kick booted home by Elliott in the sixth minute.
Robert Als made the score 2-1 when he scored in the 62nd minute.
The win boosted Union's record to 2-0 while Cumberland went to 1-1.
Jonathan Shaw (Merseyside, England) recorded four saves in the contest for Union. Both teams attempted eight shots apiece.
Union head coach Tyler Brock commented on how he was proud of the way the back line played Saturday, including Kyle Hathorn (Burlington, Ky.), Steve Young (Clarksville, Tenn.) and Jake White (Port Orange, Fla.).
"Kyle played big minutes off the bench for us today," Brock said. "Steve and Jake stepped up and played well too in only their second collegiate match."
Brock added that he was happy to see the team's effort and improvement from the first match to Saturday's contest and that the Bulldogs won a great match against a class act squad from Cumberland.
Union takes to the field again Wednesday when the College of Mount St. Joseph College visits for a 4 p.m. meeting.
Earlier in the day, Reegan Emslie put Emmanuel (Ga.) College in front 1-0 thanks to his goal in the fourth minute of the consoluation match against Warren Wilson (N.C.) College.
Warren Wilson answered shortly after halftime thanks to a goal from Lincoln Bressor. Emmanuel used a goal from Paul Bates to go back in front 2-1 in the 64th minute. Emslie tacked on another goal six minutes later for insurance. Warren Wilson had a chance to cut into the lead, but Bressor's penalty kick in the 88th minute missed.
- For the fourth time in five seasons, Union starts the year 2-0.
- Union has a 12-0-2 record at home dating back to 2007.