NAIA
NAIA
Soccer - Thu, Nov. 11, 2010
News Photo
BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - The Union College men's and women's soccer teams are set for their semifinal match-ups on Friday in the 2010 Appalachian Athletic Conference soccer tournaments.

The Union women's squad, the number two seed in the tournament and its defending champion, will take on number three seed Milligan at 2 p.m. on Friday at host Tennessee Wesleyan. The third seeded men's team takes on seventh seed Reinhardt at host Bryan at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in their semifinal contest.

"I'm looking forward to the semi-finals this weekend," said women's head coach Jason Lanham. "We have been playing great soccer since our last loss on Sept. 29 against Lee.  Our goal this year was to win the conference tournament and get back to nationals and this is our chance."

The Lady Bulldogs (12-6 overall) are riding a seven-match winning streak into the semifinals, after the team beat number seven seed Montreat last Saturday, 3-0 in a quarterfinal match. Union was led on the day by senior Ashley Hall (Hazard, Ky.) who scored two quick first half goals to pace the Lady Bulldog offense.

Hall has led the Union offensive attack all season scoring a staggering 20 goals. The mark is the best in the AAC and the ninth best mark in the entire NAIA. On defense, goalkeeper Patricia Nardy (Sao Paulo, Brazil) recorded her fourth shutout victory of the year in the match and comes into the semifinals with a goals against average 1.34.

Milligan (9-6-2) comes into the semis off a 3-0 win over number six seed Bluefield this past Saturday. Rachel Martin has paced the Milligan offense on the year with eight goals scored, while keeper Heather Crumplen has been solid on the year, recording five shutout wins and a 1.58 goals against average.

Union will look to avenge a 2-1 loss to Milligan earlier in the season in the match. Lauren Lameier and Rachel Martin scored first period goals in the match to lead the way.

"This year's senior class of Hall, Nardy, Jessica Brandner, Renata Peixoto, and Hannah Goins have led this team all year long," continued Lanham. "Now, it's time to see how far we can go to prolong their illustrious careers."

On the men's side, the Bulldogs (8-10-1) were equally impressive in their quarterfinal match with No. 6 seed Montreat, taking a 2-0 win. Aaron Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Sideek Sanogo (Ivory Coast) scored goals on the day, while the Union defensive unit was impressive, paced by goalie Jonathan Shaw (Merseyside, England) who preserved a shutout victory with seven saves in net.

Overall, Chris Elliott (Isle of Wright, England) and Jamie Cozens (Southampton, England) are Union's leading goal scorers on the year with seven goals apiece, while Shaw has posted three shutouts and a 1.45 goals against average.

Reinhardt (6-8-1) advanced to the semifinals on penalty kicks (4-2) upsetting number two seed Tennessee Wesleyan. The Eagles are led offensively by Mark Withers, who has scored seven goals. Goalie Zach Schultze has posted a 1.26 goals against average on the year and made 92 saves.

Earlier  this year, Union recorded a 3-0 shutout over Reinhardt on the road. The Bulldogs had three separate goal scorers in the contest, while Shaw preserved the shutout with seven saves.

Both teams are looking to move on to AAC championship matches, which will be contested Saturday afternoon.

In the other semifinal matches, number one seed Tennessee Wesleyan will take on fourth-seeded Reinhardt at 11:30 a.m. on Friday on the women's side. On the men's side, top-seeded Bryan takes on fourth-seed Milligan at 4:30 p.m.