BRISTOL, Va. --
Sophomore Jamie Cozens
scored the game-winner in the 80th minute, as the Union College men's soccer team outlasted host Virginia Intermont, 1-0, in Appalachian Athletic Conference action on Wednesday night. The match was the regular season finale for the Bulldogs.
With the win, Union ends the regular year with a 10-6-2 overall mark, and a 3-3-1 ledger in the AAC. The victory also extended the Bulldogs' winning streak to five matches. Virginia Intermont fell to 4-10-2, 1-6 in the AAC with the defeat.
"This was an ugly game, but at the end of the night, we got the right result," said head coach Tyler Brock
. "We came out in the first half very sluggish, so we made some adjustments at halftime, and I thought we controlled the tempo in the second half. I have to give credit to our defense, they were strong all night."
In the first half, VI was the aggressor from the start, outshooting the Bulldogs 12-6 in the period. Union goalie Andrew Metcalf
(Chester, England), however, made six saves in the period, keeping the game scoreless going into intermission.
In the second half, Union picked up the pace, and had a few chances on net, only to be stopped by VI goalie Tyler O'Dell, who made four saves in the period. On the other end, it was more of the same for Metcalf, as he also stopped four shots in the frame. The strong defense on both ends enabled the match to remain scoreless with under 10 minutes left in regulation.
This set the stage for the game-winner by Cozens (Southampton, England) from six yards out with 9:40 left.. The goal was set up by a Chris Elliott
(Isle of Wight, England) free kick for 40 yards out that Cozens headed toward the goal. The shot hit the top post, and ricocheted into the back of the net, giving UC the one goal lead, and eventual victory.
The score was the fourth of the year for Cozens, and the first game-winner of the 2011 campaign for the sophomore.
Overall, VI outshot Union 23-13 in the match, while UC held a 5-4 advantage on corner kicks. Bulldog goalie Metcalf earned the shutout victory in net, making 10 saves in the contest.
Union now awaits who their opponent will be in the quarterfinals of the upcoming 2011 AAC Men's Soccer Tournament, which will begin late next week.
If the season ended today, the Bulldogs would be the fourth seed overall, and host a home match in the quarterfinal round. However, UC must wait to see what happens in fifth place Bryan's match against Bluefield on Saturday before anything is decided, as the Lions are just a half game behind the Bulldogs in the standings.
Fans are reminded to stay tuned to UCBulldogs.com for more information on the tournament as it becomes available this weekend.