BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Junior Thales Galan scored the eventual game-winner in the 77th minute, pacing the Union College men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Milligan (Tenn.) in Appalachian Athletic Conference action at Burch/Nau Field on Saturday.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 5-4-1 overall, 2-2 AAC. Milligan fell to 2-7 on the year with the loss, 2-4 in the AAC.
"This was great team performance by our guys today," said head coach Tyler Brock. "We had some guys come off the bench, especially Erik Holmqvist, Ashton Johnson, and Dawson Marcum, who all really gave us a spark. Holmqvist is turning into a great player. CJ Hopkins also had his best game of the season, he came up huge.
"We really came back well after giving up the early score, and I think we're starting to come around now. I'm just really happy with my team."
In the first half, Milligan was first to strike, scoring a goal in the 15th minute to take a 1-0 lead. Ryan Reilly scored the goal, giving the Buffaloes the early one score edge.
Union, however, answered the goal in the 27th minute, as Holmqvist scored off an nice pass from Alex Smith in the box, knotting the score up at 1-1. The score remained tied over the next 18 minutes, as the match went into the half all tied up.
In the second half, defense was the name of the game, as both teams had few scoring opportunities (only seven total shots were taken by both teams). But, Galan cashed in on one of those few scoring opportunities with 18 minutes left in the game.
The play in which Galan scored the game-winner on was set up by some back and forth passing by the junior and Smith, eventually ending with Galan taking a Smith pass, sending a soft shot from the five yard line over the Milligan goalkeepers head, and into the net.
From there, the Bulldogs continued to play stout defense, and held on for the one score home AAC win over the Buffaloes.
Overall, Union and Milligan each took 10 shots in the contest, with Milligan holding a 4-2 edge on corner kick. In net, Hopkins earned the win, making five saves in 90 minutes of action.
By the Numbers
- Galan scored his second goal in as many matches in the victory. The game-winner was the first for the junior and his third career goal.
- Holmqvist scored his second goal of the season in the first half, his first since a Sept. 7 match vs. Cumberland (Tenn.).
- Smith recorded a two assist day in the victory, bumping his total assists on the year to three.
- This was the first win for the Bulldogs over Milligan since Sept. 25, 2010 (2-1). Ironically, that was the last time Union hosted Milligan at Burch/Nau Field.
Union looks to keep the momentum going on Wednesday evening, traveling to Virginia Intermont on Wednesday for another AAC tilt. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.