BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College's Alex Smith scored a goal in each half, including the eventual game-winner, leading the Bulldogs to a 4-2 victory over Cumberlands (Ky.) in NAIA men's soccer action on Saturday at Burch/Nau Field.
With the victory, Union moved to 6-5-1 on the year, while Cumberlands fell to 5-5 with the defeat.
"I'm very proud of the boys tonight," said head coach Tyler Brock. "I think we are growing and maturing right now. If we played this same game a month ago, we would've lost it because we don't have the composure that we do now.
"The subs came on and helped out a lot. James Paull, Dawson Marcum, Jordan Johnson, and Ashton Johnson gave us valuable minutes today. Jamie Mclellan gave us his first full 90 minutes today, which was great, and I've been really happy with what Rasid Samjilovic has been doing lately. He's really stepped it up."
In the first half, Cumberlands was first to strike, as Joao Ehlers scored in the 16th minute to give the Patriots the early 1-0 lead.
Union then caught a break on a Callum Tychowski corner kick. As the ball went into the box, a Cumberlands defender deflected the ball into his own net, giving the Bulldogs the score, and knotting the match up at 1-1 in the 19th minute.
In the 26th minute, Union took their first lead of the day on Smith's first score of the afternoon. The play was set up by a great pass from Joe Butcher, who played a cross to Smith right in front of the net, as the freshman finished the play off to give Union a one-score lead going into intermission.
In the second half, Cumberlands quickly knotted the match back up, as Pedro Antonelli scored in the 51st minute to tie the match at 2-2. From there, however, the Union defense kept the Patriots off the scoreboard over the final 39 minutes of the contest.
After missing on a few chances, Union finally took the lead back in the 75th minute on a Smith goal. Josh Arberry was credited with an assist on the play, as he played a ball into the box that forced Cumberlands' goalie to move out of position. Smith then played the ball, and scored an easy goal to give Union the lead.
The go-ahead score came in the 84th minute, as Paull scored his first career goal, unassisted, to put the match away, giving Union the two-score victory.
Overall, Union outshot Cumberlands 20-11 in the contest, while both teams took three corner shots. In net, Union goalie CJ Hopkins earned the win, making five saves in 90 minutes of action.
By the Numbers
- With his two score afternoon, Smith takes the team lead for goals scored with eight on the season. He also scored his second game-winner of the year in the contest.
- Butcher notched his fourth assist of the season in the game. For his career, he now has 17 assists.
- Arberry recorded his first career assist on Smith's game-winner.
- With the win, Union evened up the all-time series with Cumberlands, 10-10-1.
Union stays out-of-conference on Wednesday, traveling to King (Tenn.). Things get underway at 3 p.m.