The Tennessee Wesleyan College men's soccer team traveled to Lebanon, TN yesterday to face Cumberland University. The two teams met last season with the Bulldogs coming away with a 2-0 victory.
It was the first ever game on Cumberland's new soccer field and was the first regular season game of the year for both teams. The first half started slowly for both teams and with some sloppy play no team had the edge. Cumberland, who is a big side, looked threatening from set pieces and should probably have taken the lead from one of a number of corners they won in the first twenty minutes.
TWC began to come into the game and looked dangerous on the counter attack. John Carrier and Ben Wilks were beginning to look sharp and their movement going forward was starting to cause the Cumberland defenders headaches.
The best chance of the half came with only minutes remaining when TWC's Garrett Koon dispossessed the Cumberland right back just outside their box, Koon slotted to ball across to Juan Pedro Alba who from twelve yards out hit his shot into the grateful arms of the Cumberland goal keeper. The teams went in at the half at 0-0.
The second half was much better for the Bulldogs, as they were able to possess the ball much better and created a number of chances. TWC's first goal came in the forty ninth minute when Garrett Koon won a corner through his enterprise on the left wing. The corner was taken by John Carrier who whipped a superb ball into the near post area. Martyn Freestone was quickest to react and darted in front of his marker to flick his header into the back of the net.
TWC's second goal came in the sixty sixth minute, when Joe White won a towering header on the half way line, John Carrier picked up the lose ball and played an inch perfect chip over the Cumberland left backs head to the onrushing Daniel Cardona who crossed the ball to the back post. Under heavy pressure from Ben Wilks the Cumberland right back was unable to deal with the cross and managed to score past his own goal keeper.
TWC put the game to bed two minutes from time, with good work from Juan Pedro Alba, who led to his cross from the right. Ben Wilks was again challenging on the back post, the Cumberland defense could only clear to the edge of the box where Martyn Freestone picked up the bouncing ball. He controlled the ball, lifted it over the onrushing defender and lofted a left footed volley past the Cumberland goal keeper and into the roof of the net for his second goal of the game.
Cumberland was able to pull a goal back with twenty one seconds left, when a hopeful clearance was not dealt with in the TWC midfield and Cumberland's Marconi Neto found himself in the clear with only Clark Lydon in the TWC goal to beat, Neto kept his cool and slotted the ball into the corner of the goal.
The final score of the game was Cumberland 1 TWC 3. It was a great way to start the season for the TWC squad.
TWC play on the road again this weekend with two games in two days. They play Auburn University at Montgomery who are ranked #9 in the nation on Friday at 4:30pm EST and Belhaven University ranked #17 in the nation at 2pm EST on Saturday. Both games will be played on the campus of AUM.