The Phoenix (5-4-2, 4-0-0 Mid-South) won their fourth straight match overall and moved into the lead in the conference with three outings remaining over the next 10 days.
The teams looked headed for extra time despite 25 minutes of pressing by the Blue Raiders (10-2-1, 4-1-0), though they never challenged CU goalkeeper Bennet Strutz with shots on frame. Cumberland was the aggressor for the final 20 minutes, with Bakary Bagayoko and Daniel Williams making runs down the middle and the left at LWC keeper William Diaz, though many of Cumberland’s shots were blocked by Lindsey Wilson defenders.
The Phoenix had a series of throw-ins deep down the right side on the offensive end in the final 10 minutes. Tyler Watson, in his most extensive action since a nasty injury to his lip at Georgia Gwinnett on September 29, headed an Austin Morenzoni throw-in to the far post. Abdi was there for another header and a Lindsey Wilson defender booted him in the face, giving the home team a penalty shot.
Risa buried the PK past Diaz for his second goal of the season and Cumberland played keep-away for the final six minutes. Williams and Watson nearly combined for a second CU goal in the 87th minute but Diaz, who finished with four saves, knocked the shot away.
Cumberland outshot the Blue Raiders, 14-8, though neither team was able to muster quality scoring chances. Williams’ blast from 20 yards drilled the right post near the end of the first half and Lindsey Wilson’s Andrew Revanales got a chance from about 10 yards midway through the second half after a scramble in front off a corner kick, but his shot was hit poorly in the wet field conditions and rolled left of the net.
Light rain showers fell off-and-on throughout the first half and a hard shower hit the area for 10-15 minutes of the second period, making poor field conditions even worse after the women’s match earlier in the day.
“This was a big victory for our team today,” Cumberland head coach Adam Grant said. “We really struggled early in the year and went through some injuries but the guys have played much better the last couple of weeks. I think it was a match with two excellent teams and we were able to come out on top.”
Cumberland will play at home three times in the coming week, taking on Milligan College in a non-conference match Wednesday at 3 p.m. The Phoenix will also play host to the University of Pikeville on Friday and Shawnee State on Sunday.
Phoenix women suffer first Mid-South loss
Kajsa Conradsen scored a goal in each half and 14th-ranked Lindsey Wilson took control early in posting a 3-0 victory over No. 10 Cumberland in women’s soccer action here Sunday at Lindsey Donnell Stadium-Kirk Field.
The Blue Raiders (6-2-2, 4-0-1) took an early lead with a goal in the 17th minute and Conradsen scored on a rebound in the 30th minute, as Lindsey Wilson dominated the run of play for most of the first half. Conradsen finished the scoring with a header off a corner kick early in the second half and LWC posted its third consecutive shutout in the victory.
Cumberland finally gained possession in the attacking third in the final five minutes of the opening half, with a header by Autumn Copeland off a cross from Mariah Aplin sailing just over the crossbar. With just over a minute left in the period Jennifer Segura’s shot from the left corner of the 18-yard box also flew just over the crossbar and LWC took a 2-0 advantage to intermission.
The best scoring chance of the second half for the Phoenix was a 1-v-1 opportunity for Savannah Moreland midway through the period, but her shot missed the outside of the left post.
The Blue Raiders held possession for much of the first half and challenged CU goalkeeper Ashley Kambeitz early, including a header by Conradsen off a corner kick that was saved in the 12th minute and Sanna Svensson’s shot that Kambeitz made a diving save on in the 16th minute.
Lindsey Wilson got on the board first when Sina Cavelti took a pass near the endline and crossed to the penalty spot. Veronica Kurtz was waiting for a left-footed one-timer that was on top of Kambeitz quickly, beating the keeper low and just inside the left post for a 1-0 LWC advantage in the 17th minute.
In the 30th minute Delfina Santellan struck a free kick from 30 yards into traffic in front of the goal. Kambeitz made the initial save but Conradsen was there to pick up the rebound into an empty net, extending the Blue Raiders lead to 2-0.
In the 55th minute Conradsen struck out, heading in a corner at the far post from Amara Safuan. The ball went off a Cumberland defender at the front post and bounced in for the final goal of the match.
The Blue Raiders held a 14-10 advantage in shots in the match and forced Kambeitz into six saves.
Cumberland will conclude the home schedule this coming week, playing host to the University of Pikeville on Friday at noon and Shawnee State on Sunday, also at noon.