By Antoine Hall, Staff Writer
The soccer TranSouth Conference Tournament began Nov. 5 with teams looking for a shot to advance to the NAIA national tournament. Both Bulldog soccer teams competed in the tournament, but only the Lady Bulldogs advanced to the TranSouth Conference Championship game, their first time since 2005.
The Lady Bulldogs played their first game of the TranSouth Conference tournament Nov. 8 against Cumberland in the semifinals. It was a game with many collisions and minor injuries that resulted in favor of the Lady Bulldogs.
It took nearly 87 minutes, but Union finally hit the back of the net to earn a 1–0 win over a determined Cumberland University squad.
The solo goal was scored by Eboni Murphy, senior accounting major, at the 88:25 time mark. She said the victory was much needed and important to the team, who improved to 12–2–2 on the season.
“We set team goals at the beginning of the year, and we are trying to accomplish everything that we put on the list,” Murphy said. “This win just puts us one step closer to our goal, and that is to compete for a national title.”
Murphy added that she was relieved to make the shot because she had missed a few attempts early on in the game that she thought were sure goals.
Union will face Martin Methodist on their home turf in Pulaski on Friday, Nov. 11. Martin Methodist finished first in the TranSouth standings and Union was the runner-up, with the teams playing to a 2–2 double-overtime tie, Oct. 11.
The men’s team played its first game in the TranSouth Conference Tournament Nov. 5. The Bulldogs faced Cumberland for the right to proceed to the next round. After an overtime, the Bulldogs fell short 2–1, ending their 2011 campaign.
Kemal Gogic, junior chemistry major, said he thought that some additional individual training during the regular season could have helped extend the season.
“Maybe we could have done some individual work on certain things like simulating situations in practice similar to the game so some guys could perform better,” Gogic said.
Krister Andreassen, sophomore pre -med major, said he also thought fitness could have been structured better throughout the season.
“There was lack with fitness, but that has more to do with individual commitment of the players over the breaks that we had,” Andreassen said.
Gogic added, “Hopefully next year we can do a better job.”
The Bulldogs finished with an overall record of 6–10–1 and finished fifth in their final year to be in the TranSouth conference.