Welcome to The Doghouse, a weekly column recapping Union University sports action from the weekend.
At home, men’s soccer went 1-1 and women’s soccer went 1-0-1. Volleyball went 1-1 on the road.
Friday, the women’s soccer team won 1-0 over Alabama Huntsville, their first win in series history.
“It was a good battle,” Isaac Brooks, head coach, said on the Union Athletics website. “It was one of those games that we knew coming in that it was gonna be tough.”
In the first half, the Lady Bulldogs outshot UAH 13-7, but neither team found the net. In the half, Larae Breaux had seven saves for UAH to Kristen Francis’ six for Union.
Kelsey Wilkes scored for the Lady Bulldogs in the 48th minute. Breaux saved Kayleigh Patterson’s shot, but Wilkes converted on the rebound. Sarah Hershbain attempted a penalty kick with less than 15 minutes to play, but Breaux saved it, and the game remained 1-0 until time expired.
“The proudest thing I am of the girls tonight is how they fought through with some of the frustrations they had,” Brooks said. “Even through those frustrations they were able to keep their composure and remember why we’re out here playing. We’re out here to glorify Christ. He’s blessed us with a lot of talent, a lot of skill, and a lot of athleticism.
Union outshot UAH by a margin of 21 in the game, posting a season high of 30 shots.
“It’s gonna be one of those game that propels us through the rest of the season,” said Brooks. “It was a big, big win for us tonight.”
On Sunday, Union hosted West Alabama. The game was very back and forth, eventually going into double overtime.
Summer Senn scored for Union in the 26th minute, with Kayleigh Patterson earning the assist. In the 52nd minute, Patterson found the net, but was offside.
TeMia Pride tied the game with a goal for West Alabama in the 60th minute. Then, in the 77th minute, Chelsea Commings put the ball in the net to give the Tigers the lead.
In the 83rd minute, Union tied the game with a goal inside the box from Kelsey Wilkes. Patterson added another assist on the play. The game went into overtime, the third time of the season for Union, but neither team scored.
In the game, West Alabama had 21 shot attempts to Union’s 28. That is the second highest of the season for the Lady Bulldogs. In goal, Kristen Francis had nine saves for Union, which is her season best.
The 2-2 tie keeps Union at a .500 hundred record of 4-4-3.
In men’s soccer, Friday’s game against UAH ended with a 3-2 victory.
The Bulldogs struck first, with Deniel Bile scoring in the 38th minute off an assist from Cole Asofur. The 1-0 lead held through the half.
In the 54th minute, Paul Langford found the net, assisted by Rodrigo Zonta and Anthony Russo. Less than one minute later, James Narke answered with a goal for UAH. Narke scored again in the 81st minute off of an Corentin Diverres assist to tie the game 2-2.
As time neared expiration, Union’s Cole Asfour drove down the field and into the box with an opportunity to shoot. He capitalized, placing the ball in the top right of the net to win the game in the 88th minute.
“Many of the things we’ve worked on worked well tonight,” Clovis Simas, head coach, said on Union’s Athletics website. “I’m very proud of our team and the way we’ve played.
Sunday, the Bulldogs lost to West Alabama 3-1.
The first goal was a bicycle kick from West Alabama’s Clay Greene in the 6th minute of play. The Tigers celebrated and left the goal open. Union started play and kicked a shot into the goal, but the officials called it back. By the time the Bulldogs reset and started play again, the Tigers were in position and prevented a score.
In the 32nd minute, Oreva Amata added a goal to West Alabama’s lead. 12 minutes later, Paul Langford headed a ball into the net for Union’s lone goal of the game. In the 62nd minute, West Alabama’s Harrison Roberts scored the game’s final goal with a shot into the top right corner of the net.
In the game, Union goal keeper Igor Luczensky had seven saves, tying for his best of the season. West Alabama outshot Union 15-11, and remain undefeated against the Bulldogs.
With his goals this weekend, Langford leads the team with four goals. Rodrigo Zonta leads with four assists.
The Bulldogs are 4-8 overall and 2-4 in conference action.
The volleyball team lost in a three set sweep at West Alabama Friday. The set scores were 25-14, 25-13, and 29-27.
The match opened with an 8-1 run for West Alabama. The Tigers dominated the second set as well, leading 6-2 early. The Lady Bulldogs never led in the second set, but did come within one. The set finished with a 12-2 run for West Alabama.
In the third set, Union flipped the storyline initially, claiming a 17-8 lead. Then, the Tigers fought back and took a 20-18 lead. Union would have set points at 24-22 and 25-24, but could not capitalize.
In the match, West Alabama had 11 service aces to Union’s four. For the Lady Bulldogs, Katie O’Malley recorded 10 kills, Hannah Huguley led with 27 assists, and Audrey Cagle had 12 digs.
“We always focus on the task in front of us,” Union Head Coach Darrin McClure said after the loss. “I reference one of my favorite quotes frequently, stating, ‘the scoreboard is an indication of something you did in the past.’ This applies to bad results as much as good ones. We have to turn the page.”
Saturday, Union did turn the page, sweeping West Georgia on the road.
“We were more focused on Saturday,” McClure said. “As we mature as a team, we are learning that it takes a conscious effort to focus on each individual’s skill set.”
In the first set, the Lady Bulldogs opened with a 9-3 lead. They dominated the set, winning 25-15.
Come the second set, West Georgia jumped out to a 4-1 lead and later a 15-9 advantage. Union gradually fought back, claiming a 22-19 lead and then winning 25-22.
The third set was all Union. After dropping one point to West Georgia, the Lady Bulldogs led the remainder of the match, winning 25-18.
Suheily Colon-Rodriguez and Deja Moorer each had nine kills, with McKenna Carter posting eight of her own. The team combined for 41 kills to West Georgia’s 26. Hannah Huguley led with 29 assists. Audrey Cagle had 11 digs.
After their 1-1 weekend, Union volleyball is 7-11 overall and 4-6 in conference.
“Our team is pretty close,” said McClure. “As we go through the rigors of a season, it helps you form a bond that is strong.”
Looking ahead, volleyball will participate in the Sunshine State/Gulf South Crossover Challenge in Orlando, Florida on Friday and Saturday. Men’s soccer will play at Mississippi College on Friday and at Delta State on Sunday. The women’s team will travel to Valdosta State on Friday and to West Georgia on Sunday. In Cross Country, the Union men and women will participate in the Mississippi College Invitational on Saturday.