JACKSON, Tenn. - 8/28/2007 - The Union University men’s soccer program opened the 2007 season with a tough three game road trip to Oklahoma. Union went 1-2 on the trip including a 2-1 loss at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, a 1-0 loss at St. Gregory’s University, and a 2-1 overtime win at Oklahoma Baptist.
USAO 2, Union 1
Union opened the scoring in the 37th minute when freshman midfielder Franky Mocellin scored on a Richard Norman assist to give Union the 1-0 lead. Union held that same 1-0 at halftime. In the 76th minute, USAO’s Pinder Nijjar knotted the match with a goal. The game-winner came from a mis-handled corner kick in the 86th minute. The ball popped out of a crowd of players just in front of the goal, and was eventually finished by Dusan Rasovic, giving USAO the 2-1 victory.
St. Gregory’s 1, Union 0
In a match that lacked any real rhythm throughout, both teams struggle to produce an kind of and offensive attack. The match remained scoreless until the 88th minute when a routine corner kick was mishandled by Union goalkeeper Mike Phelan and the ball dropped across the line for an own goal.
Union 2, Oklahoma Baptist 1 (overtime)
Union ended their two-game losing streak to open the season with a much needed win. The Bulldogs scored first in the 30th minute with a goal by senior Benny Crozier, assisted by Paul Turner. Union led 1-0 at the half. Oklahoma Baptist tied the match with a goal by Jake Germany in the 57th minute. The game remained 1-1 until six minutes into the first overtime period when Union’s Josh Hanna scored the game winner on an assist by Franky Mocellin.
Head Coach Clovis Simas felt that he received a solid performance by his squad over the tough road trip, and looks forward to building on these three matches as the season progresses. The season opener featured 11 Bulldogs playing in their first match for Union- the largest class of new players in a single match since 1999. "I was impressed with the level of intensity that our newcomers displayed in their first game with us," said Simas.
Union plays again this weekend with two more road matches. Union plays NAIA National Power Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.) on Friday at 7:00 pm and then Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) on Saturday at 2:00 pm. Both matches will be played at Lindsey Wilson in Columbia, Ky. Union’s first home match of the 2007 season will be Tuesday, September 11 when the Bulldogs host TranSouth foe, Trevecca Nazarene University (Tenn.) at 8:00 pm.
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