Bulldogs shutout TNU, 2-0
LEBANON, Tenn. – Juan Pablo Aparicio scored his first goal of the season in the first half and Plinio Campos added insurance with a goal in the final minutes, giving Cumberland a 2-0 victory over Trevecca Nazarene Saturday in the quarterfinals of the TranSouth Men’s Soccer Championships at Friendship Christian School.
Cumberland (6-6-2) advances to play top-ranked Bethel Univ. Tuesday in the semifinals of the conference tournament. Trevecca (6-10-1) ends its season with the loss.
The Trojans had the best scoring chances in the first 20 minutes of the match, with Philip Walker’s hard shot sailing wide left in the first minute. TNU had 3-v-2 in the 16th minute, but John Sheets’ shot from the top of the box was saved by Michailidis.
The Bulldogs finally began to find their stride, create several scoring chances at the top of the box by JJ Henderson. In the 28th minute Bradley Williams played a ball up the line to J.T. Gordy, who sent a cross to the back post for a beautiful header from Aparicio, his first goal of the season, giving CU a 1-0 advantage.
Walker nearly squared the match in the 29th minute after a deflected pass left him all alone, but he mis-hit the left-footer right into Michailidis. Walker had one more chance just before the halftime horn, but a charging Michailidis forced a high shot from just inside the box.
The teams were nearly identical statistically at the half – 10 shots apiece and five saves for each keeper – while TNU led 3-2 in corner kicks and 2-1 in fouls.
Robert Boyd’s shot from 12 yards to the right of the goal nearly gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead four minutes into the second half, but the shot sailed left. Less than a minute later, after a scramble in the box off a cross from Trevecca’s Josh Forth, Alex Stagman’s point-blank shot hit the crossbar.
The Trojans hit the crossbar again, this time in the 55th minute by Sheets after a blocked shot deflected to him near the box to the right of the goal.
Javier Delgados received a red card in the 66th minute for Trevecca after a bunch to the mouth of CU’s JJ Henderson, causing the visitors to play a man down the final 20-plus minutes.
After the red card, the match got very chippy, with three more yellow cards issued and several more exchanges between the teams. Trevecca kept the pressure on, but Michalidis was up to the challenge, punching away crosses in the final minutes and making one save just before Walker’s shot near the six-yard box.
The Bulldogs were finally able to exploit their man advantage in the 88th minute when Neil Howard played a ball forward to Robert Als near the top of the box. Als found Campos on the opposite side and he chipped a shot over TNU keeper Hayden Coffman for the final nail in the coffin.