LEBANON, Tenn. – Shauna Gilpin, Rhianne Parsons and Olivia Chu each scored and handed out an assist, as 13th-ranked Cumberland scored three times in the first half en route to a 4-2 victory over Tennessee Wesleyan on Wednesday in Athens, Tenn.
The Bulldogs (1-0-0) led the NAIA in total goals and ranked second nationally in goals per game last season. The club looked well on its way to another strong offensive performance, with Chu, Rhianne Parsons and Sammy Groves all scoring in the first half, including just three minutes apart on the Parsons and Groves tallies late in the second. CU took a 3-0 advantage to halftime.
Wesleyan’s Amelia Panayi scored five minutes into the second half on an assist from Madelyn Thomas, but Gilpin answered seven minutes later on an assist from Chu for a 4-1 lead. TWC’s Samaira Khan cut the deficit to two again just 90 seconds later on an assist from Kimberly Key, but that ended the scoring for the match.
Chu, a freshman from Edmonton, Alberta, found the back of the net in the 18th minute for the first score of the match on an assist from Gilpin. Parsons ran down a long ball and finished in the 37th minute for a 2-0 edge and Groves, who entered after the Parsons goal, made it 3-0 CU in the 40th minute on an assist from Parsons.
Cumberland keeper Lindsay Kitson made three saves and faced 12 total shots in the match. TWC’s Jaimee Moreland allowed three goals in the first half, while Cierra Nopen made three saves and gave up just one goal after the break.
"A win is a great way to start. The girls worked very hard in extremely hot weather," head coach Gavin McKinney said. "Going forward we need to improve in all aspects of the game, as we have a tough schedule ahead."
The Bulldogs take on 22nd-ranked Brenau University this Sunday in the home opener at Lindsey Donnell Stadium-Kirk Field, the first of five straight home matches.