November 17, 20221st2ndFinal
Briar Cliff101
CUMBERLA0:57Haley Stevens (Evelyn Jimenez )
BRIAR CL32:58Taylor Alkire (Tia Lisy )
CUMBERLA54:53Haley Stevens (Brenna Swiger )
CUMBERLA72:29Evelyn Jimenez
BRIAR CLRuby Campa90:0036
CUMBERLASabrina Graziano90:0015
Shots (on Goal)10 (6) 20 (9)
Corner Kicks74
Yellow Cards01
Women's Soccer Dominates Opening Round against Briar Cliff
Thursday, November 17, 2022
Women's Soccer Dominates Opening Round against Briar Cliff
Team Celebrates moving on after the match in the snow. (Credit: Spring Arbor Sports Information)

Spring Arbor, Mich.-- Cumberland extends their trip in snowy Spring Arbor with a 3-1 win over Briar Cliff in the NAIA National Tournament opening round.

Haley Stevens had a huge night for the Phoenix, giving her team the lead on two occasions by picking up her fifth and sixth goals of the season. Evelyn Jimenez secured an insurance goal for the Phoenix, her second goal of the season, while also picking up an assist.

The Phoenix took control of the game right out of the gate, taking a 1-0 lead almost immediately in the 44th minute. Cumberland dominated the ball for the greater part of the first half, taking ten shots with half of them being on goal. 

The Phoenix defenders played relentlessly, keeping the Chargers at bay and limiting their shot opportunities to only three in the first 45 minutes.  

Evelyn Jimenez crossed a ball out of reach of Briar’s keeper and Stevens tapped it into the open net to put Cumberland on the board within the first minute of play. The Phoenix held down this lead until the Chargers capitalized on a rare opening in Cumberland’s defense to tie up the score with 12 minutes left to play. Taylor Alkire was the Charger to put the team on the board with a header that soared just out of Sabrina Graziano’s reach. 

The Chargers tightened their defense in the second half and split the momentum more evenly with the Phoenix, finding more opportunities than they had in the first half. They would take seven more shots- four more than they found in the first half- but were unable to overcome the Phoenix pressure.

It was a quiet half for the first 18 minutes until Brenna Swiger found an opening with a great shot that went just off the crossbar and into an unguarded Stevens who once again gave CU the lead after punching the ball into the high corner.

Taylor Alkire finished on a deflected ball to bury another shot in Cumberland’s goal, but a foul called against the Chargers voided the goal and kept CU in the lead.

With 17 minutes left to play, Jimenez worked around her defender to take a sharp shot just outside of the box for a Phoenix insurance goal, bringing the lead to 3-1. 

Ella Tuplin was dealt a yellow card just inside the Phoenix box to give Briar Cliff a penalty kick with ten minutes remaining, an opportunity to bring the deficit within one for Briar Cliff. Hannah Shuttleworth took the ball too wide and it was sent up and over the left corner. 

The Phoenix held off the Chargers for the remainder of the game and picked up an opening round victory to move on to the second round of the tournament. 

Cumberland will face host and No. 1 seed Spring Arbor on Saturday, November 19 at 2:00 pm central, 3:00 p.m. eastern.