BARBOURVILLE, Ky. --
Union College senior Marc Miller
scored the eventual game-winner in the 62nd minute, as the home Bulldogs upset No. 24 Tennessee Wesleyan, 2-1, in Appalachian Athletic Conference men's soccer action on Tuesday at Burch/Nau Field.
With the win, Union improved to 8-6-2, and 2-3-1 in the AAC, while Tennessee Wesleyan dropped to 12-3 overall, 5-1 in the AAC. The loss for TWC was their first since Sept. 14, as a nine-match winning streak was snapped by Union.
"Collectively, this is a great win for our team," said head coach Tyler Brock
. "The guys are really buying into our system, and their roles on the team. I've been telling the guys that they could do something special all season, and after a win like this, they will start believing that.
"I thought our subs who came in played great, like Thales Galan
(Santa Andzie, Brazil). Miller (Winchester, Ky.) started out of position and was superb, and our back line of Josh Niemann
(Louisville, Ky.) and Travis Cole
(Beckley, W.Va.) covered ground all game. Right now we have our best 11 players out there starting, and it's showing."
In the first half, Union showed their aggressiveness on both sides of the field, outplaying the favored Bulldogs in the period. Both teams, however, failed to convert on several opportunities in front of the net, as the game was scoreless going into the locker room for halftime.
To start the second period, Union finally cracked the scoreless tie in the 52nd minute in dramatic fashion, as Christian Jauregui
(Mount Sterling, Ky.) scored on an acrobatic, bicycle kick from five yards out. The play was set up by a cross from Galan, as Jauregui's fourth goal of the season gave Union a 1-0 lead.
TWC would equalize the score roughly five minutes later, as Billy Sparks scored his third goal of the year on a free kick from 15 yards out, tying the match at 1-1.
This set the stage for Miller's game-winner five minutes later in the 62nd minute. Miller received the ball on the play after several players bounced it around after a Union corner. Miller then tattooed a ball toward the net from five yards out, and got it past TWC goalie Josh Leader and into the net, giving UC a one-score lead.
From here on out, Union hung on to the lead playing opportunistic defense, led by freshman goalie Andrew Metcalf
(Chester, England), who made several big saves down the stretch.
TWC's last attack on net occurred in the matches final seconds, as a desperation shot was hurled towards the net as the clock wore down. Metcalf made an easy save on the ball, as Union hung on for the big home upset.
Overall, Union outshot TWC 16-11 in the contest, while the visiting Bulldogs held a 9-6 advantage on corner kicks. Metcalf was the winner in net for Union, making five saves on the night.
Union returns to the pitch on Saturday when they travel to Berea for a non-conference tilt. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.