Lions soccer opens season with home win, cancelled game

Members of the UNA soccer team huddle during Sunday’s brief game against Barry.

by Staff Writer Matt Wilson

The Lions started their 2012 campaign with a win over Tennessee Wesleyan Aug. 31 at home. Sunday’s game against Barry was cancelled due to severe weather.

In the opening game, UNA started the scoring in the fifth minute after junior defender Julia Osmond connected on a rebound near the top of the box and sent it low and hard past the Tennessee Wesleyan keeper.  Five minutes later, senior striker Chloe Roberts opened up her game with a goal from the right side of the box.

The first half of Friday night’s game ended with UNA up 2-0 but looked much more dominant than the score indicated, said senior Nikki Brown.

“We played well in spells on Friday,” Brown said. “Our younger players looked composed out there.”

The second half saw UNA continue with direct play.  Searching through-passes by senior midfielder, Jo Chubb, put pressure on the Tennessee Wesleyan back line.  Combination plays between Brown and junior midfielder Jennifer Osmond produced a flurry of crosses, resulting in scoring chances in the box.

Jennifer Osmond connected on a free kick from 40 yards out to get the second half scoring underway. Seven minutes later, she put Roberts through on a breakaway, which Roberts tucked away, giving the Lions a 4-0 lead.

Roberts scored unassisted on the final goal, giving UNA a 5-0 final in their opening game.

Head Coach Graham Winkworth said he liked the result but wanted to see more.

“Friday night we played well, and we looked strong on set-pieces,” said Winkworth. “We want to create more attractive goals.”

Sunday’s game against Barry was cancelled after two weather delays. 

After the first weather delay, the game started before being delayed with 24:05 left in the first half.  UNA had gone two goals down before the second delay and subsequent cancellation.

Nikki Brown said this may have been a good thing to happen to the team this early.

“Going down early to (Barry) will help us refocus,” Brown said. “What we can learn from this game is not to take any game lightly.”

The Lions play at Union Sept. 6, and UAH Sept. 9.

“(UAH) is our local rival,” Brown said.  “It’s an important game for us to win.”

Follow @AmericanMatt5 during the UAH game for live updates.