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CU soccer clinches MSC title

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Taylor Nay / STEVE WAMPLER photo

LEBANON -- Taylor Nay scored a pair of goals and assisted on another, as No. 8 Cumberland netted four goals in the second half in a 5-0 victory over Bluefield College on Senior Day in women’s soccer action Saturday at Lindsey Donnell Stadium-Kirk Field.

Cumberland (13-1-1, 9-0-0 Mid-South) secured its first-ever regular season conference championship with the victory, claiming the outright Mid-South Conference title.

The Bulldogs will be the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament that begins Nov. 9 at home sites and continues Nov. 14-15 in Columbia, Ky.

CU dominated the match, outshooting the Rams, 32-1, forcing 10 saves, including three cleared away by Bluefield (8-6-1, 2-5-1) defenders.

Junior Reneé LaRose got the Bulldogs on the board with just her fourth career goal and first of the season off a corner kick from junior Kaitlin Phillips in the 31st minute and CU took a 1-0 lead to intermission.

Cumberland scored twice in the opening 13 minutes of the second half to begin to pull away, with freshman Olivia Chu netting her sixth goal of the year in the 53rd minute on an assist from junior Shauna Gilpin. Nay’s first goal of the match in the 58th minute deflected off a Bluefield defender for a 3-0 CU edge.

Senior Rhianne Parsons posted her 11th score of the year on an assist from Nay in the 65th minute and Nay closed out the scoring with another unassisted goal, her 10th of the campaign, in the 72nd minute.

Bluefield keeper Kayla Richardson collected seven saves.

Parsons and defender Michelle Ward were honored between matches of Saturday’s doubleheader as part of Senior Day activities.

Ward has played all four seasons for the Bulldogs, earning All-Conference honors as a freshman before a knee injury cost her almost a full year of action. She scored her first career goal last weekend at Rio Grande and has been a stalwart on the Bulldog backline.

Parsons netted her 41st career goal on Saturday and has posted nine or more goals in three of her four Bulldog campaigns.

Cumberland finishes the regular season schedule Monday, Nov. 4 at Lee University and will host a quarterfinal match in the conference tournament.

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