Dayton, Tenn. – The Bryan College Lions Men's Soccer team got the win in this year's rivalry game with fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference opponent Union College (Ky.) and did so in convincing fashion as the Lions found the back of the net on three different occasions while completing the clean sheet for the 3-0 final. The first half was and a back-and-forth bout until Jonathan Ricketts (SO/Dayton, Tennessee) broke the silence with just over five minutes before halftime. Bryan turned their 1-0 lead after one-half of play into a multi-goal difference at the midway point of the second half with the help of Charlie Clarke (JR/Norwich, England). The Lions went ahead and made a statement at 81:15 when Brad Spooner (SO/Norwich, England) netted the third and final goal of the contest, helping improve their overall record to 6-4 and AAC record to 2-1. The loss for Union dropped them to 5-4-1 overall and gave them their first conference loss of the season, moving their conference record to 3-1.
The first half was a standoff with each side producing five looks at the goal. Following an attack by the Bulldogs just before the break, the Lions grabbed ahold of the leash and countered quickly moving up the field. Jason Ward (JR/Norwich, England) was able to find Clarke despite kicking the ball backward over his head. Clarke turned with the ball and dribbled to the center of the box before passing to Arthur Dombrowksi. Dombrowski continued the shift to the backside of the box where Ricketts had slipped by a few defenders, corralled the pass, and delivered a strike past Union's keeper for the 1-0 advantage.
Even though the Bulldogs managed to outshoot the Lions 9-7 in the latter half, Bryan's defense forced Union to settle for long attempts, explaining why only one of their 14 total shots fell on target. In the midst of the Bulldogs desperately searching for the equalizer, Clarke made things a lot more difficult as Ricketts and Spooner set him up for his team-leading eighth goal of the year, extending the Lion's lead to 2-0. With less than 10 minutes left in the game and after helping assist on the previous goal, Spooner got on the scoring end of Bryan's last goal of the night as Clarke and Dombrowski notched their second assists of the game. The score marked Spooner's seventh of the year, trailing only Clarke for the lead. After Spooner capitalized on the strike, all hopes ended for Union as they were unable to escape the shutout, 3-0.
Ricketts tallied the game-winning goal and an assist, while Clarke impressed with one goal and a pair of assists. Dombrowski dished out his first two assists of the season, and Spooner's versatility was on display as he recorded one goal and one assist. Alex Horton (JR/Nuneaton, England) stopped the only ball that came his way, bringing his total save count to 26 this year.
The Lions stay home as they host conference foe Bluefield College (Va.) on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 2pm. The Rams will be a challenge, seeing they have currently battled for an overall 10-1 record and are coming off a 2-1 upset of the No. 8 team in the country, Georgia Gwinnett College.
To view the full 2017 men's soccer schedule, click here.
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