JACKSON -- Eboni Murphy's chip from 10 yards in the 86th minute was the only goal in Union University's 1-0 victory over Cumberland in women's soccer action Tuesday night at the Smith Memorial Soccer Complex in the semifinals of the TranSouth Championships.
Union (12-2-2) dominated play for much of the match, posting a 26-5 advantage in shots. Murphy missed an open net in the 58th minute but recorded her seventh goal of the season on an assist from Christina Reardon for the game-winner, sending UU into the conference tournament finals for the first time in school history.
Union will play on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Martin Methodist. The loss ends the season for Cumberland.
CU keeper Elizabeth Surdam and the Bulldogs' backline was under constant pressure the entire 90 minutes but managed to stave off the home team until the final minutes. Surdam registered nine saves in the loss and had little chance on the goal, with the ball played back into the box to Murphy, who was between two defenders and chipped the shot over Surdam to the far post.
Union dominated the first half but was unable to score, taking 15 shots, including seven on net and another that hit the right post. The best chance may have come in the 33rd minute, with Terilyn Wassell all alone on the back post after a cross from Rebecca McDonough, but Wassell's shot sailed over the crossbar.
The Bulldogs (10-8-0) suffered through another set of injuries in the period, with Beth Morgan going down after a scramble in front of the net on a corner kick and Rikki Mercado exiting after a tackle from behind drew a caution on Reardon. Helena Dimantas Farias also left the field for about two minutes after a strong challenge near midfield.
Cumberland generated only a few scoring chances, but all were of high quality, with Morgan Shaffer's volley from 10 yards sailing high over the net and a header from Dimantas Farias just missing the crossbar on a free kick near midfield by Mackenzie Keele.