After a difficult 2017 season, 1st-year head coach Rich Kessler entered the season with optimism and excitement as the Dukes would enter the 2018 campaign with a crop of young talent with a mix of experienced sophomores looking to build off of last year.
The excitement looked to be vindicated early in the match, as the Dukes struck first with a unique goal off a corner kick by freshman, Shamar Hendricks. However, Union County would answer immediately with goals in the 6th and 11th minute to take a 2-1 lead. Later in the 1st half, Hendricks would receive a pass from fellow freshman, Gabriel Coelho, and he would deliver a strike from distance to tie the match up in the 33rd minute. Union, who finished fourth in Region XIX competition a year ago, would impose their will and score four unanswered goals, led by a hat trick from Juan Bernal, to eventually secure the 6-2 victory.
Despite the defeat, Cumberland showed much improvement and with a bevy of young talent, they will be an exciting team to watch in 2018.