A Miracle In Greenville! Menís Soccer Stuns Furman With Three Unanswered Goals
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Down two goals on the road with less than 20 minutes remaining wasn’t the position UNCG men’s soccer planned to be in, but the Spartans showed their resolve and scored three goals in the final 29:46 of the game to stun Southern Conference rival Furman 3-2 Tuesday night at Stone Stadium. The win gives the Spartans the season series sweep of the Paladins as UNCG takes over the all-time series lead by a 16-15-4 margin.
The victory was a pivotal win for the Spartans as it keeps them in second place in the league standings, just one point out of first place with three regular season games remaining. The Spartans are now 5-2-0 in SoCon play and tied with Mercer for second with 15 points, having won three straight games. UNCG trails only ETSU by one point, as the Bucs owns a 5-1-1 record, good for 16 points.
The Spartans found themselves down two goals as Furman (6-6-2, 2-4-1 SoCon) converted a pair of penalty kicks in the first 58 minutes of the game. Lewis Hawke scored from the spot in the 36th minute and the 58th minute to give the Paladins a 2-0 lead on their home field.
UNCG (9-4-2) showed its fight and kept battling, owning a 9-5 edge in shots in the second half and a 17-14 edge in the victory. The Spartans started their march back in the 71st minute of play as freshman Casey Penland (High Point, N.C./High Point Christian Academy) sent a long throw-in into the 6-yard box.
Sophomore defender Josh Masten (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando), Furman goalkeeper Jonathan Smith and a defender all went up for the ball, but it caromed off Smith’s hands and behind him towards the goal. Senior defender Hugo Coicaud (Le Havre, France/Saint-Joseph) beat his defender to the ball and poked the loose ball into the back of the net to make it a 2-1 contest.
UNCG continued to bring the attack on the Paladins as it had them on their heels with continuous pressure. Penland again was involved, this time he did his damage with his feet in the 87th minute of play. The Spartans were trying to generate pressure down the left-hand side and Penland got the ball 25-yards out. He turned on his defender and lofted a shot to the back post that sailed over Smith’s head and into the side netting to tie the game at 2-2 with his second goal of the game.
The Spartans had the Paladins on the ropes as they were shell-shocked by the offensive barrage. UNCG completed the improbable comeback in the final minute of play. Sophomore midfielder Matteo Busio (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) sent a long ball down the right-hand side that sprung Austin Matthews (New Kent, Va./West Point).
Matthews sent a hard cross through the six-yard box where it bounced around until Leeroy Maguraushe (Milton Keynes, England/Stantonbury) got a crack on goal from five-yards out. Smith made the initial save but the rebound popped right out to freshman Tevyn Henry (Franklin, Tenn./Centennial) and Henry didn’t miss his opportunity, burying the ball into the back of the net giving the Spartans the immaculate victory. The goal was the first of Henry’s career and marked the 13th different Spartan to score a goal this season.
Senior goalkeeper Logan Rohde (Cary, N.C./Greensboro College) picked up the victory as he posted four saves for the Spartans to improve to 8-3-2 on the season. Smith was tagged with the loss despite making eight saves for the Paladins.
The Spartans return to action Saturday night on Homecoming night as they welcome in Wofford for another crucial SoCon contest. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at the UNCG Soccer Stadium and will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the ESPN App. A free post-game fireworks show will follow as part of the UNCG Homecoming festivities.
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