GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s soccer team suffered a 1-0 non-conference loss Saturday night to Presbyterian at the UNCG Soccer Stadium, despite out-shooting the Blue Hose by a 20-8 margin. The Spartans will be off until next Saturday when they host in-state foe UNC Asheville at 7 p.m. at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
The Spartans dominated play in the first half, holding a 12-2 edge in shots, but could not break the Blue Hose defense and goalkeeper Connor Behrend. Presbyterian conversely took advantage of one of its two shots to take a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute. Garrett Glaze made a run down the right-hand side and sent a cross to the top of the 18-yard box. Sergio Pinto took his first touch and ripped a shot into the bottom corner past junior goalkeeper Jon Milligan (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando) for the 1-0 lead.
UNCG stepped up its attack after the goal and had its two best chances in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Senior defender Nicholas Downs (Great Falls, Mont./Charles M. Russell) broke up a Presbyterian counter attack and sent a long ball into the box. Senior Eric Gunnarsson (Falkenberg, Sweden) was able to get a shot off in traffic, but Behrend made the save for the Blue Hose.
Senior defender Austin Matthews (New Kent, Va./West Point) provided a spark off the bench, notching two shots in the first half. Matthews’ best chance came in the 40th minute after a long run where he beat a Presbyterian defender, but his shot from 15-yards out went just over the cross bar.
Presbyterian (2-2-1) came out of the gate early in the second half and had two great chances off of UNCG turnovers on the back line. Andrew Miller-Bell had both chances in alone two times in the first two minutes of the second half. Miller-Bell’s first attempt alone on Milligan went wide and his second attempt struck off the post to keep it a one-goal game.
Junior midfielder Matteo Busio (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) tested Behrend in the 52nd minute of play as he ripped a shot from the top of the 18-yard box but Behrend was there to make the save. The Spartans had chances throughout the second half but were unable to convert on their chances.
UNCG had its last chance in the final minute of play as it was pushing everyone forward. The ball bounced around in the 18-yard box until sophomore defender Casey Penland (High Point, N.C./High Point Christian) fired a shot through traffic that sailed just over the cross bar with 21 seconds remaining in the game. Behrend finished the game with six saves on the night for the shutout.
-- UNCG --