GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG freshman midfielder Nelson Oceano (Berlin, Germany) picked an opportune time to score his first career goal as his tally gave the Spartans a hard-fought 1-0 overtime victory over non-conference rival Appalachian State Saturday night in front of 1,388 fans at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. The victory is the third-straight for the Spartans heading into their Southern Conference opener Tuesday night at ETSU.
The Spartans (3-4-1) scored the game’s lone goal in the 95th minute of action. Junior midfielder Leeroy Maguraushe (Milton Keynes, England) won the ball in the midfield and got it to freshman midfielder Alex Henderson (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando). Henderson sent a long ball wide, where it found sophomore forward Faisal Almubaslat (Summerfield, N.C./Northern Guilford).
Almubaslat beat his defender and turned the corner towards goal down the end line. He fired a shot from 8-yards out on goal, but Appalachian State goalkeeper Jake Chasteen made a diving save. The rebound leaked out through Chasteen’s legs and Oceano beat three Mountaineer defenders to the ball, ramming it into the back of the net for the game-winning goal and his first career tally.
Junior goalkeeper Jon Milligan (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando) and the Spartans’ defense posted their third-straight shutout in the victory, extending their shutout streak to 332:65 on the year. Milligan posted two saves on the night, none bigger than stoning Ian Bennett on a semi-breakaway in the 80th minute of play.
The game was full of half chances as the two teams only combined for 11 shots but also included 16 corner kicks. The Spartans finished with a 6-5 edge in shots, including two on the final play, while holding an 11-5 edge in corner kicks. Junior forward Matt Mattis (Little Stoke, England) had the Spartans’ best chance in regulation in the 29th minute of play. Mattis got behind the Appalachian State defense as he out-muscled the defender for the 50-50 ball and went in on the breakaway but Chasteen was able to make a kick save to keep the game scoreless in regulation.