GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s soccer team out-shot hosting VMI 29-3 as the Spartans posted their Southern Conference-leading eighth shutout of the season Tuesday afternoon with a 2-0 victory over the Keydets at Patchin Field. The victory improves the Spartans to 3-1-1 in SoCon play and moves UNCG to 6-1-1 in its last eight games. The Spartans return home carrying a two-game winning streak Saturday night when they host defending league champion ETSU at 7 p.m.
The Spartans registered a season-high 29 shots in the victory and posted a 12-0 advantage in corner kicks in the win. Junior midfielder Leeroy Maguraushe (Milton Keynes, England) led all players with five shots in the victory while 13 different Spartans posted shots on the day. Junior goalkeeper Jon Milligan (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando) picked up his league-leading eighth shutout of the season and lowered his SoCon-leading goals against average to just 0.66 on the season.
The Spartans had the game’s first chance in the 18th minute of play as junior midfielder Matteo Busio (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) sent a through ball into the 18-yard box. The ball sprung freshman midfielder Nelson Oceano (Berlin, Germany) on the break but his shot one-on-one with VMI goalkeeper Robert Allen was there to thwart the effort, keeping the game scoreless. Freshman Manny Apau (Leominster, Mass./Southwest Guilford) had a chance in the 27th minute from 10-yards out but once again Allen made a save to keep the game scoreless.
UNCG opened the scoring in the 29th minute of play. Maguraushe made a run through the midfield and sent a pass out wide to sophomore Tevyn Henry (Franklin, Tenn./Centennial). Henry drove a cross back into the box where it found the on-charging junior forward Matt Mattis (Little Stoke, England) who rammed it into the back of the net past Allen for his team-leading third goal of the year and the 1-0 lead.
The Spartans scored early in the second half, taking a 2-0 lead in the 55th minute of play. Maguraushe again was around the action as he won the ball in the midfield and sent a perfectly weighted through ball to the top of the 18-yard box. Freshman midfielder Cyril Owolabi (Manchester, England) ran onto the ball and ripped his first touch past Allen into the bottom left-hand side of the goal for his first career collegiate goal.
The Spartans controlled play throughout the game, dominating possession in the midfield. UNCG recorded 19 shots in the second half, coming p with dangerous chances throughout. The Spartans’ best chance in the second half came in the 85th minute. Freshman forward Thordur Johannesson (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland) made a long run on goal and after his initial shot was save, Johannesson attempted a bicycle kick but his shot struck off the post and VMI was able to clear it out of danger.
The victory gives the Spartans 10 points in the SoCon standings with a 3-1-1 record and moves UNCG momentarily into first place in the SoCon. The Spartans are in front of ETSU heading into the night games Tuesday as the Buccaneers have eight points (2-0-2) prior to their game at home against Mercer.
-- UNCG --