Menís Soccer Runs Unbeaten Streak To Four With Victory Over Davidson
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Despite allowing a penalty kick goal just 21 seconds into the game, the UNCG men’s soccer team rallied for a pivotal 2-1 victory over Southern Conference foe Davidson Tuesday night at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. The victory improved the Spartans to 2-0-1 in SoCon play this season in sole possession of second place with seven points in just three league games.
The Spartans have posted a 2-0-2 record over the last four games with wins over Appalachian State and Davidson, while tying Campbell and Furman. Since the second half of the Campbell game, UNCG is outscoring opponents by a 6-2 margin over the last 335 minutes of play.
Davidson (6-6-1, 1-3-0 SoCon) opened the scoring just 21 seconds into the game as the Spartans were called for a foul inside the 18-yard box, giving the Wildcats a penalty kick. Alex Reiter stepped up for Davidson and whipped a shot into the bottom left corner past a diving Stephen Moffitt (Burlington, N.C./Williams) for the stunning early lead in the first minute.
The Spartans answered right back though just 4:45 later in the sixth minute of play as they capitalized on their first scoring chance. Junior Justin Jones (Jamestown, N.C./Lees-McRae) beat a Davidson defender and sent a cross into the six-yard box where freshman Hill Gwynn (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) drilled a header past goalkeeper Matt Pacifici and into the back of the net for his first career goal to tie the game at 1-1.
Davidson responded back with the next couple of chances, including a prime scoring opportunity in the 38th minute off a free kick from 40 yards out. The Wildcats sent the ball into the 18-yard box where Alex Feliciano got his head on it and flicked it towards the back post, but Moffitt was there to smother the shot keeping the game tied at one apiece.
UNCG (7-5-2, 2-0-1 SoCon) scored its second of the half just before the break taking a 2-1 lead in the 42nd minute of play. The Spartans had a set piece just inside the midline where junior David Reittinger (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest) found Jake Fields (Newtown, Pa./Villanova) streaking down the right side. Fields quickly drove a cross through the six-yard box where redshirt sophomore Dustin Gamradt (Kiel, Germany/Hebbleschule) was waiting at the back post to drive his header home for his third goal of the season and a 2-1 lead.
Davidson opened the second half putting pressure on the Spartans as it looked for the equalizing goal. In the 55th minute, the Wildcats combined just outside the 18-yard box and Alec Rotunda got free from 12 yards out and ripped a shot on goal, but Moffitt was there to thwart the effort.
The Spartans’ best chance of the second half came on a counter attack as the Wildcats were pushing forward. Senior Oddur Gudmundsson (Reykjavik, Iceland/Breidholti) broke down the right side and beat a Davidson defender to the end line. Gudmundsson sent a cross into the box where sophomore Lukas Zarges (Freidrichsdorf, Germany/Phillip Reis Schulle) got his head on the ball, but Pacifici was there to deny the effort and keep it a one-goal game.
The Wildcats had the game’s final chance in the 89th minute of play as they pushed everyone forward looking for the game-tying goal. Davidson was having a hard time cracking the Spartans’ defense in a dangerous way so Chris Pettiglio made a run in the midfield into some space and cracked a shot from 20 yards out that sailed across the mouth of the goal and wide of the target as Moffitt was in position to keep the ball out of harm’s way.
Moffitt picked up his seventh win of the season as he made two saves in the victory while Pacifici tallied three saves in the loss.
UNCG returns to action Saturday night for a crucial SoCon road contest that will pit the top two teams, point-wise, in the standings against each other when the Spartans battle Wofford. The Terriers lead the league with nine points on a 3-1-0 record while UNCG is second with seven points with a 2-0-1 record. Game time in Spartanburg is set for 6 p.m.
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