Menís Soccer Drops Season Opener To Campbell, 1-0
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Despite holding a commanding 23-14 edge in shots, the UNCG men’s soccer team dropped its 2014 season opener Friday night to Campbell 1-0 in front of 1,262 fans at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. The Spartans posted 18 second half shots in the loss, including two off the post, while Campbell goalkeeper Matthew Mozynski posted a career-high 10 saves for the Camels.
“Tonight was a tough pill to swallow,” head coach Justin Maullin said. “I thought we were the better team tonight and the stats prove that as well as we missed a penalty, bounced one off the post and had a couple of chances cleared off the goal line. In the end of the day, Campbell won the game and we didn’t finish our chances tonight. We need to learn from this experience and finish those chances.”
The Spartans (0-1-0) had the best chance in the first half that was played at a slower pace in the first regular season action of the season. In the 17th minute, senior defender Aaron Reifschneider (Frisco, Texas/Frisco) stepped up on a set piece from 25-yards out and ripped a shot that glanced off the Campbell wall. The ball deflected back across the grain, but Mozynski was able to punch it over the bar to keep the game scoreless.
Neither team had many chances in the first 45 minutes as the shots were tied at five apiece, but the second half was a different story as UNCG held an 18-9 edge in shots in the second stanza. The Camels scored the game’s lone goal in the 52nd minute as they took advantage of a fortuitous bounce. Campbell sent a ball into the six-yard box but a UNCG defender out-jumped a Campbell player and headed the ball away from goal. The clearing attempt came down at the feet of Isaiah Page who deposited it into the back of the net from 12-yards out for the 1-0 lead.
The goal sparked the Spartans’ fighting spirit as they tilted the field towards the Camels goal. Just minutes later, junior Jacques Francois (Port Au Prince, Haiti/Louisburg College) was hauled down in the box and UNCG was awarded a penalty kick. Reifschneider stepped up but his shot from the spot was deflected out by Mozynski to keep Campbell in front.
UNCG kept the pressure on and in the 58th minute came within inches of a goal. After a corner kick was cleared out by Campbell, junior Lukas Zarges (Freidrichsdorf, Germany/Phillip Reis Schulle) got the ball 20 yards out and ripped a bending shot past the goalkeeper, but it struck the post to keep UNCG off the board. Zarges again had another great chance in the 64th minute as he took a set piece from 20 yards out that whipped over the wall and looked destined for the goal but Mozynski again thwarted the effort.
The Spartans’ had another great chance in the 70th minute of play as Francois was found in behind the Campbell back line. He was able to sneak by the last defender and was one-on-one against the goalkeeper but Mozynski was able to make a sprawling save to preserve the victory.
Francois finished the game with five shots on the night while Zarges added four shots. Freshman Neico Regent (Clarendon, Jamaica/American Heritage) came off the bench in the second half and accounted for five shots of his own, igniting the attack. Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Davis Griffin (Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road) got the nod in goal and posted five saves in 90 minutes of action.
The Spartans will be back in action Monday evening as they travel to UNCW. Game time in Wilmington is set for 7 p.m. and will be their second game during a season-opening eight-day stretch where they play three games in just over a week.